Spotlight on Student Loans:

Who Ya Gonna Call? Lenders vs. Servicers

When it comes to student loans, most physicians know the frustration of listening to hold music for an hour or longer. It can be equally difficult to wait for an email response for days or weeks, only to get a reply that seems like it needs a cipher to understand. Years after completing your mandatory student loan exit counseling, you might find yourself struggling to remember all the who’s and the how’s and the what’s of student loan servicing and processing.

Federal Student Aid and FedLoan Servicing: What’s the difference?

Recently at Navigate, we helped a family physician who experienced just this situation. The borrower had been emailing back and forth about Public Service Loan Forgiveness with Federal Student Aid (FSA), who kept directing them to speak to their loan servicer, FedLoan Servicing. With such similar names, it is no wonder the borrower was confused!

FSA is another term for the US Department of Education. They are the people to whom borrowers submit their FAFSA in order to receive the aid they need to get through their schooling. They keep the National Student Loan Data System that records your loan activity. Their website is

FedLoan servicing, on the other hand, is a student loan servicer. Also known as PHEAA (the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency), they are not a federal government entity, but rather are one of several companies that handle the administrative aspects of federal loans, from processing payments, to billing, to customer service. They are unique in that they are the only student loan servicer that processes the loans of individuals on track for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

The short answer

To make things easy, think of it like this: use the US Department of Education (also known as FSA) via for news about student loans and to review your loan data. If you have questions about repayment or loan forgiveness, talk to your servicer—which, if you’re a PSLF candidate, is FedLoan Servicing!

Still unsure? Let the experts help you sort it out. Navigate Student Loans is your one-stop shopping for all your questions about your student loans. We can match you with one of our loan professionals to walk you through any questions that are specific to your situation.

If you’re pursuing Public Service Loan Forgiveness and you haven’t met with us yet, schedule your free 15-minute Discovery Session to find out if you qualify for PSLF, or what you can do if you don’t.