What is MOHELA?

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MOHELA, also known as the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, is a student loan servicer that administers both federal and private student loans. MOHELA has been a student loan servicer for more than 30 years, and its contract with the federal government was recently renewed until 2022.

What is MOHELA?

MOHELA isn’t a student loan lender itself; instead, it takes care of administrative tasks for the U.S. Department of Education or other lenders. If you have student loans through MOHELA, this is the company that you’ll make payments to every month. If you need to apply for deferment or forbearance or change your payment plan, you’ll apply through MOHELA.

MOHELA also services refinanced student loans for companies like SoFi and Laurel Road. If you refinance your student loans with SoFi or Laurel Road, they may transfer the loans to MOHELA for management.

Setting up a MOHELA account

To create an online account with MOHELA, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number, full legal name and date of birth. You’ll then have to choose a username and password.

MOHELA will also ask for your address, phone number and email address. You can choose paperless statements or have the monthly statements mailed to you.

MOHELA student loan payment options

MOHELA offers a variety of payment methods. You can sign up for automatic payments, which will be deducted from your bank account on roughly the same date every month. If you have federal student loans, you’ll receive a 0.25 percent interest rate deduction by signing up for autopay.

Borrowers can also make manual online payments every month, but they will not be eligible for the 0.25 percent interest rate discount. You can also pay over the phone via 1-888-866-4352 toll-free nationwide or via 636-532-0600 if you’re abroad.

If your bank has a bill pay feature, you can have it send payments directly to MOHELA. This can take several days to process, so be sure to give yourself some leeway before the due date.

You can also mail a check or money order to MOHELA. For both the bill pay and direct check option, make sure to write your 10-digit account number on the check. This will ensure that the payment is credited correctly to your account.

MOHELA federal student loans

Depending on how many loans you’ve taken out, you may have multiple loan servicers. To figure out if MOHELA is one of them, you can look up your credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com. This will show you details about your outstanding loans, including the name of your student loan servicer. You may also receive documents in the mail stating that MOHELA is your servicer.

You can also call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 1-800-433-3243 to find out who your loan servicer is.

What if I can’t make my payments?

If you’re having trouble with payments to MOHELA, you have a few options to consider:

  • Income-driven repayment: The federal government offers a variety of income-driven repayment options that can reduce your monthly payment. Your payment may be as low as $0 if you’re unemployed or underemployed. For this program, you’ll have to submit your income each year to get a new monthly payment.
  • Deferment: Borrowers who have a financial hardship, experience a medical emergency or are called up to active duty can defer their loans for one year at a time and three years in total. During deferment, interest will accrue on unsubsidized loans but not on subsidized loans.
  • Forbearance: Borrowers whose loans are in forbearance will not owe any payments. Interest will still accrue during this time, even if you have subsidized loans.
  • Coronavirus forbearance: Since March 2020, the federal government has paused student loan payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Interest is not accruing during this time. Currently, the forbearance period is set to expire on Sept. 30, 2021.

MOHELA private student loans

When you refinance through a private student loan company, the lender may outsource the servicing and payment management to MOHELA. In this case, you may receive a notice from your lender or billing statements from MOHELA. You can also check your credit report to see if MOHELA is your servicer.

What if I can’t make my payments?

If you have private student loans through MOHELA and are having trouble making payments, you may have deferment, forbearance or other hardship options. Unlike federal student loans, private student loans do not have standardized hardship programs, so the options available to you will depend on your lender. For more information, call MOHELA or your lender directly and ask about your options.

The bottom line

MOHELA is a student loan servicer with a strong reputation and decades of experience. If MOHELA is your servicer, you can expect strong customer service. The company even has an app, available on both iOS and Android, to help you keep track of your student loan repayment.

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Written by
Zina Kumok
Contributing writer
Zina Kumok has been a full-time personal finance writer since 2015. She’s a three-time nominee for Best Personal Finance Contributor/Freelancer at the Plutus Awards and a two-time speaker at FinCon, the premier financial media conference.
Edited by
Student loans editor