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At Least One Carrier Now Expressly Prohibits Debt Collection Text Campaigns



The accounts receivable management (ARM) industry learned some new terms just a few years ago: call blocking and call labeling. This year, the new term you need to be aware of is “text blocking.” It seems that at least one major carrier has declared debt collection texts off-limits, regardless of procedures or level of compliance.


insideARM recently received a copy of T-Mobile’s Code of Conduct (also referred to as the “Guidelines”), dated November 2020. The document is provided as a compliance and best practice guide to facilitate “high-quality, high-integrity business communications, not SPAM or unconsented messaging” by those who use the T-Mobile Commercial Messaging network.

T-Mobile’s stated goals are to:

  • Protect subscriber from unwanted messaging while providing growth for the messaging ecosystem;
  • Design minimal, common-sense policies;
  • Empower consumer choice;
  • Support transparency and open communication with businesses; and
  • Stay flexible, so that rules can adapt and evolve.

The Guidelines are meant to supplement the most recent CTIA Short Code Monitoring Handbook as well as the CTIA Messaging Principles and Best Practices (the “CTIA Handbook”) and state that where the two conflict, the T-Mobile Guidelines take precedence.

Non-compliance with the Guidelines may result in

  • Suspension of sending rights for a provisioned shortcode, longcode or Toll-Free numbers;
  • Restriction daily quota message buckets for 10DLC services;
  • Suspension of provisioning rights for new phone numbers; and/or
  • Suspension of all network services.

The Guidelines specifically outline definitions and consent requirements related to conversational, information, and promotional messages. For those unfamiliar, debt collection communications fall under the “information” category.

iA-Exhibit-Types of Messaging and Required Consent

The Guidelines also identify activities T-Mobile considers compliance flags, and which will be flagged and monitored for action:

  • High Opt-Out Rates – including a suggestion of immediate suspension (and potentially blocking of numbers) of a message campaign for opt-out rates greater than 4% opt-out within 24 hours.
  • Filter Evasion Assistance (sending strategies designed to evade SPAM controls) – including a prohibition of the practice of automatically providing a sender with new phone numbers to replace phone numbers blocked by a receiving network.
  • Dynamic Routing (each 10DLC, Shortcode, and Toll-Free number must have a single route in the delivery path to the destination phone number)
  • Number Cycling (the practice of using a number until it begins to show signs of deliverability degradation, then discarding the number for a new one).

Finally, the Guidelines specifically define “Disallowed Content”.

The following content categories are considered deceitful and nuisance campaigns which may result in high volumes of SPAM complaints on the T-Mobile network. Due to these issues, we will no longer support any campaign under the following categories, regardless of any prior approval. Messaging use cases that support the disallowed content outlined below may request an official exception in writing by T-Mobile through an official T-Mobile exception approval process. Any exception that existed before September 1, 2020, should be considered invalid.

Such categories include:

  • Payday Loans
  • Non-Direct Lenders
  • Debt Collection
  • Debt Consolidation
  • Debt Reduction
  • Credit Repair Programs
  • Cannabis
  • Illegal Prescriptions
  • Work from Home Programs
  • Job Alerts from 3rd Party Recruiting Firms
  • Risk Investment Opportunities
  • Gambling
  • Any other illegal content
  • Lead generation indicate the sharing of collected information with third parties
  • Campaign types are not in compliance with the recommendations of or prohibited by the CTIA
  • Campaign types not in compliance with the recommendations of or prohibited by the CTIA Messaging Principles and Best Practices – 2019 version

insideARM also received a copy of AT&T’s Code of Conduct, dated June 2020. Most of the guidelines are the same/similar, however, as of the version of the document we obtained, AT&T is not expressly prohibiting debt collection content. Their prohibited list (with any exceptions requiring written approval) is shorter than T-Mobile’s:

  • Loan advertisements with the exception of messages from direct lenders for secured loans
  • Credit repair
  • Debt relief
  • Work from home, ‘secret shopper,’ and similar advertising campaigns
  • Lead generation campaigns that indicate the sharing of collected information with third parties
  • Campaign types not in compliance with the recommendations of or prohibited by the CTIA Short Code Monitoring Handbook, Version 1.7 or later.

Sources tell insideARM that Verizon also wrestled with this issue in the past but has not taken the extreme position that T-Mobile has. Sprint (now owned by T-Mobile) has so far remained independent and not adopted the same policy, but MetroPCS (also owned by T-Mobile) has adopted it.

Debt collectors have been texting consumers for quite a while under certain circumstances, such as sending required payment reminders, and they follow all required rules and laws. Nonetheless, will these messages, specifically requested by consumers, now be blocked by T-Mobile and MetroPCS?

It seems text originators would be well-advised to discuss this matter with their platform provider to understand any potential impact. insideARM will continue to follow this matter. 

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Are Sallie Mae Student Loans Federal or Private?



When you hear the name Sallie Mae, you probably think of student loans. There’s a good reason for that; Sallie Mae has a long history, during which time it has provided both federal and private student loans.

However, as of 2014, all of Sallie Mae’s student loans are private, and its federal loans have been sold to another servicer. Here’s what to know if you have a Sallie Mae loan or are considering taking one out.

What is Sallie Mae?

Sallie Mae is a company that currently offers private student loans. But it has taken a few forms over the years.

In 1972, Congress first created the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) as a private, for-profit corporation. Congress gave SLMA, commonly called “Sallie Mae,” the status of a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) to support the company in its mission to provide stability and liquidity to the student loan market as a warehouse for student loans.

However, in 2004, the structure and purpose of the company began to change. SLMA dissolved in late December of that year, and the SLM Corporation, or “Sallie Mae,” was formed in its place as a fully private-sector company without GSE status.

In 2014, the company underwent another big adjustment when Sallie Mae split to form Navient and Sallie Mae. Navient is a federal student loan servicer that manages existing student loan accounts. Meanwhile, Sallie Mae continues to offer private student loans and other financial products to consumers. If you took out a student loan with Sallie Mae prior to 2014, there’s a chance that it was a federal student loan under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

At present, Sallie Mae owns 1.4 percent of student loans in the United States. In addition to private student loans, the bank also offers credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts to its customers, many of whom are college students.

What is the difference between private and federal student loans?

When you’re seeking financing to pay for college, you’ll have a big choice to make: federal versus private student loans. Both types of loans offer some benefits and drawbacks.

Federal student loans are educational loans that come from the U.S. government. Under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, there are four types of federal student loans available to qualified borrowers.

With federal student loans, you typically do not need a co-signer or even a credit check. The loans also come with numerous benefits, such as the ability to adjust your repayment plan based on your income. You may also be able to pause payments with a forbearance or deferment and perhaps even qualify for some level of student loan forgiveness.

On the negative side, most federal student loans feature borrowing limits, so you might need to find supplemental funding or scholarships if your educational costs exceed federal loan maximums.

Private student loans are educational loans you can access from private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. On the plus side, private student loans often feature higher loan amounts than you can access through federal funding. And if you or your co-signer has excellent credit, you may be able to secure a competitive interest rate as well.

As for drawbacks, private student loans don’t offer the valuable benefits that federal student borrowers can enjoy. You may also face higher interest rates or have a harder time qualifying for financing if you have bad credit.

Are Sallie Mae loans better than federal student loans?

In general, federal loans are the best first choice for student borrowers. Federal student loans offer numerous benefits that private loans do not. You’ll generally want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review federal funding options before applying for any type of private student loan — Sallie Mae loans included.

However, private student loans, like those offered by Sallie Mae, do have their place. In some cases, federal student aid, grants, scholarships, work-study programs and savings might not be enough to cover educational expenses. In these situations, private student loans may provide you with another way to pay for college.

If you do need to take out private student loans, Sallie Mae is a lender worth considering. It offers loans for a variety of needs, including undergrad, MBA school, medical school, dental school and law school. Its loans also feature 100 percent coverage, so you can find funding for all of your certified school expenses.

With that said, it’s always best to compare a few lenders before committing. All lenders evaluate income and credit score differently, so it’s possible that another lender could give you lower interest rates or more favorable terms.

The bottom line

Sallie Mae may be a good choice if you’re in the market for private student loans and other financial products. Just be sure to do your research upfront, as you should before you take out any form of financing. Comparing multiple offers always gives you the best chance of saving money.

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Tips to do some fall cleaning on your finances



Wealth manager, Harry Abrahamsen, has five simple ways to stay on top of the big financial picture.

PORTLAND, Maine — Keeping track of our financial stability is something we can all do, whether we have IRAs or 401ks or just a checking account. Harry J. Abrahamsen is the Founder of Abrahamsen Financial Group. He works with clients to create and grow their own wealth. Abrahamsen shares five financial tips, starting with knowing what you have. 

1. Analyze Your Finances Quarterly or Biannually

You want to make sure that your long-term strategy is congruent with your short-term strategy. If the short-term is not working out, you may need to adjust what you are doing to make sure your outcome produces the desired results you are looking to accomplish. It is just like setting sail on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You know where you want to go and plot your course, but there are many factors that need to be considered to actually get you across and across safely. Your finances behave the exact same way. Check your current situation and make sure you are taking into consideration all of the various wealth-eroding factors that can take you completely off course.

With interest rates very low, now might be a good time to consider refinancing student loans or mortgages, or consolidating credit card debt. However, do so only if you need to or if you can create a positive cash flow. To ensure that you are saving the most by doing so, you must look at current payments, excluding taxes and insurance costs. This way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.

The most important things to look for when reviewing your credit report is accuracy. Make sure the reporting agencies are reporting things actuary. If it doesn’t appear to be reporting correct and accurate information, you should consult with a reputable credit repair company to help you fix the incorrect information.

4. Savings and Retirement Accounts

The most important thing to consider when reviewing your savings and retirement accounts is to make sure the strategies match your short-term and long-term investment objectives. All too often people end up making decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people, under different circumstances. Having a sound strategy in place will allow you to view your finances with a macro-economic lens vs a micro-economic view. Stay the course and adjust accordingly from a risk and tax standpoint.

RELATED: Financial lessons learned through the pandemic

A great tip for lowering utility bills or car insurance premiums: Simply ask! There may be things you are not aware of that could save you hundreds of dollars every month. You just need to call all of the companies that you do business with to find out about cost-cutting strategies. 

RELATED: Overcome your fear of finances

To learn more about Abrahamsen Financial, click here

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How to Get a Loan Even with Bad Credit



Sana pwedeng mabura ang bad credit history as quickly and easily as paying off your utility bills, ‘no? Unfortunately, it takes time. And bago mo pa maayos ang bad credit mo, more often than not, kailangan mo na namang mag-avail ng panibagong loan. 

Good thing you can still get a loan even with bad credit, kahit na medyo limited ang options. How do you get a loan if you have bad credit? Alamin sa short guide na ito. 

For more finance tips, visit Moneymax.



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