Who is Trellis Company (formerly Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation) and why should you care?
In the past, the answer for most people would have been that it could provide education to help you help better manage your student loans and finances.
But recent announcements from the Department of Education could significantly increase the role that Trellis Company plays in the student loan industry moving forward.
In June, Trellis was named as one of the five companies that will service federal students loans in the future "Next Gen FSA" student loan environment. In today’s post, you will learn who Trellis Company is and how they might help you with your student loans if you live in Texas.
Trellis Company: What You Should Know
Trellis Company is a 501(c)(3) non-profit company that helps student borrowers successfully pay back their student loans.
If you are a student or borrower who lives in Texas, you may have known Trellis Company by another name: Texas Guaranteed Student Loans.
As their former name suggests, they mainly help students in the state of Texas with student loan repayment needs.
How Trellis Company Can Help You
Education + Coaching
One of the ways Trellis Company helps you is through education. The Trellis Student Financial Education Program is offered at no cost to colleges in Texas.
Community-based programs that focus on helping students with accessing higher education resources can also get the folks from Trellis to give educational talks. For their educational events for colleges and community-based programs, Trellis covers:
- Smart borrowing
- Spending your student loans
- Saving and investing
- How to plan for the workforce
- Monitoring your loan servicers, credit score, and identity so you can avoid scams and theft
The person in charge of coordinating such educational events would simply have to get in touch with Trellis via phone or email to get the ball rolling.
One of the reasons I started this blog was because I encountered so many people struggling with student loans and overall personal finance education. Most people don’t get proper personal finance education until it is too late.
And so I am all for a company that wants to educate the masses on money and student loans while helping them access the higher education they need to move forward in life.
If your organization is on the fence about this, it is time to get off the fence. With the average college student graduating with $33,000 in student loan debt, education goes a long way to relieve some of that stress.
Coaching And On-Demand Webinars
Trellis also provides student loan counseling for when you first start college and when you are done with your education. There is also an education module that covers the parent PLUS loan program.
Trellis also has certified financial coaches who can provide you with student-centered coaching while you are in school and after. Coaches can help you with:
- Money management: learn spending, budgeting, and developing healthy financial habits.
- Financial aid: learn what your financial aid options are, how much to borrow, how to complete your FAFSA forms, and your options for loan repayment.
- Academic and career support: learn school/work/life balance, career path options, time management skills, and the employment opportunities available for your major.
You can even set it up so you chat with a private coach. Or if you learn better in a private setting and at your own pace, Trellis has on-demand webinars you can watch whenever.
Helping You Repay Your Student Loans
Trellis Company can also help you repay your student loans. If you received a federal Direct Loan, the federal Perkins Loan, or a state loan (in Texas) or a private one, you can use Trellis as a loan manager to help you keep all your payments in one place.
One of the challenges people run into with repaying student loans is that they can't find their loan servicers don’t know where to send their payments. Trellis eliminates this problem and gives you a “one-stop, pay-it-all” avenue. It has the myTrellis portal where you can make your payments by card. You could also mail a check directly to them each payment cycle.
Of course, setting up these kinds of payments with Trellis will not happen automatically. You will still have to make arrangements for your student loans to be held by Trellis.
If you're looking for contact information for loan servicers, this page on the Trellis website is a good place to begin. (Scroll down to “ED Loan Servicers.”) You can also get in touch with Trellis if you find out that your loan is in default. They have a collections department that may be able to arrange for favorable payment terms for your loans.
If there are extenuating reasons why you are unable to pay your student loans (i.e. the school closing before you completed your degree program), you can contact Trellis for advice on how to navigate the situation.
Trellis Company Set To Become A New Direct Loan Servicer
In June 2020, the Department of Education announced that it had awarded five companies with new federal loan servicing contracts for its Direct Loan program. Those five companies were:
- Edfinancial Services
- F.H. Cann & Associates
- MAXIMUS Federal Services
- Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA)
- Trellis Company
The announcement came as a surprise for two reasons:
- Many long-standing student loan servicers were not offered new contracts, including Navient, Nelnet, Great Lakes, and more.
- Of the five companies given contracts, three have zero experience servicing the Direct Loan program, including Trellis Company.
All of the existing federal loan servicers can continue to service loans until December 2021 or March 2022. And it's important to note that new presidential leadership and/or a new Secretary of Education could cause these plans to change.
But, for now, Trellis Company is set to become one of only five companies servicing 40+ million federal student loan accounts in the future. So if you have an account that's currently serviced by a company that has an expiring contract, it could be feasibly moved to Trellis Company sometime over the next year.
How To Contact Trellis Company Customer Service
Phone number: (800) 252-9743 or (512) 219-5700
Hours of operation: 8-5, Mon–Thur (CT)
General mailing address:
301 Sundance Parkway
Round Rock, TX 78681
Address for sending payments:
P.O. Box 659602
San Antonio, TX, 78265-9602
Email/online contact form: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you live in Texas and you would like a “one-stop, pay-it-all” solution for your student loans, Trellis might be a tool that will help you.
They appear to be really committed to educating people on their money which wins them a vote in my book. Their commitment to education also makes me hopeful that, if they do service Direct Loans in the future, the level service they'd provide may be an upgrade over other current servicers.
You can learn more about working with Trellis Company by visiting their website at https://www.trelliscompany.org.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.