If you’ve borrowed federal student loans, then you will eventually receive communications from your student loan servicer. One servicer that you might encounter is Edfinancial. (With a name as cheesy as “Edfinancial,” the company almost has to work for the federal government!)
If Edfinancial is your student loan servicer, you may have a number of questions. Who is Edfinancial, and what do they do? What role do they play in managing your student loans? how can you contact them, and can you swap your loans to another servicer if you don’t like the customer experience offered by the company?
Below, we answer all of these questions—and more—so that you can make a more informed decision about how you go about repaying your federal student loans.
Who is Edfinancial (HESC)?
Edfinancial Services is one of the 11 student loan servicers currently working with the U.S. Department of Education to manage federal student loans. The company’s name sometimes appears alongside the acronym HESC, which stands for “Higher Education Services Corp”
Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Edfinancial services was founded in 1988 by William A. Hollin. At the time, the company was known as Educational Funding of the South, or EdSouth, and managed private student loans. Eventually, EdSouth morphed into Edfinancial, and was awarded a contract by the U.S. Department of Education in 2012 to act as a federal student loan servicer.
In addition to servicing federal student loans, Edfinancial does still services private student loans for a range of banks and lenders. Edfinancial is not itself a lender.
The company has another business segment, Edamerica, which offers financial aid counseling services (among other services).
What does Edfinancial do?
As a federal student loan servicer, Edfinancial must fulfill a number of responsibilities that the U.S. Department of Education requires all servicers to perform. These duties include:
- Receiving and processing student loan paperwork and forms
- Handling and properly allocating your monthly student loan payments
- Managing your student loans (in a broad sense)
- Keeping track of the logistics of your student loans, including due dates and status
- Educating you through any questions you may have about your student loans or repayment
- Guiding you through deferment and forbearance, as well as student loan forgiveness
- Helping you choose and switch repayment plans
Types of Loans Serviced by Edfinancial
As a federal servicer, Edfinancial handles most types of federal student loans, including:
- Direct Subsidized Loans
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans
- Direct Parent PLUS Loans
- Direct Graduate PLUS Loans
- Direct Consolidation Loans
- Perkins Loans
- Stafford Loans
Because Edfinancial also services private student loans, if you have borrowed from a private lender, it’s possible that your loans may be services by Edfinancial as well.
How to Contact Edfinancial
Regardless of who your student loan servicer is, it’s important for all borrowers to understand that their job is to help you manage and repay your student loans. This means that if you ever have any questions or worry that you may not be able to make a payment, you should immediately contact your servicer to understand what options you may have available to you. No matter what, you should never just stop making payments hoping that your loan debt will go away!
Edfinancial’s business hours are 8am to 8:30pm EST Monday through Thursday, and 8am to 6pm EST on Fridays. They are closed on the weekend. You can contact them through the channels listed below:
In order to protect your financial information, Edfinancial does not accept questions about your student loan account by email. You can submit an email through the form located on their website here. You will need to provide your birthday and account number.
P.O. Box 36008
Knoxville, TN 37930-6008
Knoxville, TN 37930-6014
Alternatives to Edfinancial Servicing
Some people may find that they haven’t had the best customer experience working with Edfinancial as their servicer. In these cases, you might wonder if it’s possible to transfer your federal student loans to a different servicer. Unfortunately, this usually isn’t possible; the U.S. Department of Education chooses who your servicer will be, and often does not consider change requests.
That being said if you are dead-set on changing your servicer, you can achieve that goal by pursuing either consolidation of refinancing.
Student Loan Consolidation
In student loan consolidation, you merge multiple federal student loans into a single new student loan called a Direct Consolidation Loan. As you go through the process of applying for consolidation, you will be allowed to request either that your loan stays with your current servicer, or be transferred to a new servicer. While there is no guarantee that your request will be honored, it often is.
While there are many reasons that someone might choose to consolidate their student loans, such as a desire to make it easier to keep track of your student loans, simply changing servicers isn’t often one of those reasons. Consolidation can bring certain downsides that you should be aware of before moving forward, such as changes to which repayment plans you are eligible for, among others. Make sure you understand the pros and cons of consolidating your student loans before you make up your mind either way.
Student Loan Refinancing
Refinancing is another option. Instead of merging your federal student loans into a consolidation loan, refinancing essentially converts your federal student loan or loans with a new private loan. This gives you final say over who your lender is, and might even help you save money by qualifying for lower interest rates. But refinancing means giving up certain powerful benefits and protections that federal borrowers enjoy. Like we mentioned for consolidation above, it’s important for you to understand the pros and cons of refinancing your student loans before making a decision.