Summary: National Student Loan Data System Reporting Requirements
Dear Student Loan Lender:
Subject: National Student Loan Data System Reporting
The purpose of this letter is to remind lenders that they must submit
required data for their Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL)
program loans to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
through the guaranty agency that guaranteed the loan. This
information is required at least quarterly. It is important that you
review this letter and assure that your institution is meeting all the
The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, mandated the
development and implementation of the NSLDS. The NSLDS
system now contains Title IV loan and grant information for over
33 million students and 85 million loans. The data has many
uses including the prescreening of applicants for financial aid. The
NSLDS prevents over $250 million a year from being awarded to
ineligible students such as those who have defaulted on prior loans.
In addition, the NSLDS data is used to calculate cohort
default rates for schools, lenders and guaranty agencies. It is also
used by the Department, other Federal agencies, and Congress to
develop informed policy proposals. Completeness and accuracy of
information on the NSLDS is critical to the successful management
of the student aid programs.
Lenders participating in the FFEL program are required to provide
loan-level information to the NSLDS through their guaranty
agency(ies). Please review your reporting processes to ensure you
are in full compliance with NSLDS reporting requirements.
Currently, guaranty agencies are reconciling their data with NSLDS.
It is critical that they have accurate information from lenders to fully
complete the reconciliation process and to provide accurate data on a
While progress has been made by lenders and guaranty agencies in
fulfilling their reporting requirements, there is a significant number
of loan records on the database that still do not have the lender
specific data elements (e.g., Amount and Date of Outstanding
Principal Balance, Amount and Date of Outstanding Accrued Interest
Balance). Current balance information is critical for accurate
determination of a student's Title IV aid eligibility.
Any absence of lender reported data requires your immediate
attention. In an effort to make this reporting requirement as painless
as possible, the NCHELP Program Operations Committee, in
consultation with the Department, has developed and distributed a
standardized electronic file format (NSLDS Lender Manifest File
Format), common edit guidelines, and standardized error reporting.
This group has also made PC-based software available to lenders who
do not have adequate systems to support an automated format. In
addition, the Committee has developed a standard format for
notifying lenders of loans which have not yet been reported through
the NSLDS Lender Manifest process. Although use of these formats
or software is not required, we encourage you to use these industry-
developed tools to facilitate your full compliance with the NSLDS
reporting requirement. If you do not have copies of these
documents, or require a copy of the software, please contact your
primary guaranty agency.
Loans which error out of the guaranty agency NSLDS Lender
Manifest process must be corrected and resubmitted. Also, if your
institution is the holder of record and regular NSLDS data updates
have not been received, you must work promptly with the agency
to provide the updates.
We have identified NSLDS data integrity as one of our highest
priorities for the coming year. It is incumbent upon us all to work
together to ensure that the NSLDS contains complete and accurate
data. Over the next several months, the Department, working
with the guaranty agencies, will conduct a major data integrity
review of the NSLDS. As part of that review, we will visit some of
the lenders to evaluate their NSLDS reporting procedures. We ask
for your immediate attention to any data discrepancies that exist
between your organization and your guaranty agencies and your full
cooperation in evaluation of the reporting.
We appreciate your cooperation. If you have any questions or
concerns about NSLDS reporting requirements, please contact your
primary guaranty agency.
Larry Oxendine F. Lynn Alexander
Director, Guarantor and Lender Director, NSLDS
Oversight Service Program Systems Service