Education Department Seeks ‘World-Class Service’ for Student Loan Borrowers

CUSTOMER CARE: On April 4, the U.S. Department of Education announced an initiative to help borrowers navigate the complicated student loan repayment process. The “Federal Aid Servicing Solution” will be a customer service center of sorts for student borrowers. Specifically, the department says that all borrowers have “the right to an affordable repayment plan like Pay As You Earn (PAYE), quality customer service, reliable information, and fair treatment as they repay their loan.” The Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) currently has contracts with multiple vendors for the student loan repayment process, and this initiative aims to create a unified user experience with obvious and dependable support and information.

FSA is beginning with a solicitation for a single servicing solution. It says it aims to unify branding and customer experience, establish common servicing practices, improve servicer oversight, increase cost efficiency and improve data collection/analysis. The submission deadline for offers is May 9, 2016.

FSA says it hopes that, with a streamlined solution, more borrowers will have access to the resources required to make informed decisions around their student loan repayment options. With knowledge comes the ability to thrive in jobs like teaching that are low-paying, but vital to community success.

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