Education launches e-signature app for borrowers

Education launches e-signature app for borrowers

By Preeti Vasishtha

GCN Staff


JULY 9—The Office of Student Financial Assistance has launched an electronic-signature option for the 13 million student loan applications it receives each year.

The initiative will let borrowers using the Federal Family Education Loan and William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan programs sign for the loans online using a personal identification number issued by the Education Department. Applicants will be able to fill out the forms online and sign them digitally; no mailing of paper applications or signature forms will be necessary.

'Our goal is to make financial aid available to students, and advances like this one make the aid process faster and more convenient for students without compromising the quality and reliability of the application process,' Education Secretary Rod Paige said.

Borrowers will fill out forms on lenders' Web pages using Secure Sockets Layer encryption to protect the information, an Education spokeswoman said.

The lender sites will then redirect borrowers to another site where four authentication factors'name, birth date, Social Security number and PIN'will be validated, she said.

After validation, the borrowers return once again to the lender sites, which then walk the applicants through the required steps, recording each stage of the process in an electronic file.

At the end of the process, the lender sites supply the borrowers with an Adobe Portal Document Format file of the completed promissory note.

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