If you’re paying off student loan debt, you may be making payments to Heartland ECSI. As one of the largest and oldest loan servicers in the United States, Heartland ECSI works with private lenders, universities and other institutions, and with the U.S. Department of Education to help students pay for colleges.
In this guide to Heartland ECSI, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the company and what to do if Heartland ECSI is your loan servicer.
What Are Heartland ECSI Loans?
The majority of college students in the United States rely on student loans to fund their education. These loans come from the federal government, as well as from private lenders and educational institutions like colleges.
Heartland ECSI Loan Servicing
Many lenders, including the U.S. Department of Education, use loan servicers as a middle man between them and their borrowers. Loan servicers distribute loan funds to schools, collect loan payments, and communicate with borrowers on behalf of these lenders. Heartland ECSI is just one of these loan servicers.
As a loan servicer, Heartland ECSI (Educational Computer Systems, Inc.) acts as a middle man between you (the borrower) and your lender.
Like other student loan servicers, Heartland ECSI helps various lenders manage multiple types of student loans. But Heartland ECSI is slightly unique in the loans it services.
Heartland ECSI Primary Loan Types
Heartland ECSI primarily services health and nursing loans, which are administered through the HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration). These loans come in the form of Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS) and Health Professional Student Loans (HPSL), which are non-direct federal loans.
Types of Loans Serviced by Heartland ECSI
Heartland ECSI isn’t a primary loan servicer for direct student loans from the federal government. Instead, Heartland ECSI services the following types of loans:
- Federal Perkins Loans
- Private Student Loans
- Refinanced Student Loans
- Institutional Loans (from your college, university, or career-training institution)
- Primary Care Loans (for students pursuing degrees in allopathic or osteopathic medicine)
- Health and Nursing Loans (for students pursuing degrees in nursing)
Who Has Heartland ECSI Loans?
If you have a loan from the now-defunct Perkins Program, your servicer on that loan may be Heartland ECSI.
More than 1,900 colleges, universities, and institutions also use ECSI as a loan servicer. So, if you have private loans or loans provided directly by your college, there’s a reasonably good chance you may be working through ECSI.
Additionally, many healthcare professionals, including veterinarians, have HPSL loans serviced by Heartland ECSI.
What Does Heartland ECSI Do?
Heartland ECSI is not a lender; it’s doesn’t lend its own money to borrowers. Instead, Heartland ECSI works with lenders to provide service to their student loan borrowers.
Heartland ECSI fields questions from borrowers about their loans and helps them through the repayment process. If you have a question about the status of your account, or if you want to make a change, you’ll contact Heartland ECSI rather than your lender.
Heartland ECSI provides all of the following services for student loan lenders and borrowers.
- Payment Management
Most lenders prefer to focus on bringing in new borrowers, rather than spend time managing existing loan accounts. If Heartland ECSI is your loan servicer, it is charged with collecting your monthly loan payments and reporting your payment activity to the credit bureaus.
Whenever you make a payment on a loan that’s serviced by Heartland ECSI, that payment is made to and processed by Heartland ECSI.
- Repayment Plans
Another of Heartland ECSI’s key responsibilities as a loan servicer is providing borrowers with the right options for loan repayment. Heartland ECSI will give you options for deferment while you’re in school, and for repayment plans once you’ve graduated from or left a program.
One of the most important jobs a loan servicer does for the federal government and its student borrowers is directing borrowers towards the best repayment programs.
For example, your loan servicer will help determine whether you’re eligible for the U.S. Department of Education’s income-driven repayment programs and help you to enroll. If you ever want to switch repayment programs, your loan servicer will assist you in the process.
- Consolidation and Refinancing
Your loan servicer will also help you decide whether to consolidate or refinance your federal and private student loans.
Consolidating or refinancing isn’t always the best or most economical option for student loans. But if you have federal student loans serviced by Heartland ECSI, consolidating your loans with a Direct Consolidation Loan may be an option worth considering. Doing so will help you keep your options open for IDR plans and loan forgiveness, as we’ll discuss later on.
- Loan Forgiveness
Loan servicers like Heartland ECSI are responsible for helping borrowers understand and apply for loan forgiveness. This may include payment programs like income-driven repayment, as well as Public Service Loan Forgiveness and other options.
Applying for certain forgiveness programs, including PSLF, could mean changing servicers. When you begin the process of certifying for PSLF, for example, your loans will be transferred from your current servicer to FedLoan.
If Heartland ECSI is your loan servicer, and you think you could be eligible for loan forgiveness, it’s essential to talk with a representative to make sure you’re on track.
- Deferment and Forbearance
If Heartland ECSI is your loan servicer, it is responsible for processing your requests for deferment or forbearance. If you ever find it impossible to afford your loan bill, it’s important to contact your loan servicer right away.
Your loan servicer will help you apply for the best type of forbearance or deferment, depending on the kind of debt you’re repaying and other financial factors.
- Tax Documents
Heartland ECSI keeps track of the necessary tax documentation that you’ll require come tax season. If you paid qualifying education expenses in the previous tax year, Heartland ECSI will send you the appropriate tax forms.
- Tuition Payment Plans
Some educational institutions use Heartland ECSI to provide tuition payment plans to their students. If you attend or plan to attend one of these colleges, you can sign up for a convenient monthly tuition payment plan.
Enrolling in a tuition payment plan may allow you to take on less student debt and more easily pay for college without added fees.
Options for Your Heartland ECSI Loans
Unfortunately, you don’t get to choose your loan servicer. But if Heartland ECSI is your assigned loan servicer, there may be better repayment options available to you through refinancing or consolidating.
The first step in determining what to do with your Heartland ECSI-serviced student loans is figuring out what kind of loans you have.
- If your Heartland ECSI loan has an interest rate set at 5%, your loan is likely federal. That means it’s either a Perkins loan (less likely) or a health professional loan (more likely).
- If your Heartland ECSI loan does not have an interest rate set at 5%, it’s most likely a private loan.
Refinancing a Loan Serviced by Heartland ECSI
If you determine that the loans you have serviced by Heartland ECSI are private (including institutional loans), you may be able to qualify for a lower interest rate and pay off your loans faster by refinancing.
The decision to refinance depends on your income and how much you’re able to pay every month. But if you’ve graduated with a medical degree and you have good credit, you’ll likely be able to refinance your private loans at a better rate.
Consolidating a Loan Serviced by Heartland ECSI
If your loans serviced by Heartland ECSI are federal (including LDS and HPSL loans), you have the option to consolidate your loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan. This option makes the most sense if you want to try for loan forgiveness through an income-driven repayment plan.
As non-direct federal loans, LDS and HPSL loans aren’t eligible for any loan forgiveness or repayment programs on their own. To qualify these loans for repayment programs and forgiveness, you must consolidate them into a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan.
LDS and HPSL loans likely won’t up on your National Student Loan Data System information since they are non-direct federal loans.
How to Manage Your ECSI Account
If Heartland ECSI is assigned as your loan servicer, you can create an online account to monitor your repayment process more easily.
If your college works with ECSI, your financial information page on the college website might direct you to create an ECSI account.
To sign up for an ECSI account, follow the steps below:
- Go to the ECSI website, and click “Sign in or Register” under the “Students and Borrowers” option.
- Create your own username and password.
- Enter the required personal information and choose a security question.
- Sign in with your new username and password.
- On your school account page, click the red “+” symbol to connect an account.
- Connect your ECSI account(s) using your ECSI key or school code, your account number, your social security number, and your ECSI pin.
Heartland ECSI Reviews and Complaints
Is Heartland ECSI a good loan servicer to work with? The reviews from student borrowers haven’t all been glowing.
The Better Business Bureau has received a total of 131 complaints about ECSI. The majority of those complaints (101 of them) are regarding billing, but some are about customer service issues.
When you compare these 131 complaints to the numerous claims against other student loan servicers, though, you begin to see that these issues aren’t necessarily specific to Heartland ECSI.
Better Business Bureau Complaints Against Loan Servicers
- MOHELA: 45 complaints
- ECSI: 131 complaints
- GreatLakes: 179 complaints
- Nelnet: 438 complaints
- FedLoan: 544 complaints
- Navient: 1,411 complaints
Student Loan Servicers Under Scrutiny
Student loan servicers have been under heavy scrutiny in recent years, and it’s no coincidence that loan servicer Navient has so many negative reviews with the Better Business Bureau.
Navient is facing multiple lawsuits for its business practices and dealings with student loan borrowers. Amongst the claims, borrowers allege that Navient misguided them in their repayment options and failed to help them apply for loan forgiveness.
The best way you can protect yourself when communicating and dealing with any loan servicer is by informing yourself about your options.
Review the possibilities for all of the following before you enter discussions with your loan servicer to get the most out of your communication with the company:
- Repayment Plans
- Reducing Student Loan Payments
- Consolidation and Refinancing
- Student Loan Forgiveness
- Student Loan Default
- Wage Garnishment
Who is Your Loan Servicer?
If you’re not sure who your federal loan servicer is, it’s a good idea to find out by logging onto the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). To log in, you’ll need to have your FSA ID or go through the process to retrieve your username and password.
If you have federal student loans, you may have one of these loan servicers assigned to your account:
- FedLoan Servicing
- Granite State Management and Resources
- Great Lakes
- OSLA Servicing
If you don’t know who your private loan servicer is, you can find out by looking at your credit report. You can also check your most recent loan statement if you have it available.
How to Contact ECSI
If you have questions about your loans that are serviced by Heartland ECSI, it’s easy to get in contact with the company.
The ECSI website offers the following contact information for student borrowers:
- Student Loans: 1-888-549-3274
- Unpaid Tuition and Fees: 1-888-454-6100
- Refund Disbursements: 1-888-760-6052
- Tax Documents: 1-866-428-1098
- Tuition Payment Plan: 1-866-927-1438
Compare the Best Student Loan Refinance Rates
Here are our top student loan refinance picks for 2019
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Student Debt Relief Loan Refinancing Advertiser Disclosure
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply. (1)College Ave Refi Education loans are not currently available to residents of Maine. (2)The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as the borrower or cosigner, if applicable, enrolls in auto-pay and authorizes our loan servicer to automatically deduct your monthly payments from a valid bank account via Automated Clearing House (“ACH”). The rate reduction applies for as long as the monthly payment amount is successfully deducted from the designated bank account and is suspended during periods of forbearance and certain deferments. Variable rates may increase after consummation. (3)$5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees. Information advertised valid as of 9/24/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. (4)This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. Information advertised valid as of 9/24/2020. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
ELFI: Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. To qualify for refinancing or student loans consolidation through ELFI, you must have at least $15,000 in student loan debt and must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from an approved post-secondary institution.
LendKey: Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
CommonBond: Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate.
Splash Financial: Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval.com
Earnest: To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest’s fixed-rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with autopay) to 7.89% APR (with autopay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.50% APR (with autopay) to 7.27% APR (with autopay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms of 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 0.26% and 5.03% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 23, 2019 and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay Discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/23/19. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice.
Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 303 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, e-mail us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.