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June 16, 2017 - I received a letter dated June 1, 2017 informing me what my repayment would be for ONE YEAR ending May 2018. I called in June's Payments because the letter arrived 2 days after Payment Due. They told me to go online to set up Auto Payments for July on... And I would save .25% on the interest rate.
So I did. In July ACS took almost 3 times the amount in the letter (over the amount paid in June). They said they changed their mind, what??? For real??? NO HELP. They put my bank account in the negative. I went to my bank with the ACS Letter and the FRAUD DEPARTMENT deemed it FRAUD and returned my money and overdraft fees. ACS told me I had to reapply??? So I did. Still nothing.
THEN a LETTER TELLING me my PAYMENTS had been INSUFFICIENT FUNDS. WHAT??? YOU MEAN the MONEY THEY STOLE that the FRAUD Department returned? Not insufficient. Just wrong amount. Still trying to pay July... August I get another letter saying I lose my .25% discount because of insufficient funds... Ugh ugh ugh. Get your crap together ACS. Help help help. I am trying to pay my loan. ACS stinks!!!
Today I tried to call the customer service line. It took me 25 minutes of waiting on hold to talk to a real person. I haven't been able to pull up their website for over a week now when I have been making my payments online, every month, for years. The guy I talked to even tried to access the website himself in several different browsers and said Internet Explorer was the only web browser compatible with their website. It's 2017. What kind of student loan service builds a website that's only accessible in IE?
I've been a responsible borrower and paid my student loans serviced by Great Lakes, who consolidated to Conduent, who consolidated to ACS. In 2008 I inquired about PSLF programs, since gov't website states to contact my loan servicer, which I understood it as ACS, for info about consolidation. ACS told me my loans were already consolidated. As a teacher in a nonprofit school, I continued to pay faithfully on loans with 6.625% interest rate for 9+ years believing I was close to qualifying for PSLF in October 2017.
ACS failed to tell me that I need to consolidate with FedLoan Services. After 9+ years and now I am close to retiring, I must still work an additional 10 years (120 consecutive payments at nonprofit school) because of ACS's incompetence and deception. FedLoan told me there are many folks in my situation... so let's mobilize and sue ACS. They make money and deceive student borrowers with impunity. Let's pressure the government to penalize ACS with a hefty fine, refuse to renew their contract as a student loan servicer with the federal government and then require ACS to repair damages and to reimburse all who join this class action lawsuit against ACS's incompetent and deceitful practices. I've already written and complained to 14 members of the U.S. Senate HELP committee who oversee contract renewal for federal student loan servicers. I want to know that my voice is heard and that my effort to get justice in my case is fruitful.
This company needs to be investigated by the government. I would be interested in filing a class action lawsuit against ACS. They are abusing the process and being protected while scamming people out of thousands and holding them hostage to negative credit reporting and years of interest payments. This company is preying on people's inability to pay off their total loan amount to make money. My loan amount has doubled since they bought it yet I am paying an additional 60% every month.
I have paid well over the original loan amount plus a considerable amount of interest but they say that my payoff to date is exactly the same as when they purchased the loan! When I try speaking with them they don't have a professional loan advisor. It's a telemarketing, script reading person that has no authority or education to discuss loan matters! I've tried to talk to them about settling the loan but they have no interest in doing so because they are making so much money off me. They don't want to help you settle your debt, exactly the opposite, they want you to be in debt with them for life because they are making millions. We need to report this company and someone needs to investigate their business practices thoroughly.
Their customer service is virtually non-existent. I can't access my account information because their website seems to think that I both do and do not have an account. When I try to sign in it says "The account doesn't exist." When I try to make a new account, it says "An account has already been used" under my SSN. When I call, it's impossible to get to a human, and I keep being referred to the website! I paid my bill, but received a letter that the debt is being sent to collections. I can see that they cashed my check, but can't contact them to figure out why I am still being told I didn't pay! This is not the first loan servicer to pull this kind of crap with me. These companies intentionally make it difficult to manage your own account so that they can fleece you with late fees. I am so sick of this borderline criminal activity.
I could go on for years about how terrible this company is. If there is a class action lawsuit, please God register my interest here. I graduated from M.A. in 2006 and my loans, originally Chase, were moved over to ACS. From 2005 to 2013 I worked as a charity worker and I made my monthly payments on time every month, which were close to 15% of my pre-tax income. They were almost always applied to interest rather than principal. So after 8 years of regular payments the loan was the same if not more.
In 2012 I started my own business and soon with the challenges coping with start up costs found myself unable to meet my regular payments and accruing late fees. IBR wasn't yet an option. Eventually I found myself delinquent. In 2013 I applied for a forbearance, still accruing interest at 7.25%. After 3 years of financial instability and forbearances, I finally pulled my head out of the sand and applied for IBR. I live and work overseas and IBR wasn't available to me until relatively recently. The result of ACS not being accustomed to foreign tax returns means that after my first application payments were miscalculated and far too high - higher than the original monthly payment that I couldn't meet!
After speaking to them I reapplied with more information, during which time I was slapped with late fees. I assumed they were processing my application. After 2 months I had heard nothing. I called them to find out that my loan was delinquent. ACS claimed to not have received the application. This led to my asking for another forbearance (interest still applying and late fees still outstanding) and applying to IBR a 3rd time. I asked for my late fees to be waived until I could catch up on payments and was denied.
This time my application was received and approved and I started making regular payments. First I noticed that despite paying ACS directly online, and the funds leaving my account, they would sometimes not apply the payment for a week or more, meaning that my payment was still often late and eligible for a fine. When I applied for ACH (automatic clearing house) to avoid this, I received a confusing letter that it was not allowed because of my parent's name on my account [the account is in my name]. Because I had assumed I was enrolled successfully, and didn't receive any notification that I wasn't, this led to another missed payment + late fee.
I soon realised my payments were being applied to cumulative late fees, not the monthly payments, and because of this, new late fees were being applied. I had to call up to figure out what to do and after speaking to 2 different representatives on 2 different occasions and explaining I couldn't make payments of $2000 to bring my account up to date, I was told that my only option was to ask for ANOTHER forbearance to bring my loan up to date. Then, once the forbearance was applied, I would have to apply for IBR AGAIN, for a FOURTH TIME. When I asked what would happen if I didn't get the IBR processed in time for next month's payment, and couldn't make the payment the advisor told me to "get it in as soon as possible."
[Not to mention that at this point I had sent all original payslips and tax documents to them and no longer had them on file, because they had insisted on originals - only to find out that they don't keep them and shredded them, and weren't able to give me any of the figures I'd supplied them with - important because of the fluctuating exchange rate.]
I duly applied for the IBR 'again', my 4th time, the very next day. In the meantime my monthly payment shot up from $125 to $400 or so. Having learned from previous mistakes I didn't "assume" that the application had been received. I sent 2 emails via the customer service email service and received an automated response that they would be in touch within 48 hours [they weren't].
I finally called them, only to find out that 1) My 4th IBR application, sent on the 24th of March, was "received" and put on file for processing on the 14th of April. It would take 7-10 business days to be processed. My payment due date is April 28th. Customer service advised me not to worry as it would be processed "almost instantly", but that if it wasn't, there was another option. He explained that I could apply for another forbearance for that month only, then when the IBR was processed, could start paying from May; 2) My application for the waiver of late fees didn't exist/had been lost.
Sooo... I kept monitoring the situation every day to see when the IBR would come into effect, keeping in mind that it could take 7-10 business days. Finally, on April 25th, because the IBR still wasn't applied, I called ACS customer service, to be told that it was still processing and that if I couldn't make the payment, that my account would no longer be current and I would get another late fee. When I asked if there was any way of applying a forbearance the adviser said I had run out of forbearance time and that there wasn't anything she could do to help except ask for my application to be expedited (keeping in mind that at this point the application was sent to them a month ago). This phone call ended in tears, with me asking why I had been advised to apply for the stupid forbearance in the first place, as the whole point was to get my account current and now it was causing more trouble than if I had just kept paying under IBR!
After calming down, I resolved to call again on April 26. I explained the situation to the adviser (at this point it takes 10 minutes just to try to explain) and asked what I could do now that the forbearance had run out. She looked at my account and said "you have forbearance time left, I can apply it now". So now I'm in my umpteenth forbearance, which will take 5-10 business days... Last adviser says it will cover this payment period even if it's approved after the payment due date of the 28th but I literally can't trust anything anyone from ACS says to me! So I'm waiting for the results of my 4th IBR application, and easily my 5th or 6th forbearance.
I don't believe for a second that both my IBR applications and my loan waiver application were lost. Or that my original IBR documentation was lost. I believe that ACS holds onto payments and applications as much as possible to create more debt and fees for their clients. At the very least I am employed, in good health and without dependents. How anyone who's struggling financially can navigate this faceless bureaucracy with success is beyond me, let alone those who are under stress and duress due to family or health issues. These seemingly insurmountable complications and incredibly complicated conversations have led to my feeling like I am doomed to a life of debt. This is reprehensible behaviour. PLEASE SOMEONE START A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT LIKE IN MASSACHUSETTS! Obfuscation & usurious practices to keep people in debt.
ACS is a servicer. They are supposed to help you figure out alternatives to avoid default. They did not. I am lucky enough that the guarantor of the loan, American Student Assistance, told me that I qualified and should apply for economic hardship. ACS always told me that I've already exhausted all my deferments. There are different types of deferments and they were trying to avoid telling me about the economic hardship deferment. ASA stayed on the line with the lying ACS agent while we spoke about it. This is the only way I was able to get a point in my favor.
Previous to applying for economic hardship, around August 2016, ACS agents lied through their teeth about my IBR forms received. They held them longer than usual for it to reach another late payment to be able to apply it to "due amount" and force me to pay it before I could enter into IBR and postpone it. That is not all, one agent told me that my IBR application was approved and everything was in good standing and that the system on my account would update shortly... It never did update so I called back and the next agent said she had no information that my account was in good standing. I don't understand how a company such as this gets away with so many violations and not get banned by the Department of Education.
I am currently in Economic Hardship deferment, but not thanks to them. Do not take advice from this servicer to what they say is hardly ever true. Talk to the Ombudsman and your guarantor, also be proactive and calling the servicer and raising your voice with ConsumerAffairs. I am currently considering a lawsuit against this company.
I have paid my student loan FOR YEARS and had to change my checking account a couple of times. Each time that I have done this instead of it being easy (like changing your payment with a credit card) my account goes into some sort of holding status and my next payment is not credited so it appears that the payment is late. For some reason their archaic website does not very quickly identify the new checking account until another month goes by. When I or my husband has called about this issue, they just give you the runaround. This company sucks, their website sucks. I cannot wait to pay this ** off!! We even pay more than the minimal payment and the principal balance just sits there barely touched again FOR YEARS!!! I realize that I took out this loan but I will NEVER do that again. If I can't pay with cash/payment arrangement/scholarship I will not go to school. I have been paying on my student loan for at least 20 years. POS!!
For eight years - 1998 to 2006 - after receiving my graduate degree (in December 1997) I consistently paid on my student loan, only to see my loan balance continually INCREASE - from the original debt of $37,000, to $45,000, to over $50,000, then to $62,000, then to $70,000. And now ACS is apparently selling my information to other soliciting companies in the student loan collection/reduction/consolidation business (e.g., Student Assistance Corp., Certified Solutions Center) claiming that the figure is over $79,000. My graduate loan started with Direct Loans (William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program). Around mid-2000, my loan was apparently handed over to a company called Northwest Education Loan Association; correctly or otherwise, I began making payments to NELA.
In July 2002, I received notification (from somebody called AFSA Data Corporation; a possible precursor to ACS, with a "Borrower Services Department" address in Utica, NY (although payments were to be sent to a P.O. Box in Phoenix, AZ) that my student loans were being consolidated, via an outfit called SLCC (Student Loan Consolidation Center). Then, beginning in the fall of 2002, I began receiving correspondence - and payment coupon books - from a company called ACS.
I began making payments to ACS, and continued to do so, even after my partner lost his Silicon Valley tech job (after 12-1/2 years) just before Christmas 2003, and even after we relocated from San Francisco to Palm Springs for less expensive housing, and a lower cost of living. He found another job (doing I.T. for a hotel/resort) and I got my real estate license (and took a series of accounting-related temp jobs, in the interim, trying to make ends meet). Making less money, and less consistently, the ever-increasing student loan payments became a struggle. Although I began to make money as a Realtor, he lost his job as I.T. manager for the hotel/resort (after 4 years) in September 2009. By then, my outstanding loan amount had somehow ballooned to over $55,000.
By October 2010, NELA - not ACS - was threatening wage garnishment on a loan amount they claimed was now over $62,000, through a company called General Revenue Corporation. I filed for an income-based repayment program (IBR) that was apparently processed without issue at the time (although I'm uncertain by whom; apparently the payments I had been making to ACS since 2002 had not been forwarded to either NELA, or to Direct Loans). From that point, in late 2010, I began to get simultaneous billing from ACS, as well as from a company called Student Assistance Corporation, as well as from a company called GC Services.
My partner took what was supposed to be a contract-to-hire job in late June 2010; however, starting in September 2010, he began having black out episodes, again in late November, in February 2011, and finally in April 2011, that resulted in trips to ER, and ultimately, a week in the hospital. In November 2011, he was diagnosed with moderate stage 2 prostate cancer. Meanwhile, he wasn't working since April 2011. I filed a Forbearance Request in 2013, 2014, and 2015, via Student Assistance Corp., which went smoothly enough (in fact, with the renewal in the spring of 2015, I was told by the Student Assistance Corp. rep assisting me over the phone, that - given both the age of the loan, the enormous accrual over time, and the escalating financial burden - that the loan itself would eventually be written off. No, I didn't believe her).
After cancer surgery in June 2014, my partner finally went back to work - part time, at first, a couple days a week - in October 2014. But the outstanding, mounting debt, loss of income, and medical expenses finally got us an eviction; in January 2015, we moved in with a friend, as roommates. I tried to file a renewal of the forbearance in 2016 but now was very brusquely told that I no longer qualified; the reason given was the Supreme Court decision in June 2015, that now defined our legal relationship on a Federal level as a married couple; and that, as a married couple filing jointly (for 2015) I would no longer qualify for a forbearance, income-based payment reduction, balance reduction, or other repayment assistance programs. My response was that I could not afford an additional expense of $983 per month.
From that point forward, ACS has become especially aggressive, sometimes calling as many as 6 times a day (in addition to calls from Student Assistance Corporation). I realize that I'm not alone, but it's no exaggeration to say that this situation has ruined our lives. I'd have no issue paying the original borrowed loan amount - $37,000 - at the original 5.125% rate, and at the $220 per month installment amount, but despite years of payments, the outstanding amount has tripled since graduation.
No wonder millions of American lives have been ruined, with the U.S. economy in almost continuous stagnation, and housing beyond the practical reach of all but the most wealthy (very often, foreign national) buyer. There appeared to be a glimmer of hope towards the eradication of this massive, growing, plague of student loan debt under the prior administration, but that was effectively blocked, and the likelihood of any sort of relief would now appear hopelessly lost.
I consolidated my loans after graduation and only went into deferment once but I still made some payments when I had the extra money. I paid on this loan for almost 9 years, the beginning balance was $32201.00. I paid over $17920.00 and when I got the chance to re-fi with the federal government I found that out of the $17920 they only applied a little of $6000 to the principal. They kept over $11000 for themselves. Where does someone like me get help. Please, please do not use this company for anything. They will rip you off and then hide when you need answers.
Conduent Education Services Company Information
- Company Name:
- Conduent Education Services
- Formerly Named:
- ACS Services Corporation