PROTECTING YOUR PRIVACY IS IMPORTANT TO US. We want you to understand what information we collect and how we use it. This policy explains our standard for the collection, use, retention, and security of information about you.
Why We Collect Information
We collect information to determine your creditworthiness, to identify you as our customer so we can establish and better manage your accounts, and to comply with legal and regulatory requirements, and to enable you to apply for products or services.
We may also collect your personal information so that we can manage our outreach programs, create and offer you college planning products and services that can help you with the college planning process, and offer you loan products and services that can assist you with the college financing process.
What Information We Collect
Personal Information means personally identifiable information such as information you provide via forms, surveys, applications or other fields including name, postal or email addresses, telephone, fax or mobile numbers, or account numbers.
We may collect your personal information through our website and paper forms so that we can offer you college planning, financial literacy guidance, and educational financing products that can assist you as your prepare for college. Submitting your personal information to RISLA for these purposes is completely voluntary.
As part of providing you an educational loan, we also obtain “non-public personal information” which is information about you that is not publicly available. Such information includes, for example, account balances and payment history.
We may collect non-public personal information about you in the following ways:
- Information that you provide to us on applications or other loan forms, such as your name, address, e-mail address, birth date, and phone number, so we can identify you as a customer, get in touch with you about your account when necessary and generally maintain your account; your social security number or other identifying information that helps us prevent unauthorized access to use of your account and for accurate credit bureau reporting; and personal information which helps us process your application and identify products or services that may be of interest you.
- Information about your transactions with us or others, including but not limited to account balances and your payment history. We use this information to respond to your requests, service your accounts, and make recommendations or offers to you as we feel appropriate.
- Information we receive from third parties such as credit bureaus, for example your credit history and credit score. This information is used in processing loan applications, collecting accounts and determining eligibility for offers of other products or services.
- Your date of birth to help us monitor the success of our outreach programs.
How We Use Personal Information
We may use Personal Information:
- to respond to your inquiries and fulfill your requests;
- to send you important information regarding the Site, changes to our terms, conditions, and policies and/or other administrative information;
- to send you communications that we believe may be of interest to you;
- to personalize your experience on the Site by presenting products and offers tailored to you;
- to allow you to apply for one of our products (e.g., to prequalify for a loan) and evaluate your eligibility for such a product;
- to verify your identity and/or location (or the identity or location of your representative or agent) in order to allow access to your accounts, conduct online transactions and to maintain measures aimed at preventing fraud and protecting the security of account and Personal Information;
- for our business purposes, such as data analysis, audits, developing new products, enhancing our Site, improving our services, identifying usage trends and determining the effectiveness of our promotional campaigns;
- for risk control, to comply with laws and regulations and to comply with other legal process and law enforcement requirements.
What Information We Share
We will only share information as allowed by law and described in this policy. We will not sell your personal data under any circumstances.
In some circumstances, however, we may share your information with companies outside our organization, such as:
- Financial service providers. This includes companies that originate loans, service loans, guarantee loans, or process loan transactions FOR US, vendors that print, prepare, or send statements or other materials physically or electronically FOR US, and correspondent letters and computer systems programmers. This information may include:
- Your personal information for example, your name, address, and birth date, that you include on a loan application; and
- Information about your loan with us, for example, your monthly payment amount and loan balance; and
- Information we receive from credit bureaus, such as your creditworthiness and your payment history in the case your loan defaults and we are required to enlist a third party agency to assist in the collection of funds.
- Your School. We may share information with your school, including your personal information and information that you provide on your loan application, in order to obtain certification of your loan amount and verify the student’s enrollment status.
- Credit bureaus. Your personal information may be shared with credit bureaus to determine your creditworthiness or to occasionally review your credit.
- National Student Clearinghouse. Your information may be shared with the National Student Clearinghouse in order to verify your college enrollment information.
- Other service providers. Such companies may be used to help us make you aware of our products and services. These service providers will not receive your SSN, income information, credit information, or other personal financial information.
Our service providers receive limited information about you as necessary to perform their functions. They are always required to maintain the confidentiality of the information and we restrict their use to the purpose we authorize. They are not allowed to pass your information on to others for their own benefit.
Disclosing Personal Information of persons who have ceased to be customers of RISLA
When a relationship between RISLA and a customer has ended, the customer’s information is kept by us in compliance with our security procedures. This personal information will not be used unless the customer has opted in to receive information from us.
Legal and Other Situations
Sometimes the law or other circumstances requires us to disclose information about you to non-affiliated third parties. Some examples are: when you ask that we do so; when a guaranty agency, such as Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority, a school or the U.S. Department of Education needs the information in connection with your account; in response to subpoenas or court orders; with credit bureaus; or when we suspect fraud or criminal activity. The OPT OUT procedure does not apply to such disclosures.
Our Security Procedures
We take careful steps to safeguard customer information. We restrict access to your personal and account information to those employees who need to know that information to perform their jobs, and we provide regular training to our employees on privacy, information security, and their obligation to safeguard your information. We maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards that comply with federal and industry standards to protect your personal information and we regularly test those safeguards.
You can safeguard your personal information by taking a few simple precautions. Protect your account numbers, passwords, PIN’s, and customer access numbers. Never disclose confidential information to unknown callers. You should always use a secure browser and current virus detection software, and never open e-mail from unknown sources.
If you prefer that we do not share information about you with non-affiliated third parties, you may restrict information (other than those disclosures permitted by law) by mailing a written request, with your name, address, and account number to: Rhode Island Student Loan Authority, PO Box 81071, Warwick, R.I. 02888-0089 Attention: Information Security Officer, or by calling our toll free number at 1-800-758-7562.