Summary: This letter advises lenders in the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program of the potential impact of the "Year 2000" problem and the importance of an aggressive approach to ensure that the FFEL Program will continue unimpaired
SUMMARY: This letter advises lenders in the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program of the potential impact of the "Year 2000" problem and the importance of an aggressive approach to ensure that the FFEL Program will continue unimpaired.
The purpose of this letter is to reinforce the importance of your efforts to address data systems issues pertaining to the Year 2000 ("Y2K"). Your data systems should be able to correctly identify, manipulate, and calculate dates outside of the 1900-1999 year range. Unfortunately, few systems currently in use were designed with the
ability to process dates later than 1999.
We encourage you to make certain that you have taken appropriate steps to ensure the continued functioning of the FFEL Program in light of Year 2000 information systems challenges. To avoid the potential of serious processing errors and disruption to FFEL access and accountability, it is vitally important that all of your data systems, procedures, and data exchanges be able to handle the upcoming change in the century. If you have not already done so, you should develop an aggressive strategy and action plan for addressing this issue.
The attachment to this letter presents a general overview of how the Department will be dealing with the Y2K problem, and what we expect you will do to be Y2K-compliant. We expect that you will ensure Y2K compliance by having a plan comparable to the one
outlined under the "Department's Y2K Plan" heading in the attachment. Additionally, you should take appropriate steps to ensure that the organizations you interact with, such as guaranty agencies, loan servicers, and contractors, are taking similar actions, and are using similar milestones, to prepare their systems and validate that their data exchanges are Y2K-compliant. [Note: We recently sent "Dear Colleague" letter 98-G-306 to all guaranty agencies about this issue.]
Thank you in advance for your assistance in this important matter. If you have questions, please contact the Department's Guarantor and Lender Oversight Service at (202) 401-2280 immediately.
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary
Student Financial Assistance Programs