If you took out private student loans, you are unlikely to repay them straight to your lender. Instead, you’ll make payments to a third-party student loan servicer like Firstmark student loans.
This loan servicer is in charge of customer service and payments for several private student loans. This review covers what the Firstmark student loans do, what consumers have to say about it, and what to be mindful of when handling your student loan repayment.
With that said, let’s begin.
What is Firstmarket Student Loans Services?
Did you know that the loan servicer and lender are not the same when you take out a private student loan? So what’s the difference between the two?
The lender is the organization to which you submit a loan application. The lender determines eligibility requirements, borrowing quantities, payback terms, and interest rates.
But the loan servicer is the company that works directly with the borrowers when the loans are released. Lenders hire loan servicers to update accounts, collect payments, and examine deferral or hardship programs requests.
Firstmark student loans services service private student loans. Online lenders, state agencies, and national and regional banks are among the lenders it works with. Firstmark Services is a part of Nelnet but they don’t lend money to students or service federal student loans.
What Kind Of Services Does Firstmark Student Loans Offer?
Firstmark offers the following services:
Online Account Management. You can create an account on their official website and create an account to manage your student loans. You can download relevant tax forms, check your loan information, and make payments after having a username and password.
Payment Processing. With Firstmark student loan services, you can pay using autopay, mailing a check, credit card, or phone.
Releases With A Cosigner. If you have a cosigner, you can be eligible for a cosigner release if you make a particular amount of timely payments. To check if you qualify for a cosigner release, contact Firstmark student loans services.
Problems With Delinquency. If you don’t pay on time, Firstmark will charge you late fees and contact you for the outstanding balance. The organization can send your account to collections after several weeks if you are still late.
Requests for Financial Assistance. Emergencies occur from time to time. While private loans don’t offer the same advantages as federal loans, specific lenders offer financial hardship programs.
If you’re eligible, you may be able to defer your payments or pay only the interest until you get back on your feet. To discuss your alternatives, contact customer service.
Customer Service. Firstmark Services also provide customer service. If you have any issues with your student loans, you can call or send a secure message to Firstmark’s customer care staff.
Firstmark Student Loans: What To Know If You’re A Cosigner.
Lenders look at your credit history when deciding whether or not to grant you a private loan. Unfortunately, many students have a weak credit file, which means they have a little credit history.
In these situations, adding a cosigner to the loan, usually, someone with a good credit history, might help the borrower be eligible for better interest rates.
In essence, if you cannot repay the loan, the cosigner agrees to pay it back.
Cosigners Help You Get Low Rates
Having a student loan cosigner can also help you get a cheaper interest rate. Frequently, a parent or a relative is a cosigner on a private student loan for a college student.
If you have a cosigner, Firstmark allows them to create an account, giving them full access to all information related to the loans they co-sign.
But keep in mind that becoming a cosigner has some drawbacks. For example, if you default on a student loan, the cosigner is forced to pay, but your credit score will also suffer.
On the other hand, if the cosigner declares bankruptcy, it may impact the borrower. A Firstmark customer service specialist can answer any queries about your cosigner agreement.
Certain lenders will remove cosigners from debt if specific requirements are met.
The borrower may, for example, be required to make a particular number of consecutive loan payments or demonstrate that they now have the necessary income and creditworthiness to qualify for the loan. To find out if your lender enables cosigners to be discharged, contact Firstmark.
Firstmark Student Loans Services Review: 3 Major Complaints That Occurs Often
There are a lot of complaints about Firstmark Services. Borrowers can file complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). However, three key complaints keep surfacing.
Customer service and follow-up Are Terrible.
Several reports of poor customer service on the CFPB and BBB Firstmark Services complaint reports.
“Firstmark Services is the place to go for one borrower if you want the worst customer service experience ever,” said one borrower. This borrower fought to get a refund check from Firstmark when he refinanced them. And it has been a very unpleasant problem for almost four months.
For refinancing his SL with loan debt beyond the payoff amount on his prior servicer, Firstmark owes him a refund. But, again, he’s been battling them for money owed to him for almost four months and hasn’t gotten far.
When it comes to procedures or customer service, Firstmark Services lacks a solid base, as you will receive a variety of responses each time you phone. When you think you’ve found a solution to an issue and wait, you never get the check.
And when you call back in, and the new loan counselor says the solution the other person stated they could accomplish isn’t possible.
The borrower has had three refund checks mailed to his address go missing. He affirms that it’s not the post office problem because the address checks out.
The Borrower With Autopayment Issues
Another customer attempted four times to create automatic payments with Firstmark Services during the loan length. But the company claimed it had not received the requests when the borrower enquired.
Firstmark Services never notified the borrower about the missed payments. Instead, the loan lender contacted the borrower when the account was 148 days past due.
Communication gaps make it difficult for borrowers to get set up for successful loan payments. Check your accounts with Firstmark Services as soon as possible if you have loans with them.
Keep in touch with your loan servicer to ensure that you’re always doing your part.
Managing student loans with Firstmark Services was a terrible experience for the customers mentioned above. This might or might not be true for you.
Firstmark Student Loan Services Mismanaged Loans
You want your student loan payment to go to the appropriate place when you make it. Unfortunately, borrowers have complained to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Better Business Bureau about how Firstmark Services handle their student loans.
A borrower who had two loans with Firstmark Services said the money for one of them was split between the two. As a result, the loans became delinquent. The borrower contacted Firstmark Services via email and phone several times.
Because of the servicer’s error, the borrower had to make additional payments and pay $130 in interest. As a result, loans have been moved to Firstmark Services for a large number of borrowers.
Changing A Fixed Rates To Variable Rates
The interest rates on another borrower’s loan were modified from fixed to a variable after the loan was transferred. The borrower was never sent copies of the promissory notes when he requested them.
The fixed interest rate was not reinstated, and Firstmark Services did not refund the interest. Mishandling is exemplified by having your student loan terms modified. This type of blunder might completely devastate your money.
A Firstmark Services borrower should keep track of Firstmark’s every action until the loan is paid off.
Firstmark Services Don’t Close Accounts.
Paying off a college loan should be one of the most satisfying emotions in the world. However, borrowers have complained to Firstmark Services about difficulties closing their accounts.
Some borrowers complained that they contacted Firstmark every two-three business days when the college paid off the student loan. The services assured the borrower that they were working on closing the account.
However, the account was not closed even though it had been paid in full for almost 45 days. Because of that, the account accrued late fees.
A borrower paid off their student debt in full in a case first reported on the BBB. This was noted on their bank statement for their debit card. After that, the borrower attempted to purchase a home.
They asked Firstmark for a “paid in full” letter, as their mortgage underwriting department had required. However, Firstmark said it couldn’t send a formal letter until 30 days had passed since the last and final payment. It did offer an informal letter, but the mortgage firm turned it down.
It shouldn’t be a struggle to pay off an account and it shouldn’t deter you from purchasing a home and moving forward with your finances.
Other Complaints Customers Are Giving
Customers who have had bad encounters with Firstmark like to complain about it online. For example, 45 reviews on the Better Business Bureau have given Firstmark 1.2 stars out of five.
Some consumers claim that Firstmark failed to process their payments accurately, resulting in late penalties or unfair credit reports with negative marks. Others complained about unhelpful or unpleasant customer assistance.
Another reviewer claimed that Firstmark misplaced their cosigner release documentation, delaying the procedure for months. Others said the firm was “inept” and that working with them was a “stressful nightmare.”
Unfortunately, student loan borrowers frequently have unpleasant experiences with student loan servicers. In reality, several loan servicers have been sued successfully for deceiving borrowers.
Because you don’t have a choice in loan servicers unless you refinance with a different lender, it’s a good idea to double-check your student loan accounts to make sure everything is in order.
Is Firstmark Student Loan Services A Reputable Loan Servicing Company?
Over the years, some borrowers have had bad experiences with Firstmark Services. However, with 132 complaints in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Complaint Database, Firstmark has an “A” rating from the Better Business Bureau.
However, the firm has received fewer complaints compared to other loan servicers.
If Firstmark services are handling your private student loans, you should contact them first. If your problem isn’t fixed, file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, your state attorney general’s office, the U.S. Education Department, or your state consumer protection office.
After registering a complaint with one of these government agencies, businesses are more likely to take you seriously.
You can refinance your loan with a new lender if you dislike dealing with Firstmark. Your original private student loan will be paid off, and your new account will be assigned to a loan servicer due to this process.
To avoid being reassigned to Firstmark, find out which loan servicers your new lender works with before going this route.
How To Know If Firstmark Services Is Your Loan Servicer
There are a few options for determining whether Firstmark Services or another loan servicer serves your private loans. First, if Firstmark is servicing your private loan, you should get a letter or an email from them.
However, you don’t need to wait for this letter to learn who is servicing your loan. Your loan servicer should be listed on your private student loan statements.
You can also contact your lender directly to inquire about your servicer’s information. Finally, you can obtain information about your loan by requesting a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com.
Because Firstmark exclusively works with private loans, your federal loans will be administered by various services. By entering into your Federal Student Aid account, you can see who is servicing your federal loans.
Ways To Repay Your Firstmark Student Loans Faster
Lower Your Entire Repayment Costs
If you have solid credit and a consistent income, you may be able to refinance your loans and get a lower interest rate than you currently have. In addition, you have the option of refinancing with a variable or fixed interest rate.
Fixed rates are lower at first, but variable rates might alter over time.
You can also change the length of your loan. Borrowers who choose shorter loan terms, five to eight years, typically receive the lowest interest rates.
You Have the Option to Reduce Your Payments
You can choose to prolong your loan term when you refinance. Depending on the lender, you may be able to acquire a loan with a period of up to 20 years. A longer-term will undoubtedly result in a reduced monthly payment and more economic flexibility.
You Have The Option To Switch Loan Services
Refinancing permits you to switch if you are unhappy with your current loan servicer. You can shop for the best rates and select a lender that works with a loan servicer with a good reputation for customer service.
In comparison to other loan servicers, Firstmark Services has a solid reputation. For example, only 22 complaints against its student loans were filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2020. To put that in context, consider that Sallie Mae received 214 complaints about the same time.
Consider Refinancing Your Student Loans
Student loan refinancing might help whether Firstmark student loans services is your loan servicer or not. In addition, you can check your rate without damaging your credit score if you wish to refinance your loans.
You can find reputable student loan companies that can assist you in locating the most economical private student loan rates. These agencies work with partner lenders on behalf of borrowers to help each student qualify for the best rates possible based on their financial status.
If Firstmark student loans services manage your student loans, your online account is the best place to go for whatever you need. You can use this page to pay bills, check your balance, and adjust your billing options. Call the lender that first loaned you the money, check your current billing statement, or check your credit reports to see if they include Firstmark. If you don’t want late payments and keep your account in good standing, you’ll want to find out who services your loan as quickly as possible. As a result, you’ll be able to keep your credit in good shape. Check for modifications or adjustments to your account in correspondence from Firstmark.