How Nelnet’s private student loan servicer works.
FirstMark is the division of student loan servicing giant Nelnet that handles repayments on private student loans. Its website is comprehensive, though not the easiest to navigate — you don’t have access to much information without login credentials. And more than one customer has had trouble getting a straight answer from customer service.
How do repayments work with FirstMark?
There are multiple ways you can repay your student loans through FirstMark. Have your bank account and routing numbers on hand if you’re paying online or over the phone.
Can I pay off my loans early?
You can. FirstMark doesn’t charge any penalties for prepaying private student loans. The simplest way is to make an additional online repayment, making sure to specify which loans you’d like the funds to go toward. If you’d rather make an additional repayment over the phone or by mail, contact customer service for instructions.
How to contact customer service
You can contact FirstMark’s customer service team by phone, mail or email. While it has one customer service line for all questions, there are multiple addresses depending on the type of correspondence.
How to refinance your FirstMark student loans
You can refinance your FirstMark student loans by taking out a new loan with another lender. You’ll be able to change up your servicer while potentially getting better rates or more affordable repayments in the process.
Compare student loan refinancing options
How to avoid common problems with FirstMark
Not all customers are happy with their experience with FirstMark and its parent company, Nelnet. As of February 2019, over 2,700 borrowers filed complaints against Nelnet with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). And nearly 100 customers filed complaints against FirstMark with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) over the past three years. Here are the two main issues borrowers struggled with:
Poor customer service
The majority of customers who filed complaints against FirstMark with the BBB mentioned they’d had trouble getting a straight answer from customer service. Many reported the representative they spoke with promised to fix the problem, but never did.
Others said they’d received repeated phone calls about late repayments. This appeared to be a problem specifically for people whose loans were sold to FirstMark.
- How to avoid it: Stay on top of your FirstMark student loans by regularly logging in to your online account. If you’re unable to resolve any issues with customer service, consider filing a complaint with the CFPB or Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group — they can reach out to FirstMark to resolve the issue.
Incorrectly processed repayments
A few borrowers had trouble making repayments with FirstMark. Some said the servicer didn’t process their repayments at all, causing their loans to become delinquent. Another mentioned that their repayment had gone through, but FirstMark failed to apply it to their loans correctly, also causing them to be late.
- How to avoid it: Each time you make a repayment, check your FirstMark account and bank account to make sure the repayment was properly processed. If you notice any problems, reach out to customer service — or file a complaint.
What to expect with other student loan servicers
Working with top private student loan companies like Citizens Bank and CommonBond, FirstMark is one of the more popular student loan servicers out there. While it doesn’t have the highest volume of complaints, some customers were particularly frustrated with the quality of customer service.