HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA -- I had a PLUS loan with American Education Services (AES) on which we were making quarterly interest payments while the loan was in forbearance (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!!!
I took out a small loan while I was in college obtaining my associate degree. I am now working on my bachelor's degree thinking that all of my loans would be deferred until after I finished college. I recently got a call from AES stating that I owed them 185 dollars on back payments and that I needed to pay that day or they could start taking my car, house, or anything of a value... Keep in mind this was a 2-minute conversation in which I was never allowed to state I was still attending college after I finished my associate.
I did not pay and ended up having to hang up on the man because I could not explain to him my situation because he simply was not listening. I called back 20 minutes later and talked to a different person who told me I could defer my loans and it was simply a process of filling out another in-school deferment form. This was a Friday night so I immediately called my school and had them fill out the paperwork but they were not going to send it until Monday morning.
It is now Monday and I have received over 30 (literally!) calls saying I need to pay my loan back immediately even though I have talked to a couple different people and explained the situation. I will never get another loan through AES and I advise other college students to find another loan provider. If I knew they would be so horrible about loan payments I would have just gone with the mob!