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Borrower Assistance

Whether we are working with a borrower who makes each payment in full, on time or one who is facing financial difficulties that prevent student loan payments, we focus on providing friendly, accessible and top-notch customer service for all borrowers in repayment. Shortage-area workers enrolled in our programs also receive assistance with benefits. Iowa Student Loan supports the Education Finance Council's Guiding Principles (PDF). Throughout this report, you may choose to highlight these best practices or return to regular viewing.

Customer Service

Our customer-focused call center staff use a counseling approach to provide borrowers with repayment options and information in a clear manner applicable to their individual situation. Detailed repayment information is also available on our website at any time.

Borrowers consistently rate our customer service high in monthly surveys.

Beyond high ratings from our customers, we have received praise from regulators and trade associations for several of our best practices, including:

  • Pre-default counseling, including affordable temporary payment plans
  • Minimal to no fees (application, origination, prepayment, late)
  • Transparent loan information
  • Information for borrowers comparing the pros and cons of refinancing
  • Mandatory financial literacy for private loan borrowers

Loan Forgiveness in the Event of Death or Disability

In the unfortunate event of a borrower’s or cosigner’s death or permanent disability, we have policies in place to release cosigners from a loan obligation. In addition, we support Stop Taxing Death and Disability legislation that would put an end to a borrower’s (or a borrower’s estate's) tax liability on the amount forgiven.

Interest Reduction for Armed Forces

We continue to offer reduced interest rates of 0.00% on private student loans for service members while serving on active duty.

Who: 650 service members on active duty

What: 0.00% interest on private student loans owned by Iowa Student Loan or another participating lender

Duration: Through June 30, 2017

Total reduction: $500,000 in interest reductions for participating service members since 2001

Borrowers in Repayment

To ensure borrowers can successfully repay their student loans, we strive to provide the necessary resources, information and assistance. Our loan counselors currently provide customer service functions for nearly 170,000 borrowers from our office in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Loan Servicing

We provide customer service for borrowers with private and federal student loans under the name of Aspire Servicing Center.

Programs for Shortage-Area Workers

In recognition of their commitment to fill a need, we provide grant and forgiveness programs for college students and graduates who are working in shortage areas. For many years, our programs benefitted college graduates who filled career gaps in education and nursing. Although our focus has moved on with the onset of external funding programs, we continue to honor financial commitments to current participants.

Iowa Student Loan Nurse Educator Grant

Who: 128 nurse educators who are also graduate-level students

What: Grants to offset educational costs

Duration: Through fall 2016

Total grants awarded: More than $680,000

Loan Forgiveness for Nurses and Teachers

Who: Nurse educators, registered nurses and teachers filling specific shortage-area needs

What: Loan forgiveness on student loans

Duration: Through Aug. 20, 2017

Total amount forgiven: More than $5 million

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