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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

System Student Financials Council (SFFC) news (July 2017)

Nelnet on campus
Representatives from Nelnet (the University’s payment gateway vendor) made a visit to the Twin Cities campus on July 13. The majority of the meeting was to discuss our level of satisfaction with their services and processes. We shared that overall their product works well and things have been running smoothly.

The representatives shared that the late-fall release will include responsive design for their entire application that will greatly enhance the user experience on mobile. But the most exciting change for us (yes, it’s the small things in life!) is the capability for us to update the emails generated by payment processing. This will allow us to make changes when needed, streamlining the process and providing a cost savings by eliminating the need for a Nelnet work order. This has been on our list of enhancement requests for several years.

QuikPAY enhancements
The SF-IT team is in the throes of testing a new QuikPAY release that is scheduled to go into production the week of July 24 (if all goes well). The release does not bring many big changes but it does have a mobile interface that was successfully tested and then allowed the tester to access the student account and make a payment.

Collection agency bid for student receivables
Twin Cities campus has completed the request for proposals (RFP) process for agencies to collect defaulted student accounts from Twin Cities, Morris, Crookston and Rochester campuses. We have selected four agencies, of which one was under contract under the prior RFP, and three are new. Contracts are signed and we will resume placing accounts in August. Agencies who were used previously but did not win a new contract have been told to close and return accounts they have, or appeal with Student Account Assistance if they wish to keep working some.

Heartland ECSI changes loan service practice and communication

ECSI, the University-contracted loan servicer for campus-based loans, has announced that they have set a policy that loans that reach 270 days or more past due will be classified as in default. ECSI will no longer bill accounts that reached this age. Instead, ECSI will send a letter in place of the billing statement indicating the loan is seriously past due and will direct borrowers to call Student Account Assistance (for Morris, Crookston, Rochester, and Twin Cities). This change is a result of their concern that ECSI may be labeled an unlicensed third-party collector if they continue the current practice of billing statements being sent after a loan defaults, per their interpretation of FDCPA and the CFPB regulations. This change is likely to have very little impact on our borrowers, but there may be an increase in contacts at our campuses.

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