|Doc. Number||Article Title||Effective Date||Version|
|FHC-XX||Retrieve Loans and Programs||December 1, 2023||0.5|
This article was developed to explain how to retrieve loans and programs from within the CRM. It also explains how to use our internal calculator for generating student loan payment plan estimates and some FAQs about this feature.
Forth has developed an internal calculator for generating student loan payment plan estimates. The calculator was developed using the information provided at studentaid.gov. Below is an article explaining the calculator and some FAQs about this feature.
Start by clicking "Retrieve Loans and Programs" from the client dashboard or "Quick Quote" from the Contacts tab of the CRM.
On the page that opens next, click the "Student Loans" button as seen in the image below.
How it works...
1. Upload the My Student Data File or pull it from NSLDSFAP.ed.gov
First, the calculator uses the data file available at NSLDSFAP.ed.gov. The "My Student Data File" is a text file provided by the NSLDS containing the current Loan data they have on file. You can pull the information from NSLDS.ed.gov using the FSA username and password, and click the green "Get Loan File" button (see the left side of the image below)...
...OR you can upload the file directly into the calculator by first clicking the "Choose File" button to select the loan file. You can download an example of the file here; Click Here.
Now that the file has been uploaded, the additional information saved for the contact will appear along the left-hand side as with the old loan-pulling system. If you wish to save your work and revisit the calculator at a later time, click on the blue "Save As New" button. You can also change the information here and re-calculate the estimates based on the changes you've made to the data. If you have confirmed the information is correct and you wish to proceed, click the "Calculate & Save" button.
3. Plan Display
Now the loan data and the estimated payments will be displayed.
You can then click on "Details" to see further information about the particular plan and see future estimated payments.
Details are available for the Standard, Extended Fixed, REPAYE, PAYE, IBR, and IBR for New Borrowers.
- For income-based plans, you can adjust the AGI growth to see how it affects the future estimated payments, plan length, and forgiveness amount. The U.S. Department of Education states it assumes your AGI will grow by 5% each year and that the Poverty Level increases by 3.3%. We have defaulted the AGI growth to 5% but if you feel the AGI will not grow at this rate you can adjust and see how it affects the plan estimates.
- Each Details page also displays the mathematical equation used to do the calculations.
- Income-based plans calculate your payment based on a percentage of discretionary income. Discretionary income is the difference between AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) and 150% of the Poverty Level.
- The Standard, Extended Fixed, Graduated, and Extended Graduated initial payments all use a standard mortgage equation for calculations.
- Future payment estimates are not available for Graduated, Extended Graduated, and ICR plans.
Once ready you can click the blue "Save Data" button under the left side of the estimated payment program table.
Options for Collecting the My Student Data File...
Downloading the My Student Data File
To access the MyStudentData Download function, the student must first log in to fafsa.gov using his or her FSA ID and password. The student should then:
Select “Learn more” under the “Create a shareable file with some of your student information” page text;
Click the “MyStudentData Download” option;
Select a specific processed transaction to download;
Choose to download the file in English or Spanish; and
Designate a file location for downloading.
A warning will display, alerting the student that the file should not be downloaded to a public computer. The file is then downloaded to the specified location as a comma-separated values (CSV) file. Once this is complete, your client should email it to a representative to upload to the loan calculator OR if their account uses the Customer Portal, they can upload it from there, as seen in the next section below.
Accounts utilizing the Customer Portal will also be able to have clients upload the "My Student Data File" through the portal.
After uploading the file, additional information will need to be added to calculate plan estimates and displayed directly in the portal.
For more information or to activate the Customer Portal for your account please contact email@example.com.
External Form Request
You can also set up an external form request to have the client upload the student loan file using a secure channel. The file will then be loaded onto the internal calculator ready to be used for calculations. To set this up, please visit our article on setting up an external form request to collect the My Student Data File; Click Here.
Why are the calculations for the Standard, Graduated, Extended Fixed, and Extended Graduated plans slightly off from quotes provided by studentaid.gov?
According to information provided at studentaid.gov, the payment amount is calculated using a weighted average of the interest rates on all loans being consolidated. However, when using the repayment estimator available on studentaid.gov they will round the interest rate up instead of calculating the weighted average interest rate; instead of using 6.55%, they will round to 6.75%.
A "weighted average" means the interest rate of a loan will factor into the calculation based on its percentage of total debt. For example, if you have two loans totaling $70,000, one loan for $50,000, and one for $20,000; when calculating the weighted interest rate the $50,000 loan's rate will count more towards the average than the $20,000.
- Why are there no details for the Graduated, Extended Graduated, and ICR plans?
We can not provide an accurate calculation for those future payments at this time. If you would like to provide information on doing so, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
After uploading the My Student Data file, does it get saved?
Yes, the file will be saved in the background and will be available the next time you go to calculate payment estimates.
Article Version History:
|0.1||11/23/2022||Updated hyperlinks and screenshots|
|0.2||06/30/2023||Updated screenshots to reflect the current user interface; made changes to Step 1 under "How it Works".|
|0.3||09/01/2023||Updated additional screenshots.|
|0.4||10/12/2023||Removed out-of-date reference to activate this feature.|
|0.5||12/01/2023||Fixed broken hyperlinks to studentaid.gov.|