06-24: Transition to New Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) System and websites Planned for Fall 2011 (Update #1)

Posted Date: June 24, 2011

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

Subject: Loan Servicing Information - Transition to New Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) System and websites Planned for Fall 2011 (Update #1)

In a June 10, 2011 Electronic Announcement posted on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals website, we informed the community that 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 websites 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 will inform the community of transition-related activities and preparations. In this announcement, we provide the following information:

  • Updates to School Questions and Answers
  • Availability of Borrower Questions and Answers
  • Discontinuation of Semi-Annual Coupon Billing
  • Sample Monthly Billing Statement
  • Contact Information

Updates to School Questions and Answers

As explained in the June 10th announcement, Questions and Answers (Q&As) about the transition to the new system and websites 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 website. Some of the school Q&As have been updated. Most notably, we have added a sample monthly billing statement for school reference. Updated Q&As are identified by the date June 24, 2011.

The school Q&As will continue to be updated as transition-related work progresses over the next few months. As we move forward, schools are encouraged to monitor the Direct Loan Servicing Online for Schools website for additional updates regarding the transition to the new system and websites.

Availability of Borrower Questions and Answers

Q&As that provide Direct Loan borrowers and TEACH Grant recipients with information about the transition are now available on the current Direct Loan Servicing Online website. These borrower Q&As are located in the Direct Loan Servicing News section. Available in both English and Spanish, the Q&As cover topics such as Payment-Related Changes, Borrower website Changes, Account and Billing/Correspondence Changes, and Electronic Services Changes.

Direct Loan borrowers and TEACH Grant recipients will be directed to the borrower Q&As through e-mail and other communication campaigns starting in July 2011. The Q&As will continue to be updated as transition-related work progresses over the next few months. To assist readers in easily identifying new or updated information, all answers will include the date posted. A new date will be included each time a question is added or an update is made to a previously posted response.

As we move forward, borrowers should be encouraged to monitor the Direct Loan Servicing Online website for updates regarding the transition to the new system and website.

Discontinuation of Semi-Annual Coupon Billing

In preparation for the new Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) system, borrowers who have been receiving semi-annual billing coupons will instead begin to receive monthly billing statements. This change will be implemented beginning with payments due at the end of July 2011 and continue going forward.

Notification about the discontinuation of semi-annual coupon billing will be provided as an enclosure in monthly billing statements, interest rate statements, and variable interest rate change notices that are mailed to Direct Loan borrowers and TEACH Grant recipients, as applicable. In addition to the enclosure, both borrower and school Q&As explain the billing change that will occur prior to transition and remain in effect after the new system has been implemented.

Sample Monthly Billing Statement

Upon transition to the new Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) system, borrowers will receive communications with content similar to the content they receive today. The communications will just have a different look and feel. Monthly billing statements are one of the communications that will change in appearance.

To assist borrowers and schools with this change, a sample of the new monthly billing statement is posted on the current borrower and school websites.

  • Direct Loan borrowers and TEACH Grant recipients can access the sample billing statement within borrower Q&A #2 of the “Account and Billing/Correspondence Changes” section of the borrower Q&As.
  • Schools can access the sample billing statement within school Q&A #2 of the “Borrower Transition” section of the school Q&As.

Note: Although borrower and school Q&As are available in English and Spanish, the sample monthly billing statement is only available in English. This is reflective of actual billing statements, which are only generated in English.

Contact Information

We appreciate the community’s patience and assistance as the Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) transitions to its new system and websites. We will continue to inform the community about the transition. Please monitor the IFAP website for these announcements as well as the Direct Loan Servicing Online for Schools website 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 website at http://www.dl.ed.gov/schools.

 

Publication Date: 6/27/2011

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