Feedback Positive: Student Loan Counseling –

Lawmakers, families, colleges and universities alike have been looking for ways to tackle student debt, which has been on the rise for several years now.

Nonprofit USA Funds recently introduced a tool—Borrower Connect InTouch—as part of its efforts to address student loan debt by encouraging successful loan repayment.

The program provides counseling services to institutions of higher education by accessing students’ loan and borrower status information and performing outreach to those students via phone and email communication. Schools have the ability to choose their own methods of contact. The purpose of the communication efforts are to:

  • Remind borrowers of their loan obligations and responsibilities.
  • Help establish an achievable and affordable repayment plan.
  • Ensure borrower contact information is up to date.
  • Promote long-term repayment success.

Piloting the Borrower Connect InTouch program was Harrison College.

“We were approached by [USA Funds] to pilot/test the InTouch portion as we were testing the Borrower Connect data system for them and were pleased with the results,” said Carrie Anglemyer, associate director of student financial services at Harrison. “For the Borrower Connect data portion, we utilize the email system weekly and will set call campaigns from the data every other month.”

Anglemyer said the pilot program was not extensive, but the customer service that was provided to Harrison students was exceptional.

“[The program] assists in providing the borrowers with repayment options,” she said. “Through these efforts, they can assist schools in lower cohort default rates as well as inform the students that there is assistance if the standard loan repayment option does currently coincide with their monthly budget.”

Follow Valerie Jones on Twitter @ValerieJonesCMN