- Today, the U.S. Department of Education is, essentially, a trillion-dollar bank, serving more than 40 million student borrowers. While the government writes these student loans, it simply cannot run the call centers or handle the paperwork for so many borrowers. It needs help. So it pays companies — the department has contracts with nine of them — to handle customer service. These servicers, as they're known, are glorified record-keepers and debt collectors. But they're also powerful gatekeepers.
And these servicers, Frotman found, with a big assist from the Education Department, were wreaking havoc with the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.