Often the original lender (the place that gave you your loan) will sell your loan to another lender who only deals with student loans, such as the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA).
The SLMA is also known as Sallie Mae or the Loan Servicing Center. So, if you have some notices from SLMA, and others from the Loan Servicing Center, they are all from the same company.
Note: No matter who your loan is sold to, send your payments and questions to the new lender.
At any time, the original or new lender can hire another company called a servicing company to try to collect payments on your loans. These servicing companies are like collection agencies because they will ask you to send them payments, which they will send to the lender.
This can be confusing, because if you try to send money to the lender after your loans have been transferred, they will tell you to send it to the servicing company. If this happens, just send the money to the servicing company. Be sure to write your account or loan number on the check or money order so your payment will go to your account. Then, call the lender to make sure that they got the payment that you sent to the servicing company.
Updated: June 2017