If you’re having a dispute related to your federal direct loan, Perkins loan, guaranteed student loan, or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, you can contact the Ombudsman Group for help. The Ombudsman Group is a confidential, informal, and neutral resource that offers borrowers information and assistance to help them resolve disputes about their federal student loans. Keep reading to discover the services the Ombudsman Group offers and how to file a complaint.
Start by Attempting to Solve the Problem Yourself
The first step in solving a dispute with your federal student loan lender is to contact your lender. If your balance looks wrong or you think you’ve made all your payments but your loan is now delinquent or in default, gather all the documents you have to show your payments, and find out how your lender would like you to submit them. Most lenders can easily work through straightforward complaints without needing a third party to step in.
How Can the Ombudsman Group Help?
While the Ombudsman Group is the last resort if you can’t resolve the problem on your own, they can help with various issues. You can contact the Ombudsman Group if you’re having problems:
- Resolving discrepancies with loan payments and balances;
- Identifying your options for resolving issues with loan defaults, consolidation, bankruptcy, income tax refund offsets, and more;
- Understanding your loan repayment options;
- Making sense of the requirements for loan forbearance, deferment, cancellation, or discharge; and
- Interpreting loan interest and collection charges.
What You Need Before Contacting
Before you contact the Ombudsman Group, it helps to have all your paperwork and information pulled together in one place. Most importantly, you need to make sure you can clearly state what the issue is, what is preventing you from resolving this issue, and what your desired outcome is. The Ombudsman Group also provides a helpful checklist you can complete before you call, so you have everything you need in one place.
How Can You Contact the Ombudsman Group?
Once you’ve done everything you can to resolve your issue on your own and you have all your notes and paperwork together, you’re ready to contact the Ombudsman Group. You can do so by calling, faxing, writing a letter, or by filling out the secure and confidential online contact form. If necessary, you can also fill out a privacy release form online so a friend or family member can work with the Ombudsman Group on your behalf.
What Happens After You Contact the Ombudsman Group?
After you contact the Ombudsman Group, your representative will research your problem and look over any supporting information you share. Next, he or she will help you and your lender to find common ground and identify solutions to the issue. Finally, your representative will work with you to find an agreement or, if necessary, refer you to the appropriate office or organization to get the help you need.
If you have an issue with a federal student provider and you can’t solve it on your own, turn to the Ombudsman Group for help.