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Are AES Loans Federal or Private?

American Education Services (AES) handles both private and federal student loans. Fortunately, it is fairly simple to identify which loans are federal.

Written By: Michael P. Lux, Esq.

Published:

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Understanding the difference between federal and private student loans is crucial.

Federal student loans offer more favorable repayment plans and forgiveness opportunities. To get rid of private student loans, you often need to use different tactics.

If you have loans with AES, it might not be clear if they are federal or private. Fortunately, it’s easy to find out for sure.

How to Tell if Your AES Loans are Federal or Private

If you are looking for certainty, the best option is to visit studentaid.gov and pull up your account.

The Department of Education runs studentaid.gov, and they keep detailed records of all federal student loans. These records include loan balances, interest rates, and servicer information.

If your AES loans don’t appear in this federal database, they are private loans.

Are You Lost? Navigating studentaid.gov isn’t always easy. If you want turn-by-turn directions to find your loan information, use this guide to navigate the federal database.

Private or Commercially-Held Federal Loans

One of the trickiest types of student loans to understand is the privately-held federal loan.

Before 2010, private lenders could offer loans guaranteed by the federal government through the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). While private companies provided the money and collected interest, the government would cover the payments if the borrower didn’t pay.

These loans count as federal loans for borrowers but aren’t directly held by the government. FFELP loans offer some federal benefits, like qualifying for Income-Driven Repayment plans, but they don’t qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Many borrowers choose to use a federal direct consolidation loan to address FFELP loan eligibility issues. Direct consolidation converts the privately-held loan into a federally-held loan.

To figure out if your loan is privately-held, here’s a simple tip: if you had to keep making payments during the Covid-19 payment freeze, your loan is privately-held. If you didn’t have to make payments, it’s federally-held.

Tips for Borrowers with AES Federal Loans

One of the many perks of having federal student loans is that the rules are the same regardless of who services your loans. In other words, AES federal loans have the same repayment plans and forgiveness options as Navient, MyFedLoan, and MOHELA federal loans.

Many federal borrowers just look for the repayment plan with the lowest monthly payment. However, the best approach is for borrowers to develop a plan to eliminate their loans. In some cases, it means pursuing the various options for student loan forgiveness.

When picking a repayment plan, there are many different options and strategies to consider. If you want estimates on monthly payments, the Department of Education’s Loan Simulator can use your actual loan information to predict monthly payments on the various plans.

Tips for Borrowers with AES Private Loans

Private loans are notoriously more strict than federal student loans. Monthly minimum payments are often large, and forgiveness options are rarely available.

For this reason, many borrowers elect to pay off their private loans as quickly as possible — even if the loans have lower interest rates than the federal loans.

Because AES is the servicer of the loans and not the lender, they usually can’t offer borrowers much flexibility beyond what is specified in the original loan contract. When borrowers are struggling or looking for help, AES stands between the borrower and the lender. If you have a specific request, sometimes the best route is to ask AES to ask the loan holder.

Unfortuantely, there isn’t an option to easily convert AES private loans into federal loans.

Simplifying Private Loan Repayment: A popular option is refinancing your private loans with a new lender. Borrowers can refinance to get lower interest rates and to work with a new lender.

Refinancing is risky for federal borrowers, but because private loans don’t have income-driven repayment plans or student loan forgiveness, refinancing private loans is much safer.

If your interest rates are high or you are unhappy with your servicer, be sure to check out the guide to student loan refinancing.

How to Contact AES

To avoid disputes about who said what, I recommend that borrowers communicate with their lenders and servicers via email. AES borrowers can send an email directly to AES.

Borrowers can call AES at this number: 1-800-233-0557.

AES uses several different addresses, depending upon what you are mailing:

Send Payments to:
American Education Services (AES)
P.O. Box 65093
Baltimore, MD 21264-5093

Send Letters and Correspondence to:
American Education Services
P.O. Box 2461
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2461

Send Payments Express/Overnight Deliveries to:
American Education Services
Box #65093
1800 Washington Blvd., 8th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21230

Send Express/Overnight Letters and Correspondence Deliveries to:
American Education Services
1200 North 7th St.
Harrisburg, PA 17102

Send Conditional Payments to:
AES – Conditional Payments
P.O. Box 2251
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2251

Send Credit Disputes to:
AES Credit
P.O. Box 61047
Harrisburg, PA 17106-1047

Additionally, AES has a consumer advocate. This office can help you if you believe AES has made a mistake. Contact information for the consumer advocate is available here.

About the Author

Student loan expert Michael Lux is a licensed attorney and the founder of The Student Loan Sherpa. He has helped borrowers navigate life with student debt since 2013.

Insight from Michael has been featured in US News & World Report, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and numerous other online and print publications.

Michael is available for speaking engagements and to respond to press inquiries.

12 thoughts on “Are AES Loans Federal or Private?”

  1. Hi, I paid off two loans serviced through AES in July 2021 that are listed on student aid.gov as FFELP Consolidation loans. Since march of 2020 I paid around $7100 to pay them off completely. AES is tell ing me that as of now t it does not appear that I am eligible for any type of refund through the Fed Student Laon Relief Program. From what I am understanding the work around is to convert them into a direct federal loan but I cannot do that since there is a zero balance. Is there further actions I need to or should attempt to take to try to get some relief from what I paid off?

    Reply
  2. Hi. Thanks for your articles! I have a two questions:

    I was with AES for around 15 years and in January 2022, I consolidated with FedLoan for the extended PSLF. Because my loans were public/government loans, will I get any money reimbursed for anything I paid beyond the 120 payments?

    I continued to make payments to AES during covid until the time I consolidated with FedLoan. Will AES reimburse me for the payments made between March of 2020 and January of 2022 (when I consolidated) under the Cares Act?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • This will depend upon the loans that you consolidated. If they were FFEL loans, you probably won’t be eligible for a refund on either. If they were federal direct loans, you can request a refund for the extra payments.

      Reply
  3. Good afternoon,

    My loans I have are listed on student aid.gov. It says the are FFELP consolidation and I also have a PELL GRANT if $450. Do I qualify for the foregiveness? They are serviced thru AES.

    Reply
  4. I am very confused. I had FFELP loans, which I think are Federal. I did a consolidation and they went to AES. Does that mean they are private now or are they Federal and just being serviced by AES? Some sites are saying anything AES is commercial and will not qualify. Some are saying if you can find them on the studentaid.gov site they are Federal. Mine are listed on the studentaid.gov as being serviced by AES and listed as “FFELP Consolidation”. Can you untangle that??

    Reply
    • I’d be happy to untangle that. You did an excellent job explaining the situation!

      FFEL loans were issued by private lenders, but guaranteed by the federal government. These are technically federal loans, but they do have some restrictions. When you consolidated the loan, it could still be an FFEL loan if you used another FFEL lender for consolidation. It is also possible you consolidated into a direct loan. (If you consolidated in the last 10 years or so, it is likely a direct loan… if it was longer ago, it is probably an FFEL consolidation loan). If you have an FFEL consolidation loan, you can consolidate it again, this time into a federal direct loan.

      If Studentaid.gov has it listed as an FFELP consolidation loan, it is a federal loan, but not federally-held. You can go through federal direct consolidation if you would like to convert it to a federal direct loan.

      Reply
  5. Will Biden’s $10,000 loan forgiveness program apply to AES loans?
    My loans were originally direct federal loans, I only refinanced them because everyone said it would be cheaper to pay back. That company sold my loans like 3 times and now AES has them.
    Can I sell them back to the Federal Government so they can be forgiven?

    Reply
  6. was having trouble paying AES co signed for child who could never pay them somi was informed i had to pay. made arrangements did some forebearance but payments kept being higher. used NDR servers midway they switched payments to be sent to Liberty bank. They are charging 24 percent interest. My son is now complete renal failure and other healt issues, have 2 plus years totry and pay off the student loans is there help for forgivness at this stage. have paid on loans since 2009.

    Reply

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