American Education Services (AES) is a federal loan servicer that processes FFEL loans. While the FFEL program was discontinued, AES still handles borrowers in repayments, and it also services some private student loans for other lenders. As a servicer, AES has been the target of some complaints and a lawsuit, but your options are limited if you’re unhappy with your servicer.
- Key Takeaways
- Company Overview
- AES is a loan servicer for federal FFEL loans and some private student loans
- AES is owned by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA)
- AES and PHEAA are not government agencies; they are private companies
- In February 2021, AES’ parent company PHEAA settled a class-action lawsuit claiming the PHEAA deliberately worked to extend the length of borrowers’ repayment terms
- If AES is your servicer, the only way to switch loan servicers is to refinance or consolidate your loans
- Year Founded 1963
- Official Website www.aessuccess.org
- Services Offered Student loan servicing
- Customer Service By phone: 1-800-233-0557 M-F, 7:30 AM to 9:00 PM (ET)
American Education Services (AES) is a student loan servicer for Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program loans. FFEL loans include Stafford Loans, Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Federal PLUS Loans, and Federal Consolidation Loans. The FFEL program was discontinued in June 2010, but because its loans are still in repayment, millions of borrowers still have AES as their loan servicer.
What Is American Education Service?
AES is owned by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) and was established to service and guarantee FFEL and some alternative private student loans. A student loan servicer doesn’t provide loans; it’s the middleman between the borrower and the student loan lender during the repayment period. AES also guarantees the loans, meaning it agrees to repay the debt should the borrower default.
The loans that AES services may be either private student loans or federal student loans borrowed through the FFEL program, but they won’t be any type of loan other than FFEL. If your loans were taken out after the FFEL program was discontinued on June 30, 2010, AES will not be your servicer.
If your federal loans were taken out after June 2010, they may still be serviced by AES’s parent company, PHEAA, as FedLoan Servicing.
If you’re unsure if AES is or was your loan servicer, you can sign into your federal student aid Account Dashboard or check your credit report to see if AES is listed.
Is AES a Government Agency?
The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency is a quasi-nongovernmental organization. It was established as a Pennsylvania state agency but is now run privately, with limited legislative oversight within its board of directors.
Is AES a Federal Student Loan?
While PHEAA offers private student loans known as PA Forward loans, you won’t find federal or private AES loans. FFEL was a program that permitted private lenders to provide federally guaranteed student loans and allowed the government to mandate specific interest rate levels for those loans. So, instead of lending, AES guarantees and services those lenders’ FFEL loans.
What Can American Education Services Help You With?
AES can help you with anything regarding student loan payments.
Access to your account – You can update your account information, get tax forms, and view billing and interest statements.
Repaying your student loans – You can set up autopay, sign up for income-driven repayment, change payment preferences, move your due date, and pay ahead.
Loan forgiveness – You can see if you qualify for loan discharge, teacher loan forgiveness, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, and any benefits for service members.
As your loan servicer, AES is who you go to if you can’t afford your payments, need to switch payment plans, or have questions about your account
How to Make American Education Services Payments
Borrowers can easily access their account at AESSuccess.org and make payments online in 4 steps:
- Sign into Account Access.
- Click “Make a Payment.”
- Enter your payment information (you can also save your bank account for future use.)
- Hit the “Make a Payment” button.
You can also pay through the AES mobile app, by phone at 800-233-0557, or by mailing a check or money order payable to American Education Services to:
American Education Services
P.O. Box 65093
Baltimore, MD 21264-5093
Direct Debit is the easiest method for making payments to AES. Direct Debit sets up an electronic deduction from your checking or savings account on your due date each month, ensuring that your payments are on time, provided there are sufficient funds in the account. You may also qualify for a 0.25% interest rate deduction. You’ll need to apply for Direct Debit, then continue making payments until you receive confirmation that Direct Debit will extract your next payment.
Make sure you sign up for automatic payments to get a 0.25% interest rate reduction.
About American Education Services
AES can be contacted by sending a secure email from within your account or by phone at 800-233-0557, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET. You can also send letters to:
AES Loan Services
P.O. Box 2461
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2461
There were 25 complaints submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2020 about AES. All received a timely response and most were closed with an explanation—2 resulted in monetary relief from the company and 2 yielded non-monetary relief. Many of the narratives cited dissatisfaction with the company's responsiveness to customer issues or a lack of flexible repayment options as the primary problem.
American Education Services Lawsuit
PHEAA has been subject to multiple lawsuits by states for allegedly mistreating and abusing borrowers in the PSLF program. In February 2021, the loan servicer settled a class-action lawsuit brought forth by the Massachusetts attorney general that claimed PHEAA intentionally worked to extend the length of borrowers loans, converted grants into loans, and failed to properly inform applicants of the PSLF program’s requirements, resulting in a 99% denial rate.
Is American Education Services Your Only Servicer?
If you have FFEL loans, AES is not your only loan-servicing choice. If you’d like to move your loans to another servicer, you have several options.
Refinance Your Loans
Refinancing your student loans through a private lender can potentially get you a lower interest rate, reduce your monthly payment, and help you pay off your loans early. It also changes your loan servicer. Investopedia has reviewed all of the best student loan refinance companies to help you find the right fit for you.
Consolidate Your Loans
When you consolidate your federal loans into one new federal direct loan, you can choose a new servicer. Note that consolidating loans will increase the weighted average of your previous interest rates by 0.125%.
Enroll in Public Service Loan Forgiveness
When you enroll in PSLF, your loans are automatically moved to FedLoan Servicing. Note that while operating under a different name, FedLoan Servicing is still PHEAA.
When it comes to your loan servicer, you don’t get to choose who you work with; your loan servicer is assigned to you. If you’re unhappy with the service you’ve gotten from AES, consider refinancing your student loans or consolidating your loans with a Direct Consolidation Loan to get another servicer.
Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of student loan lenders. We collected over 45 data points across more than 15 lenders—including interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms—to ensure that our content helps users make the right borrowing decision for their education needs.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Consumer Complaint Database - American Education Services, 1/1/2020 to 12/31/2020." Accessed April 6, 2021.
ClassAction.org. "Department of Education, DeVos, PHEAA Face Class Action Over Alleged Student Loan Mismanagement." Accessed April 6, 2021.
Finaid. "Student Loan Consolidation." Accessed April 6, 2021.