Posted Date:March 26, 2012
|Author:||William Leith, Service Director, Program Management, Federal Student Aid|
Subject: Special Direct Consolidation Loan Information - Online Application Process and Eligibility Identification Improvements Implemented
We will soon enter the last three months of the application period for Special Direct Consolidation Loans. FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA), Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc., Nelnet, and Sallie Mae continue to contact all potentially eligible borrowers who have not yet applied and communicate with them about the availability of this special initiative.
As a reminder, the Special Direct Consolidation Loan initiative is a short-term consolidation opportunity the Department of Education (the Department) is offering through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program. The initiative allows certain borrowers who have at least one Direct Loan Program loan or Department-held Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loan and at least one commercially-held FFEL Program loan to consolidate their eligible commercially-held FFEL Program loans into a Special Direct Consolidation Loan. The application period began on January 17, 2012 and will continue through June 30, 2012.
Over this past weekend, we implemented additional improvements to the Special Direct Consolidation Loan online application process that should make it even easier for borrowers to apply. For reference, we have created a refreshed set of screenshots that illustrates the improved application process from start to finish. We provide the screenshots in the attachment to this announcement titled "Online Application Process for Special Direct Consolidation Loans (March 2012 Updates)."
There is one application process improvement in particular that will assist all borrowers in knowing whether or not they are potentially eligible for a Special Direct Consolidation Loan. Prior to this past weekend's implementation, an Alert message about Special Direct Consolidation Loans only appeared after a potentially eligible borrower logged in to the StudentLoans.gov Web site. Now, an Alert message about Special Direct Consolidation Loans will appear after any borrower logs in to the StudentLoans.gov Web site.
The improved Alert message functionality offers an additional way for borrowers to know if they are eligible for a Special Direct Consolidation Loan. If a borrower has not been notified by one of the Department's servicers but wants to find out if he or she meets the eligibility criteria for a Special Direct Consolidation Loan, the borrower can check the StudentLoans.gov Web site.
To check the StudentLoans.gov Web site for Special Direct Consolidation Loan eligibility, the borrower will follow these three easy steps:
Go to www.studentloans.gov.
Log in by entering his or her Federal Student Aid PIN and other identifiers.
Look for a message in the Alerts box on the top right side of the page.
Note: If the borrower has been contacted by one of the Department's servicers but when he or she signs in to StudentLoans.gov the Alert message states that the borrower is not eligible to apply, the borrower should contact the servicer for assistance.
While FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA), Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc., Nelnet, and Sallie Mae will continue their outreach to potentially eligible borrowers, logging in to the StudentLoans.gov Web site and checking out the Alerts box message offers all borrowers an option for determining their status. For borrowers who are potentially eligible, they will be able to click on the link within the message and complete the Special Direct Consolidation Loan online application.
We appreciate the community's assistance in directing borrowers to the StudentLoans.gov Web site to find out if they meet the eligibility criteria for a Special Direct Consolidation Loan and, if potentially eligible, to complete the online application.
We will continue to keep the community informed through subsequent "Special Direct Consolidation Loan Information" Electronic Announcements on the IFAP Web site (and on the Financial Partners Portal Web site when applicable).
General borrower information continues to be available on our Special Direct Consolidation Loans Web page. This page was updated over the past weekend to reflect the StudentLoans.gov Alert message improvements explained in this announcement.