Student Loan Ombudsman
Ombudsman=someone who is on your side trying to help with whatever problems you may have; a complaint or grievance person who, with some special training and knowledge, can get to the heart of the matter and help.For student loans, the ombudsman’s web site is incorporated into the Studentaid.gov website. Borrowers can submit problems online. The toll-free phone number is 877-557-2575 and the fax number is 202-275-0549; the mail address is U.S. Department of Education, FSA Ombudsman, 830 First Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20202-5144.
Department of Education Publications
“Your Federal Student Loans: Learn the Basics and Manage Your Debt ” and “Funding Education Beyond High School” are very useful guides put out by the Department of Education. Updated each year and are available in English and Spanish online or by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID.
Assistance from Guaranty Agencies and Lenders
Do your research – an ombudsman is someone in your corner, but the organizations do not actively advertise that. Ask directly if they have an ombudsman to work with you.
Below is a partial list of guaranty agency and lender resources. If you do not know which agency is holding your loan, you should check with the Department of Education ombudsman for more information. You should also be able to get this information from the National Student Loan Data System. Be prepared. You can get help, but it comes faster if you know your facts and can breeze through the application.
The agencies prefer that you first try to resolve your problem with the representative from their company or from a collection agency that has already contacted you. The ombudsman will get involved if these initial efforts are unsuccessful. You should only call one of these programs if they hold your loan. If your loan holder is not listed here, contact them and pointedly ask if they have an ombudsman to help you.
American Student Assistance Ombudsman: Grace Bartini Phone: 1-800-999-9080 ext. 4512 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
College Assist/Nelnet Guarantor Solutions Ombudsman: Germaine Terry Contact Information: Regular Mail: 3015 South Parker Road, Suite 400 Aurora, CO 80014 Phone: (303) 696-3598 (Direct line to ombudsman) E-mail: email@example.com
Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) Diane Zitur ECMC Ombudsman 651-325-3015 Ombudsman@ecmc.org Regular Mail: ECMC Attn: Diane Zitur PO BOX 75906 St. Paul, MN 55175
Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) E. H. Stewart, Jr. Compliance Officer/Ombudsman 4 Quakerbridge Plaza P. O. Box 549 Trenton, NJ 08625-0549 (609) 588 – 3351 (609) 588 – 2427 FAX
National Education Servicing Ombudsman Contact: Tracy Kaufmann Mailing Address: 200 W. Monroe, Suite 700 Chicago, IL 60606 Phone: 800-345-4325, ext. 5189 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
National Student Loan Program Associate Ombudsman: Oscar Huapaya Mail Address: NSLP Ombudsman Office 1300 O Street Lincoln, NE 68508 Phone: 800-735-8778, ext. 6814 email@example.com More information about NSLP Ombudsman.
Sallie Mae Customer Advocate Unit More information about Sallie Mae Customer Advocate Unit, including how to contact the Unit.
You can get help. These are just a few of the many resources you can find, but you have to be diligent, resourceful, and don’t give up. Student loans are not forgiven, so if you run into trouble or are overwhelmed you have no choice but to solve your own problem. Get creative, be persuasive, and get it done.
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