MEFA BLOG
MEFA 529 student loans for college

Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority
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MEFA information for financial aid professionals 

 

 

General, Login, and Profile Settings: 

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What are the requirements for my password?
Passwords must be at least 8 characters and include at least 1 lowercase letter, 1 uppercase letter, and 1 number.  You may not use symbols or other special characters. 
 

 

May I reuse my passwords?
Yes, however, for security reasons the system will remember up to 3 recent passwords and not allow you to reuse them.
 

 

Why does my password expire after 90 days?
MEFA recognizes the sensitive nature of the activity at www.mefa.org, including the ability to view MEFA loan data, disbursement data, and in some cases certification of those loans, and we are committed to protecting personal information. We use SSL encryption to protect data as it travels along its path to your desktop. Periodic password changes offer some protection of the data once it reaches your office. View our privacy policy to learn more.
 

 

How can I change my password?
You can change your password by clicking on the “Change Password” link on the bottom right of the side bar. You will need your current username and password. You may change your password as often as you like. If you have any problems, give us a call at 800.842.1531, ext. 502.  

 

What should I do if I can't remember my password?
New!  You may reset your own password online.  On the welcome page, click “Forgot Password”.  You will be asked to provide your username and to answer a security question.  A temporary password will be emailed to you.  When you enter your username and temporary password, you’ll be prompted to create a new password.  If you have any trouble, call us at 800.842.1531, ext. 502 for assistance. 

 

After I apply for security to the College Administration data, how will I find out my new ID?
MEFA will contact you with your login and password, usually within 24 hours of receipt of your security request form. 

 

What does "User ID is locked out" mean?
It means that you have tried to login more than three times unsuccessfully. Call us at 800.842.1531, ext. 502 and we will reset your password. 

 

How do I log out?
You may click the log out button at the top right corner of the side bar.  Also, closing your browser automatically clears out your session. Please remember to close your browser after you have accessed your student data, especially if you share computers within your organization. 

 

May I change my security question?
You can change your security question by clicking on the link Security Question on the bottom right on the side bar. You will need your current login username and password. You may change your security question as often as you like. If you have any problems, give us a call at 800.842.1531, ext. 502.
 

 

May I use a web browser other than Internet Explorer?
Yes! You may now use Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and other browsers in addition to Internet Explorer to certify MEFA loans.  Please note: This site is best viewed using Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0, or Apple Safari 4.0 at a screen resolution of 1280 x 1024 or higher. Firefox and Chrome are also supported. Please contact us if you are having difficulty logging in. 

 

School Administrator Menu 

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Why can’t I click on the options on the school administrator menu page? 

You may have access to more than one branch code for your school.  Please enter an eight digit Federal School + Branch code and click Get School.  One you select a school your options should be enabled. 

 

How do I find the Application ID for my students’ loans? 
The Application ID (also called “IntID”) is displayed on the student’s loan documents in the top right corner.  We encourage you to take every opportunity to use identifiers other than the SSN to safeguard customers’ privacy.
 

 

 

Loan Status 

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How do I download my Loan Status data into Excel?
Click on the download link found at the top of the report on the left side. When you choose to download Loan Status data to your desktop via Excel, the file created will be named differently each time you download data. You will still be able to change the name of the downloaded file when you save it to your desktop or network. 

 

How do I change the criteria and get new results for my search?
On the right corner of any light blue header bar, you will see a linked “Open/Close” indicator with an arrow pointing up or down.  You may click on the link to expand the section and view details. 

 

Can I see all search results listed on one page instead of limiting number of rows displayed to 25, 50, or 100 records per page?
Displaying the data across multiple pages helps us keep system response times reasonable.  If you wish to see full disbursements or loan lists you may download data and review/sort in Excel. 

 

What’s new about the Loan Status Report? 

  1. You may retrieve all loan data, select data within a date range, or select loans with a specific status. 
  2. When you download data, you may mask all but the last 4 digits of the SSNs as a privacy safeguard. 
  3. The status of the loan documents is displayed. 
  4. Download process no longer includes any popups. 

 

Certifications 

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What's new in Certifications? 

  1. You may cancel a loan with a single click, and are no longer required to enter data for that loan. 
  2. You may not cancel and certify loans in the same group.  The system will warn you if you try to include a cancellation with a group of certifications. 
  3. Pre-fill is a new feature when certifying multiple loans.  You may select one or more loans to certify, enter a loan period, cost of attendance, and/or disbursement dates shared by all the selected loans, then enter the values once rather than repeatedly. Please note that you may not pre-fill Graduation Dates and Grade Levels.  These values are critical to the timing of loan repayment, and require individual attention. 
  4. When entering a Loan Period or Graduation date, you must now enter the “/” forward slash separator. 
  5. You may review history for each loan – date and username associated with each action starting with the initial certification.  

May I request email reminders to let me know when I have loans ready to certify? 

Yes.  You may request to receive emails by selecting “Email Notifications” in the “My Profile Settings” section on the bottom of the right side-bar. 

 

How are the records on my Certification List sorted?
Loans are sorted by name only.

 

What format should I use in entering Graduation Dates and Loan Periods?
You should enter data for Month and Year only (no day) in the following format: mm/yyyy. We changed our data entry box from the previous system and now ask you to type in the forward slash “/” when entering the date. We made the change to align with the more standard practice in the industry.

Please note that all Loan Period Start dates will become the first day of the specified month, and the Loan Period End and Graduation dates will become the last day of the specified month.
 

 

How do I find out who certified a loan?
When you open up the detail page for any loan, there are two tabs – the right tab is “History”. Each transaction is listed, with a date and username associated. Please note that some transactions are noted as “system” transactions because they are completed by a specific system process, even though the first request is made by a school user. For example, a cancellation will display as a “system” transaction. 

 

How can I be sure that my certifications were submitted successfully?
While your certifications are processing, you will see each student’s name listed. Once the system has successfully completed processing the certification for that student, a green box should appear. Once all certifications are complete, the system will allow you to return to certifying loans. If any of the certifications do not complete, the box will turn red, and you will have the opportunity to resubmit. 

 

Why might my certification not process (red instead of green icon)?
Since the transactions are updating live against the loan transaction system rather than in nightly batches, it is occasionally possible that the student’s loan record may be open for updates or review at the time you are certifying. If the record is being accessed by another system user, it may not be updated. If you have concerns about a certification that is not completing, please contact MEFA at 800-842-1531 ext 502. 

 

Why would I be prompted to login again?
There are two possible reasons: 

  1. Your connection to the MEFA website may have been briefly interrupted due to local or external communication problems. 
  2. You may have exceeded the timeout limits for your session (more than 30 minutes without a save on the Certification or Update screens). If you suspect for any reason that you may be interrupted while you are certifying loans online, we recommend that you break up your certification entries into small groups, and in effect save your work frequently. 

A student's eligibility has increased or decreased after I certified the loan. Can I make changes once the loan is certified?
If there has not been a disbursement yet you may go online (either through the View Loan Status page or Update Loan page) and change the certified loan amount, disbursement amounts, and adjust disbursement dates. 

 

Once the first disbursement has gone out you will be able to modify any subsequent disbursements, also through the View Loan Status page or Update Loan page. 

 

Once the loan is in a fully disbursed status you will not be able to make any changes. 

  

 

Disbursement 

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Where can I see pending disbursements?
You can see pending disbursements by clicking on the students name from the View Loan Status page, or by looking up the individual loan via the Loan Update page. 

 

Is summary data (total by date) downloadable?
Summary data is for quick reference view only. It isn't downloadable.
 

 

Can I select more than one disbursement week for display or print?
Yes. You may enter start and end dates representing a range of up to 90 days (approximately 12 weeks).   Disbursement rosters are available for 1 year prior to today’s date.  Remember that when you download, you may choose to mask all but the last 4 digits of the Social Security Numbers to protect students’ privacy. 

 

How do I reformat Social Security numbers after I download my data?
SSN values are displayed as numbers, and any leading zeroes will be truncated when you view the file in Excel. However, the values remain available behind the scenes, and you can format the field to display all nine characters. Highlight the SSN column; go to Format; Select Cells; within the Number folder, choose Custom. Type nine zeroes in the available box (000000000), and click OK. The field will display all nine digits of the SSN. 

 

Do you have any other suggestions for successful handling of downloaded Disbursement Roster files?
When you are naming a downloaded file, you may find it useful to indicate the disbursement dates represented within the file for later reference. 

 

We recommend that you coordinate with coworkers to avoid multiple downloads and storage of the same information. 

 

Refunds 

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We sent MEFA a refund for a student's loan, but now it appears that the student is eligible for the money after all. Can you re-disburse the loan?
MEFA can authorize ACS to re-disburse the funds.  Please contact MEFA at 800-842-1531 ext 502.
 

 

Where should I send a refund?
MEFA 160 Federal Street, 4th floor 

Boston, MA, 02110 

 

Can we send refunds electronically?
At this time, we are not able to process refunds electronically for our MEFA Loans. 

 

Access MEFA's Loan Status Report, up-to-date MEFA Loan information.
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Please note: This site is best viewed using at minimum, Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0, or Apple Safari 4.0, Firefox 4.0, Chrome 9.0 and at a screen resolution of 1280 x 1024 or higher. Please contact us if you are having difficulty logging in.

 
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