AES Student Loan Servicing Review (2024)

Is your loan being serviced by AES? American Education Services, aka AES, is a loan servicer to millions of borrowers. AES Services many Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans, but they service private loans, too. Many of the private loans they service are owned by National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts.

It’s quite possible you have an FFEL Program loan if you have federal loans serviced by AES. The FFEL program ended in 2010, however, and all federal loans are now issued by the Department of Education’s Direct Loan Program.

Even though no new FFEL Program loans are being issued, they will need to be serviced for many years to come as people pay them back, hence the existence of servicers like AES.

Who Is AES and PHEAA

AES is actually part of a bigger company, PHEAA (Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency). This company has been servicing student loans for years, and was one of the largest student loan servicers in the United States.

PHEAA also operates as FedLoan. So, while AES and FedLoan are separate components, they are both part of the much bigger PHEAA. And in 2023, Fedloan exited the student loan business.

And PHEAA has been in the news lately. The Massachusetts attorney general’s office is suing the company over alleged unfair practices. PHEAA is also caught in the middle of a dispute over documentation of private loan ownership with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts, and other companies.

For context, National College Student Loan Trusts are entities that buy private student loans from financial institutions and pool them together. PHEAA is claiming no responsibility in the matter, since they are simply the servicer, not the owner.

AES Customer Support

You can reach AES through the following options.

Toll-free number: 1-800-233-0557. This line is open from 7:30 AM to 9 PM Eastern Time, Monday - Friday.

General mailing address:

American Education Services
P.O. Box 2461
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2461

Loan payments address:

American Education Services (AES)
P.O. Box 65093
Baltimore, MD 21264-5093

You can also email the company through the Help Center within your account.

AES Loan Servicing Issues

It’s not complete surprise that borrowers with loans serviced by AES have made some public complaints. While AES claims a high standard of customer service, their customers may not always agree.

Many of these complaint narratives are found in places like Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Consumer Affairs. We took a look to get a better idea of what’s happening with AES borrowers.

Note:If you're having an issue with AES, you can also file a complaint with the student loan ombudsman.

A big theme: bad communication.

False Reporting As Faulty Communication

In the comments we read, the problem of false reports to credit agencies kept popping up. This is scary because a false item on your credit report can drag down your credit and ruin your chances at an apartment, a car loan, a mortgage, or even a job.

Removing these false reports can be difficult, too. Some borrowers seemed to be playing whack-a-mole with bad information on their credit reports.

We don’t know the reasons for these flawed reports to credit bureaus. But we do know they are an example of bad communication on the part of the servicer.

Here’s a sample of what we found:

Then, there’s the ultimate bad report: a loan you never took out. Here are a couple examples of that:

Sounds exhausting. Both the financial and emotional toll from spending weeks, months, and even years trying to set the record straight about a false report on your credit is enormous.

Communication Breakdown With Borrowers

What about when you receive bad information straight from your servicer? Communication through customer service is a big part of loan servicing. Failing to communicate important information to a borrower is an obvious mistake by a servicer like AES, but communicating wrong information is just as bad, if not embarrassing.

Here’s what we found:

  • A borrower stopped making payments on their loan, and AES failed to reach out to the co-signer. After five years, during which interest continued to accrue, AES finally spoke to the co-signer, who informed them that the borrower had died. The co-signer then started making payments on the loan. End of story? Not quite. AES keeps asking the co-signer for the deceased borrower’s contact information.
  • Another borrower writes she decided to pay back her loan in full to get it off her plate. After she paid via a phone call, she was given the impression the whole balance was paid. AES continued to send her bills.
  • One borrower just wanted access to their payment history and the amortization schedule (or how long it would take for the loan to be paid in full) of a private loan. AES failed to provide either. Another borrower wanted to get a payment history on their federal loan, but AES had not provided it.
  • One borrower received a letter that they were delinquent on their payments. They had auto-pay set up with their bank account and had been paying their loan on time for 9 years, so they were confused. AES had suddenly turned off the auto-pay, the account became delinquent, and was reported to the credit bureaus. When the borrower called to rectify the issue, the customer service rep said their account would be reviewed and the credit agencies notified. Nothing happened. Time and time again, the borrower reached out, was promised resolution and nothing happened. The case is marked “closed” on the CFPB website, but again, it’s hard to know if it’s a happy resolution.
  • One person wrote on behalf of their daughter who said $10,000 worth of payments made over 17 months had been deemed “lost” by AES. The parent and daughter provided evidence of the payments to AES, including the bank statements showing the date and amount debited to the servicer. Still, AES insisted they did not have any of the money. Despite all this, in order to regain good standing with the loan, the daughter set up a new payment plan. The daughter successfully made one payment, but the second payment was “lost” and the whole issue began once again.

Find Out The Facts For Yourself

Communication is king. If a loan servicer is reporting bad information to outside companies, you lose out. If they are communicating bad information to you, you also suffer.

And annoyance, frustration, and embarrassment come into play when they keep telling you things you know aren’t true. While these stories are anecdotal evidence from AES customers, they might reflect bigger trends with communication and customer service in the company as a whole.

If you're not quite sure where to start or what to do, consider hiring a CFA to help you with your student loans. We recommendThe Student Loan Plannerto help you put together a solid financial plan for your student loan debt. Check outThe Student Loan Plannerhere.

Have you ever dealt with any of these issues with your student loan servicer?

AES Student Loan Servicing Review (2024)


Is AES a legitimate company? ›

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.

Is AES credible? ›

It is essential for government computer security, cybersecurity and electronic data protection. Since AES puts data through multiple encryption rounds and splits a message into smaller blocks of 128 bits, it is more secure and reliable than older symmetric encryption methods.

Will student loans through AES be forgiven? ›

Can AES student loans be forgiven? The private student loans AES services are not eligible for loan forgiveness. But the federal student loans it servicers can be forgiven under different programs offered by the Department of Education.

Is AES considered a federal student loan? ›

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.

Why is AES so secure? ›

Both AES and DES are block ciphers, meaning they encrypt chunks of data rather than individual characters. This method ensures that identical text is encrypted differently each time it appears.

Are AES loans public or private? ›

American Education Services (AES) was created to service a variety of Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) and private education loan products for lending partners throughout the United States.

What are the risks of AES? ›

Since it is almost impossible to crack the AES cipher using a brute-force method, the main risk to this standard is side-channel attacks. In these attacks, attackers try to pick up information leaking from a system to discover how the encryption algorithms work.

Does the US government use AES? ›

In 2005, NIST withdrew approvals of DES and published the FIPS 197 establishing AES as the federal standard for the protection of sensitive, unclassified information as compulsory and binding for all federal departments and agencies.

Can I pay my AES student loan with a credit card? ›

You can use either a checking or savings account. At this time, we do not accept debit or credit cards. When can I view my payment on my student loan account?

Which student loans are automatically forgiven? ›

Any borrower with ED-held loans that have accumulated time in repayment of at least 20 or 25 years will see automatic forgiveness, even if the loans are not currently on an IDR plan. Borrowers with FFELP loans held by commercial lenders or Perkins loans not held by ED can benefit if they consolidate into Direct Loans.

Is legit? ›

You may even have thought it was a scam. But, in fact, AES is a legit loan servicing company. It's not unusual for people to have thousands of dollars in student debt—and not know who their loan servicer is. Here's some info on AES, loan servicers in general, and how to find out if AES is servicing your student loan.

How can I tell if my AES loan is federal? ›

How to tell if your loan is federal
  1. All federal loans will have “Direct” in their names, like “Direct Subsidized Loan,” “Direct PLUS Loan” or “Direct Consolidation Loan,” for example.
  2. For PLUS Loans, you might see specific titles, like “Parent PLUS Loans.” Older student loan names include Perkins, FFEL, and Stafford.
Dec 15, 2023

How do I pay my AES student loan? ›

Call 1-800-233-0557 to make payments anytime, day or night. Schedule payments in advance. Have your 10-digit AES account number and date of birth on-hand for identification purposes. Have your bank routing number and account number ready to set up an electronic payment.

How does AES work? ›

The AES Encryption algorithm (also known as the Rijndael algorithm) is a symmetric block cipher algorithm with a block/chunk size of 128 bits. It converts these individual blocks using keys of 128, 192, and 256 bits. Once it encrypts these blocks, it joins them together to form the ciphertext.

What kind of loan do I have with AES? ›

Today, AES only services private loans and commercially held Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loans. FFELP loans that are held by the U.S. Department of Education aren't serviced by AES, and AES doesn't handle other federal loans.

What companies use AES? ›

Patent volumes related to AES encryption
CompanyTotal patents (2010 - 2022)Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Netflix23Unlock Company Profile
Apple34Unlock Company Profile
Comcast35Unlock Company Profile
Dell Technologies19Unlock Company Profile
6 more rows
Sep 25, 2023

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