A National Student Lender hires DecisivEdge to design, develop, implement and support a custom School Certification and Loan Disbursement Solution.

Challenge: 

A growth oriented student lending company wanted to replace an off-the-shelf private student loan certification and disbursement platform with a customized and highly configurable solution that offered system integration with third party loan origination, certification, servicing, and payment processing. In keeping with the client’s mission to ease the process of obtaining a private student loan and simplifying the customary lengthy application process, the company sought to streamline the entire process.
The client’s existing platform lacked the ability to seamlessly integrate with third party processes and was challenged with:

  • Managing information flow effectively, particularly in tracking status changes over time and the communication of application status to appropriate parties.
  • Incorporating CommonLine file transfer and processing protocols and formats consistently because third-party platforms integrate CommonLine in different ways causing schools to receive incomplete or inaccurate loan information.
  • Customizing, expanding and adapting the solution to include capabilities such as compliance and payment processing automation, a loan management web portal, a new parent student loan, a student loan refinance and consolidation platform, and designing and building a loan sale module.

Solution: 

DecisivEdge applied its business process and design experience to develop, test, and implement a school certification and loan disbursement solution.  Highly interdependent processes were constructed to improve the management and timely flow of student loan information between the integrated systems.

The DecisivEdge team brought to bear its extensive knowledge of CommonLine file specifications maintained by the National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER).  A database and related connectors were written to systematically facilitate compliance “checkpoints” and sharing of process critical data. This solution additionally enabled the merging of data with a third-party loan origination platform and distribution processors through adoption of mandated industry specific CommonLine file transfer protocols and formats.  Specifically, this custom solution integrated processes with ELM, Great Lakes, ilink, and a third-party payment platform to facilitate the distribution of funds via traditional checks or electronic payments (ACH) to educational institutions:

  • A school certification and loan disbursement management web portal was developed for use by financial aid officers in partnership with educational institutions resulting in improved system interface controls.
  • A consumer-friendly parent student loan product  was created and integrated into the system allowing parents to apply for loan on behalf of their student and receive an incremental amount for incidental expenses.
  • The student loan refinance and consolidation product was integrated with one of the largest student loan servicing providers in the country to augment the available range of financing options.

Results: 

DecisivEdge successfully replaced the client’s existing student certification and loan disbursement platform with a tailored and flexible solution designed to allow for future enhancements and customization.

Configuring this platform to integrate with various third party origination, servicing, school certification platforms, and disbursement processors has significantly improved the management of student information, making it feasible to track status changes in real time, improve reporting and updating capabilities ensuring significant improvement in customer satisfaction.

The DecisivEdge team rapidly applied an understanding of the intricacies of the business and CommonLine file formats to create a solution that recognizes and complies with required key operating and control standards.
Implementation of the customized student loan management web portal significantly improved the coordination of student financing with educational institutions and enhanced the reporting for schools not previously leveraging the services of third party lenders.  Introduction of the new parent student loan product has increased access and enabled consumers to engage more actively throughout the student lending process. The added features of incorporating student refinancing and consolidation products has established additional functionality and financing options sought by many consumers.

DecisivEdge provided a solution that was flexible, efficient, and comprehensive.  As a result, the lender was able to exceed first year total student loan volume goals.


To read more about our experience with Student Lenders, click here to view our Student Lending Spotlight page.