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Latest from FSA: Student Loan Forgiveness

July 18, 2014

Many of your borrowers may have questions about student loan forgiveness and are wondering what it is or if it is possible for them to qualify. The Department of Education recently came out with answers to these commonly asked questions about student loan forgiveness. Here are some highlights:

What is loan forgiveness?
The cancellation of all or some portion of your federal student loan balance.

Is it really possible to have your student loans forgiven?
Yes, but there are very specific eligibility requirements.

How do I get my loans forgiven?
Research your options at StudentAid.gov/repay or contact your loan servicer for any questions you may have about student loan forgiveness.

Are there other ways in which I can get help repaying my loans?
There are additional government programs that provide student loan repayment assistance for individuals who provide certain types of service. A couple of examples include:

    • Military Service
    • AmeriCorps

If borrowers think that they may qualify for student loan forgiveness they should discuss their options with their loan servicer in order to figure out the best plan for their situation.

View the full article here: http://www.ed.gov/blog/2014/05/student-loan-forgiveness-and-other-ways-the-government-can-help-you-repay-your-loans/.

 

Megan Freese, Communications Intern

Megan Freese, Communications Intern

Interview Tips from an HR Professional

July 17, 2014

Want to help your students succeed after graduation? ResumeEdge recently conducted a Q&A session with Chad Thies, Vice President of Union Bank & Trust and President of Zelle Human Resources. As someone with twenty years of experience in recruiting and human resources, Chad shares his valuable thoughts on what interviewers are looking for and how job searchers can interview successfully. Check out the recording below to hear Chad’s insights, and share it with your students!

 

Kristin Tobias, Communications Coordinator, Nelnet

Kristin Tobias, Communications Coordinator, Nelnet

Default Management Tips from MTTI’s Paulette Allen-Wilson

July 16, 2014

Paulette 053Meet Paulette Allen-Wilson,Financial Assistant/Default Manager at MotoRing Technical Training Institute (MTTI) in Seekonk, MA.

“This is the best job I’ve ever had!” smiles Paulette. Her responsibilities at MTTI include default management. Paulette shares, “I’m really in a position to help a student struggling with repayment.”

As cohort default rates climb nationally, Paulette is very proud that MTTI’s 3 Year Cohort Default Rate has gone down. Last September, Paulette jumped for joy when MTTI was able to lower their rate by 2.9%.

Paulette utilizes many of the resources available from FSA and the federal loan servicers to assist her students. At her desk, Paulette has binders full of resources ready at her finger tips. Paulette shares some ways she helps keep MTTI’s CDR down:

  • Run servicer delinquency reports on a monthly basis.
  • Follow up with students after they graduate or leave the institution on a regular basis.
  • Provide borrowers with detailed loan information from NSLDS and their loan servicer, important contact info, and other relevant information.
  • Utilize campus resources to acquire current student contact information.

Paulette faces similar challenges as other campuses in locating and communicating with those students who have left their program. She understands the importance of identifying these students early and being proactive. Campus collaboration is the key.

I asked Paulette, if she had a magic wand and could change anything in the financial aid world, what that might be. Paulette shared that “the language of the laws are complex and need a little more simplicity.” She said it’s difficult trying to keep up with all the regulations and changes. She also said she would like to reduce the amount of student debt and lower the interest rate on student loans.

When Paulette is not assisting students, she spends her time caring for her family and her granddaughter, Kylee.

 

Dan Dreves, Northeast Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Dan Dreves, Northeast Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Latest from FSA: Updated Income-Driven Repayment Form

July 15, 2014

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FSA has updated their Income-Driven Repayment Plan Request form. Federal student loan borrowers interested in applying for Income-Based Repayment, Pay As You Earn, and Income-Contingent Repayment should fill out this form.

The Income-Driven Repayment Plan Request form can be downloaded from Nelnet’s library, under the Forms tab. Click here to save the new version now!

 

Kristin Tobias, Communications Coordinator, Nelnet

Kristin Tobias, Communications Coordinator, Nelnet

Financial Aid Professionals’ Summer Vacation Plans

July 14, 2014
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Photo credit: Corey Balazowich, flickr

Financial aid professionals work hard. If anyone deserves a vacation, it certainly is financial aid professionals. I thought it would be fun to take a look at where some financial aid folks unwind and spend their summer vacation rejuvenating.

  • Renee Dunton, Beal College, will be vacationing in Ireland.
  • Joann Larson, Castleton State College, will be visiting family in Ohio.
  • Deby Grant, Sage School of Massage, will spend a vacation in outdoor paradise in SunRiver, Oregon with her grandkids.
  • Gary Trottier, New England School of Hair Design, will be enjoying time with his family at a lake house in Alabama.
  • Jeff Penta, Southern New Hampshire University, will be enjoying solitude in the Adirondacks.
  • Bertha LaPointe, American Beauty Academy, will be vacationing at the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
  • Crystal Gaff, Plymouth State University, will be spending time in Venice, Florida to celebrate with an aunt who is turning 95!
  • Julie Rosmus, College of Saint Joseph, will be spending a week at Lake St. Catherine in Vermont.
  • Colleen Perillo, Westchester School of Beauty Culture, will be strapped to the financial aid desk with no summer vacation plans.

We hope everyone can take some time to rejuvenate. Enjoy your summer!

 

Dan Dreves, Northeast Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Dan Dreves, Northeast Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Direct Loan Consolidation Processing FAQs

July 14, 2014

Recently, Federal Student Aid (FSA) implemented the new Direct Loan Consolidation Process. To assist you, we have compiled answers to the most frequently asked questions Nelnet receives from our school partners on the topic.

The main difference between the new program and the old is that schools or their designated Perkins servicers (loan holders) now receive communications and process transactions with four Title IV Additional Servicers (TIVAS) – FedLoan Servicing, Great Lakes, Nelnet, and Navient (Sallie Mae) – instead of one. As you know, borrowers choose their consolidation servicer when they complete their application.

Schools or their Perkins servicers are involved in consolidation transactions only if a borrower chooses to include Perkins loans in their new consolidated loan. If that is the case, loan holders will:

  • Receive a request from the consolidation servicer to complete a Loan Verification Certificate (LVC) and submit it within 10 business days.
  • Receive Perkins loan payoff and report the underlying loan to NSLDS as paid in full through consolidation.
  • Work with the designated consolidation servicer to resolve any over or under adjustments that may exist.

Early this year, the four TIVAS gathered set-up forms from schools across the country with Perkins loan portfolios. The set-up forms indicated each school’s preferred method in sending and receiving Loan Verification Certificate (LVC) and payoff manifest. Although each school’s information was gathered by one of the TIVAS, it was shared with all. TIVAS then used the information to set up school’s processes according to their preferences.

Q. How does Nelnet notify Loan Holders that an LVC file is ready for school certification?

A. An LVC is sent to schools or their third party Perkins servicers for completion, depending on their set-up preferences. As stated above, loan holders indicated their preferences on the set up form they completed and sent to TIVAS early this year. Options included encrypted email exchange, direct access to the servicer’s website (this is called “Data Trade” on Nelnet’s system), or Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). Paper LVCs are also an option at this time, but are not recommended.

Q. Is there a central source to get information about LVCs in need of completion?

A. There is no central source of information. Loan holders are informed of LVCs in need of completion by individual notification about each consolidation loan, or by the methods detailed above.

Q. What is the timeframe for LVC completion?

A. Each LVC should be completed within ten business days of receiving the request from the consolidation servicer.

Q. Where can I get directions on how to open encrypted LVC-related emails from Nelnet?

A. The first time Loan Holders receive an encrypted message for Nelnet, they will need to go through a brief registration and password selection process. The instructions are included in the email and can be accessed here, on our website. After the initial set-up, loan holders will be able to open encrypted email by entering the ID and Password they established in the registration process.

Q. I have Nsight Plus access already. Can I link to the LVCs and other consolidation transactions once I log in?

A. To complete consolidation transactions, separate Nsight Plus access is needed. Nelnet initiated that access for those who were indicated as LVC certifiers on the set-up form. If you do not have access to consolidation transactions, please call or email Nelnet at 855.554.0050 or NelnetDirectLoanCons@nelnet.net.

Q. I would prefer that my school’s Perkins payoff be handled by ACH. Who do I contact to arrange this?

A. All schools were initially set up for checks. To make a change, contact Federal Student Aid’s Accounting Division (202.377.3322 or 202.377.3745; fsa_lr@ed.gov). Please do not contact the consolidation servicer; they do not handle this part of the process. Funding will be sent to only one location specified by school.

In order to comply with the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, FSA is asking schools to switch to ACH by September 30, 2014. A Payoff Manifest is required to reconcile payment. Please note: schools are still responsible for handling under and over payment information, even if they work with a third party Perkins loan servicer.

Q. What does Nelnet do if they are selected by the borrower as the consolidation servicer but do not yet have a school set up form on file?

A. Nelnet will mail a paper LVC to the school if we are selected as a borrower’s consolidation servicer and the school does not yet have a set up form on file. Schools are still required to submit an LVC within ten days if they receive a paper request. Nelnet will email manifests to the contact provided from FSA if a set up form isn’t received.

Q. Who do I call at Nelnet if I have Direct Consolidation Loan questions?

A. If you have questions about the consolidation process, including loan holder procedures, additional Nsight Plus access, or other transaction questions, you can reach Nelnet’s Consolidation team at 855.554.0050 or NelnetDirectLoanCons@nelnet.net. Be sure to continue to contact the School Service Center (866.463.5638, ssc@nelnet.net) if you have questions unrelated to consolidation.

 

Anne Del Plato, Eastern Reginal Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Anne Del Plato, Eastern Reginal Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

 

Latest from FSA: Supporting the Economy by Helping Student Loan Borrowers Manage Debt

July 11, 2014

Today, more students and families are relying on loans to pay for college. The Obama Administration is taking further steps to make a college education more affordable by making more tools available to help students and families manage their debt:

  • The Treasury Department and the Department of Education teamed with Intuit to launch a pilot program to raise awareness about income-driven repayment plans
  • Users of Intuit’s TurboTax service were able to figure out their eligibility for lower student loan payments
  • The White House announced an expanded partnership with Intuit and a new partnership with H&R Block to reach more individuals who could benefit from income-driven repayment options

The Treasury Department will continue to look into ways to help student borrowers effectively manage their debt. For now, students should utilize the Repayment Estimator and look into the several repayment options that the Department of Education offers.

Read the full article here: http://www.ed.gov/blog/2014/06/supporting-the-economy-by-helping-student-loan-borrowers-manage-debt/.

 

Megan Freese, Communications Intern

Megan Freese, Communications Intern