What American Education Services student loan borrowers need to know

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American Education Services is a company that services 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. If AES services your student loan, it’s a good idea to learn about how this company can help you manage your payments.

What is American Education Services and what does it do?

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.

If you took out federal student loans after the government discontinued the FFEL program in June 2010, then AES won’t be your servicer. But AES’s parent company, PHEAA, may service your loan under the name FedLoan Servicing.

As a loan servicer, AES doesn’t actually lend money to borrowers. Instead, it takes care of administrative tasks for millions of borrowers. 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 through 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 the You Can Deal With It website.

Is American Education Services a good loan servicer?

In 2020, there were 118 complaints filed against American Education Services through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Complaint Database. The AES’ parent company has also been involved in a number of class-action lawsuits.

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.

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. If you’re not sure who services your student loan, you can find out by logging in to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) or checking your credit reports to see who’s listed as the loan holder.

What are American Education Services’ interest rates and fees?

American Education Services doesn’t set the interest rates on your loans. U.S. Congress sets federal student loan interest rates, while private lenders set interest rates and loan terms on the loans they originate. If you’re not sure what your interest rate is and what type of fees your lender charges, you can:

  • Log in to your AES account and navigate to your loan details.
  • Call AES customer service at 800-233-0557 Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m ET.
  • Check your monthly loan statement.
  • Log in to the NSLDS to view your student loan details.

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 five to seven 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.

Lawsuit against American Education Services

PHEAA, which is American Education Services’ parent company, has been involved with 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. However, despite this, PHEAA’s government contract was extended through 2021.

The bottom line

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. But these options come with consequences, so consider these carefully before making any changes.

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Written by
Kim Porter
Contributing writer
Kim Porter is a personal finance expert who loves talking budgets, credit cards and student loans. In addition to serving as a contributing writer for Bankrate, Porter also writes for publications such as U.S. News & World Report, Credit Karma and Reviewed.com. When she's not writing or reading, you can usually find her planning a trip or training for her next race.
Edited by
Student loans editor