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(Direct Loans) Subject: Loan Servicing Information - Transition to New Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) System and Web Sites Planned for Fall 2011 (Update #3)

Posted Date:August 26, 2011

Author: Jana Hernandes, Service Director, Operations, Federal Student Aid

Subject: Loan Servicing Information - Transition to New Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) System and Web Sites Planned for Fall 2011 (Update #3)

As previously communicated, the Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS), one of the Department of Education's five federal loan servicers, plans to transition to a new loan servicing system in fall 2011. In addition to the new system, the Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) will launch new Web sites for schools as well as William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) borrowers and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant recipients.

Through a series of announcements, we have been informing and will continue to inform the community of transition-related activities and preparations. To date, we have posted three electronic announcements on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site (June 10, 2011, June 24, 2011, and July 14, 2011).

In this announcement, we provide the following information:

  • Updates to School and Borrower Q&As

  • Borrower Web Payments Scheduled Beyond September 30, 2011

  • School Web Site URL

  • School Nsight Registration

  • School Entrance and Exit Counseling Reports Available Until Transition

  • Contact Information

Updates to School and Borrower Q&As

As explained in earlier announcements, Questions and Answers (Q&As) about the transition to the new system and Web sites for the Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) are available for school customers in the News and Updates section of the current Direct Loan Servicing Online for Schools Web Site. In addition, Q&As for Direct Loan borrowers and TEACH Grant recipients are available in the Direct Loan Servicing News section of the current Direct Loan Servicing Online Web site. Both sets of Q&As are available in English and Spanish.

Some of the school and borrower Q&As have been updated. For schools, we have added the URL for the new school Web site and links to two user guides that schools may reference to learn about the new Nsight reporting tool. For borrowers, we have updated information about transition-related impact on Web payments. Updated Q&As are identified by the date August 26, 2011.

Schools are encouraged to consult the updated Q&As on the Direct Loan Servicing Online for Schools Web Site and to direct borrowers to the updated Q&As on the Direct Loan Servicing Online Web site.

Borrower Web Payments Scheduled Beyond September 30, 2011

The updated school and borrower Q&As include an item that addresses Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) Web payments that are scheduled for debit after September 30, 2011. As a result of the transition to the new system, these scheduled payments will be cancelled. Impacted borrowers will have two options for handling the affected payments.

    1) A borrower can mail the payments to the following address:
      United States Department of Education
      PO Box 530260
      Atlanta, GA 30353-0260
    2) A borrower can reschedule the payments on the new Web site once the new Web site is available. The new Web site, www.myedaccount.com, will be available beginning in early October 2011.

In addition to the inclusion of this information in the updated Q&As, the Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) will begin the first of three communication campaigns on August 29, 2011. Through this campaign, each borrower who has one or more Web payments scheduled for debit after September 30, 2011 will receive an e-mail or a virtual phone message from the Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS). The individual will be provided with the two options for handling the affected Web payments. As always, borrowers may contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) to ask questions and/or validate the legitimacy of the communication.

To ensure that all impacted borrowers receive notice of this very important payment-related information, the Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) will repeat the campaign prior to transition (beginning on or about September 22, 2011) and then again after the transition (beginning on or about October 20, 2011).

We request schools’ assistance in encouraging Direct Loan borrowers who receive these communications to contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) with their questions.

New School Web Site URL

We previously communicated that the Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) would have a new school Web site; however the URL had not yet been finalized. The URL for the new Web site has now been finalized and will be www.myedaccount.com/schools.

The new school Web site will enable financial aid professionals to access content similar to the content they access today; it will just have a different look and feel. Once the transition is complete, financial aid professionals who access the Direct Loan Servicing Online School Web site, www.dl.ed.gov/schools, home page will be redirected to the new Web site. At the first opportunity following the transition, schools are encouraged to update their own Web sites and bookmarks with the new Web site URL.

Note: Consistent with Web site URLs for all of our federal loan servicers, the new Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) school Web site URL has a ".com" domain. This is also true for the new borrower Web site URL (www.myedaccount.com). We request schools’ assistance in conveying the legitimacy of both URLs to school personnel and borrowers.

School Nsight Registration

Within the new Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) school Web site, financial aid professionals will have access to school and borrower specific reporting information through Nsight. This is a Web-based delinquency reporting tool that financial aid and default prevention professionals will use to view real-time account information for students and borrowers. The Nsight reporting tool, which will be used by both the Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) and Nelnet (two separate and independent federal loan servicers), is designed to provide enhanced reporting capability and diverse information to cover a school’s needs. Schools with loans in both portfolios will be able to easily access borrower information.

Financial aid professionals will no longer use their existing Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) Web site user name and password to access the school Web site. Instead, they will use a different Nsight user name and password to access the new school Web site.

  • If financial aid professionals currently have access to Nsight to view federally-owned loans serviced by Nelnet, they will use their existing credentials to access the new Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) school Web site.

  • If financial aid professionals do not currently have access to Nsight, they will need to establish a profile that includes the creation of a user name and password.

Registration for access to the new Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) school Web site can be completed prior to transition by contacting the Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) School Services Team as outlined in the Contact Information section below. The process will take just a few minutes, and schools are encouraged to register early to prevent interruption in accessing their Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) information following implementation of the new school Web site.

To ensure that all schools that need to register receive the message to do so prior to the transition, the Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) will launch a communication campaign on September 6, 2011. This campaign will deliver a virtual phone message to key personnel at schools that need to establish Nsight access and have not yet done so.

School Entrance and Exit Counseling Reports Available Until Transition

As explained in a June 3, 2011 Electronic Announcement on the IFAP Web site, Direct Loan Entrance and Exit Counseling and TEACH Grant Exit Counseling were retired from the Direct Loan Servicing Online Borrower Web site in late July 2011. Going forward, borrowers can access online entrance counseling at www.studentloans.gov and online exit counseling at www.nslds.ed.gov.

In addition to the retirement of the online borrower counseling products, school entrance and exit counseling reports are no longer available on www.dl.ed.gov/schools. Financial aid professionals who require past entrance and exit counseling reports may contact the Direct Loan Servicing School Services Team as outlined in the Contact Information section below. These reports will be available to schools until the transition. After the transition, the past reports will no longer be available to schools.

Note: Reports related to completion of the current online counseling products identified above can be accessed at the COD and NSLDS web sites, respectively.

Contact Information

We appreciate the community's patience and assistance as the Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) transitions to its new system and Web sites. We will continue to inform the community about the transition. Please monitor the IFAP Web site for these announcements as well as the Direct Loan Servicing Online for Schools Web Site for ongoing updates to the posted Q&As.

If you have questions about the transition, contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) School Services Team by phone at 888/877-7658. You may also contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) School Services Team via the Web by visiting the current Web site at http://www.dl.ed.gov/schools.

Last Modified: 08/25/2011