American Education Servicesincompetent and unethical business practice

Review updated:

I had a PLUS loan with American Education Services (AES) on which we were making quarterly interest payments while the loan was in forebearance (principal deferment until my son was out of college.) For some reason that was never explained to us, AES changed the invoice format on these quarterly interest payments to ones that had a big THIS IS NOT A BILL watermark across it and a $0.00 amount due in the invoice section. However, in very small font above the invoice section, it stated that you could make interest payments if you wanted to. Since I set up the loans, and my wife usually pays the bills, she just started filing these when they arrived in the mail thinking that they were some type of status statement. As these were quarterly payments, a year passed before I realized something wasn't right with the loan balance. The situation was even more confusing given the fact that we had another direct student loan in my son's name with AES in which the invoice format hadn't changed, and we had continued to make payments. I tried FOR OVER SIX MONTHS to get account information back from AES to determine the correct status of the PLUS loan, and each time I contacted them, they either gave me incorrect information or told me they would get back to me and then never did. This incompetence went on so long that the interest owed was re-capitalized into the loan principal, causing additional unwarranted interest owed. I paid the original loan principal and filed a civil suit against them for the unwarranted interest amount. They petitioned the court to have the suit transferred to Harrisburg knowing that it would be very difficult for me to represent myself 250 miles from my home. They were granted the petition, and I had to withdraw from the suit. The bottom line folks is that this company is both incompetent and unethical, and you should, at all costs, AVOID DOING BUSINESS WITH THEM!!!

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  • Fo
      Apr 12, 2011

    I just posted a complaint similar to yours-- all my loan statements from AES said that $0 was due, and I kind of forgot about the loan for a few months before I got worried, e-mailed them, and heard back that apparently their statements don't have to say how much is due and when. Meanwhile, interest accrues and the principal balance stays the same, because most people don't have time to go chasing their student loan company around just to get them to say how much is owed.

    Anyway, I ended my complaint by saying that I hated to think about other AES borrowers who may have forgotten about their loans, as I did, while AES chuckles all the way to the bank. It sounds like that's exactly what happened to you, and I'm really sorry it did. Good for you for trying to take them to court. I hope someone nails these guys for their supremely unethical (bordering on illegal) business practices.

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  • A forbearance or deferment means you do not owe anything actually while on it. Regardless if its a student loan or car loan or any other type of loan, YOU ACCRUE INTEREST. Common sense here people. It is your responsibility to make sure your paying attention to YOUR ACCOUNTS. Or you can take the route your taking and blame it on someone else or AES.

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  • Fo
      May 21, 2011

    I did not have a forbearance or deferment. All of a sudden, all my bills just said $0 was due. I'm not an idiot, lovepeoplewhocomplainaboutstudentloans, I just don't have the time to go around hounding a company just to figure out how much I'm supposed to pay them. None of my payment history or loan information was available on the AES website (or the previous company's website), and I didn't know if AES would have the same interest rate as the previous company, so there was no way for me to know the total amount due that month. I absolutely take responsibility for not having checked sooner, but I also believe that it is a company's responsibility to properly inform their customers.

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