MOHELA is a federal student loan servicing company. There are no MOHELA student loans that originate with the company. Instead, most people learn about MOHELA when they get a loan from the Department of Education (DOE).
MOHELA helps students understand their loans. When it’s time to pay back the balance, you do so with MOHELA.
If you have a MOHELA student loan, you have plenty to be excited about. But there are a few drawbacks to keep in mind as you work with this company to pay back what you borrowed to pay for school.
MOHELA at a Glance
MOHELA is an acronym standing for Missouri Higher Education Loan. The company has headquarters in St. Louis, but there are operating centers in Columbia, Missouri, and Washington, D.C.
The company is small, as it has only about 500 employees. Everyone who works for MOHELA knows how federal student loans work, and they are all prepared to help you understand your loan and pay back your debts on time.
MOHELA student loans are special due to:
- Experience. MOHELA has been in the federal student loan servicing business for more than 30 years. If you’re hoping to work with a company that is very familiar with how these loans work, this could be good news for you.
- Loan modification options. If you struggle to make your payments, and you don’t qualify for programs like loan forgiveness or forbearance, you can get extra help from MOHELA. The company offers a loan modification product, although little information is available about it online.
- Rate reduction options. Sign up for auto-debit programs, and MOHELA will take out your payment each month so you’ll never forget to pay. You’ll also see a 0.25% interest rate reduction through your sign-up.
MOHELA Pros and Cons
You won’t choose to become a MOHELA customer; instead, you’ll apply for a federal student loan and the DOE will determine who will handle the servicing part of your loan.
Given that it takes most students years, if not decades, to pay back their balances, it makes sense to do your homework. The more you know about the company you’ll work with, the better you might feel.
In general, MOHELA is a well-respected and established provider of federal student loan servicing. There are just a few small details to be aware of as you work with this company.
- Plenty of customer service options: If you need to speak with someone at MOHELA, you can call, fax, write, send documents via the website, and more. Few companies offer this many ways to get in touch.
- Robust portal: Create an account on the MOHELA website, and you can pay online, determine your loan balance, review payment history, and download forms.
- Many ways to pay: MOHELA encourages students to sign up for automatic payments. Do so, and you’ll even get an interest rate discount. But you can also make payments online, via bill pay, by mail, or by phone.
- Inflexible terms and conditions: As a federal student loan servicer, MOHELA doesn’t create the loans you use. The company can’t lower your balance or change your interest rate.
- No additional loan options: If you need to borrow more to pay for school, you can’t work with MOHELA to do so. You’ll need to get a brand-new federal student loan or explore your private student loan options.
How to Apply for a Student Loan With MOHELA
As a federal student loan service company, MOHELA doesn’t create loan programs for students. You can’t hop on the company’s website and find out more about loans you could use to pay for school.
But you could be a MOHELA student loan customer if you accept a federal loan package. Signing up is easy.
Every fall, the DOE creates a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). As the name implies, there is no fee to access, fill out, or turn in this form. You won’t pay a fee to get results, either.
The FAFSA is your gateway to federal loans from the DOE. It also helps open the door to aid programs, including federal work-study programs, grants, and some scholarships.
Fill out the document, and don’t forget to specify the school you’re attending. The financial aid office at your school will work closely with the DOE to determine what your financial aid package will look like. If you accept the plan, you’ll sign documents through the office too.
When your first loan amount is disbursed, the DOE will connect you with a loan servicing company. At that point, you’ll know if you have a MOHELA student loan or not.
What Other Student Loan Options Are Available?
You should explore all of your federal student loan options before you look into other products. That means you must ensure that you’ve filled out the FAFSA and accepted the loans you’re offered before you start thinking about other solutions. If you don’t have enough from federal sources, you have options.
There are plenty of banks, credit unions, and private companies that specialize in student loans. They compete with one another, so they look for ways to create deals that are enticing to students. That competition creates a lot of opportunities for you. A company could drop interest rates, for example, and that could mean a great deal on a student loan.
We’ve examined many of the private student loan companies on our website, and we encourage you to browse through our analysis. You could find the solution you’ve been looking for.