Student loan repayments fell into chaos as borrowers struggle to contact providers Nelnet, EdFinancial and Mohela as repayments restart this week
- Nelnet, EdFinancial and Mohela experienced ‘high call volume’ on Tuesday
- Millions of Americans are trying to organize the repayment of their student loans
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it is investigating complaints
Student loan borrowers faced long wait times and website outages as millions rushed to resume repayments this week after a three-year hiatus.
Graduates who wanted to speak to the companies that service their loans, including Nelnet, EdFinancial and Mohela, to sort out repayment terms or find out what needed to be done reported being unable to speak to agents or log into online portals.
The resumption of student loan repayments on Oct. 1 marked the end of an interest-free pause intended to ease the stress of about 28 million borrowers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In June, the Supreme Court rejected a proposal from President Biden to wipe out $400 billion in student debt.
In June, the Supreme Court rejected a proposal from President Biden to wipe out $400 billion in student debt. Biden is pictured with Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona
A message on the website of loan servicing platform Nelnet warned that it was experiencing “unprecedented call volume” on Tuesday morning – days after payments resumed
‘It’s a complete mess,’ Blake Morgan, a borrower in Kansas City, Missouri, who has $172,000 in federal student loans, told Bloomberg. “It’s so hard to get a hold of someone now.”
He said he spent hours on the phone with the servicer of his lending company Nelnet to report a reduction in his income that would affect the amount of his repayment.
A Twitter user named Brian O’Connor shared a screenshot showing that he had been on the phone with Nelnet for more than three hours.
‘Took 3.5 hours. They essentially didn’t help because my problems persist,” he wrote.
Nelnet as well as other lenders – including EdFinancial Services and Mohela – posted notices on their website Tuesday morning indicating they were experiencing “unprecedented” call volume and “longer than normal wait times.”
Most suggested logging into their online portals instead to manage loan repayment options.
But Miranda Bovit, a 28-year-old Philadelphia attorney with $81,000 in federal student debt also serviced by Nelnet, told Bloomberg that the system isn’t working either.
“When you log in, the website crashes,” she told the outlet. “It’s frustrating when things bounce back and forth.”
EdFinancial Services said on its website that borrowers would have to wait longer than usual to speak to someone
Another loan servicer, Mohela, similarly referred borrowers to the government’s online student aid portal and website
The Biden administration introduced the SAVE plan, an income-driven repayment plan with lenient terms, in August.
Kate Nordstrom, 31, a consultant at a software company, applied for the SAVE plan and told MarketWatch the government’s website said she would owe about $191 each month, but her loan servicer told her she would have to pay about $750.
“I’m at the whim of whatever unfortunate person has to deal with my stuff,” she said.
Last week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Democratic colleagues wrote to four federal loan servicers, Nelnet, Mohela, EdFinancial and Maximus Federal Services, questioning how well prepared they were for repayments after initial complaints about long wait times and website crashes.
“This is deeply troubling: Borrowers who cannot contact their student loan servicer prior to repayment may not know their payment amount, and they may not be able to learn about the different payment plans to determine which is best for their specific circumstances or to determine whether they qualify for different forms. of loan relief,” they wrote.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has said it is investigating complaints filed against the various lenders since repayments began this month.
DailyMail.com wrote to Nelnet and EdFinancial about claims that borrowers were unable to contact them but received no response. It could not reach Mohela.