Definition and Examples

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MOHELA is a nonprofit student loan servicer that works with the U.S. Department of Education to manage billing and payments for federal student loans. The Missouri-based company is a legitimate student loan servicer that is contracted to handle nearly 20% of the Department of Education's accounts.

Learn how your student loan account ended up with MOHELA and how to manage your financial relationship with the company.


MOHELA stands for Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, a nonprofit company that manages the billing and payments on many federal student loans. It’s one of 11 companies that are official student loan servicers for the federal government.

These servicers contract with the U.S. Department of Education to manage the accounts of students who receive federal student loans. MOHELA also services private student loans.

MOHELA is one of the highest-rated student loan servicers by Education Department standards, which tracks loan servicers’ customer satisfaction scores and monitors how well they keep borrowers out of default. Of the nine servicers, MOHELA has some of the highest percentages of borrowers current on their loans, and the lowest rates of delinquency in nearly every category measured as of December 2020.

Because the Education Department’s contracts reward higher-performing servicers, MOHELA is getting more new business. As of March 2021, 18% of new federal student loan volume was being allocated to MOHELA, the most assigned to any single servicer.

Great Lakes Educational Loan Services manages 15% of student loan accounts. The next most-used servicers, Nelnet and Oklahoma Student Loan Authority (OSLA), manage 14%.

How MOHELA Works

Once you apply for and receive a federal student loan, the Education Department provides the money to the school’s student aid office. After the funds are disbursed, the Education Department hands the account off by assigning it to MOHELA or one of its other student loan servicers.

You don’t get to choose your loan servicer. Once you begin repaying your loans, your servicer is responsible for the following:

  • Handling billing and other services
  • Working with you on repayment options, such as income-driven repayment
  • Answering questions about your account
  • Assisting with tasks such as loan consolidation, interest rate reduction, loan forgiveness, or temporarily postponing payments

These services are offered for free. You can also always contact MOHELA or access your account for free.

With a fifth of new federal student loans assigned to MOHELA for servicing, many borrowers will end up dealing with the company. Loan servicers manage everything from the first disbursement to the final payment, so you may be a MOHELA customer for many years.

Other legitimate student loan servicers include:

  • Granite State (GSMR)
  • FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA)
  • Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc.
  • HESC/Edfinancial
  • Navient
  • ECSI

While you’re in school, you’re not required to make payments on your loan. However, you should monitor your account balances and interest accruals. You should also keep your contact information or enrollment status up-to-date, both before and after you begin repaying your loans. Your servicer must tell you when your repayment period begins.

If there’s any doubt about whom your servicer is, the first place to check is your email inbox or records. Student loan servicers must notify you that they’ve received your loan.

You can also use your Federal Student Aid ID to log into the National Student Loan Data System. It should list your debt details, including your student loan balances and the servicer that is assigned to each one. In some cases, the Education Department needs to transfer your loan to another servicer. This can be confusing. You have one servicer and suddenly, for seemingly no reason, you have a different one.

If your loans are transferred to MOHELA or another servicer, they are required to send you a welcome letter with contact info and steps you may need to take. The terms of your loan will not change.

Do I Need To Pay for Help With MOHELA?

Many scams target struggling borrowers, often charging steep fees for things MOHELA and other loan servicers are required to provide for free.

You can contact MOHELA directly to take advantage of its free services for managing your loans. Never work with or pay a company that:

  • Promises instantly lower payments or loan forgiveness
  • Charges fees to contact your servicer for you or perform services that MOHELA does for free
  • Pressures you to act quickly to take advantage of "limited time" loan forgiveness
  • Asks for your Federal Student Aid ID
  • Asks for your MOHELA username and password
  • Asks you to grant them power of attorney for dealing with your student loans
  • Says your student loan servicer will be unwilling or unable to help you
  • Asks for your credit card or debit card information

MOHELA is an authentic company, but not everyone who contacts you about your student loans is. It’s wise to double-check any student loan information you receive to protect yourself from scams and fraud.

You can also visit the MOHELA website to see whether a service being offered to you is genuine or might be a scam.

How Do I Get in Touch With MOHELA?

Here's how to contact MOHELA:

  • Create an online account at www.mohela.com.
  • Call 888-866-4352 between 7 am to 9 pm CT Monday-Thursday and 7 am to 5 pm CT on Friday.
  • Fax 866-222-7060 to submit documents or send requests.
  • Send mail to MOHELA, 633 Spirit Drive, Chesterfield, MO 63005-1243.

Key Takeaways

  • MOHELA, or Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, is a student loan servicer that works with the U.S. Department of Education to manage billing and payments for federal student loans.
  • The Missouri-based company is a legitimate student loan servicer contracted to handle nearly 20% of the Department of Education's accounts.
  • As your servicer, MOHELA is required to handle your billing, answer questions about your loans, and work with you if you need to change your repayment plan. The company provides these services for free.