For Immediate Release
May 7, 2014

Contact: Tara Payne
(603) 227-5318
800-525-2577
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GSM&R Adopts “Theory of Exceptional Service”

Concord, NH - Granite State Management & Resources (GSM&R) was established in 1986 to assume administration and loan servicing of federal and private student loan programs. Most recently, GSM&R became a subcontractor for NH Higher Education Loan Corporation, a not-for-profit federal contractor of the U.S. Department of Education, to service the William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan Program. "While GSM&R has always taken great pride in offering each borrower the highest level of service to help them successfully repay their loans, the federal contract has enabled us to formalize our approach," according to Senior VP of Servicing Operations, Christine Williams. The result is what GSM&R refers to as its "Theory of Exceptional Service." As Williams describes it, "In this era, it is the combination of our sophisticated project, information technology and personnel management that is more important than ever to service student loan borrowers." Cross-functional GSM&R team members worked together to establish the Theory of Exceptional Service. The servicing philosophy focuses in on three components that are the most critical contributors to success for internal and external customers: metrics, counseling and convenience.

According to Nikki Twombly of Servicing Risk Management, it is management’s continuous emphasis on counseling and instruction which enables GSM&R’s team of professionals to best support student borrowers. "We approach the work with an education-mindset, always focused on continuous improvement and effective communication." As a high-performance call center, borrowers benefit from a highly‐trained team of student loan repayment advisors. New staff members undergo an intensive training period to ensure familiarity with the student loan process and knowledge about the student aid programs GSM&R and partner organizations administer. New employees also benefit from professional mentoring and ongoing training to ensure that they remain knowledgeable about any regulatory, process or school‐based changes. Training includes the mechanics of applying for federal aid and parent loans, the loan process, repayment options, default aversion techniques and customer service and communication strategies. Advisors learn techniques for counseling borrowers on repayment options, deferments and forbearances, consolidation, default prevention and loan rehabilitation.

GSM&R employs regular website and social media monitoring, evaluating in-bound and out-bound call data, sharing best practices or seeking qualitative feedback from staff. Throughout the student loan lifecycle, GSM&R uses metrics to improve its processes and ensure effective communication with student loan borrowers. GSM&R’s corporate culture also provides a strong focus on the following relevant factors; security and protection of information, enforcement of integrity and ethical values, commitment to competence, communication of information, identification and assessment of risk, and monitoring of requirements and controls.

According to Williams, "Personalized service is invaluable, but we realize that in this hyper-connected age, customers rely on systems and processes that make life easier." Whether by assigning specialists to each of its loan portfolios, using advanced telephonic and web-based systems, and spending hundreds of hours training staff, GSM&R is seeing positive results which affirm that its Theory of Exceptional Service is encouraging repayment success and preventing student loan default.

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Granite State Management & Resources (GSM&R), one of the nonprofit NHHEAF Network Organizations, was established in 1986 to assume administration and loan servicing of federal and private student loan programs. GSM&R contracts with NH Higher Education Assistance Foundation (NHHEAF) and New Hampshire Higher Education Loan Corporation (NHHELCO) to provide financial management, data processing and personnel/facilities administration. Most recently, GSM&R became a subcontractor for NH Higher Education Loan Corporation, a not-for-profit federal contractor of the U.S. Department of Education, to service the William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan Program. Its nationally recognized loan servicing expertise is a source of pride.