Dallas, TX: The 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.
If you or a loved one have suffered losses in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a financial lawyer who may evaluate your ACS Access Student Loans claim at no cost or obligation.
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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