What Is Maximus Aidvantage Student Loan Servicing?
If you have federal student loans, you may have received a notification that your loans are being transferred to a new loan servicer. Navient, one of the largest federal loan servicers, ended its federal contract in 2021. All of the federal loans it managed were transferred to Aidvantage, a division of Maximus Federal Services.
The transition to Maximus hasn’t been without controversy; if Aidvantage now services your student loans, here’s what you should know.
What Is Maximus’ Aidvantage?
With federal student loans, the U.S. Department of Education is your lender. However, the government doesn’t service the loans it issues; instead, it hires private companies to handle payments, manage accounts and provide customer service. As of 2022, there are nine federal loan servicers.
Previously, one of the largest and best-known servicers was Navient. But in 2021, Navient announced it was ending its federal loan servicing contract, and it proposed transferring the existing accounts to another company.
In October 2021, Navient announced that the government approved its proposal to transfer its loan servicing accounts. Aidvantage, a division of Maximus, would take over the servicing of 5.6 million Department of Education-owned student loan accounts. After acquiring Navient’s student loan contract servicing federal loans, it became one of the largest loan servicers in the country.
Why Were Loans Transferred to Aidvantage?
As of 2021, Navient’s contract with the Department of Education accounted for about 6% of its annual revenue. As one of the largest and most well-known loan servicers, many borrowers were surprised that Navient decided to exit the federal loan program.
However, Navient was a controversial servicer within the federal student loan program. During the time Navient was under contract, it faced numerous regulatory issues and lawsuits.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): In 2017, the CFPB filed an action against Navient, and that action is still pending. The CFPB alleged that Navient violated consumer protection laws. According to the CFPB suit, Navient created obstacles to repayment by giving bad information, incorrectly processing payments and failing to take action in response to consumer complaints.
- State regulators. Navient entered into an agreement with 40 state attorneys general to resolve lawsuits against it that were separate from the CFPB action.
With the regulatory issues and litigation, Navient decided it made better business sense to end its federal loan servicing contract. According to Navient’s annual report, the transfer allowed the company to simplify its business and reduce its risk profile.
As part of the transfer, approximately 700 Navient employees moved to Maximus’ Aidvantage to help with the transition of existing loan accounts.
What to Do If Aidvantage Is Your New Loan Servicer
If you have federal loans that may have been transferred, follow these steps:
- Find out who your loan servicer is. You can find out if you have Maximus student loans by entering your information into the National Student Loan Data System, logging into your Federal Student Aid account or by calling the Federal Student Aid information center at 1-800-433-3243.
- Create an online account. If Maximus’ Aidvantage is your servicer, you can create an online account to view your loan details, make payments and download necessary forms.
- Enroll in autopay. To ensure you never miss a payment and incur late fees, sign up for automatic payments. As an added perk, Aidvantage will give you a 0.25% interest rate discount for enrolling in autopay.
What Can Aidvantage Help Me With?
As a federal loan servicer, Aidvantage can help you with the following issues:
- Payments: Aidvantage is who you will make your payments to going forward. You can pay online, or you can send a check directly to the loan servicer at:
Aidvantage – U.S. Department of Education Loan Servicing
P.O. Box 4450
Portland, OR 97208-4450
- Account questions: If you have questions about your account, such as how extra payments are applied or how many payments you have left until your loan is paid in full, contact Aidvantage for help.
- Alternative repayment plans: If you can’t afford your payments, contact Aidvantage to discuss your federal loan repayment options. Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for an income-driven repayment plan, extended repayment or graduated repayment.
- Forbearance or deferment requests: If you’re returning to school, are seriously ill or have lost your job, you may be eligible for forbearance or deferment and put your payments on hold. To find out if you qualify, contact Aidvantage and explain your situation.
- Loan forgiveness: If you work for a nonprofit organization or government agency, you may be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Aidvantage can help you identify what steps you need to take now to qualify for PSLF or other forgiveness programs.
How to Contact Aidvantage
You can make payments and view your loan information through Aidvantage’s online portal. Register for an online account at Aidvantage.com.
If you have questions about your account, you can contact Aidvantage by phone at 1-800-722-1300. Its phone lines are staffed during the following times:
- Mondays: 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. ET
- Tuesdays through Fridays: 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. ET
- Saturdays: 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. ET
- Sundays: Closed
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Aidvantage a federal student loan lender?
Aidvantage is not a lender, so it does not review federal student loan applications or issue loans. Instead, it is a loan servicer for the federal direct loan program. The company handles payments and customer inquiries.
Is Aidvantage still Navient?
In Maximus student loan reviews, customers report confusion about their loan servicer and how their accounts will be handled.
Aidvantage is a separate entity from Navient. Since Navient ended its federal loan servicing contract, Aidvantage took over those accounts. However, Navient will continue to service federal loans issued under the FFEL program and private student loans.
Are Aidvantage loans being forgiven?
No, Aidvantage loans are not being forgiven—you are still responsible for making payments.
The only way to qualify for loan forgiveness is if you qualify for a loan forgiveness program like PSLF or Teacher Loan Forgiveness.
Is Aidvantage a legitimate company?
Aidvantage is a legitimate company; it’s a division of Maximus and is one of the nine approved federal student loan servicers.
However, there is some controversy surrounding the company. The Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC), a nonprofit advocacy organization, released a report about Aidvantage in 2022. In the report, the SBPC alleged that Aidvantage engaged in unfair debt collection practices, mishandled account servicing and caused unlawful wage garnishment.
In addition, over 400 complaints have been submitted to the CFPB since October 2021.
Can I change loan servicers?
If you are unhappy with your current loan servicer, you may be wondering if it’s possible to switch to another. Unfortunately, you don’t get to pick your servicer; one is assigned to you when you take out your loans.
However, you may be able to get a new servicer if you consolidate your loans with a federal direct consolidation loan.
Another option is to refinance your loans with a student loan refinancing company. Once your loans are refinanced, you’ll have a different loan servicer. But with this strategy, your federal loans become private, and you’ll no longer be eligible for federal student loan benefits or repayment options.