ECSI student loans is a catch-all term for federal, private and other types of education debt that’s managed by loan servicing company Heartland ECSI.
When you’re making payments toward your loans, your lender — whether it’s the Department of Education or a private lender like a bank — might contract ECSI to collect your dues and manage your repayment until you’re debt-free. If so, you could have some questions about how ECSI works, and what it can offer you.
This ECSI student loans review will try to answer those — specifically:
What is ECSI?
Founded in 1972, ECSI is a campus-based loan servicer for colleges and universities. Their services include borrower support, billing statement generation, payment processing, due diligence, accounting, reporting and automated collection agency placement.
ESCI has an A- rating from Better Business Bureau, although it isn’t BBB accredited.
What does ECSI do?
Along with being a third-party loan servicer, ECSI is a customer service agent for the borrower. The company also offers software solutions for services beyond student loan servicing, including tuition payment plans, document signing (such as promissory notes, entrance counseling and exit interviews), refund disbursements and tax document management. It has advocates who can help students who are having trouble paying their past due tuition. It may also work with students who are having trouble paying back their loans and want to discuss deferment or forbearance.
ECSI can service many types of student loans:
- Perkins loans (which are no longer offered)
- Private student loans
- School institutional loans
- Primary care loans
- Health and nursing loans
You won’t be able to choose ECSI as your servicer; your lender should be the one to notify you if it works with ECSI. You can then sign up to make payments through ECSI. You may also be able to apply through ECSI for a tuition repayment plan, as long as your school is a participating institution.
How to make payments on ECSI student loans?
ECSI makes paying back your loan as simple as possible. You can make payments through ECSI several ways:
- Online payments: Payments are accepted online via ACH and credit/debit cards.
- Mobile app payments: You can make payments through ECSI’s EasyPath mobile app.
- Phone payments: One-time ACH and credit card payments as well as recurring ACH are accepted via telephone.
- Bill pay: You may make payments through your bank or another third-party bill pay service.
- Snail mail: You can mail a check or money order to ECSI.
Enrolling in automatic payments via your checking or savings account is free, but other payment methods for ECSI student loans could have fees.
|Payment method||ECSI student loan fee|
|One-time payment from your bank account||$1.95|
|Paying over the phone from your bank account||$10|
|Using a credit or debit card online||3.95% of the payment, plus $1|
|Using a credit or debit card over the phone||3.95% of the payment, plus $10|
|Mailing a payment||$0|
How do you sign up for an ECSI online account?
Because ECSI works mainly with colleges and universities, the schools themselves will often direct you to create an account with ECSI. For example, Harvard University notes on its website that it uses EasyPath, powered by Heartland ECSI, and tells users to create an ECSI profile.
Once you know your school or lender works with ECSI, you can follow some simple steps to set up your online account.
- Go to heartland.ecsi.net and click the “Sign In or Register” button. Next, click “Register” in the pop-up window.
- Create your username and password.
- Click “Continue.” Next, you will need to enter your personal information, such as your name, date of birth and address.
- You’ll then need to choose three security questions and answers to protect your account when logging in later.
- Finally, you’ll click “Sign In and Accept.”
- You can now use the username and password you created to log in.
- Next, you’ll have to connect an account, which requires account information (often called a Heartland Key), from your lender.
- From the Your School Accounts screen, click the red plus sign located under “Connect An Account.”
- If you have your Heartland ECSI key — which you can look for on your lender’s billing statement — enter it under “Connect An Account.” On this page, ECSI calls the number “your Heartland account” and notes on its site that “your account number can be located in the upper right hand section of all printed and mailed communication and notifications. The account number is a 17 character alphanumeric number (including a hyphen). A sample account number is 01122-12345678912.”
- Click “Connect.” Your loan accounts should now be connected.
How do I get help with ECSI student loans?
You can call ECSI Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. Speciality numbers are as follows:
- Student loans: 888-549-3274
- Tuition payment plans: 866-927-1438
- Unpaid tuition and fees: 888-454-6100
- Refund disbursements: 844-760-6052
- Tax documents: 866-428-1098
If you choose to mail payments toward your ECSI student loans, here are the correct addresses:
Your School Name, c/o ECSI
P.O. Box 718
Wexford, PA 15090
You can also live chat with a customer service representative. They may chat with you about a variety of topics:
- Customer service and general questions
- Signing into your account
- Making a payment
- Deferment, forbearance and cancellation forms
- Your student loans
- Your tuition payment plans
- Your financial aid refunds
- Your tax statements
If you have any questions about your student loans, take advantage of ECSI’s customer service.
Can you consolidate or refinance ECSI student loans?
If your ECSI student loans are federal in nature (such as Perkins loans lent by your school), you could apply for a federal direct consolidation loan that groups the balances at approximately their average interest rate. Contact ECSI about this free and relatively easy option, but be aware that there are pros and cons of consolidation. One potential negative is losing any benefits or perks that you might have enjoyed on your original ECSI student loans.
No matter what type of ECSI loan you have, student loan refinancing could also be an option. Through refinancing your education debt with a private lender, such as a bank, credit union or online company, you could group your balances at, ideally, a lower interest rate, saving you money in the long run.
Check out our refinancing guide, but at the same time, note that only borrowers with good credit or a cosigner will likely qualify for lower APRs. In addition, refinancing is irreversible, so be sure you’re willing to give up any protections on your ECSI student loans — particularly if they’re federal loans — before moving forward.
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