What to expect with F.H. Cann & Associates
This company will soon become a federal loan servicer — but for now its a debt collector.
If you've missed your student loan repayments by more than 270 days, your servicer might send your loans to collections with F.H. Cann & Associates (FHC). Once your loans are in collections, this is the company you need to contact to get out of default and resume regular repayments with your servicer. Reach out to FHC first if you have any concerns about its collections practices before filing a formal complaint.
Overview of F.H. Cann & Associates
F.H. Cann & Associates is a debt collections association hired out by the Department of Education (DoED). You might get debt collections notices from FHC if your loans have gone into default, typically after you've received notices from your servicer after missing repayments.
On top of repaying your balance and interest, you'll also have to pay a 25% collections fee to FHC to get your loans out of default. You'll only be able to start making repayments to a servicer after you've paid off your loan in full, rehabilitated your loan or otherwise gotten out of default.
Does F.H. Cann & Associates service student loans?
No, FHC isn't a student loan servicer. But it will handle your repayments if you are in default and your servicer has sent your loan to collections. After you get out of default, your loan will go back to your servicer and you'll be able to make repayments as usual.
How to make payments with F.H. Cann & Associates
There are a few ways to make payments to FHC.
- Online through FHC. Go to the FHC website, select Consumer resources and then Make a payment and either log into your FHC account or create an account to make a payment directly to FHC.
- Online through the Department of Education. You can make a payment to FHC by logging in to your online account on the department of education's website MyEDDebt.ed.gov — or create an account if it's your first time.
- Over the phone. You can also repay part or all of your loan over the phone by calling 877-677-9126.
- By mail. Send repayments by mail to US Department of Education, National Payment Center, PO Box 790336, St. Louis, MO 63179-0336
- By overnight mail. To get a repayment in faster, send it to US Bank Government Lockbox, Attn: Department of Education National Payment Center #790336, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101.
How do I sign up for a repayment plan with FHC?
FHC recommends that you get in touch by phone to discuss your other options with a representative before you sign up for a plan to get out of default. They'll give you instructions on how to proceed from there.
You won't be able to change your student loan repayment plan — like signing up for income-driven repayments — until you get out of default. Once you're out of default, you can change your repayment plan with your student loan servicer.
F.H. Cann & Associates’ customer service options
There are also several ways to contact FHC with questions about your account or for general guidance on which option is right for you.
- Phone. Call 877-677-9126 — the same number you would to make repayments — to talk to a representative about your situation and the best path forward for getting out of debt.
- Email. During the coronavirus outbreak, getting in touch by phone can be tough. Your next-best option might be to send an email to EDinfo@fhcann.com.
- Online form. You can also fill out a form directly on FHC's website to send an email. To find the form, go to the FHC website, select More and then Dept. of Education information.
- Mail. You can send general correspondence to FHC to F.H. Cann & Associates, Inc., 1600 Osgood Street, Suite 2-120, North Andover, MA 01845.
- Social media. You may be able to get quick answers to basic questions by reaching out to FHC on Twitter @fhcann or on Facebook @fhcanninc.
What the new FHC contract with the US DoED means
On June 2020, the DoED announced that FHC was one of five companies to receive a contract to service federal student loans. This means that FHC will start to handle regular student loan repayments for the government.
The contract is part of an overhaul to the DoED student loan servicing system, so you can expect some big changes in the future. The government plans on setting one centralized system where borrowers can log in to make repayments and get in touch with their servicer. This will likely change how you make repayments to any company, including FHC.
How to settle your debt with F.H. Cann & Associates
Since FHC works with federal loans, you have the same options as you would with any other debt collector.
- Repayment in full. The fastest way to get out of default is to pay off the loan balance, interest and debt collection fees — if you have the means.
- Loan rehabilitation. Rehabilitation involves agreeing to making nine repayments on a new plan based on your income before your loan is taken out of default. This removes the default from your credit report — but you can only rehabilitate a loan once.
- Consolidation. Sign up for a Direct Consolidation loan to combine multiple loans or one loan. Similar to refinancing, this will take your loan out of default. But it won't remove it from your credit report.
- Compromise. If none of the other choices are viable options for you, you may be able to negotiate down your balance — likely in exchange for repayment in full.
- Discharge. If you've become permanently disabled, your school lied about its academic program or you're eligible for another type of federal loan discharge, you can have your loans cancelled.
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F.H. Cann & Associates reviews and complaints
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|BBB customer complaints||80 customer complaints|
|Customer reviews verified as of||19 July 2021|
How to avoid common problems with F.H. Cann & Associates
Customers have filed over 60 complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Here's how to avoid some common problems.
Problems with customer service and communication
Many of the complaints against FHC have to do with customer service. Customers reported receiving incorrect information about their loans or that they struggled to submit documents required to get out of default. Others say that FHC didn't follow correct procedure before garnishing taxes or wages — they're supposed to send you a letter first.
This one is though to avoid if you aren't yet aware that your loans have been sent to FHC. But if you're unable to get satisfactory answers to your questions, try a different way of getting in touch. For example, if you are unsuccessful reaching out over the phone, send an email or fill out an online form.
Attempts to collect the wrong debt
Several individuals also filed complaints against FHC over attempts to collect debt that wasn't theirs. Many of these appear to be from borrowers who weren't aware that their loans were in collections. But some were genuine mistakes.
If you think that FHC is attempting to collect a debt you don't owe, reach out to customer service as soon as possible.
How do I submit a complaint?
Follow these steps to submit a complaint to FHC:
- Go to the FHC website.
- Click More and select Dept. of Education complaints.
- Fill out the form with your name, email, phone number and a short message.
If FHC doesn't respond to your satisfaction, you can file a complaint with an outside agency, like the CFPB or the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman.
You don't have a choice over the collections company your servicer sends your student loans to if you miss a repayment by over 270 days. But you can protect yourself by reading up on your legal rights and hiring representation if you're unable to negotiate with FHC on your own.
Get started by reading our guide to student loan default to find out what to expect and your options to get out of it.
Frequently asked questions
Can I use a debt settlement company to negotiate down my federal loans with FHC?
Generally, no. Debt settlement companies typically don't work with federal loans. And those that do usually only negotiate with private lenders. Instead, you might want to consider hiring a student loan lawyer to negotiate on your behalf if you need help.
Is it legal for FCH to garnish my wages or tax refund?
Yes, collections agencies can legally garnish up to 15% of your wages or withhold your tax refund if you default on a student loan. But it's legally required to send you a letter 30 days before, with the opportunity to enter into a repayment agreement first.