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Latest from FSA: Final Rule to Strengthen Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program

October 27, 2014

Recently, the Department of Education announced the publication of a final rule to strengthen the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program. This rule will ultimately help more students and families pay for college by ensuring they have the tools and resources they need to make informed decisions about their educational and financial futures. The final regulations revise the definition of “adverse credit history” for PLUS loan applicants and employ a streamlined application process for borrowers to attain a PLUS loan. The Department is committed to making improvements that will provide families with clear, customized information about their loan responsibilities. They are developing a new loan counseling tool that will provide personalized information to assist PLUS borrowers. Additionally, the Department will collect and publish information about the performance of PLUS loans, including default rate information based on credit history characteristics of PLUS loan borrowers and individual institutional default rates.

The final rule will be published in the Federal Register on Thursday, October 23rd and changes will include:

  • Establishing a threshold debt amount of $2,085, indexed to inflation, below which a potential borrower is considered to not have an adverse credit history.
  • Defining terms such as debt “charged off” and “in collection” to more accurately determine whether an applicant has an adverse credit history.
  • Reducing the time period of a borrower’s credit history that is considered to determine adverse credit history from the last five years to the last two years for charge offs and collections.
  • Requiring that PLUS Loan applicants who, despite having adverse credit are able to receive a PLUS Loan based on either demonstrating extenuating circumstances or by obtaining an eligible endorser, participate in loan counseling.

 

To read the full article, visit: http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-education-department-announces-final-rule-strengthen-federal-direct-plus-loan.

 

Megan Freese, Communications Intern

Megan Freese, Communications Intern

A New Approach to Reaching Your Students

October 27, 2014

 

What You Know: Nsight Plus Letter Merge

As you may already know, Nsight Plus, Nelnet’s free reporting tool for schools, offers the ability to generate student-specific letters about their current student loan status. Administrators are able to easily pull borrower data from Nsight Plus, merge the data with the appropriate letter, place letters on your institution’s letterhead, and send by email or physical mail. Letter options include:

  • Deferment Ending – For borrowers within 60 days of their deferment end date
  • Forbearance Ending – For borrowers within 60 days of their forbearance end date
  • Late Stage Delinquency – For borrowers between 241 and 360 days delinquent
  • X-Days Past Due – For borrowers between 60 and 240 days delinquent

You are able to create either letters for a group of students or just individual letters. These letters are available for any borrower serviced by Nelnet, along with those serviced by EdFinancial, Granite State, OSLA, and VSAC. Click here for a step-by-step guide to creating these letters.

A New Approach: Combining Communication with Education

On their own, Nsight Plus’ letters are valuable default prevention and management tools. However, combined with the appropriate Nelnet resources, we think these letters could be an especially powerful tool for your institution. By using our letters in tandem with our resources, borrowers will not only be informed of their loan status, but they will also receive a brief, to-the-point education on topics critical to them in their current status. This is the first article in a series where we will look at how to effectively package letters from Nsight Plus with Nelnet’s resources.

The Deferment Ending letter reminds borrowers that they are responsible for paying the interest that accrues during the deferment period and that they will need to start making payments again soon. Here’s a sample of the Deferment Ending letter:

deferment

 

As students are exiting deferment, it is a good time to remind them of repayment plan options. Download Nelnet’s Student Loan Repayment Plans and Income-Driven Repayment Plans resources and include them when you send Deferment Letters. By reminding students that there are repayment plan options that may be better for their current situation, you can give them a head start toward successful repayment and proactively help them avoid delinquency and default.

repayment     idr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To sign up for Nsight Plus and start integrating our letters into your school’s default prevention plan, click here. For a look at more useful resources, visit our library.

 

Melissa Stokes, Concierge Representative, Nelnet Partner Solutions | Kristin Tobias, Communications Coordinator, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Melissa Stokes, Concierge Representative, Nelnet Partner Solutions | Kristin Tobias, Communications Coordinator, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Latest from FSA: New FSA ID to Replace the FSA PIN

October 27, 2014

In Spring 2015, FSA will implement a new login process for student- and borrower-based websites, including FAFSA on the Web, NSLDS® Student Access, StudentLoans.gov, StudentAid.gov, and the TEACH Grant website.

The existing FSA PIN will be replaced by the FSA ID, a user-selected username and password. This will eliminate the need to enter personal identifiers such as a Social Security number when accessing FSA systems. The change is critical to comply with new security requirements and industry best practices.

For more information, please read FSA’s original Electronic Announcement: http://www.ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/100114NewFSAIDtoReplacetheFederalStudentAidPIN.html.

 

Kristin Tobias, Communications Coordinator, Nelnet

Kristin Tobias, Communications Coordinator, Nelnet

Learn About Nelnet’s Full Circle Support at a November Conference

October 27, 2014

Nelnet has always strived to offer service above the standard for our school clients. We now have more ways of reaching you, through Regional Directors, the School Service Center, a training team, and our Concierge team. Our commitment to you is to be proactive, professional, and personable in every interaction.

logomark_2c-_screen - CopyOur Full Circle Support includes loan servicing solutions with a focus on:

Visit us at one of these upcoming conferences:

 

November conferences

Upcoming SNAP! Trainings

October 27, 2014

To help your school succeed, we offer a live SNAP! Training series for financial aid professionals every Tuesday and Wednesday. Simple, New, Accessible, and Practical, these webinars will include tutorials, guides, worksheets, and of course, the latest financial aid updates from our expert trainers.

Click on the links below to register for upcoming SNAP! Trainings.

Direct Consolidation Loan Process

Discuss FSA’s 2014 Direct Consolidation Loan content, the application process, and income-driven repayment.

Date: Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Time: 11:00 am, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)
Register now

Date: Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Time: 2:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)
Register now

Nelnet Borrower and School Support

Learn about our borrower communication strategy and the multiple resources we provide for schools.

Date: Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Time: 11:00 am, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)
Register now

Date: Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Time: 2:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)
Register now

Tap Into Technology – Communicating With Your Students in Their World

Find out how college students use social media, and how you can use it to connect with your students.

Date: Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Time: 11:00 am, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)
Register now

Date: Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Time: 2:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)
Register now

 

For more information, please visit our training page. Past webinars can be viewed in our library.

Nelnet Newsletter Frequency Change

October 24, 2014

Our newsletter provides beneficial resources and articles to help you effectively assist your students. We will now be sending our newsletter once a month at the end of every month. If we have more timely news or updates, those will still be shared in special edition emails.

If you would like to receive updates more frequently, you can subscribe to our blog, where every newsletter article, past and present, can be found. You can also follow Nelnet on Facebook and Twitter to be sure you are getting important information for borrowers and Nelnet news.

 

Megan Freese, Communications Intern

Megan Freese, Communications Intern

Upcoming Money Mondays

October 22, 2014

Nelnet is committed to providing the resources you need to help your students develop healthy financial habits during and after college. One resource is our Money Mondays webinar series for students, which covers basic financial literacy topics such as budgeting, credit, loans, and more. These occur on Mondays at 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. (ET). Invite your students to click on a link below and register; we will take it from there!

 

Understanding Credit Scores and Preventing Identity Theft

Learn the basics and strategies for improving credit scores and how to avoid identity theft.

Date: Monday, November 3, 2014
Time: 2:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)
Register now

Date: Monday, November 3, 2014
Time: 4:30 pm, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)
Register now

Date: Monday, November 17, 2014
Time: 2:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)
Register now

Date: Monday, November 17, 2014
Time: 4:30 pm, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)
Register now

 

Understanding Credit Cards

Find out how to use credit cards to your advantage without piling on debt.

Date: Monday, December 8, 2014
Time: 2:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)
Register now

Date: Monday, December 8, 2014
Time: 4:30 pm, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)
Register now

Date: Monday, December 15, 2014
Time: 2:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)
Register now

Date: Monday, December 15, 2014
Time: 4:30 pm, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)
Register now

 

For more information, please visit our financial literacy page. To view past Money Mondays, students can visit Nelnet.com/MoneyMondays.