If you’ve ever received student loans through the government, there’s a good chance that MOHELA student loans are for you. MOHELA collects borrowers’ payments and provides customer support to their borrowers. This article gives a breakdown as to what MOHELA is about.
MOHELA, also known as the Higher Education Loan Authority of the State of Missouri, is a nonprofit student loan servicer that handles federal and private student loans.
Compared to most other loan servicers, MOHELA has fewer complaints and better ratings with an A+ on the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Still, like most servicers, MOHELA receives various complaints with some borrowers allegedly receiving incorrect information about their loans or having their loan handled improperly.
This article focuses on:
What is MOHELA?
Based in St. Louis, Missouri with offices in Columbia, Missouri, and Washington, DC, MOHELA has more than 30 years of experience in the student loan servicing industry.
MOHELA works with students and graduates who have faced many different types of financial circumstances and offers a number of options designed to make repayment easier, helping to move students along the road to being debt-free.
If you have MOHELA student loans, it’s important to know how the company operates and how to make good on your debt.
What Kind of Loans do MOHELA Offer?
MOHELA services federal student loans under the direct loan and Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) programs.
Federal student loan servicers are assigned by the Department of Education to borrowers when their loan payment is disbursed. Borrowers do not have a say in which loan servicer they are assigned.
The Department of Education allocates new federal loans to the loan servicers based on customer satisfaction scores. As of December 2018, Mohela was allocated 20% of all federal student loans, more than any other loan servicer.
Student Loan Repayment Through MOHELA
As a federal loan servicer, MOHELA gives borrowers access to all federal loan repayment options. There are three repayment methods available based on the length of repayment:
Standard Repayment Plan
Your MOHELA student loans will be placed on this repayment plan by default. Standard plans can last up to ten years and have a fixed monthly payment ($50 minimum). Monthly loan payments are based on your total loan amount.
Graduated Repayment Plan
Graduated plans start with lower monthly payments and increase every two years over the life of the loan. This is which is usually ten years.
Extended Repayment Plan
Similar to Graduated plans, Extended plans have 25-year terms. MOHELA Borrowers will end up paying the most with this option because of interest.
Income-Driven Repayment Plan
Besides the length of time, you can also choose a federal repayment plan based on your income. These plans are referred to as Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Plans. Each IDR plan has its own requirements, terms, and conditions.
There are four IDR plans to choose from:
- Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
- Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE)
- Income-Based Repayment (IBR)
- Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR)
IDR plans have set monthly payments based on the borrower’s income. Monthly payments may increase as your income increases. It’s also possible to reduce your monthly payments to $0 under IDR plans.
Does MOHELA Forgive Student Loans?
You could be eligible to have part of your loans forgiven in the following situations:
- If you are in an income-driven repayment plan, and you’ve made on-time payments for 20 to 25 years, you may be eligible to have the remaining balance on your loans forgiven. However, keep in mind that the forgiven amount is considered taxable income, so you will have to pay taxes on it
- A government or not-for-profit organization worker, are on an income-driven repayment plan, and have made 10 years of qualifying payments, you might be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness
- If you are a teacher, you may also benefit from loan forgiveness if you teach full-time in a low-income school for five consecutive years. If you fit the bill, you may be able to have up to $17,500 in loans forgiven
- In the case of the death of the primary borrower or a dependent student on a PLUS Loan, your loans may be eligible for partial or full discharge
- If your school closes while you are enrolled and you’re unable to complete your program as a result, or your school closes within 120 days after you withdraw, your loans may be eligible for a discharge
- If you are unable to work due to a disability or are a veteran who is unable to work due to a service-related disability, you may qualify to have your federal student loans discharged.
How to Make a Payment
You can make a payment securely by logging into your Mohela account. You can also call customer service at 888-866-4352 to make a payment or talk with a customer service representative about repayment plan options.
Mohela provides a discount on your interest rate if you sign up to have payments automatically withdrawn from your bank account. Setting up automatic payments makes it easier to ensure your student loan payment is made each month.
If Mohela services multiple student loans for you, your payment is generally applied evenly across all loans. If you are focusing on repaying one loan ahead of schedule and want to make larger payments on just that loan, you will need to contact Mohela to provide special instructions.
How Do I Apply for a Mohela Student Loan?
As with any federal student loan, the student loan process starts by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This will tell how much federal assistance you qualify for through the Department of Education.
FAFSA information is shared with schools you’ve applied to or listed on your FAFSA form. Those schools will calculate how much aid you can get from them.
hen you get accepted to a college, they will send you an award letter that explains how much aid you’re eligible to receive from the school.
Everything concerning your student loan will go through your school’s financial aid office until your loan payment is disbursed.
If you are a new borrower, you’ll need to complete entrance counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note(MPN). Your MPN is your agreement to pay back your student loan.
MOHELA isn’t part of the student loan application process. They only get involved once your loan payment is disbursed, and they are assigned as your loan servicer. You’ll be contacted by MOHELA to set up your account and payment options.
You’ll go through MOHELA’s customer service department to make any changes to your loan payments, switch to another repayment plan, or make other changes.
While there are other student loan servicers that also administrate federal student loans, you do not get to choose which servicer you are assigned.
If you are unhappy with Mohela, you can look into federal student loan consolidation through the Department of Education. If you take out a Direct Consolidation Loan, it is possible you will be assigned a different servicer for your new loan.
You can also refinance student loans through a private student loan lender. You will give up access to student loan forgiveness and income-driven repayment options if you refinance federal student loans privately.
1. How do I apply for a new loan?
View the Steps to Federal Student Aid from the U.S. Department of Education. You will need to complete the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and complete steps with your school to determine your eligibility for financial aid.
2. How much interest has accrued on my loan?
Select Account Home on the left-hand column when logged in. Expand the contents under Loan Overview. You will see your accrued interest, total balance, interest rate and more.
3. How can I keep my loans at a manageable amount?
Although you are not required to make payments at this time, making even some payments while you are in school can help save you money down the road and reduce the total amount that you repay. Consider making payments toward unsubsidized loans that accrue interest while you are in school.
4. Do I need to make payments while I am in school?
Based on information we receive from your school, we will automatically postpone your payments if you are enrolled at least half time.
5. How many classes do I need to take to be enrolled at least half time?
Each school may define “half time” differently. Please contact your school to determine how they define full-time, half-time and part-time enrollment.
As one of the largest loan servicers used by the Department of Education, there’s a good chance you could be seeing their name if you’re a new borrower.
If you have a different loan servicer and want to switch to MOHELA, the only way to do that is by consolidating your loans to a Direct Consolidation Loan.
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