American Education Services (AES) – Learn How Student Loans Are Managed

Michael Brown Updated: July 24, 2019

Although they originally borrowed their tuition money from Uncle Sam, nearly 1 in 3 Americans with federal student loans make their monthly payments to a company called American Education Services. AES is the largest of the nine student loan servicers that currently handle day-to-day management of student loans for the U.S. Department of Education.

If your loans are being managed by AES, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the company and what they can do for you. Student loan servicers play a crucial role in tracking your payments, explaining your options if you’re having financial difficulties, and answering any questions you may have. Here’s what you need to know about AES.

About American Education Services

AES was founded by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) in 1963 to manage loans granted through the now-defunct Family Education Loan Program. Today, together with its partner agency FedLoan, it handles about 31% of the U.S. Department of Education’s direct loans, serving 8.4 million borrowers with debt totaling $292.7 billion. It also manages student loans for private companies including SunTrust, JP Morgan Chase, and PNC Bank.

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What does AES do?

Like all loan servicers, AES handles a number of student loan-related tasks including:

  • Sending bills and account statements
  • Processing and keeping track of payments
  • Helping borrowers pick the best repayment plan
  • Dealing with requests for deferment or forbearance
  • Certifying borrowers for loan forgiveness

AES has several online tools for borrowers to manage their loans. After making an account on the AES website, you can view your balance and loan terms, switch payment plans, and print tax documents. There are several ways to make payments through the online portal. You can make a one-time payment, schedule up to 8 payments ahead of time, or set up direct debit. (Enrolling in direct debit can get you a .25% interest rate discount.) If you have more than one student loan, you can choose where any extra payments are applied.

AES trailed many of its competitors in offering mobile service, but it recently released applications for iOS and Android. Their mobile apps allow users to view their balances, make payments, and update contact information. Reviews have been mixed, with many users complaining of bugs and crashes, but AES has aimed to fix some of those problems through recent updates.

What benefits does AES provide?

In addition to its main website, AES offers limited educational and planning resources on two companion sites. is geared toward parents and high school students. Another site, called “You Can Deal With It,” has budgeting and money management tips for college students and recent grads.

What repayment plans does AES provide?

Federal student loan repayment plans are dictated by the U.S. Department of Education, so all servicing companies offer similar options. Borrowers who have been assigned to work with AES are limited to the following repayment plans:

  • Standard, with fixed payments over 10 years
  • Graduated, with bills that start small and increase at regular intervals over 10 or 25 years
  • Extended, with fixed payments for 25 years
  • Income-driven plans including: 
    • a) Pay as you earn (PAYE),
    • b) Revised pay as you earn (REPAYE),
    • c) Income-based repayment,
    • d) Income-contingent repayment
    • e) Income-sensitive repayment

AES has a repayment estimator tool and a chart that briefly describes each plan, but a recurring consumer complaint is that the company doesn’t do enough to help borrowers understand the options, many of which sound very similar.

How does AES help people struggling with student loan payments?

If AES is your servicer and you’re having trouble making payments, the first step is to contact their customer service department. You might qualify for forbearance, deferment, or reduced payments if you’re unemployed, underemployed, or experiencing financial hardship. Extending the term of your loan could lower your monthly payments. There are several remedies that might provide relief in the short term, but none of them will lower the interest rate or amount you owe.

Are there other options to manage my student loans?

For many borrowers with AES-serviced loans, refinancing to a lower interest rate can shave thousands of dollars off the total repayment amount. It’s a good idea to explore refinancing, especially if you took out your loans before 2014 and are paying more than 4% interest. With a lower interest rate, more of your payment goes to principal, and that means your balance goes down much faster.

If you have multiple student loans, chances are you’re dealing with more than one loan servicing company. Consolidating your debt into a single loan can simplify your finances and get you out of debt faster. Consolidating through the federal government won’t lower your interest rate, but consolidating with a private lender can result in huge savings.

Here at Comet, we’ve helped people save more than $200 million on their student loans. Most banks that offer student loan refinancing have stringent underwriting standards. They are looking for borrowers with reasonably good credit scores, a low debt-to-income ratio, and steady employment. But even if your credit isn’t perfect, there may be ways to qualify. The first step is to request a personalized quote. With most modern lenders, you can get a decision in less than 15 minutes with no impact to your credit.

Wondering if you could be getting a better deal on your student loans? The lenders listed below topped our 2018 rankings for best customer service, product offerings, transparency, and ease of applying.

AES contact information

Office Hours: M - F: 7:30 AM - 9 PM (EST)


Phone:  1-800-233-0557

Mailing address for general correspondence:

American Edication Services
P.O. Box 2461
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2461


Click here for more information on the other main student loan servicers.

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