Do you have student loans? While these loans were originated by someone else, American Education Services, or AES, may be servicing them for you. AES is one of the largest student loan services in the United States. They service both private and federal loans that are held by millions of students. You may be asking are AES student loans right for you? Let’s take a look at what they are and some important details you should know.
What is American Education Services?
AES was established in 1963 by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) to assist with servicing the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).
Today, the company and their sister program called FedLoan Servicing, assist with providing financial aid services to student borrowers within the US. This organization services not only millions of students, but also thousands of schools to provide loan servicing, loan guarantees, outreach, financial aid processing, and other aid programs for students.
About AES Student Loans
AES student loans are educational debt accounts that are managed by American Education Services. As we mentioned, the debt can be either federal or private, but all were borrowed under the FFEL program, so all federal loans managed by AES are FFEL loans.
Though the FFEL program was ended in 2010, there are still many borrowers repaying these loans today. In terms of private student loans, AES also manages some of these that students took out through a private lender.
So, What Does AES Do?
As a loan servicer, they handle billing and other services surrounding student loans. Just keep in mind that American Education Services does not originate loans, instead they acquire these loans from financial institutions such as the United States Department of Education and other lenders.
The PHEAA uses some of its earnings to cover the operating expenses for AES. They are focused on reducing financial burdens that student loans cause for families, schools, taxpayers, and students.
So, aside from collecting and managing payments from student loan borrowers, AES also performs these essential duties:
- They help borrowers change and manage due dates for payments
- Help borrowers try to qualify for loan forgiveness or discharge
- Support numerous federal income-driven repayment plans as well as the Standard Repayment Plan
- Help borrowers understand options for forbearance and deferment when they can’t make payments
- Operate a program called “You Can Deal With It”, which gives advice to recent graduates and students on how to manage common financial situations
I Am A Borrower, How Can AES Help Me?
When AES is your loan servicer, they do everything they can to help you when the need arises. Here’s a look at some examples of how they help many people:
Billing Related Matters and Payment Processing
AES allows borrowers to pay via online transfers, checks, and direct debit. They also give you the option to make extra payments. However, before doing so you should set specific instructions on your account for how you’d like to target the payments. This informs AES which student loans you want the additional funds to apply to first.
Help For Struggling Borrowers
It’s no secret that many people have problems paying their loans once they graduate from school. AES can help find the right solution. They can help change due dates and explain options such as pausing or even lowering payments.
Assist With Accessing Additional Federal Loan Benefits
AES professionals will help you find and apply for other programs offered for federal loans. They can help you with:
- Adjusting or lowering payments through plans like Income-Based Repayment or Graduated
- Postpone payments for a specified period of time using forbearance or deferment
- Consolidation for Federal student loans
- Inform you on programs to discharge, forgive, or even cancel federal student loan debt
- Help rehabilitate federal loans that have gone into default
Know Where You Stand Financially Before Contacting AES
As we mentioned, if you are one of millions struggling with student loan debt there is help out there. However, before contacting AES it’s a good idea to first know where you are financially.
If your struggle is only temporary, you may want to ask them for help with a forbearance or deferment.
If your financial situation is more permanent, they you’ll want to discuss other repayment options.
Help with private loans is much more limited, as there are not as many programs for those loan types as there are for federal loans. While AES can provide assistance to find a solution for your federal issued loans, the private ones may have to be consolidated.
Are AES Student Loans Right For You?
When it comes to your student loans, you don’t get to choose who services them. So, you will not have the option to outright choose AES loans. However, if they are chosen as your servicer, you are lucky. They are happy to help anytime they can.
If you’re having a hard time paying your student loan payments, you may want to learn more about cutting down on expenses. There are many apps to help with this. Check out our article Best Apps To Track Expenses and see which one is best for you.