Loan repayment can be confusing. For expert help, contact The Office of the Ombudsman.

The Federal Student Aid Ombudsman helps students:

  • Resolve discrepancies with loan balances and payments
  • Explain loan interest and collection charges
  • Resolve issues related to consolidations, service quality, default status, bankruptcies, income tax refund offsets, and other concerns
  • Identify loan repayment options for Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) and Perkins Loans
  • Clarify provisions for loan deferment or forbearance and cancellation or discharge

Before Contacting the Ombudsman

  • Use the customer service processes at your school, lender, or loan servicer first.
  • Keep careful notes of the conversation and ask that they summarize the conversation in their records as well.  
  • Ask them what documentation they require.
  • Consider explaining your concern in writing and include needed documentation. 

The Ombudsman Ensures


Information and materials you share with the Ombudsman are disclosed only to parties to dispute, unless there appears to imminent risk of serious harm or other criminal activity.


The concerns, positions and interests of all parties will be considered, but the Ombudsman does not take sides with any person or group.  The office does advocate for fair processes, policies, and procedures.


The Office is organizationally distinct from Federal Student Aid's student aid functions and operates independently from them.  


Assistance from the Ombudsman is informal; the Office does not make binding decisions or testify at formal judicial or administrative hearings.  The Office does listen with an open mind, perform a thorough review of the facts, explore options, and provide contextual explanations.  

Learn More

For more detailed information, please visit The Office of the Ombudsman's website.