MOHELA student loans are student loans serviced by the Higher Education Loan Authority of the State of Missouri, also known as the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority. MOHELA does not give loans to students directly, but rather administers loans such as Federal Perkins Loans, Federal PLUS Loans, Federal GradPLUS Loans, Federal Stafford Loans, federal student loan consolidation and private alternative loans.
MOHELA has been a contracted debt servicer working with the U.S. Department of Education since 2011. Federal loans are assigned to MOHELA, but the Department of Education retains loan ownership. Once a loan is transferred to MOHELA, the borrower contacts MOHELA rather than the Department of Education for information and questions about the status of the loan, the amounts and timing of loan disbursements, and cancellation of the loan.
MOHELA was established in the state of Missouri in 1981 to create opportunities for eligible post-secondary students to obtain loans for higher education. It is governed by a seven-member board, five of whom are appointed by the Missouri state governor. After an initial bank letter of credit repaid by bond issuance, MOHELA has generated its own operating costs by taking a small percentage of self-owned student loans and obtaining a fee from the Department of Education. Although the Department of Education commended MOHELA as an exceptional performer in loan servicing, it received many complaints when it first began handling federal loans for practices such as increased payment amounts, changes to repayment plans, failure to process forms and other issues.