The ScholarNet team is excited to see Carin Kruger excel with her private loan student processing expertise and relationships with lenders and schools.
The newest addition to the ScholarNet team, Carin Kruger, is ready to put 23 years of financial aid experience to good use to simplify private student loan processing for schools. We recently had a chance to sit down with Carin to learn more about our new expert.
How did you start your career working in financial aid?
Carin Kruger: I have been in the financial aid industry since 1997. I had enrolled in college and needed to find a part-time job. My parents pushed me toward the banking industry while I was leaning toward being a waitress or doing something fun in the mall. I will forever thank my parents for guiding me in that direction. I applied for a job at Norwest Student Loans in the loan processing department. I was able to work as many hours as I wanted and could come and go as I please – it was a perfect fit. In 1998, Norwest and Wells Fargo merged and from then on I was an employee of theirs.
After I completed my associate degree in financial services, I applied for a full-time position in a student loan call center. Once we started getting busier, we built a Client Services team that would only help school clients. I spent a couple of years in Client Services and then applied for an account executive position in 2005. For the past 15 years, I have been out in the field visiting schools in many different states.
What makes you passionate about working in financial aid?
CK: There are wonderful people in financial aid. I enjoy the people and learning about each school. Every school is unique in their own way. In financial aid, we make a difference in students’ lives and that is important to me. I have learned over the years that people in financial aid are always eager to lend a helping hand when a colleague needs assistance.
How familiar are you with ScholarNet, CDS, and FastChoice? What do you like best about it?
CK: In my Client Services days at my previous job, we would set schools up for ScholarNet, CDS, and FastChoice. I also talked a lot about each product when I was visiting schools. I have a broad overview of each of them but also know that I have a lot to learn.
What most excited you about coming to work at ScholarNet?
CK: The people and the product. I have already met some really great people. ScholarNet is a company that I believe in with a product I believe in. I’m excited to share my passion for ScholarNet with my schools. I truly believe it is a product that can help simplify life for many offices.
What’s the biggest challenge of working in financial aid?
CK: Trying to keep up with the industry regulations and changes happening in the financial/student loan industry.
What do you enjoy most about working with financial aid professionals?
CK: The people. I also have a passion for customer service and want my clients to know that I will always follow up with them and they can count on me if help is needed.
How does your personality help you on the job?
CK: I don’t take anything too seriously and usually don’t get worked up about anything. If I can’t figure something out, I know someone will be able to help me. I’m pretty outgoing and want to learn about others. I want everyone to feel included and important.
What do you do for fun in your free time?
CK: I live in Sioux Falls, SD with my fiancé, Jeff, his son, Carter, and our daughter Cambrie. My fiancé owns a car wash in town and feeds the folks that work there each day. I enjoy cooking for them and my family. A lot of times when we make supper, we make extra so the leftovers can be lunch the next day at the wash. I also enjoy watching sports (any Minnesota team) and hanging out with my family. When I say family, I mean ALL of them. My parents, brothers, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I’m fortunate to have a large family and we all get along and love spending every chance we have together!