If you’re a federal student loan borrower and you’ve received an email or letter from CornerStone Education Loan Services, you might be wondering who they are and why you’re getting mail from them. In short, if you’re receiving letters from them it means that they are your student loan servicer, and it’s important that you pay attention to any communications they send.
Read on to learn more about CornerStone Student Loans, including what they do, the types of loans they service, the best way to contact them, and more.
Who is CornerStone?
CornerStone Education Loan Services is one of 11 student loan servicers tasked with managing federal student loans for the U.S. Department of Education. They are a non-profit servicer with more than 35 years of experience managing federal student loans. They are run by the Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority (UTEAA).
CornerStone operates under the following mission statement:
“We guide families through the financing of higher education. We teach students to save for education, pursue scholarships and grants, and borrow wisely. We provide conscientious, personal service to borrowers and promote responsible repayment. Student success in financing and completing their educational goals fulfills our mission.”
To achieve this mission, the company aims to embody the principles of integrity, diligence, customer focus, collaboration, knowledge, self-discipline, and resourcefulness in all of their actions.
What does CornerStone do?
As your student loan servicer, CornerStone is responsible for carrying out a number of duties, including:
- Processing any and all student loan paperwork
- Collecting, managing, and applying your student loan payments
- Managing and changing payment due dates
- Helping you understand the various repayment plans you may qualify for
- Helping you understand your options for deferment and forbearance
- Guiding qualified borrowers through student loan forgiveness and discharge
Types of Loans Serviced by CornerStone
- Direct Subsidized Loans
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans
- Direct Parent PLUS Loans
- Direct Graduate PLUS Loans
- Direct Consolidation Loans
- Perkins Loans
- Stafford Loans
How to Contact CornerStone
If you have any questions about your federal student loans; you would like to discuss options for deferment, forbearance, forgiveness, or repayment; or you worry that you might not be able to make your monthly student loan payments, your first step should be to contact CornerStone (or any other servicer you might have). Seriously, don’t just stop making your student loan payments!
Luckily, you can contact CornerStone in a number of ways, as listed below. CornerStone’s business hours are 6am to 7pm Mountain Time (Monday through Thursday) and 6am to 5pm Mountain Time (Friday). They are closed on the weekend.
CornerStone Live Chat
Simply visit their website (mycornerstoneloan.org) and click on the chat icon in the bottom right of the screen
Correspondence can be sent to:
CornerStone Education Loan Services
P.O. Box 145122
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-5122
Payments can be sent to:
U.S. Department of Education
P.O. Box 979133
St. Louis, MO 63197-9000
Alternatives to CornerStone
If CornerStone is your federal student loan servicer and you are unhappy with your experience, there are unfortunately not too many steps that you can take, because it is typically very difficult to get a new servicer. That being said, two options available to you are consolidation and refinancing.
Student Loan Consolidation
If you have multiple federal student loans, you can choose to consolidate them into a single new loan (called a Direct Consolidation Loan). When applying for consolidation, you can choose to either stay with your existing servicer or request a new one. If you choose to request a new servicer after consolidation, your request may be answered, but it is also possible that it will not be. While this can be a great way to make it a bit easier to keep track of your student loans, consolidation may also reset the clock on things like student loan forgiveness, if you were working towards it, so it’s important that you understand the pros and cons of consolidation before moving forward.
Student Loan Refinancing
Alternatively, you may choose to refinance your student loan with a private lender. This process will essentially convert your federal student loan into a private student loan, giving you much more control over who your lender ultimately is. It may also save you money in the form of lower interest rates, though this depends on a number of factors. And because you will be converting your federal loans into private loans, refinancing means you will also be giving up a number of benefits. Like consolidation, it’s important that you understand the pros and cons of refinancing your student loans before you make a decision either way.