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Federal Direct Loan Servicer FAQ

  • Why am I being contacted by different agencies about my Federal Direct Loan?

    The Federal Department of Education has assigned your Federal Direct Loan to an agency that is responsible for receiving your loan payments when you graduate or stop attending school at least half-time.

  • Why am I being contacted while I am still enrolled at Macalester?

    You may be contacted shortly after your loan is credited to your Macalester student account, before the loan repayment period has begun. This contact does not necessarily mean that you are required to begin making loan payments. The servicing agency (also known as a “servicer”) is simply contacting you to make you aware of the relationship you now have with them.

  • How can I find out who my lender is?

    Federal Direct Loans are borrowed from the U. S. Department of Education. You may identify the agency that is assigned to collect your loan by accessing the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-4354. All your federal student loans are reported to this system. Some of your servicer’s contact information is also in this system.

  • Which agencies might be servicing my loan?

    The Department of Education maintains a list of federal loan servicers.

  • When do I send the first payment?

    Your loan servicer will contact you with both the amount and the date they expect your first payment. Generally, if you graduate in May your first payment will be due in November. If you have not been contacted by your servicer you are still responsible to make your payment. Check and contact your servicer as you may need to update the contact information they have for you.

  • How do I make payment arrangements?

    Your servicer’s web site will provide instructions on how to make loan payments and set up automatic payments.

  • May I make payments before I graduate?

    Yes. There are no penalties for early repayment. You may reduce the overall cost of your loan by making payments before the repayment period begins.

  • Are there options to the loan payment plan my servicer has shown me?

    Yes. If you have not selected a repayment plan the default option is Standard Repayment. Contact your servicer to discuss other repayment plans available to you. A description of repayment plans is available on the Department of Education web site.

  • I am applying to graduate school. I don’t need to make payments, do I?

    Your loan servicer is expecting your payment. If there is a reason you are not planning to make a payment you need to contact your servicer. All servicer websites include information on how to apply for in-school deferments or forbearances. Your loans will not be automatically deferred.

  • If I have given Macalester my new address and phone number will Macalester tell my lender so I don’t need to?

    No, Macalester will not share your new contact information with your loan servicer.

Other Important reminders:

  • Before you provide personal information on a website, verify your servicer’s web site address on NSLDS.
  • It is your responsibility to provide your loan servicer with your current contact information
  • You may have more than one servicer; all your loans may not be assigned to the same agency.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to arrange your payments. Be aware of how much time your servicer requires to process your payment.