This will be a case of “don’t shoot the messenger.” Everytime I get a call from someone who isn’t the borrower my stomach tightens up a bit. And it is all based on one thing, the online account.
Federal regulations only allow the borrower to be on the online account. No matter how ridiculous it may or may not sound to you, it is the situation. I will give you the reason why. Only the borrower is allowed to make changes to the account. This is the case even if they give a third party permission to talk about the account. Permission cannot be given to make changes or access the online account by anyone but the borrower. And since changes can easily be made by others while on the online account, it becomes a big no-no.
There is an exception of course (isn’t there always). If you are a Power of Attorney for the borrower, you are able to be on the online account as you have been authorized by the court to act on the borrower’s behalf. This is especially helpful if you are dealing with a military member and they want to have a spouse, parent, etc be responsible with a POA. But remember just doing the POA is not enough. In most cases, the servicer has to have received it, processed it and put it on the account in order for this to work.
I realize this is one of the more annoying rules, but rules are rules and we are just doing our best to avoid breaking federal law. Do remember though if you are a Parent, Spouse, or the child on a parent PLUS loan you can call in and get information on the account after a special authentication process. So there is always a way and as always we will do what we can (within the rules) to help!