New Research on Improving Communication with Student Loan Borrowers Finds that Mobile Devices Are Most Effective Tool
The National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) released the results of an online poll of current and former students, and found that the current methods used by federal servicers and collectors – phone calls to landlines and traditional mail – are ineffective for reaching borrowers. When asked about the most effective method of getting information, borrowers overwhelming selected e-mail, text message, and cell phone calls as their primary means of communication.
NCHER commissioned the Consumer Google Survey of 4,004 respondents, ranging in age from 18 to 44, to better understand the best method of communication for assisting struggling borrowers in repaying their federal student loans. The survey was conducted January 24-27, 2016, following Congressional passage of legislation amending the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to allow the federal government and its contractors to use predictive dialer technology, through a call, text, or automated message to a borrower’s cell phone. The Federal Communications Commission is currently in the process of developing a rulemaking package to carry out the new law, which is expected to be released later this month; the final regulation must be issued by early August.