American Education Services (AES) was created by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) to provide student loan servicing for a range of Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) and private (alternative) student loan products. AES doesn’t actually lend money to borrowers.
FFELP was discontinued in 2010 so AES only services existing loans that includes Stafford Loans, Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Federal PLUS Loans, and Federal Consolidation Loans.
The private student loans AES services include loans from SunTrust, JP Morgan Chase, and PNC Bank.
How to make a complaint against American Education Services (AES)
If you’re experiencing issues with American Education Services (AES) that you haven’t been able to resolve on your own, consider filing a complaint with AES’s Office of Consumer Advocacy. This is a dedicated department within AES that is responsible for addressing customer complaints and resolving issues related to student loan servicing. Here is the address:
Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency
The Office of Consumer Advocacy
1200 North 7th Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102
What if there is no resolution to my complaints
Once you send the letter with your concerns give them a certain amount of time to respond such as 30 days. If you do not get a response or the response you receive is unsatisfactory then get the Ombudsman from the Department of Education involved.
The Ombudsman may be able to intervene on your behalf but more than likely they’ll want to know what steps you have already taken to resolve the matter. Find out more about the Ombudsman’s office here.
How does AES service student loans
AES is responsible for a variety of loan servicing activities, such as:
- Manage borrower accounts
- Process loan payments
- Help borrowers understand their repayment options
- Deal with requests for deferment or forbearance
- Certify borrowers for loan forgiveness
- Provide Telephone Customer Service at: 1-800-233-0557 between the hours of operation – Mon. thru Fri., 7:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. ET
Can I change student loan servicers?
Yes. AES services federal student loans for more than 8.4 million borrowers with a total balance of over $297 billion but you don’t have to be one of them.
If you currently have FFEL loans, AES is not your only option for loan servicing. Here are a few choices:
- One option is to refinance your student loans through a private lender like SoFi Bank. This can potentially reduce your monthly payment, get you a lower interest rate, and help you pay off your loans early. However, keep in mind that this will also result in a change of loan servicer.
- Another option is to consolidate your federal loans into one new federal direct loan, which allows you to select a new servicer. However, it’s important to note that consolidating loans could increase the weighted average of your previous interest rates by 0.125%.
- If you qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), your loans will be automatically transferred to FedLoan Servicing, which is part of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). It’s worth noting that while operating under a different name, FedLoan Servicing is still managed by PHEAA.
What to do if you’re struggling with AES loan payments
If you’re struggling to make payments on your student loans and American Education Services (AES) is your loan servicer, the first thing you should do is contact their customer service department at:
- Phone – 1 (800) 233-0557
- Mailing address, American Education Services, P.O. Box 2461, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2461
- Website: www.aessuccess.org
Consider the following options:
Income-driven repayment.To limit your student loan payments to a percentage of your income, you can sign up for income-driven repayment if you are eligible. This can be done by applying online at studentaid.gov and recertifying your income each year online as well. It’s important to note that FFELP borrowers are only eligible for income-based repayment, which caps payment at a higher percentage of your income compared to other income-driven options like Revised Pay As You Earn or REPAYE.
Deferment and Forbearance. If you qualify, American Education Services can assist you with deferment and forbearance requests to temporarily stop making payments or reduce your payment amount. This can help you maintain a good standing and avoid default. However, it’s important to keep in mind that interest may continue to accumulate during any periods of deferment or forbearance.
Loan Consolidation. American Education Services can also aid you in consolidating your FFELP loans into direct loans with the federal government. Once you consolidate you may be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program if you work in the public sector.