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If you’re having trouble with repaying your federal student loans, you might want to contact Ameritech Financial.
They’re a private company that helps people enroll in federal programs to lower their monthly loan obligations. They’re not affiliated with any loan servicer and they can help you make sense of your loan situation with a fresh perspective.
AES and PHEAA
It’s important to know AES is actually part of a bigger company, PHEAA. The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency also operates as FedLoan. So, while AES and FedLoan are separate components, they are both part of the much bigger PHEAA.
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.
Still, given the controversy, perhaps 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, the Better Business Bureau, and Consumer Affairs. We took a look to get a better idea of what’s happening with AES borrowers. 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 agencies. 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:
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.
That being said, if you’re frustrated with the information you are or aren’t getting, having outside advice can be helpful. We recommend doing your research on your servicer and see if you can get another opinion on the situation from experts. If you have federal loans, we suggest Ameritech Financial.
They analyze your loan situation and even help you get lower monthly payments and put you on track to forgiveness if you’re qualified. They handle the paperwork and communication with your servicer, too.
Have you ever dealt with any of these issues with your student loan servicer?
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