History of Champion College Services

In January 1988, Mary Lyn Hammer was hired by a school as the nation’s first full-time Default Manager when student loan defaults were first becoming an issue.

Mary Lyn Hammer c 1988

Mary Lyn Hammer c 1988

Coming from a banking background where the primary goal of servicing was to keep borrowers current and prevent foreclosures and repossessions, Ms. Hammer quickly realized that the only way to insure proper loan servicing was to intervene and act as a liaison between the borrowers and their servicers.

Ms. Hammer was appalled to find that fraud and abuse were rampant in the student loan industry. Systematically, she identified the problems in the student loan industry, she developed procedures to implement to curtail these problems. The CHAMPION program today is truly based on the essential, proven-successful “Hands On” techniques that Ms. Hammer developed to prevent student loan defaults.

The results at that first school were phenomenal. The default rate dropped from 34% at program inception to 16% within the first year and to less than 10% within two years.

History of Champion College Services

In January 1988, Mary Lyn Hammer was hired by a school as the nation’s first full-time Default Manager when student loan defaults were first becoming an issue.

Coming from a banking background where the primary goal of servicing was to keep borrowers current and prevent foreclosures and repossessions, Ms. Hammer quickly realized that the only way to insure proper loan servicing was to intervene and act as a liaison between the borrowers and their servicers.

Ms. Hammer was appalled to find that fraud and abuse were rampant in the student loan industry. Systematically, she identified the problems in the student loan industry, she developed procedures to implement to curtail these problems. The CHAMPION program today is truly based on the essential, proven-successful “Hands On” techniques that Ms. Hammer developed to prevent student loan defaults.

The results at that first school were phenomenal. The default rate dropped from 34% at program inception to 16% within the first year and to less than 10% within two years.

Student Loan Servicing Legislation

Inspired by what Ms. Hammer had uncovered in her work as Default Manager, in 1989 she took action and worked closely with top officials at the Department of Education to improve and regulate student loan servicing.

Her borrower education and servicing program was used by the Department to write “Appendix D,” the regulatory criteria for schools’ default prevention programs from 1989 until 1996.  Today, much of the same language exists in “Subpart M” and “Subpart N” of the Cohort Default Rate regulations that Ms. Hammer also helped craft in several Negotiated Rulemaking processes.

In 1990, the Department of Education recognized the success of the program in Reducing Student Loan Defaults: A Plan for Action.

Founded to Fulfill Requests from Schools in Need

Mary Lyn Hammer in the Rayburn House Office Building

Ms. Hammer; Rayburn House Office Building

Numerous requests from schools needing assistance led Ms. Hammer to form Hands On Default Management, Inc. in January 1990.  Since then, many schools have experienced dramatic results by implementing this program. Ms. Hammer’s lucky break came when the school allowed her to copyright the program in her own name.

For the first 5 years, the initial program included software and training at the school level. For many schools, this solution worked well, and these schools are still enjoying successes.  Others wanted to concentrate on education and requested that Hands On form a third-party servicing branch.

During the fall of 1994, Ms. Hammer began a full-service operation known as Hands On, Inc.  This ultimate combination of in-school software with full servicing by a professional, highly trained staff resulted in phenomenal results for client schools.

In 1998, our history and experience expanded internationally when Hands On Canada, Inc. was formed.  Although the regulatory process in Canada is drastically different than that in the United States, our reputation as a respected advocate of colleges is recognized as we are one of only two companies approved to oversee default prevention programs in Ontario, the largest provincial provider of education in Canada.

When Ms. Hammer became a mother in 2001, she chose to concentrate on her family and closed the Canadian operations.

Continued Expansion of Services

During 2004, the company emerged with a new name, CHAMPION COLLEGE SERVICES (CHAMPION), that better represented expanded offerings cultivated from overwhelming requests from our clients who believed that, “If you do this as well as you do default prevention, we will be very happy.”

Based on extensive research and development, Champion is proud to offer the following options to our clients:

  • Full-service Default Prevention for Federal Student LoansChampion_Logo_TM-white-stroke
  • Full-service Default Prevention for Private Student Loans
  • Borrower Education and Financial Literacy
  • Custom Surveys for Students, Drops, Alumni and Employers
  • Job Placement Verification
  • Professional Skip Tracing
  • APEXsrm, a software-as-a-service for those schools that do in-house default prevention that utilizes Champion’s standard reports coupled with the schools’ defined processes and procedures

The CHAMPION COLLEGE SERVICES name better represents the company’s objectives and goals, our portfolio of offerings, and the relationships between CHAMPION and the clients we serve.  Our professional strategic partnerships together with our vision will propel us to continually improve our offerings and our relationships in the higher education arena.

Student Loan Servicing Legislation

Inspired by what Ms. Hammer had uncovered in her work as Default Manager, in 1989 she took action and worked closely with top officials at the Department of Education to improve and regulate student loan servicing.

Her borrower education and servicing program was used by the Department to write “Appendix D,” the regulatory criteria for schools’ default prevention programs from 1989 until 1996.  Today, much of the same language exists in “Subpart M” and “Subpart N” of the Cohort Default Rate regulations that Ms. Hammer also helped craft in several Negotiated Rulemaking processes.

In 1990, the Department of Education recognized the success of the program in Reducing Student Loan Defaults: A Plan for Action.

Founded to Fulfill Requests from Schools in Need

Mary Lyn Hammer in the Rayburn House Office Building

Ms. Hammer; Rayburn House Office Building

Numerous requests from schools needing assistance led Ms. Hammer to form Hands On Default Management, Inc. in January 1990.  Since then, many schools have experienced dramatic results by implementing this program. Ms. Hammer’s lucky break came when the school allowed her to copyright the program in her own name.

For the first 5 years, the initial program included software and training at the school level. For many schools, this solution worked well, and these schools are still enjoying successes.  Others wanted to concentrate on education and requested that Hands On form a third-party servicing branch.

During the fall of 1994, Ms. Hammer began a full-service operation known as Hands On, Inc.  This ultimate combination of in-school software with full servicing by a professional, highly trained staff resulted in phenomenal results for client schools.

In 1998, our history and experience expanded internationally when Hands On Canada, Inc. was formed.  Although the regulatory process in Canada is drastically different than that in the United States, our reputation as a respected advocate of colleges is recognized as we are one of only two companies approved to oversee default prevention programs in Ontario, the largest provincial provider of education in Canada.

When Ms. Hammer became a mother in 2001, she chose to concentrate on her family and closed the Canadian operations.

Continued Expansion of Services

During 2004, the company emerged with a new name, CHAMPION COLLEGE SERVICES (CHAMPION), that better represented expanded offerings cultivated from overwhelming requests from our clients who believed that, “If you do this as well as you do default prevention, we will be very happy.”

Based on extensive research and development, Champion is proud to offer the following options to our clients:

  • Full-service Default Prevention for Federal Student Loans
  • Full-service Default Prevention for Private Student Loans
  • Borrower Education and Financial Literacy
  • Custom Surveys for Students, Drops, Alumni and Employers
  • Job Placement Verification
  • Professional Skip Tracing
  • APEXsrm, a software-as-a-service for those schools that do in-house default prevention that utilizes Champion’s standard reports coupled with the schools’ defined processes and procedures

The CHAMPION COLLEGE SERVICES name better represents the company’s objectives and goals, our portfolio of offerings, and the relationships between CHAMPION and the clients we serve.  Our professional strategic partnerships together with our vision will propel us to continually improve our offerings and our relationships in the higher education arena.

Got Questions? Want to Learn More?

CONTACT CHAMPION FOR A
FREE SCHOOL ASSESSMENT

call 800.761.7376

email us

Or use the following suggested links to discover more about our offerings and experience.

3 Decades of Quality Service

Champion has differentiated itself through its unmatched ability to lower default rates and increase repayment rates on behalf of school partners.  We equip your school staff with time-proven training and tools that deliver a consistent effective message to students to meet your school’s needs and objectives.

Learn more about our services:

School Services We Provide
Meet Key Members of Our Staff
What Our Clients Say

Industry Advocacy

For almost three decades, Mary Lyn Hammer, Champion founder and CEO, has passionately fought to improve processes and rectify problems for schools and students on Capitol Hill and beyond. For our achievements we have received accolades from our industry, the press and our government.

Learn about our work in the industry:

Recognition, Awards and More
Higher Education Advocacy
Industry Issue Article Archive

Millions of Students Helped

We help your students thrive with financial literacy and life skills courses, job and career building resources, our grant and assistance database, in addition to the supportive relationships that we build through our customer service experts.  The combination drives positive long-term behavior changes that deliver results.

Learn about our offerings for students:

Default Is Lame Student 411
Champion Empowerment Resources
 What Our Students Say
Got Questions? Want to Learn More?
CONTACT CHAMPION FOR A FREE SCHOOL ASSESSMENT
call 800.761.7376
email us
Or use the following suggested links to discover more about our offerings and experience.

26 Years of Quality Service

Champion has differentiated itself through its unmatched ability to lower default rates and increase repayment rates on behalf of school partners.  We equip your school staff with time-proven training and tools that deliver a consistent effective message to students to meet your school’s needs and objectives.

Learn more about our services:

School Services We Provide
Meet Key Members of Our Staff
What Our Clients Say
Industry Advocacy

For almost three decades, Mary Lyn Hammer, Champion founder and CEO, has passionately fought to improve processes and rectify problems for schools and students on Capitol Hill and beyond. For our achievements we have received accolades from our industry, the press and our government.

Learn about our work in the industry:

Recognition, Awards and More
Higher Education Advocacy
Industry Issue Article Archive
Millions of Students Helped

We help your students thrive by empowering students with financial literacy courses and life skills classes in addition to the supportive relationships that we build through our customer service experts.  The combination drives long-term behavior changes that deliver both student and school success.

Learn about our offerings for students:

Default Is Lame Student 411
Champion Empowerment Resources
 What Our Students Say