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Getting Started—
Schools New to Direct Loans

Direct Loan Participation

If a school has the Direct Loan Program listed as an approved program on its Eligibility and Certification Approval Report (ECAR), we will complete some basic setup actions that are necessary for the school to process Direct Loans via the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System.

Note: If a school is currently eligible and certified for other FSA programs, but it does not have the Direct Loan Program listed as an approved program on its ECAR, the school must first submit a revised electronic application or E-App.

If a school has never participated in any of the FSA programs, it must first submit an application through the Electronic Application for Program Participation (E-App). Please refer to Schools New to Title IV.

Federal Student Aid-Initiated Setup Actions

The following actions will be completed for all schools that request Direct Loan participation (as outlined in "Request for Participation" below) and are approved to participate in the DL program as reflected on their ECAR:

A school will—

  • Be assigned a Direct Loan school code (a six-digit code beginning with G or E).*
  • Be automatically enrolled in COD to participate in the electronic MPN and entrance counseling on
  • Have its Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) mailbox profile updated to include the options to enroll for Direct Loan Services and Direct Loan Delinquency Reporting Services. Note: schools still need to go into the mailbox to select these options to send and receive Direct Loan records. We will e-mail the school’s primary Destination Point Administrator regarding the SAIG mailbox update.
    • We will include these services under the same SAIG mailbox used for Grants Services.
    • If not participating in Grants Services, we will include these services under the same SAIG mailbox used for ISIR Services.
    • If a school uses a third party servicer, we will NOT update the SAIG mailbox services. In this case, a school will need to update its SAIG mailbox services through the SAIG Enrollment website. A school can do this when it is ready to do so.
    • If a school wishes to change its SAIG mailbox setup, it can do so through the SAIG Enrollment website.
    • For questions about SAIG or for assistance with the enrollment process, contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support at (800) 330-5947. A school may also e-mail

    *A school cannot change this setup action.

School-Initiated Setup Actions

When a school is ready to actively participate in the Direct Loan Program, it will need to complete several actions to ensure all connections are in place to receive Direct Loan funds and to electronically transmit and receive Direct Loan data.

Request for Participation

Send an e-mail request to the COD School Relations Center at The subject line of the e-mail should be "Request to Participate in the Direct Loan Program." In addition, the following information should be provided in the body of the e-mail:

  • Name of your school
  • Address including city, state, and zip code
  • Person requesting participation (financial aid director or an official listed on the E-App is preferred)
  • E-mail and phone number of the official
  • OPE ID
  • DUNS Number (if known)
  • Award year in which processing will begin

When your school sends its request to the COD System to complete your FSA Direct Loan setup, a member of the Federal Loan School Support Team will be assigned as your point of contact. The point of contact will send a participation acknowledgement e-mail which will include your school's Direct Loan code. Your point of contact will also explain how the Direct Loan Program works and help you set up your user account and options in FSA systems (and the G5 payment system, if your school has not previously received funds from ED).

At the point you begin to successfully process Direct Loan data for your borrowers and disburse Direct Loan funds, the point of contact will make sure you are contacted by the person who has been assigned to be your school's primary Direct Loan contact at the COD School Relations Center.

COD Website Access

To view or process Direct Loan data on the COD website, authorized users must be enrolled for the COD Online Service and have an FSA user ID and password. Authorized users will also be required to enter the six-digit password generated by the user’s Two Factor Authentication (TFA) token.

To obtain access to the COD website, a school must designate a Primary Destination Point Administrator (PDPA) who is responsible for enrolling other users for the COD Online Service and the associated procedures.

If your school is not currently enrolled for any SAIG services select "Initial Enrollment for Services" at the SAIG Enrollment site ( The initial Enrollment for Services link is used to

  1. establish an initial SAIG mailbox (TG Number),
  2. assign batch data services to be exchanged, and
  3. identify your organization's Primary Destination Point Administrator (Primary DPA).

If your school is already enrolled for some SAIG servicers the PDPA can use the “Primary Destination Point Administrator Access” link at the SAIG Enrollment site to manage existing services, add new services, or enroll others for online services.

School and third-party servicer users should refer to the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) posting at

TFA Token

All authorized users will be required to enter two forms of authentication to access Federal Student Aid systems. An authorized user will be required to use a traditional user ID and password as well as provide a one-time password (OTP). The OTP will be generated by a registered token device that is in the physical possession of the user. To receive tokens for authorized users, the primary Destination Point Administrator must request them by emailing and including the school name and OPE ID on the correspondence. Users may also call the CPS-SAIG Technical Support and the TFA Support Center at 800-330-5947 (option 2 for TFA).

Master Promissory Note Settings

Your school should review the default settings for the Master Promissory Note, as listed on the COD website for your school (under the "schools" tab and then click "options"), and revise if necessary.

Entrance and Exit Counseling Reports

A school must ensure that Direct Loan borrowers receive entrance and exit counseling on the responsibility to repay a loan, the consequences of default, and repayment options.

G5 Payment System

G5 is the U.S. Department of Education’s payment system, and all schools receive FSA funding through G5. To receive Direct Loan funds, a school must review its bank account information in G5 or provide new bank account information to G5.

  • If a school has a single bank account for its Title IV funds and the school plans to use this same account for their Direct Loan funds, no further action is necessary.
  • If a school has more than one bank account for its Title IV funds, the school must contact G5 to designate the specific account that will be used for Direct Loan funds.
  • If a school will use a new bank account for its Direct Loan funds, it must submit a new direct deposit form, Form SF1199A, to G5 at the address below:

    U.S. Department of Education
    Financial Management Operations
    400 Maryland Avenue, SW, RM. 4W116
    Washington, DC 20202

Additional information about establishing banking information can be found under the Banking section of the frequently asked questions on the G5 website. To access G5, users must have an authorized G5 user ID and password.

  • If a school already has a valid G5 user ID and password, it does NOT need to request a separate one for Direct Loans.
  • If a school needs a G5 user ID and password, it must submit a completed G5 Users Authorization Form (the form and instructions are available on the G5 website).

For further information about G5, visit the G5 website or call the G5 Hotline at (888) 336-8930.

Other Helpful Actions

Familiarize yourself with our information geared for aid professionals participating in the Direct Loan program, which includes the following and can be found here:

  • A description of the training that is available to Direct Loan schools
  • The Direct Loan School Guide (under “Publications”), which describes how a school sets up administrative and systems procedures to award and disburse Direct Loans.
  • Samples of the Master Promissory Notes, loan disclosures, and communications that the Direct Loan Program sends to borrowers.

Complete the COD computer-based training (CBT). Check out the CBT and learn how to use the COD website.

Review the school’s settings on the "My IFAP" page on the IFAP website to receive notification of all Direct Loan-related guidance and communications.

  • By selecting "Weekly Email Summary," the school will receive a notice about all FSA guidance and communications that are published each week, including Direct Loans.
  • By selecting "Content Specific Email," the school will have the option of selecting which publications it receives notice about. At a minimum, we encourage you to select the boxes for Dear Colleague Letters, Electronic Announcements, Direct Loan Consolidation, and Direct Loan Servicing.

Special case: Schools with additional locations

If a school has additional locations that will be processing Direct Loans separately, each location will need to be set up before processing can begin for that location. In addition, if a school plans to have any of its additional locations originate Direct Loans separately from the main campus, each location will need to have its own OPE ID and unique DUNS number. This DUNS number needs to be approved by FSA and added to your school's E-App.

Direct Loan school contacts

Sometimes talking to a school that participates in the Direct Loan Program can be helpful in addressing questions and concerns. (Read the Department's disclaimer of endorsement.) The National Direct Student Loan Coalition maintains a list of school staff with experience in the Direct Loan Program who have volunteered to share their expertise. The list gives phone numbers and email addresses for the mentors as well as their type of school (e.g., public or private), type of system (e.g., Banner, Datatel, homegrown), and number of students. We encourage you to contact these mentors to learn about the Direct Loan Program from a school's perspective.


Last updated May 21, 2015

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