U.S. Department of Education Online Payment
As sad as it might seem, there will come a day when a student must make a payment on a federal student loan. The money the student’s been given isn’t a gift, and the government expects that the student will pay back those funds in a timely manner, according to the loan documents the student signed when the loan was drafted. While paying back the loan might not be fun, and there’s no Department of Education online payment system to help, a little planning could make the process run a bit more smoothly.
While federal student loans originate with the U.S. Department of Education, they’re typically processed by private loan servicers that aren’t connected to the Department of Education. These organizations operate on a specific set of rules and use a similar set of processes, but they’re all individual entities and the variety of organizations can make for some confusion. While it would be ideal for students to type in “Department of Education pay online” in a web browser and see one website where they can make payments for their loans, the system just doesn’t work this way. Instead, most loan servicers provide their clients with a website address, and here, students can fill in their payment information and get the money they owe from their bank accounts into the account of the loan servicer. This can become confusing if a student has multiple loan servicers.
Since there is no centralized Department of Education online payment program, some students can become frustrated, and they might wonder if they should even bother with making their payments at all. In general, skipping payments is detrimental, as the Department of Education considers a loan delinquent on the first day after a payment is missed. Those students who miss payments could lose their ability to keep stellar credit scores, which might impact their ability to get another loan for a car or a house. The stain can stick around for years.
While some students miss payments due to frustration, some students miss payments because they’re consumed with thoughts about:
- Their work
- Their children
- Their continuing coursework
- Family obligations
They can’t keep track of deadlines, and the due date passes by without notice as a result. Automatic payments can help, but a study by Marketplace suggests that only 50 percent of consumers take advantage of this option. That’s a shame, as these programs can help to ensure that students meet their obligations each month, whether they remember or not.
The best way to find out about online payment options is to contact the loan servicer and ask. Most organizations would be thrilled to answer any question that might ensure that payments are made on time. If you’d like to know more about how loans typically work, however, and how payments are handled in the private sector, we can assist. If you find that it’s too confusing to have loans with multiple servicers, you should consider private student loan refinance.