Federal Student Loan Ombudsman – Your Guardian Angel

Federal Student Loan Ombudsman – Your Guardian Angel

By |July 12th, 2012|

federal student loan ombudsmanGuardian angels keep you from harm. They’re a last resort, called into action only when all else fails.

My folks never tried to sell me on the notion that I had a guardian angel, primarily because I was a pretty accident-prone kid. But I figured there must be some force looking out for me because every one of my accidents could have easily been more calamitous.

If you’ve got a federal student loan, you’ve also got someone there to catch your fall.

Federal Student Loan Borrowers Have A Guardian Angel

When you’ve got a particularly thorny problem with your federal student loans, you’re not completely out of luck. The U.S. Department of Education has created an ombudsman to help you solve tough problems.

In general, an ombudsman is a person who stands between you and the government to investigate and try to resolve complaints. In the context of student loans, the goal of the ombudsman is to help provide options for people who need help with the following types of loans:

  • federal loans;
  • Direct loans;
  • FFELs;
  • SLS loans; and
  • Perkins loans.

What Does The Ombudsman Do?

When you’ve got a problem relating to your federal student loans, the ombudsman will research your problems to determine if you’ve been treated fairly. He or she will also contact other offices within the Department of Education, private lenders, and guaranty agencies to help you.

That being said, the ombudsman is to be considered a last resort. You’ve got to try to solve the problems on your own, either with a lawyer or flying solo. If you contact the ombudsman it’s got to be related to a problem with how you’ve been treated, not to ask for a payment option or other payment-related matter.

Contacting The Ombudsman

You can submit a problem to the student loan ombudsman on-line at http://www.fsahelp.ed.gov or http://www.ombudsman.ed.gov.

You can call toll-free to (877) 557-2575.

If all else fails, you can get in touch by snail mail by sending your problem to:

U.S. Department of Education,
FSA Ombudsman
830 First Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20202-5144.258

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About the Author:

I've been a consumer protection lawyer since 1995, working to help people end their bill problems. I'm a faculty member at the Student Loan Law Workshop, a nationally recognized speaker, and a long-time member of both the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and National Association of Consumer Advocates.