PHEAA is looking for two Consumer Advocate Associates to join our team. This position is responsible for serving as an advocate for consumers in connection with the resolution of complaints received by PHEAA. This position will have primary responsibility for resolving, or assisting in the resolution of, complaints that have been escalated through the established enterprise complaint escalation process as well as any complaints received directly by the Office of Consumer Advocacy. This position requires the ability to perform extensive research and engage in strategic decision making. This position will be responsible for establishing and maintaining positive rapport with consumers and with management, including executive management, of all business units.
- Capture and understand problems or issues identified by consumers, gather information efficiently and recommend solutions for the resolution for the problems/issues and follow-through on resolution.
- Explain difficult and complex issues, and work to establish consensus, as appropriate, to promote goals/address consumer needs.
- Assist business units with the resolution of individual consumer complaints through strategic decision making and sound judgment, driven by strong and comprehensive research and analysis. Make, track and advance all necessary changes or adjustments through to resolution.
- Prepare and recommend to business units resolutions for escalated and complex consumer issues, including development of formal, customized written responses to consumers and high profile entities, such as executive management, clients, schools, Better Business Bureau, congressional/legislative leadership, Department of Education Ombudsman and other advocates, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
- Monitor outcomes for quality and alignment with goals and standards.
Assessment and Research
- Partner with relevant experts and stakeholders to gather research and investigate relevant details, facts and resolution opportunities.
- Identify trends, patterns, problems and potential improvements to consumer products and services, communications and experiences with primary focus on the consumer; propose and/or implement solutions.
- Anticipate consumer obstacles/issues/concerns and identify ways to avoid or improve to support consumer needs – prepare and evaluate solutions and impact while articulating strengths/weaknesses.
- Identify trends/patterns with respect to consumer concerns and issues. Recommend work efficiencies through process improvement techniques and work with management to implement.
- Collaborate with Legal and Compliance Services staff with respect to issues identified through complaints to determine if business unit policies, procedures, and practices are compliant with relevant statutes, regulations, sub-regulatory guidance and Agency contracts.
- Mentor and train designated business unit staff on appropriate resolution of consumer complaints.
- Resolve escalated issues with staff implementing initiatives/projects.
- Develop reports to use in daily processes and in support of projects.
Bachelor’s Degree and at least two years of experience handling escalated student loan account issues or any equivalent combination of experience and education.
Minimum of three years’ experience in student loan servicing/customer service.
- Advanced knowledge of and experience with the requirements of various student loan and grant programs.
- Strong customer service philosophy.
- Demonstrated research and investigation experience.
- Business, service and data analysis experience.
- Superior written and verbal communication skills and the ability to interact with diverse audiences.
- Solid problem solving, decision making and follow-through skills.
- Proven attention to detail and active listening skills.
- Proven resiliency.
- Effective time management, organization/prioritizing ability and the sound judgment required to perform these functions.
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and Lotus Notes, and ability to quickly become proficient with new or different computer systems and programs.
- Comfortable with communicating at all levels of an organization, including executive management.
Candidates will enjoy our comprehensive total rewards program offering Pennsylvania Employees Benefit Trust Fund (PEBTF) health/dental insurance and defined benefit plan, as well as life insurance, flexible spending accounts, tuition reimbursement, participation in a deferred compensation program, and generous paid vacations and holidays.
Created in 1963 by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) has evolved into one of the nation's leading student aid organizations. Today, PHEAA is a national provider of student financial aid services, serving millions of students and thousands of schools through its loan guaranty, loan servicing, financial aid processing, outreach, and other student aid programs.
PHEAA's earnings are used to support its public service mission and to pay its operating costs, including administration of the Pennsylvania State Grant and other state-funded student aid programs. PHEAA continues to devote its energy, resources, and imagination to developing innovative ways to ease the financial burden of higher education for students, families, schools, and taxpayers.
PHEAA conducts its student loan servicing activities nationally as American Education Services (AES) and FedLoan Servicing (FLS). #LI-BS1
PHEAA is an Equal Opportunity Employer