Note: As of September 1, 2019, Conduent Education (also known as AFSA, ACS Education Services, Xerox Education Services) has ceased all Student Loan servicing of all forms of such loans and all loans have been moved to other servicers.
ACS Loan Serving, also known as ACS Educational Services (and owned by Xerox believe it or not), is one of the largest loan servicing operations contracted by the Department of Education. In recent years, because of complaints with ACS Loan Servicing, most of their Direct Loans were transferred to other Federal loan servicers by the Department of Education. However, ACS still handles Federally backed bank-based loans (such as loans that are owned by Wells Fargo and other banks).
What many student loan borrowers don’t realize is that ACS Loan Servicing doesn’t actually “own” your loans. They are just a loan servicing company – meaning they are supposed to handle the customer service stuff, like:
- Handle payments and credit your account appropriately
- Administer student loan programs related to your loan
- Take your customer service calls and handle them correctly
- Process forgiveness programs, income-based repayment programs, and more that you may qualify for
- Report your loans to the credit bureaus accurately
- Seek repayment for defaulted loans
However, there have been problems, and borrowers are sometimes left feeling trapped.
ACS Loan Servicing Problems
ACS has been dealing with problems related to it’s handling of student loans as far back as 2012. Due to complaints about their handling of student loans, the Department of Education transferred many of their loans to other servicers. You see, the Department of Education owns the Direct Loans, so they can decide who your loan servicer will be – and there are many others. Since ACS was having so many problems, the Department of Education cut ties.
More recently, the State of Massachusetts sued ACS and they agreed to a settlement, due to the fact that “ACS . . . regularly undermined the opportunity for students to access appropriate repayment plans”. Basically, what this means for borrowers is that they would try to call and change their repayment plan to an income-based repayment plan, and ACS would tell them “no”, even if that wasn’t correct.
As a result, borrowers felt stuck in high cost repayment plans they couldn’t afford.
Student Loan Borrower Problems With ACS Education Services
ACS has been mentioned a few times before on our site. Borrowers, when feeling frustrated with their loan servicer, have no place to vent their frustrations except online.
Check out this comment from SJ from a year ago (and their website isn’t any better today even though they’re owned by a big “tech” company):
How To Get Help Dealing With ACS
If you don’t know who your loan servicer is, you can find all your student loan information, and do many things with your loans for free at StudentLoans.gov.
You could also file a complaint with the CFPB here: consumerfinance.gov/complaint/
Finally, if you are able to, you should look at refinancing your student loans away from ACS Loan Servicing. It doesn’t always make sense to refinance Federal student loans into private loans, but for some people looking to save money, it does.
You can do this in a variety of ways, but I recommend looking using Credible, a student loan refinancing marketplace where you can receive offers from multiple lenders after filling out one short form.
Try it out: Credible. It’s free and you can get an estimate of how much you can save by refinancing in less than a minute. Plus, you’ll get up to a $1,000 gift card bonus for using Credible with our link!
If you’re not quite sure where to start or what to do, consider hiring a CFA or CFP to help you with your student loans. We recommend The Student Loan Planner to help you put together a solid financial plan for your student loan debt. Check out The Student Loan Planner here.
Remember, student loan servicing companies like Nelnet can and do report you to the credit bureaus for non-payment of your student loans. But, from the stories shared above, they sometimes make mistakes. That’s why I urge you to check your credit score for free using Credit Karma. They will show you your credit score for free, and then you can know if something is wrong. Plus, there are no gimmicks — it’s truly free.
Contacting ACS Directly To Find Your Loans
You can no longer contact ACS Directly as they are no longer in the student loan servicing business and have no information about your loans.
If you’re lokoing for who owns your student loans, you need to:
Federal Loans (FFEL, Direct, Perkins): Log into StudentAid.gov, select “My Aid” in the top right corner, and see who is currently servicing your student loans.
Private Loans (including those offered directly by a school): Either contact the school that originated the loan, or look on your credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com and see who is holding the loan.
Share Your Story
Have you had a challenging experience with ACS Loan Servicing as your student loan provider? Has their customer service not been of service? Please share your story below — and even better if you found a resolution!
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.