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Guarantee Agencies

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Federal student loans are extremely low risk loans, as compared with other types of unsecured loans, in part because the Federal government guarantees them against default.

This section of FinAid provides information about student loan guarantee agencies, also referred to as student loan guarantors and student loan guaranty agencies. Guarantee agencies insure student loans against default. The 1% default fee (previously "guarantee fee") that is collected from each disbursement on a federal education loan is paid to the designated guarantee agency to cover the costs of insuring the loan. (Some guarantee agencies have built up enough of a reserve that they are able to waive or reduce the default fee.) If the borrower defaults, dies or becomes totally and permanently disabled, the guarantee agency reimburses the lender for the balance remaining on the loan.

Private student loans can also use third-party guarantors, although this is less common than with federal education loans.

The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 ended the federally-guaranted student loan program — the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) — effective June 30, 2010. All new federal education loans since July 1, 2010 have been made through the Direct Loan program. Despite the end of FFELP, the 35 guarantee agencies are still involved in guaranteeing the existing FFELP loan portfolios against default and will continue in this role until the last FFELP loan is paid in full. Nevertheless, many of the state guarantee agencies are diversifying into other areas, such as managing state grant and non-federal student loan programs, developing financial literacy training programs, and servicing federal education loans made through the Direct Loan program.

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Mapping Your Future

Mapping Your Future is a web site sponsored by a group of 35 FFELP guarantee agencies and secondary markets. The site provides information on planning a career, selecting a school, and paying for school. It also includes a college admissions and financial aid calendar.

FFELP Guarantee Agencies

American Education Services (AES) [alternate link] is a student loan guarantor located in Pennsylvania. AES is a division of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). They've grown into a full-service education financing operation that acts as a servicer, lender and secondary market in addition to a guarantor. They offer Stafford, PLUS, Consolidation and private education loans. Their repayment incentives include 0% default fee, origination fee reductions of up to 3% (depending on state and bank), a 0.25% interest rate reduction for automatic direct debit of monthly payments and a 2% interest rate reduction after 48 consecutive on-time payments. One key benefit is their partnership with Upromise, which allows borrowers to use Upromise savings to repay student loans. For more information, write to 1200 N 7th Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102-1444 or PO Box 2461, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2461, Undergraduate students should call 1-800-233-0557 or 1-717-720-3100, fax 1-717-720-3916, TDD: 1-717-720-2354, or send email to aescs@aessuccess.org. Graduate students should call 1-800-233-0557 or 1-717-720-3500/3492, fax 1-717-720-3931/2774, TDD 1-717-720-2354, or send email to aesgs@aessuccess.org or aespas@aessuccess.org. Related web sites include Education Planner (College Planning), CampusChamps (Student Athletes), YouCanDealWithIt (Debt Management), and FurtherYourEducation (Continuing Education).

American Student Assistance (ASA), established 1956, is the student loan guarantor for FFELP Loans in Massachusetts and Washington, DC. Their delinquency and default prevention efforts include their Wellness programs. For more information, call 1-800-999-9080, fax 1-617-728-4265, TDD 1-800-999-0923, or write to American Student Assistance, 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 1600, Boston, MA 02114.

College Assist (previously known as College Access Network and Colorado Student Loan Program (CSLP)) is a national guarantor agency as well as the designated guarantor of student loans for Colorado. For more information, call 1-303-305-3000 or 1-800-727-9834, TDD 1-800-727-5343 or 1-303-305-3150, or send email to information@college-assist.com. Related web sites include StudentLoanOnline, College Assist's online loan interface.

Connecticut Student Loan Foundation (CSLF) is a student loan guarantor and lender located in Rocky Hill, CT. Established in 1965, CSLF offers fee-free and reduced rate loans through Susie Mae, its lending division. They offer fee-free Stafford Loan with a 4% rebate on the original principal amount of the loan after 33 timely automated payments, plus a .25% interest rate reduction for auto-debit. They offer PLUS loans at up to 1% below the federal rate (an immediate and guaranteed 0.5% interest rate reduction for simply using Susie Mae and a 0.5% interest rate reduction for auto-debit). They offer Consolidation loans with a 2% rebate on the original principal amount after 24 consecutive ontime payments, plus a .25% interest rate reduction for auto-debit. For more information, call 1-800-237-9721 x442 or 1-860-257-4001, fax 1-860-563-3247, write to CSLF, 525 Brook Street, PO BOX 1009, Rocky Hill, CT 06067, or send email to customersupport@mail.cslf.org.

Education Assistance Corporation (EAC) is a guarantor of Federal student loans, established in 1978. They guarantee loans in South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota and other states. Their subsidiary, Educational Assistance Service Company, Inc. (EASCI), originates and services student loans. For more information, call 1-800-592-1802 (EAC) or 1-800-458-4011 (EASCI), write to 115 1st Ave SW, Aberdeen, SD 57401, or send email to eac@eac-easci.org.

EdFund was established by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) in 1997 as a guarantee service provider. CSAC is the designated guarantor for California and was established in 1955. They are the second largest student loan guarantee agency. CSAC also administers the Cal Grant program and the state work-study program. For more information, call 1-877-2EDFUND (1-877-233-3863) or write to PO Box 419045, Rancho Cordova, California 95741-9045. Schools should call 1-888-22FFELP (1-888-223-3357). Related web sites include EdFund.net, EdFund's online loan interface.

Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) is the designated guarantor for Virginia and Oregon. They also provide information and assistance to borrowers whose loans were originally guaranteed by the Higher Education Assistance Foundation (HEAF) and service bankruptcies for borrowers whose loans were guaranteed by guarantee agencies in 25 states. For more information from their Virginia office, call 1-888-775-ECMC (3262) or 1-804-267-7100 or write to PO Box 8809, Richmond, VA 23225 or Boulders Building VII, 7325 Beaufont Springs Drive, Suite 200, Richmond, VA 23225. In Minnesota call 1-888-221-ECMC (3262) or 1-651-221-0566 or write to PO Box 64909, St. Paul, MN 55164-0909 or 101 East 5th Street, Suite 200, St. Paul, MN 55101. In New Mexico call 1-505-428-2100 or write to 4001 Office Court Drive, Building 700, Santa Fe, NM 87507. See also the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) for information about other student aid programs for Virginia.

Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) is a secondary market and guarantee agency for student loans in Maine. For more information, call 1-800-228-3734 or 1-207-623-3263, fax 1-207-623-0095, TTY 1-207-626-2717, write to 5 Community Drive, PO Box 949, Augusta, ME 04332-0949, or send email to info@famemaine.com.

Florida Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA), part of the Florida Department of Education, is the designated student loan guarantee agency for Florida. OSFA does not charge a default fee for loans guaranteed on or after March 1, 2008. OSFA also administers multiple grant and scholarship programs. For more information, call 1-800-366-3475 (loans) or 1-888-827-2004 (grants/scholarships) or write to Florida Department of Education, Office of Student Financial Assistance, 1940 North Monroe Street, Suite 70, Tallahassee, FL 32303-4759.

Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC) is a student loan guarantee agency for Georgia. GSFC was established in 1965. GSFC also administers Georgia's HOPE Scholarship Program (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally) and other Georgia state student financial aid programs. For more information, call 1-800-505-GSFC (4732) or 1-770-724-9000, fax 1-770-724-9089, or write to Georgia Student Finance Commission, 2082 East Exchange Place, Tucker, GA 30084.

Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc., also known as the Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation, is a guarantor and servicer of student loans in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. They were established in 1967 and also act as a servicer of student loans. For more information, call 1-800-366-0032 (Loan Applications) or 1-800-236-6600 (Loan Consolidation) or 1-800-236-4300 (Loan Repayment), fax 1-800-375-5288, or write to Great Lakes - Borrower Services, PO Box 7860, Madison, WI 53707.

Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), established 1957, is a national student loan guarantee agency located in Illinois. For more information, call 1-800-899-ISAC (4722), TDD 1-800-526-0844, write to Illinois Student Assistance Commission, 1755 Lake Cook Road, Deerfield, IL 60015-5209, or send email to collegezone@isac.org.

Iowa College Student Aid Commission (ICSAC) is the designated student loan guarantee agency for Iowa. ICSAC also administeres the Iowa Tuition Grant Program, the Iowa Vocational-Technical Tuition Grant Program, and the merit-based State of Iowa Scholarship Program. For more information, call 1-800-383-4222 or 1-515-242-3344, fax 1-515-242-3388, write to Iowa College Student Aid Commission, 200 - 10th Street, 4th Floor, Des Moines, IA 50309-2036, or send email to info@iowacollegeaid.org.

Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA), established 1966, is a student loan guarantee agency for Kentucky and Alabama. For more information, call 1-800-928-8926 (schools and lenders should call 1-800-617-2699) or send email to inquiries@kheaa.com.

Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) is a student loan guarantee agency for Louisiana. LOSFA does not charge a default fee for the student loans it guarantees. For customer service, call 1-800-259-5626 or send email to custserv@osfa.state.la.us.

Michigan Higher Education Assistance Authority (MHEAA), established 1960, is the student loan guarantee agency for Michigan. For more information, call 1-877-323-2287, write to Bureau of Student Financial Aid, Office of Information and Resources, PO Box 30466, Lansing, MI 48909-7966, or send email to oir@michigan.gov. The Michigan Guaranty Agency can be reached by email at mga@michigan.gov. See also the Michigan Higher Education Student Loan Authority (MHESLA).

Missouri Student Loan Group administers the Missouri DHE Student Loan Program of the Missouri Department of Higher Education (DHE) and acts as the designated student loan guarantee agency for Missouri. MDHE has waived the default fee on the loans it guarantees since July 1999. For more information, call 1-800-473-6757 or 1-573-751-2361 or 1-573-751-3940, fax 1-573-751-6635, write to Missouri Department of Higher Education, 3515 Amazonas Drive, Jefferson City, MO 65109, or send email to info@dhe.mo.gov.

Montana Guaranteed Student Loan Program (MGSLP) is the student loan guarantee agency for Montana. MGSLP is a state agency within the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education. For more information, call 1-800-537-7508 or write to MGSLP, PO Box 203101, Helena, MT 59620-3101.

National Student Loan Program (NSLP) is a national student loan guarantee agency. They are the 7th largest student loan guarantee agency. For more information, call 1-800-735-8778 x6300 or 1-402-475-8686, fax 1-402-479-6658, write to PO Box 82507, Lincoln, NE 68501-2507 or 1300 O Street, Lincoln, NE 68508, or send email to nslpcs@nslp.org.

New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation (NHHEAF), established 1962, is the designated student loan guarantee agency for New Hampshire. For more information, call 1-800-525-2577 or 1-603-225-6612, fax 1-603-224-2581, write to 4 Barrell Court, PO Box 877, Concord, NH 03302-0877, or send email to info@gsmr.org. Related web sites include Granite State Management & Resources (GSM&R)
and NHHEAF Network.

New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA), established 1959, is the state secondary market and student loan guarantee agency for New Jersey. They offer Stafford, PLUS and Consolidation education loans, as well as the NJCLASS (New Jersey College Loans to Assist State Students) alternative education loan. HESAA typically waives the 1% default fee for its borrowers. For more information, call 1-800-792-8670, write to PO Box 540, Trenton, NJ 08625.

New Mexico Student Loan Guarantee Corporation (NMSLGC)
The New Mexico Student Loan Guarantee Corporation (NMSLGC) was established in 1981 as the guarantor for New Mexico. NMSLGC, along with its sister organization, the New Mexico Educational Assistance Foundation (NMEAF) operate a "doing business as" arrangement under New Mexico Student Loans (NMSL). They offer Stafford, PLUS and Grad PLUS loans to New Mexico residents and non-residents attending New Mexico schools. NMSLGC currently offers a 0% default fee to borrowers through June 30, 2010. For more information call 1-800-279-3070 or 1-505-345-8821, fax 1-505-344-3631, or write to PO Box 92230, Albuquerque, NM 87199-2230 or 7400 Tiburon NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109.

New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) [alternate link] is the student loan guarantor for New York State. They also administer the New York Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and other New York grant and scholarship programs. For more information, call 1-888-NYS-HESC (1-888-697-4372) or 1-518-473-1574, TDD 1-800-445-5234, or write to NY HESC, 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12255.

North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (NCSEAA) is the state student loan guarantee agency for North Carolina. For more information, call 1-919-549-8614, fax 1-919-549-8481, write to NCSEAA, PO Box 14103, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, or send email to information@ncseaa.edu. Related sites include the College Foundation Inc..

Northwest Education Loan Association (NELA) is the designated student loan guaranty agency for Washington and Idaho. For customer service, call 1-800-979-4441 or send email to loaninfo@nela.net or repayment@nela.net. For more information, call 1-800-562-3001 or write to NELA, 190 Queen Anne Avenue N, Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98109.

Oklahoma College Assistance Program (OCAP), formerly known as the Oklahoma Guaranteed Student Loan Program (OGSLP), and provides college access, financial literacy and debt management programs for students and their families. OCAP operates as part of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and was established in 1965 to serve as the designated federal student loan guarantor for Oklahoma. For more information, call 1-800-442-8642 or 1-405-234-4300, TDD/TRS 1-800-522-8506, fax 1-405-234-4390, write to PO Box 3000, Oklahoma City, OK 73101-3000, or send email to infobox@ocap.org.

Oregon Student Assistance Commission (OSAC) [alternate site] was previously the state student loan guarantee agency for Oregon. They also administer the Oregon Need Grant, Oregon Scholars Program and a variety of privately-funded scholarship programs. For more information, call 1-800-452-8807 or 1-541-687-7400, fax 1-541-687-7419, or write to Oregon Student Assistance Commission, 1500 Valley River Drive, Suite 100, Eugene, OR 97401. Related web sites include their student site, GetCollegeFunds.org.

Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is the state secondary market and guarantor in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia. For more information, call 1-800-343-1809 or 1-717-720-3100, or write to 1200 N 7th Street, Harrisburg PA 17102-1444.

Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority (RIHEAA), established 1977, is the state student loan guarantee agency for Rhode Island. For more information, call 1-800-922-9855 or 1-401-736-1100, TDD 1-401-734-9481, fax 1-401-732-3541, write to RIHEAA, 560 Jefferson Blvd., Warwick, RI 02886 or send email to info@riheaa.org or loans@riheaa.org.

South Carolina State Education Assistance Authority, also known as the South Carolina Student Loan Corporation (SCSLC), is a secondary market and guarantor for student loans in South Carolina. SCSLC was established in 1974. They offer Stafford, PLUS, Consolidation and private education loans. For more information, call 1-800-347-2752.

Student Loan Guarantee Foundation of Arkansas (SLGFA), established 1966, is the student loan guarantee agency for Arkansas. For more information, call 1-800-622-3446, fax 1-501-688-7675, write to SLGFA, 219 South Victory Street, Little Rock, AR 72201-1884, or send email to slgfa@slgfa.org.

Student Loans of North Dakota (SLND) is the state student loan guarantee agency for North Dakota. They are administered by the Bank of North Dakota (BND), an education lender. For more information, call 1-800-554-2717 or 1-701-328-5753, fax 1-701-328-5716, TDD 1-800-643-3916, write to SLND, PO Box 5524, Bismarck ND 58506-5524, or send email to bndsl@state.nd.us.

Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC), established 1974, is the designated state student loan guarantee agency in Tennessee. For more information, call 1-800-257-6526 (out of state) or 1-800-447-1523 (in state) or 1-615-741-1346, fax 1-615-741-6101, write to TSAC, 404 James Robertson Parkway, Suite 1950, Nashville, TN 37243-0820, or send email to TSAC.aidinfo@state.tn.us

Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation (TG) is a student loan guarantor located in Texas. For customer service, call 1-800-845-6267 or send email to cust.assist@tgslc.org. For more information, call 1-800-TG-LOANS (1-800-252-9743), TDD 1-512-219-4560, or write to TGSLC, PO Box 83100, Round Rock, TX 78683-3100. Related web sites include Adventures in Education, a site that provides information about career planning, school selection, and college funding for students, parents, teachers, counselors, and financial aid administrators.

USA Funds, also known as United Student Aid Funds (USAF), is a national guarantor of student loans and the designated guarantor for Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada and Wyoming. It is the nation's largest education loan guarantor. SMS Hawaii, the student loan secondary market for Hawaii, is an affiliate of USA Funds. For more information, call 1-888-272-5543 or send email to contact@usafunds.org.

Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority (UHEAA) is a student loan guarantor and secondary market for Utah. UHEAA is a subsidiary of the Utah State Board of Regents. Lenders who sell their loans to UHEAA typically offer repayment incentives that include a 0% default fee, a 0% origination fee, a 1.25% interest rate reduction for automatic direct debit of monthly payments, and a 2% interest rate reduction after 48 months of on-time payments. For more information, call 1-877-336-7378 or 1-801-321-7200, fax 1-801-321-7299, TDD 1-801-321-7130, write to Board of Regents Building, The Gateway, 60 South 400 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84101-1284, or send email to uheaa@utahsbr.edu.

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC), established 1965, is a secondary market and guarantee agency for student loans in Vermont. For loan information, call 1-800-798-8722 or 1-802-655-4050. For more information, call 1-800-642-3177 or 1-802-655-9602, fax 1-802-654-3765, TDD 1-802-654-3766, write to PO Box 2000, Winooski VT 05404, or send email to info@vsac.org.

Private Education Loan Guarantee Agencies

Note that with the exception of TERI, guarantors of private student loans are not specialized to just private student loans. There is no requirement that a lender use a third party guarantor with its private student loans. Many lenders self-insure their loans.

ReliaMax Surety Company acquired HEMAR Insurance Corporation of America (HICA) from Sallie Mae in July 2006. HEMAR was founded in 1986. For more information, call 1-866-263-7400, write to ReliaMax, 2300 E. 54th Street North, Sioux Falls, SD 57104 or send email to info@reliamax.com .

The Education Resources Institute (TERI) is a national guarantor of private education loans, established in 1985. For more information, call 1-800-255-TERI (8374) or 1-617-426-0681, fax 1-888-FAX TERI (329-8374), write to PO Box 312, Boston, MA 02117 or 31 St. James Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02116, or send email to custserv@teri.org.

TERI supports the Higher Education Information Center (HEIC), which provides free information and counseling regarding careers, education programs and financial aid. HEIC is based at the Boston Public Library and operates the Career and Learning Line (CALL) toll-free hotline (1-800-442-1171) for Massachusetts students to find out information about financial aid, college, and careers.

Other guarantors of private student loans include:

 

 
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