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American Education Services was established in 1964 by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency to service private student loans and loans through the Federal Family Education Loan program. While the FFEL program was discontinued in 2010, millions of these loans are still in repayment.
What is American Education Services?
In 1963, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency established American Education Services to help service loans through the Federal Family Education Loan Program. The FFEL program allowed private lenders to provide federally guaranteed student loans to borrowers, including Stafford Loans, unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Federal PLUS loans and federal consolidation loans. AES now services student loans from private lenders, as well.
As a loan servicer, AES doesn’t actually lend money to borrowers. Instead, it takes care of administrative tasks on behalf of lenders. Some of those tasks include collecting and processing student loan payments, helping borrowers change their payment plans, fielding questions and reporting payments to the credit bureaus. The company also guarantees loans, which means that it agrees to repay the debt if the borrower defaults.
Is American Education Services a federal student loan?
AES doesn’t actually lend money, so there is no American Education Services student loan. Its parent company, PHEAA, does offer a private student loan called the PA Forward Loan.
AES helps borrowers manage their student loan payments. If AES services your loan, you can contact the company for services like:
- Making regular student loan payments.
- Making extra payments toward the loan principal.
- Changing payment due dates.
- Enrolling in income-driven repayment plans (available for federal student loans).
- Qualifying for federal student loan discharge and forgiveness programs.
- Enrolling in hardship programs, such as deferment and forbearance.
- Learning about personal finance topics through YouCanDealWithIt.com.
Is American Education Services a good loan servicer?
In 2022, there were 1,894 complaints filed against American Education Services and its parent company PHEAA through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Complaint Database.
Many of the complaints claim AES reported inaccurate payment information to the credit bureaus or report being dissatisfied with how the company handled payments. These complaints were closed with an explanation and the company responded in a timely manner.
Unfortunately, you don’t have much say over which company services your student loans. When you take out the loan, your lender automatically assigns a servicer to your account. But if you’re dissatisfied with AES, you have two main options:
- Refinance your loans: You can refinance both federal student loans and private student loans to change your loan terms and switch loan servicers, though you’ll lose several important borrower protections in the process if you choose to refinance federal loans.
- Consolidate your loans: You can also use a process called loan consolidation, where you roll all of your federal student loans into a new federal Direct Loan. This may increase your interest rate, but you’ll get a new loan servicer.
Lawsuits against American Education Services
PHEAA has also been involved in a number of class-action lawsuits. These lawsuits allege that PHEAA mistreated student loan borrowers by deliberately extending their repayment terms, converting grants into loans and failing to inform applicants of requirements for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. The company agreed to settle a class-action in relation to these allegations in February 2021. However, despite this, PHEAA’s government contract was extended through 2022.
Lawsuits aren’t necessarily a sign that a servicer is good or bad, but it is wise to pay attention to lawsuits in case they apply to you or direct you to check a certain element of your loan.
What types of student loans does American Education Services service?
American Education Services handles private student loans and student loans through the Federal Family Education Loan Program. Federal student loans made after 2010 will not be serviced by American Education Services.
How do I know if American Education Services is my loan servicer?
To find out who your federal student loan servicer is, you can contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 800-433-3243. Alternatively, you can log in to your FSA account and navigate to your account dashboard. Here you will find your loan servicers listed under the “My Loan Servicers” section.
If you have private loans, the easiest way to find your loan servicer is to check your credit reports. All of your loan servicers will be listed there.
How to make American Education Services payments
If AES services your student loan, there are several ways to make a payment:
- Send a check via mail: Borrowers can make a loan payment by writing a check or money order payable to American Education Services and mailing it to: American Education Services at P.O. Box 65093, Baltimore, Maryland 21264-5093. Include your AES account number on your check and drop the payment in the mail at least seven to 10 days before the due date.
- Pay by phone: You can make payments by phone by calling 800-233-0557 anytime, day or night. Have your bank routing number and account number ready.
- Pay by mobile app: The AES Student Loans App is available on iOS and Android devices. Once you download the app, you can create an account and make payments there.
- Make a payment in your online account: You may sign in to your online AES account to make or schedule loan payments.
- Monthly autopay: When you sign up for autopay, AES will debit the amount due on the due date each month. Depending on your lender’s terms, you may even get a 0.25 percent discount on your interest rate.
How to contact American Education Services
Student loan borrowers can contact American Education Services in a variety of ways. If you have general questions or concerns, use one of the following contact methods:
- Email: Borrowers must log into their AES account online to send a secure email.
- Mail: American Education Services has several different mailing addresses depending on the reason for contact. Check out its website to find the right address for your situation.
- Fax: To return or verify any documents, you can fax American Education Services at 717-720-3916.
- Phone: You can call AES at 800-233,0557 Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 9 pm ET.
How to file a dispute with American Education Services
If you have concerns about your treatment and loan servicing through American Education Services, you can reach out to the Office of Consumer Advocacy of its parent company, PHEAA. Contact information for this office can be found on PHEAA’s website.
If you’re unable to resolve your issue by contacting PHEAA, you can also file a dispute in several other places, including:
- Your state’s attorney general office
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
- Federal Student Aid, a division of the U.S. Department of Education
American Education Services company offers several ways to manage your account and make payments on your federal or private loans. If you’ve had trouble with the servicer, you can refinance or consolidate your student loan. These options come with consequences, so consider these carefully before making any changes,