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Student loan help

Are you having issues with your student loan servicer? DFR is here to help. Oregon's  Student Loan Ombuds can help borrowers resolve disputes with their loan servicer and make sure they are in compliance with the law. All student loan servicers in Oregon must obtain a license from DFR. Check a license at NMLSConsumeraccess.org.

Student loan news


Oregon's Student Loan Ombuds

Lane Thompson
Student Loan Ombuds
Pronouns: she/they

DFR.bankingproducthelp@dcbs.oregon.gov

Consumer Hotline
888-877-4894

PO Box 14480
Salem, OR 97309

Student loan borrower rights

  • Information about student loans should be clear and available. This information includes: servicer contact information, assessment/schedule of fees, eligibility for Income Driven Repayment Plans, how payments are applied, amortization schedule, and payment history.

  • Servicers should be knowledgeable about the private and federally contracted repayment options available.

  • Servicers should apply payments fairly and in full.

  • Servicers should grant borrowers access to information reported to credit agencies on that borrowers behalf.

  • Borrowers may sue for deception, fraud, or other violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and any other federal or state laws.

  • Borrowers can submit a complaint, receive timely acknowledgement of the complaint, and work with the Oregon Student Loan Ombuds toward a resolution.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Most people whose debt was cancelled through the settlement received a postcard alerting them that they were part of the class action lawsuit, and that their loans have been cancelled. If Navient serviced your federal loans as of 2017, you entered repayment before 2015, and spent time in forbearance – or if Navient serviced your defaulted private loan and you attended certain for profit schools – you may be eligible. There is no application. There is both federal restitution and private loan cancellation available. If you believe that you are in either category, visit: Commonly Asked Questions (navientagsettlement.com)​​

Use your FSA ID to logon to: https://studentaid.gov/idr/. If you don't know your FSA username or password, you can reset it by selecting 'forgot username' or 'forgot password' here: Log In | Federal Student Aid​​​​

All you need is their Employer Identification Number (EIN ). Your EIN can often be found on your W2 or paystub. Enter it here: Public Service Loan Forgiveness Employer Search Tool | Federal Student Aid and it will return either an 'eligible' or 'ineligible' result. Eligibility for Public Service Loan Forgiveness is generally based on your employer and your full time status, not your position.​​​

​Federal student loans and private student loans can look very similar – sometimes they are even serviced by the same company. The best way to find out if your loans are federal is by logging into StudentAid.gov. If nothing shows there, or if you do not have an FSA ID, then your loans are private. Anything that does not show there, is a private student loan which does not qualify for repayment and discharge programs– like Income Driven Repayment or Public Service Loan Forgiveness - of a federal student loan. ​​​

Many federal student loan types offer the ability to consolidate them together, into a new federal loan. Refinancing federal loans with a private company is a separate process, and is rarely a good deal as it forfeits many of the federal loan benefits​. To learn more about consolidation visit: https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/consolidation

While, in most cases, no credit is required to take out student loans; payments, both on time and late, toward student debt are reported to all three credit bureaus monthly. If loans are rehabilitated from a previous default, the default – but not the late payment history -  should be removed from your credit report. If you believe that your servicer mis-reported something, please contact them for help. If you are not able to contact them, please file a complaint with the Student Loan Ombuds. ​​​​

Income Driven Repayment Plans – including $0 monthly payment options - as well as forbearance are generally available for all federal loans. Login to studentaid.gov to learn more and apply. Private loans have few to none of these options available – call your servicer if you think you might miss a payment. ​​​

There are two options for getting back on track with federal student loans – rehabilitation or consolidation. Consolidation gets rid of the old loan and creates a totally new loan, with the same terms as the previous ones. This is the best path if you are in a rush to get back on track. Neither the default, or late payment history is removed from your credit history when you consolidate into a new loan . Rehabilitation is a process where the collection agency or servicer collects (usually $5 monthly) payments, auto-debited, for 10 months. After those 10 months, your loan returns to current status (the late payment history remains), and you can resume paying on it as though you had never defaulted. This is the better option if you are trying to retain the loans and/or servicer that you already had, or to get the default removed from your credit report. To learn more about both of these options, and apply for one, logon to: https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/default/get-out​​​

You should never have to pay for the benefits that federal student loans already come with. Anyone who is trying to charge you to consolidate, rehabilitate, get onto an IDR plan, or apply for forgiveness, is likely taking advantage of you. The Department of Education will not call you about your loans – so a call claiming to be from them is likely a scam. Anything that directs you to a site other than studentaid.gov could be a scam. If you need additional support in navigating the student loan process, please reach out to a non-profit student loan counselor, like those at DevNW​​​


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