USA Funds introduces new tool to prevent student loan defaults
Colleges can benefit from borrower communication, without all the work
INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- USA Funds® has introduced a new tool to help the nation's colleges and universities prevent student loan defaults and promote successful repayment of loans by their graduates. USA Funds Borrower Connect InTouch(SM) provides borrower contact and counseling services to colleges and universities that lack the staff resources to perform borrower outreach themselves. This new USA Funds service offers college administrators the following benefits:
- No additional staff support required. At the school's direction, USA Funds will carry out the requested telephone and email communications to the school's student loan borrowers.
- Monitor borrower contact activity. Through the reporting capabilities built into USA Funds Borrower Connect™, campus administrators can monitor in real time the borrower outreach activity that USA Funds is providing on their behalf. USA Funds Borrower Connect is a Web-based tool that helps colleges connect with and communicate to their borrowers to improve student loan default rates.
- Borrower counseling, not collections. USA Funds' approach to borrower communication is to counsel borrowers about their options and responsibilities. USA Funds staff explain the details and answer borrower questions to ensure borrowers understand their obligations and options and establish and maintain affordable and achievable repayment plans.
"Ongoing contact with student loan borrowers is a proven best practice for successful student loan repayment," said Denise B. Feser, senior vice president, School and Student Services, USA Funds. "Several colleges and universities have requested this service because they simply lack the staff to conduct the borrower communication campaigns they've developed in USA Funds Borrower Connect."
Colleges and universities can select from a variety of USA Funds Borrower Connect InTouch calling and email campaign options, including outreach to student loan borrowers in the following statuses:
- Grace period.
- Various stages of loan payment delinquency, from one to 270 days past due.
- Resuming repayment following a period of deferment or forbearance.
With the school's authorization, USA Funds will access real-time borrower and loan status information from all federal student loan servicer systems, and, as warranted, will perform three-way calls with borrowers and their servicers. USA Funds also will follow up with promises borrowers have made, for example, to make a payment or submit deferment paperwork, to ensure borrowers are meeting their commitments.
"We found the service to be an effective way to supplement our efforts to contact our student loan borrowers and make sure they're on the right path to paying off their loans," said Carrie Anglemyer, associate director of student financial services, Harrison College, which tested the service. "USA Funds staff took the time to counsel borrowers about the most appropriate options for their individual circumstances."
For additional information about USA Funds Borrower Connect InTouch, visit the USA Funds website — www.usafunds.org.
USA Funds® is a nonprofit corporation that works to enhance postsecondary education preparedness, access and success by providing and supporting financial and other valued services. USA Funds assists postsecondary institutions and their students with a comprehensive array of default prevention and student aid program compliance solutions, including financial literacy programs for college students, debt management and default prevention consultation and support, training for financial aid administrators, and student aid policy assistance. For more information, visit www.usafunds.org.
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