Firstmark Services – What You Need to Know

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Firstmark Services

If you have private student loans, you most likely have dealt with two different entities regarding them: the company that disbursed your loan, like a bank or credit union, and the company that services your loans.

Firstmark Services is one such entity.

What is Firstmark Services?

Firstmark Services, which is a division of Nelnet, is a student loan service provider for private education loans for more than five million customers.

If you took out student loans from a bank or other private financial institution, you’ll likely receive service from a company like Firstmark.

What is a Student Loan Servicer?

A student loan servicer provides the customer service component of your loan.

They act as a middleman between the borrower (you), and the lender (the entity that issued the loan, most likely a bank or credit union).

They’re the ones who send you your monthly billing statement, collect payments, file paperwork on your behalf and respond to your customer service inquiries.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, loan servicers also:

  • Disburse money from the loans
  • Track loans while borrowers are in school
  • Accept applications and process changes in repayment plans, deferments,  forbearances, or other activities to prevent default
  • Maintain loan records
  • Ensure the administration of loans in compliance with federal regulations and other legal requirements

Finding Your Loan Servicer

Sometimes getting information on your student loans can be confusing, especially if you have multiple loans from a number of different lenders.

If you don’t know who your student loan service provider is, you can find out in two ways:

For federal student loans, you can find your servicer by logging into the National Student Loan Data System.

For private loans, you can check your annual credit report. Everyone is entitled to one free credit report per year, from all three of the major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax).

Getting Set Up On Firstmark

If Firstmark is your service provider, you’ll want to get in touch with them.

The easiest way to do that is to set up an account online:

  • Go to www.firstmarkservices.com
  • Click the “Log In” button in the center of the screen for “borrowers”.
  • Click the “Register” button to register a new account
  • Enter your full name, Social Security Number, birthday and email address
  • Create a username and password and click “Continue”
  • Set up your security questions,
  • Review the terms and conditions
  • If you accept the terms and conditions, check the box and click “Go to My Account”

How Do I Pay My Student Loans?

There are multiple ways to pay your student loans with Firstmark:

  • Autodebit so payments are deducted automatically every month
  • You can make manual payments on the website using the “Payment” tab
  • You can also call Firstmark directly and make a payment over the phone (contact info below)

How Does Firstmark Services Rank?

Firstmark’s tagline is, “We’re here to make your loan repayment as simple as possible”.

Unfortunately, the Better Business Bureau seems to think otherwise.

Firstmark currently has a “D” rating from the Better Business Bureau, indicating not favorable interactions with customers based on more than 128 complaints in the last three years, and more than forty in just the last year.

There are numerous complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as well.

Some of the key complaints against Firstmark are:

  • Trouble with how payments are being handled
  • Can’t get flexible options for repaying a loan
  • Problem with customer service
  • Account information incorrect
  • Account status incorrect
  • Received bad information about a loan
  • Old information reappears or never goes away

Some of these complaints are minor hassles, while others have a far more serious impact on your life, such as affecting your credit score and finances.

If Firstmark is your servicer, you’re going to want to document everything as you pay off your loan.

How Can I Contact Firstmark Services?

There are five different ways you can contact Firstmark Services:

Online: When you log in to your Firstmark Services account, you can make payments, check your balance, opt in to paper statements, sign up for auto debit, and explore other information related to your loan.

Phone: 888.538.7378 (7 a.m. – 8 p.m. (Central) Monday – Friday)

Mail:

  • Payments: Firstmark Services, P.O. Box 2977, Omaha, NE 68103-2977
  • Correspondence: Firstmark Services, P.O. Box 82522, Lincoln, NE 68501-2522

Fax: 866.258.9222

Email: Customer.Service@FirstmarkServices.com

Using the website or calling a customer service representative is probably the fastest and most effective way of communication, but some issues may need to be resolved through email or mail.

Am I Stuck with Firstmark?

If Firstmark is your service provider, you may feel like you’re stuck with them – but that’s not entirely true.

Borrowers can re-consolidate their loans with another private entity, such as an online bank or credit union if they’re no longer wanting to use a specific servicer.

This can be a great way to get out of an existing loan with a servicer you hate.

It can also save you money by securing a lower interest rate on your loan, which is one of the most common reasons people consolidate their loans.

If you are looking to consolidate, you should make sure you’re going to be paying less before you make the switch. Unless you absolutely abhor your servicer, it doesn’t make sense to switch if it’s not going to save you money.

A few of the private lenders you could go with are:

  • Citizen’s One
  • Sallie Mae
  • LendKey
  • SoFi
  • Earnest
  • Discover Student Loans
  • CommonBond

Conclusion

If Firstmark is your loan servicer, you’re going to have to interact with them over the life of your loan.

While not everyone has great experiences with them, that doesn’t mean your experience will be bad. As long as you stay in contact with them and monitor your progress as you pay off your loan, you should be fine.

However, if you’re just not happy with Firstmark, you can always refinance with another company with more favorable terms.

Shawn
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