BISMARCK, N.D. - North Dakota has the only state-owned bank, but changes are coming.
The Bank of North Dakota is getting out of the federal student loan business.
The bank announced it was selling and transferring its federal loans to the North Texas Higher Education Authority (NTHEA) Monday.
While the federal government recalled the student loan business back in 2010, this change affects 19,000 people.
1-800 numbers. We all have to call them, and most of us hate doing so.
A recent transaction with the Bank of North Dakota and a nonprofit organization in Texas, might add one more toll-free caller to your list.
“We basically knew that this was just a matter of time. At some point, this portfolio was going to decline to a point where we didn't have a critical mass of loans, said Eric Hardmeyer, President and CEO of the Bank of North Dakota.
The Bank decided to sell to the North Texas Higher Education Authority because of their high customer service values.
“The average speed time to respond, we have a goal of 60 seconds. And the last three months we've been around 25 seconds to get to phone calls,” said Phillip Wambsganss, Executive Director of NTHEA.
Hardmeyer says that as long as you are making your payments on time, you might not have to pick up the phone at all.
“The change really is if you have a federal loan from the Bank of North Dakota and you are making your payments then your loan gets sold to North Texas, there's not much difference,” said Hardmeyer.
Other than a change of address for when you send in your payment, Hardmeyer doesn't expect a lot of change.
The Bank of North Dakota is continuing its state-sponsored student loan program, but you cannot get a federal loan from there.
If you have any questions, you can call the Bank from 8 to 5 Monday through Friday at 701-328-5600.