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.
READ MORE ACS ACCESS STUDENT LOANS LEGAL NEWS
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.