AES/PHEAA – CFPB Complaint ID 3081020

Date Received: 2018-11-22T00:00:00.000

Product: Federal student loan servicing

Issue: Dealing with your lender or servicer

Consumer Consent Provided to Share Complaint: Consent provided

Consumer Complaint: Hello!
I am a XXXX XXXX and I have unsubsidized and subsidized student loans which I consolidated in XXXX, prior to me starting to repay my student loans. I enrolled in an income based repayment plan and began paying my student loans in early XXXX ( deferred in late XXXX ) with XXXX XXXX as my servicer. Sometime in XXXX, I was switched over to XXXX XXXX where I continued to participate in income based repayment plans, where I continue to pay through this current date. As a XXXX XXXX, I also began submitting documentation of my public service employment to qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness ( PSLF ) program in the hopes of having my student loan balance erased after 120 payments. Up until recently it was acknowledged that my projected end date was in XX/XX/XXXX.

The last few years I submitted my employment information to recertify my public employment and eligibility for PSLF. I never had an issue as the estimated pay off date always appeared consistent with my payment history dating back to XX/XX/XXXX/XX/XX/XXXX. However, in early XXXX I submitted my updated employment information. Keep in mind that I have been steadily employed by the XX/XX/XXXX since XXXX. Now in XX/XX/XXXX I was informed that all of a sudden I had two different projected end dates under PSLF that did not match up prior estimates provided by XXXX XXXX. I contacted a representative from XXXX and explained that because my loans were consolidated and that I have been in direct debit ( automatic payments through my checking account ), I could not have possibly submitted separate payments to the 2 loan types. This employee acknowledged this error and indicated they would have my account sent for further evaluation and recalculating. I was told this would take about 8-10 weeks. Well, I never heard back and have followed up at least 3 times since XX/XX/XXXX. Most recently I was told that they would not be able to recalculate my loan payment history and qualifying payments until the spring of XXXX, at the earliest. They are now claiming that there was likely an overpayment when calculating my payments in XXXX or XXXX, which is setting off all future payments until XXXX. I note that in XXXX or XXXX I was with XXXX XXXX and my payments were made with direct debit, so any amount due was automatically taken from my checking account. I enrolled in direct debit to ensure that payments would be timely made in the correct amount. I continued with direct debit in XXXX when I was switched over to XXXX. I also requested a history of qualifying payments in XXXX and was given a log that shows all payments made in XXXX and XXXX were actually indicated to be ” qualifying payments ” for PSLF. All of a sudden now, I am told that is no longer the case!

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I can not understand why after many years of being provided a history of qualifying payments, they are alleging problems with payments made with a previous service provider. If there was a discrepancy, I should have been notified of this at the time … or even in any of the past years when I voluntarily requested payment history information to ensure I was on track with my qualifying payments. I was never told I had an overpayment or an underpayment on my account. I simply paid what was debited from the servicing providers, which was indicated to be the total amount due.

I have been extremely patient and tried working with XXXX XXXX but now that I am nearing the end of 120 payments for PLSF, I am worried that they are raising an issue that allegedly occurred 7 years ago. I have fortunately kept documents that show the payment history where they indicate that all of my payments made from XX/XX/XXXX-XX/XX/XXXX and all payments made were indicated as ” qualifying payments ” for PLSF. I can not understand how years later they can now say these payments are not qualifying, especially when I paid all amounts due with direct deposit. Any discrepancy in the payment they collected from my account, even if its an overpayment, is very questionable since it’s only being brought up 7 years after the fact. Especially in light of my efforts to reach out to XXXX and keep up to date with my history of qualifying payments. One rep that I spoke with acknowledged that given my history of payments, it looks like I would be done in XX/XX/XXXX but that they can not provide any more information until someone looks into my account, and that this will be ” very tedious. ” The first XXXX representative I spoke with in early XXXX was honest enough to tell me that this is an issue with many participants with the servicing company. I also did an internet research that shows this exact situation has occurred with many participants in the PSLF with XXXX XXXX.

I have had many issues with XXXX XXXX in the past, like having to go on deferment/forbearance due to them taking an inordinate amount of time recalculating my new payments following my annual income recertification to remain on an income based repayment plan. I always submit my income information in a timely manner but XXXX would take so long in processing the information in the past, that I was forced to go on deferment/forbearance. These delays caused me further delay in reaching my 120 qualifying payments. But I overlooked these issues with XXXX XXXX in the past. However, this new issue can not be overlooked.

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I am working hard to pay my student loans on a timely basis using direct debit and ensuring I pay in full whatever I am billed. I re-ceritfy my income and employment information and have received corroboration with XXXX that I was on track. I am very troubled that they can now allege some issues occurred several years ago with a different servicing provider that I believe is now defunct. My right to dispute this was taken away since I was never made aware of this. I also don’t trust this raised issue because it was previously non-existent.

I feel like I have been deprived my right to make an informed choice about my student loans and participation in PSLF. It’s scary that you can do your best to be a responsible borrower and follow all rules, but to have no control how your funds and loan is being handled.

Please help me resolve this issue.

Company: AES/PHEAA

State/Zip: VA 220XX

Company Response to Complaint: Closed with explanation

Was Company Response Timely: Yes

Did Consumer Dispute Company Response: N/A

Complaint ID: 3081020

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