Conduent Education Services, formerly ACS Student Loans, is a student loan servicer used by the Department of Education and private lenders. Overall, Conduent hasn't received the best customer satisfaction ratings: Many borrowers have had trouble with the transition from ACS, and others have had problems with customer service. If you are having some of these issues, find out how to deal with these common borrower complaints and how to switch student loan servicers below.
Conduent Student Loans Review
If your loans were previously serviced by ACS Student Loans, your loan servicer is now Conduent Education Services. Conduent Inc. acquired ACS Student Loans in January 2017 and renamed the company. You can still log in with your ACS credentials, however, some borrowers have had trouble with the transition. If you have issues paying your loans or signing in, contact the servicer as soon as possible so it doesn't negatively affect your loans and credit.
Before ACS Education Services was acquired, the servicer was involved in a lawsuit with the state of Massachusetts for delaying income-driven repayment applications, charging unreasonable fees and failing to follow the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Once the lawsuit was settled, the servicer paid a fine of $2.4 million and some borrowers receiving payouts. Since then, borrower complaints have included problems with signing in, payments that weren't applied properly and trouble reaching customer service.
Both Conduent Inc. and ACS Education Services have received an F rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for failing to respond to borrower complaints. Borrowers have also filed complaints through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). If you're experiencing problems with the company, contact Conduent Education Services right away or send a complaint to the CFPB, Federal Student Aid Feedback System or the BBB. If you want to switch servicers completely, check out our top student loan refinancing options.
Repayment With Conduent Student Loans
Conduent provides a few different student loan repayment methods for borrowers. These include automatic payments, one-time payments through your online account, calling the company's automated phone system or customer service, and sending a check or money order by mail. Authorized third parties, such as your parents, can make payments on your account, or you can set up a bill-pay service.
Your repayment plan with Conduent will depend on your lender or school. Conduent services Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans*, private loans and campus-based loans. If you have a FFEL, you have a few different federal repayment plans to choose from, including some income-based repayment plans. You are automatically enrolled in standard repayment, but you should explore other plans, especially if you are having difficulty meeting your payments. If you have private loans, your repayment options will depend on your lender. And if you have loans through your school or the Perkins Loan Program, your repayment plan will depend on the school you attend.
*The Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program was discontinued in 2010, but Conduent continues to service these loans.
How to Switch Loan Servicers
When you take out a federal student loan, you can't change your federal student loan servicer unless you qualify for public service loan forgiveness (PSLF), in which your loan will be serviced by FedLoan or you consolidate your loans. On the other hand, if you have a private loan serviced by Conduent or you want to switch your federal loans to private, you'll need to refinance your student loan to change servicers. If you decide not to refinance, you will be stuck with Conduent for up to your loan term, which can extend up to 25 years, depending on your repayment plan. To help you consider other options, we identified some of the best student loan refinancing lenders.
Before you refinance to get away from Conduent: If you have federal loans with Conduent, keep in mind that, by refinancing, you will lose certain protections and payment plans that come with these loans, including income-based repayment and student loan forgiveness. Also, your interest rate may be higher, depending on your credit history and finances.
Unlike most lenders, Earnest services its own student loans, which ensures your loan won't be sent to another company that you've never researched or used before. The lender earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and is a good option for borrowers who want flexibility in setting their own loan term and monthly payment. It's important to note that Earnest was acquired by Navient, which doesn't have great customer satisfaction ratings, but the companies continue to operate separately.
SoFi stands out for student loan refinancing as it offers some of the best rates and employment assistance for borrowers who lose their jobs or those who want to seek new employment. SoFi provides its borrowers with career coaches and networking opportunities. However, unlike Earnest, SoFi does not service its student loans. Instead, the loans are serviced by MOHELA, which received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau—although had some, but few, CFPB complaints.
Like Earnest, Discover also services its student loans, meaning your loans will be handled by one company throughout the life of the loan. It is not the best lender in terms of rates, but it's a good lender for borrowers who want assistance options in case they face financial difficulties. Discover provides payment extensions, early repayment assistance and reduced payments to help borrowers avoid forbearance, deferment or default.
You should really only switch student loan servicers if the private lender is offering a lower rate than you currently have. If not, it's best to stay with your servicer and be on top of your payments. It's important to keep in mind that refinancing does not guarantee that you will receive better service.
Conduent Customer Service and How to Submit a Complaint
If you're having problems with Conduent Education Services, consider filing a complaint with the following agencies before refinancing your student loans.
FSA Feedback System: If you have federal loans with Conduent, you can use the Federal Student Aid Feedback System to submit complaints about the loan servicer and report suspicious activity. To file a complaint, you must fill out an online form to explain your issue, how you would like it to be resolved, and provide any other relevant information or documents. The Federal Student Aid office will then look over your complaint and respond as quickly as it can.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): The CFPB is another federal website that accepts complaints, but unlike the FSA Feedback System, you can submit a complaint about any company. According to the CFPB website, 97% of consumers receive a timely response to their issue. To file a complaint, you will answer a few questions to categorize your issue and then describe what happened with the company. After you submit, the complaint is forwarded to the company for a response within 15 days; it may take up to 60 days for a final response.
Better Business Bureau (BBB): If those agencies don't work, you can also check out the Better Business Bureau, which works to resolve issues consumers are having with businesses. To file a complaint with the bureau, you must describe the problems with your servicer and provide your name, address and email. The BBB will send your report to the business and ask for a response within 14 days. If there is no response within that time frame, the BBB will try to contact the company again. Based on what we found from the BBB website, complaints are usually closed within 30 days.
Before you use any of these resources, reach out to Conduent Education Services to try and resolve your issue. If you feel your loans aren't being handled properly, even with your complaints, then you should use one of these services. You can contact Conduent by phone, email and postal mail. You can also reach the servicer through its social media, but the accounts are for the whole company, not just its education services division. Conduent also has an FAQ section that you can read before contacting the company, since it answers the most common questions borrowers have.
Common Problems with Conduent Student Loans
Although ACS Student Loans was acquired in 2017 and the company's name was changed, many borrowers still file complaints under ACS instead of Conduent. Looking at Conduent on the CFPB, there are only approximately 38 complaints, while ACS has more than 300 filed since January 2017. Also, both ACS Student Loans and Conduent Inc. have received F ratings from the Better Business Bureau for failure to respond to complaints. Below, we have compiled some of the major complaints borrowers have.
Received bad information about a loan: Borrowers seem to still have issues following the switch from ACS Student Loans to Conduent Education Services. It seems things went smoothly at first, but now quite a few borrowers have had trouble accessing their accounts and contacting the student loan servicer about it. Acquisitions are usually complicated and involve a lot of information being passed over. However, your loans and your credit history are important, so you should always check to see if your loans are being transferred properly.
Trouble with how payments are handled: This common complaint also has to do with the company switch. Borrowers reported their payments aren't being applied to their balances, and some received late notices. One borrower had been making payments on time using Conduent and then couldn't sign in to her account, check her balance or see if she was being charged fees. Other borrowers are able to sign in but get an error message when trying to make a payment. In this situation, you must contact the servicer as soon as possible, call them, send messages and reach out on social media. The last thing you want is to be charged a late fee or have Conduent's error affect your credit.
Problems with customer service: Another common complaint is that borrowers are having issues with customer service, including actually getting in contact with a representative or confirming something over the phone and not seeing it reflected in their account. To solve this, you should contact the company through phone, email, social media and any other way that will get you to talk to a representative. Each time you talk to someone from Conduent, you should record their name and see if they can send you a confirmation of what you discussed in your call.