Dallas, TXThe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) received nearly 2,900 complaints related to private student loans since March of this year. Were some of them ACS complaints?
Access Group no longer manages student loans, turning that task over to ACS Education Services (ACS). Students have put forward many Access complaints. Among them—that they were never informed of the change. In the meantime, ACS is part of a debt culture that sees an increasing number of students increasing their debt levels in an effort to achieve the highest level of education possible, for employment purposes.
The numbers are staggering. According to The Jacksonville Free Press (10/25/12), one in four American households are currently headed by an individual under the age of 35 who remains saddled with outstanding student debt. Total student loan debt has topped the trillion-dollar plateau, with private student debt accounting for more than $150 billion. Of these loans, more than 850,000 loans are in default and a higher number than that, are delinquent.
With pundits worried that the student debt crisis could mirror that of the mortgage crisis of a few years ago, Access complaints and other problems students are having with third-party providers servicing their student loans incorrectly only deepens that debt, putting the proverbial light of day deeper towards the end of the tunnel.
Akin to ACS unfair business practices, students have been complaining that third-party servicers—having assumed the management of a student loan from the originating lender—have been making changes to their terms, increasing costs to the student. Some have complained that servicers can take two, to four business days to process an online payment; incurring interest charges students often can't afford to pay.
Complaints have run the gamut from faulty record keeping and lost paperwork, to errors that went uncorrected.
"Student loan borrower stories of detours and dead-ends with their servicers bear an uncanny resemblance to problematic practices uncovered in the mortgage servicing business," said Rohit Chopra, CFPB's Student Loan Ombudsman, in comments published in the Jacksonville Free Press.
The majority of the complaints reported to the CFPB allege problems with servicers regarding fees, billing, fraud and credit reporting. Another 30 percent of borrowers were concerned with limited repayment options, debt collection practices and problems related to loans in default.
It should be noted there are various enterprises appearing to operate under the ACS banner. Access Group, the loan provider, says on its website that it no longer services student loans and has transferred that function to ACS Education Services, a company owned by Xerox since 2010. The ACS in the latter stands denotes Affiliated Computer Services, which is based in Dallas. The Better Business Bureau lists no fewer than four companies all containing the name ACS Education Services, at different addresses. All are identified as conducting business in the loans, financial services or business services sector. None are accredited with the BBB.
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Same story as everyone else… been paying for years, and the balance has barely a dent. I could have purchased a top of the line BMW by now. I have paid on time monthly since about 2002. There was a short period of time, that I was in deferment (and I did not experience any issues with that process). The math really doesn't add up. I see a lot of complaints… and I'm really trying to find out if there are any "fixes" out there. I wonder will I ever pay this off… Feeling sick about it.
Posted by Carolyn
I have been paying on this loan since my 30 year old daughter was three. I was told since then this college loan has been sole several time, the last time to ACS. When I heard about the fedloan or the college forgiveness loan I was over joyed because, I worked for family and youth service for over eight year and then transferred to the hospital where I continued to work for the last seven and a half years. Well, I was denied because the say my loan type was not eligible. So I went to Morgan Chase, who is the holder of this loan and spoke to Chris Garcia, who looked up my account and said my loan is a Federal loan and he is not sure why I didn't qualify for the loan forgiveness program. My loan stands at 23,000.00, with payment of 242.43 a month, I make my payments time and I feel this loan should have been pay off a long time ago, as I have been out of school for over 20 years. Tell Obama, nice try but I guess greed out waves government.
Posted by Travis
I had my loan serviced by ACS. I attempted to file for deferment. After sending in the paperwork and talking with a few representatives my loan was defaulted and sent to a collection agency. The first agency they sent it to violated the Fair Debt Collection Act tremendously and stopped calling. Then I proceeded to be contacted by a second Agency who isn't much better. The issue I'm having is i filed for the deferment a couple of months before leaving for boot camp and then ended up seeing it go to collections shortly before I left. this has been an ongoing fight for about 4 years now. Is there anything that I can do?
Posted by sharon hudson
My loan was with Wells Fargo I defaulted on my loan and it was turned over to ACS. I default on the loan with ACS, ACS transferred the loan back to the department of education, I have since rehab my loan which is now handled through Nelnet. My payments are current with Nelnet. ACS still have the same loan on my credit report. Is this legal?
Posted by Tracy Molina
How can this be? I have my house paid off by the end of this year! My house was 133,000@ 5% and my student loan 65,000 at 6%. My student loan hasn't barely moved? This is so TERRIBLE!!
Posted by Natasa Samardzic
I was not aware of issues with ACS. They have transferred my loan to Navient but I just find out that they continued charging me via autopay and two month they charged me twice.
Posted by DB
Previous 8 years I received excellent service at ACS, however, these past 11 months has been horrible. I am in a medical residency so qualify and file for a student loan deferment annually without any problems. The last 11 months I've received the run around; lost paperwork, sent me the wrong paperwork, didn't receive faxes, etc. It's ridiculous and frustrating! I've talked with them many times and it still hasn't been approved and customer service gives me different answers. Obviously my loan is in default and I was assured as soon as the paperwork was corrected, the flags would be removed from my account and my credit restored. Foolishness! In late October, I spoke with customer service again and couldn't get a straight answer. A couple days later I called again. After the 3rd representative I spoke with in a WEEK I found out ACS no longer had my loan. GFO (or something like that) took it and the ACS rep couldn't give me any additional info on how to contact them, but she did say that it had been taken back a few weeks earlier and agreed that even though ACS no longer held responsibility of the loan, the customer service reps were attempting to help me and adding notes to my account. WHAT?!?! Don't have the loan, but emailed me paperwork to fill out and be returned in an attempt to appease me and appear they just might FINALLY get my deferment done. I was told I was going to have to wait for GFO to contact me.
Tonight I was called by collections, apparently a different company purchased my defaulted loan! How about that! The options I was given is to settle for a lesser amount and pay $57,000 right now or pay $7500 now and then $400 a month until I graduate this year and then it'll go up based on my income. The 3rd option I was given was start paying a monthly payment of $1200. I kind of laughed, "Well, I can't do any of those." My credit is screwed all because of this loan. I NEVER had a single problem with ACS until these last 11 months.
Any ideas about what I should do?
Posted by Sarah Valeri
I have had my graduate student loans consolidated with ACS for about 8 years. The only time the principal has gone down was when my parents offered me extra money and I could pay a lump sum. Otherwise 90% or more of my payments still goes to to the interest. They adjusted my monthly payment which was helpful, but only after months of sending me the wrong papers and delaying the much needed change, causing more charges for interest and late fees.
This has to be an unfair business practice. My last payment was 348$. Ten dollars went to a late fee, $2.21 went to the principal and the rest went to interest.
Posted by AK
Remember when you get capitalized after forbearance the IBR clock starts all over. You didn't do anything wrong the just get to screw you! Ask Dept. of Ed. for a different loan servicer!
Posted by Peter Lindsey
I am waiting for ACS to make a "financial adjustment" for a mistake that they made applying a forbearance. That's what they say. They will not give me a end date and I need to finish the consolidation process with another servicer. Despite the fact that this is their error my loan is still subject to late fees and interest accrual. Seem that all this should stop until they fix the error. No two people know what's happening their. The process should have been done 7/31/15,
Posted by Ursula Burns
Contact Ursula Burns 'firstname.lastname@example.org' she is the chairman of the board of directors and the CEO at Xerox, who owns ACS.
ACS is owned by Xerox and they make millions through the practices described here. I was put in a forbearance (student pays interest on both subsidized and unsubsidized loans) instead of a deferment for 3 years and my loan quadrupled and accrued $30,000 in interest.
Every time I completed the deferment paperwork and it was approved, the system would revert my loan back to a forbearance.
They conveniently lost two payments which were sent on time. When I told the rep the payments cleared the bank -- she said they did not get the money and the bank statements are not proof to the student loan servicer that they got the money. They also waited until the loan was past due to post the payments.
Bottom line: Congress and loan servicers and Wall Street make billions off student loans -- its the most crooked racket. Unless ALL borrowers stopped paying their loans at the same time -- this bologna will continue.
Write your Senators and legislators and keep writing. We're all in this together!
Posted by kathryn
ACS is conducting substandard, if not illegal, loan practices. Their website lacks key information about my private student loans, such as the original loan amount. They do not offer a service to allow borrowers to increase their monthly payment amounts. I took out my loans from Access Group, which worked fine for me through law school. I believe ACS is intentionally obscuring their contact information on their website, does not allow borrowers to speak with a representative in the U.S. without at least a 30 minute wait period (first requiring the borrower to go through a confusing automated recording that does not have an option to speak to a live person, then sending you through to someone overseas), and is preventing borrowers from actively controlling their student loan debt. When I finally spoke to a representative, she told me they were not legally required to provide payment plan information. I was told that if I wanted to increase my student loan payments, to send an email to an anonymous address. I asked if there was a specific person I could speak to about handling my loan repayment, she said "no." My email would go to "another department" that she did not have contact with. I do not understand how this is an acceptable practice. Given the opacity, I have very little idea of what they're actually doing with my loans.
Posted by terricat
I took out one loan in 1992, yes, 1992for $6,330. When I was laid off in 1996 and again in 2004, I had to use the forbearance and deferred times allowed, which of course, added interest. I have paid my payments on time, every month since and in October 2013, ACS took over my loan. They stated that I owed $6,330+$1500 accrued interest. None of the previous payments by the previous owners had been applied to principle over the 20 year timeframe. So, over 20 years later, ACS is stating I still owe what I owed in 1992! I asked for a copy of the note I signed. They sent me a copy of the original application where it states 8%, not 10%. They are charging me 10% anyway. I don't know how to fight this. I'm retiring next year and never expected I would still be paying on a 1992 student loan.
Posted by Melanie Sullivan
ACS is saying that I didn't make some payments back in 2005 and 2006--8 years ago! I don't even remember what my payment terms/arrangements were back then. They are asking that I prove thru canceled checks/money orders that I paid the monthly student loan debt. Is this legal? Is there a statute of limitations on asking a consumer to produce documentation of payment from over 8 years?
This company is so disreputable!
Posted by Tonie
Have attempted an economic hardship, but given the run around since January. All they needed was brief information and pay stubs. I have faxed, emailed over 30 stubs from jan to date and of course, they still conveniently don't receive it. I qualify for an Economic Hardship and they are playing games. Once told me that they received what they needed months ago, but that someone dropped the ball and therefore it wasn't processed. They also can't process it because too much time has passed and they need up to date paystubs now. Really!. I have sent over a two weeks time, about 15 paystubs and receive confirmation they received it; however, I get an email today that states it needs to be in Adobe format. Why, it wasn't the other time you said you received one of the two stubs? Called and spoke to someone who was clueless.
Posted by Matthew Lazzaro
ACS threatens to file me for collection when I have never been the slightest bit late on my payments. They frequently will hold checks for weeks without cashing them, and then mark me as being late. (I send the first week of the month when it is due the last.) The letter could go around the world twice and still be in time...
They also will not let me pay principle in advance. EVER!
Instead, they figure out my future interest of the loan, and apply that to my payment before knocking down the principle. Is that legal?
They also constantly "lose" my records, and require me to prove that I paid previous balances. They cash the check, but then forget to mark my loan! That is called stealing.
On a side note- I also have spoken with someone who tried to pay off his entire loan, and then was charged for interest until 2017! That cannot be legal. ACS should be sewed for everything and stopped from continuing treating good hard working responsible people this way.
Posted by olivia j
I have a complaint about the interest. interest accrued for me is 41.00 however interest of 90 bucks is taken out. this is half of my payment made my interest is only 6%. Im really skeptical about how this interest is calculated.
Posted by John
I have had problems with ACS for years. Everytime i have to re-send my Income Based Repayment Plan info, Which is every year, I have to send it in 6 or more times trying every way possible. They always say they dont get it or im sending wrong info??? Im sending you my entire tax return!!! If ACS isnt getting it who is?? Im tired of this every year. Im sure its a scam on their part so they can up the payment. Something needs to be done or im done.......
Posted by Jackie Kolakowski
Sorry to hear about your problem. I too have a problem in which I have large interest accruals during my time in school. Also I am on quarters and take one course per quarter which equates to 6 hours a semester. However, I was told that I had to take 6 hours per quarter to be half time. I don't understand how this works. Additionally, when I do take the six hours--my interest rate seems to double every time I see an update to my account. Anyone out there hear this stuff going on--ACS is refusing to help out people, including the Teacher Loan Forgiveness!
This is a problem.
Posted by Angela Rieke
I have sent almost 10 application requests for Teacher Loan Forgives going on 2 years now. They continue to reject my application for the $17,500 grant to go towards my loan for teacher 5+ years at a Title 1 one school. Meanwhile I continue to make my monthly payments paying them the interest on my $32,000 dollar loan. This has to be illegal. I have documented calls to customer service and emails, no one at ACS can help me. I keep getting the run around. The reasons they tell me they cannot process my loan are BOGUS.
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