Conduent (ACS) Student Loans Review: What You Need to Know

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Conduent Education, formerly known as ACS Education Services, no longer services student loans. As a result, borrowers may experience confusion over how to proceed now that their Conduent student loans have been moved to other servicers.

Overview of Conduent Education (formerly ACS)
Legal troubles for Conduent and ACS
Conduent reviews from customers
What to do if you had Conduent student loans
How to switch loan servicers

Overview of Conduent Education (formerly ACS)

ACS Education Services was renamed Conduent Education Services in January 2017. (Conduent is a spinoff of Xerox, which acquired ACS Education as part of its purchase of Affiliated Computer Services in 2010.)

For those with ACS student loans, there wasn’t supposed to be much change. However, the transition didn’t go as smoothly as expected. Reports of loan balance discrepancies and issues related to income-driven repayment were reported by borrowers and scrutinized by government agencies.

Conduent took over servicing on ACS student loans, including Perkins loans, Federal Family Education Loans and private student loans. (ACS in 2013 lost its federal contract to service direct loans.) Loan servicing is the administration of loans originated by someone else. For example, colleges and universities made Perkins loans, but then Conduent loan servicing took over managing the account, including receiving payments and updating information.

As of Sept. 1, 2019, Conduent Education stopped servicing student loans. Loans have been sent to other companies for management. Borrowers needed to check into their Conduent student loans to see where to send payments.

Legal troubles for Conduent and ACS

ACS and Conduent student loans have been the target of complaints and fines. The New York attorney general’s office in January 2019 announced a $9 million settlement with Conduent Education, citing claims that the company steered borrowers toward expensive options, such as forbearance, instead of helping them with income-driven repayment.

Additionally, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in May 2019 reported a settlement with Conduent for $3.9 million. The CFPB pointed to the practice of not updating principal balances in a timely manner and other issues that led to borrowers paying off loans with inaccurate balances, as well as keeping borrowers from consolidating their loans.

Ahead of the acquisition, an investigation into ACS by the Massachusetts attorney general found irregularities and problems that resulted in fines totaling $2.4 million. The state alleged that ACS — in addition to not properly processing income-driven repayment applications — charged excessive late fees and used abusive debt collection practices.

Conduent reviews from customers

As of Feb. 26, 2020, Conduent Education had an overall satisfaction rating of 1 out of 5 stars — based on 329 ratings — on ConsumerAffairs, which collects reviews from consumers. (Note that Conduent doesn’t participate in ConsumerAffairs’ accreditation program, so the company doesn’t respond to consumer complaints on the site.)

ConsumerAffairs gives more weight to recent consumer reviews. It only includes consumer reviews from the past 12 months in its overall satisfaction rating when there are more than 30.

What to do if you had Conduent student loans

If your loans were previously serviced by Conduent, the company provides instructions on its website for what to do depending on the type of loan you have.

  • Perkins loan: Contact the school that made the loan to find out more information about who’s servicing the loan and how to get in contact with the new servicer.
  • Federal student loans: Use the National Student Loan Data System to find out your current servicer. Your lender information should be listed under “Financial Aid Review.” You should be able to get contact information from there.

If you have private student loans that were formerly serviced by Conduent, you might need to check your credit report to see what company is listed or contact your original lender to see if they have information about your current servicer. Calling the Conduent phone number or using a Conduent email (if you can find one) won’t make a difference.

It’s important to find out who is servicing your Conduent student loans because missing payments can have serious consequences. If you miss federal loan payments, you might be ineligible for certain federal benefits and programs. Missing payments on both federal and private student loans can negatively impact your credit, making it difficult to access financial services later.

How to switch loan servicers

You can’t pick your servicer with federal student loans — your servicer is assigned to you. However, if you decide to consolidate your loans, you can choose your servicer for your direct consolidation loan.

If you want more control over your servicer, you need to refinance your student loans, which means turning federal student loans into private loans. While you might be able to qualify for a lower interest rate and payment when you refinance, there are some things to know. When you refinance, you lose access to protections such as income-driven repayment, automatic deferment (in some cases) and Public Service Loan Forgiveness. If these are programs you think you’ll need, refinancing might not be the best choice for you.

However, depending on your situation, refinancing may be a good choice. It allows you to choose a different student loan servicer, as well as potentially save you money on interest. Carefully consider your options and compare student loan refinancing offers before you move forward.

Ben Luthi contributed to this report.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

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2.39% – 6.01%Undergrad
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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.

Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.79% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.64% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of July 31, 2020, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.

Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.

The information provided on this page is updated as of 7/31/2020. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.

© 2020 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.


2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

All credit products are subject to credit approval.

Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.

As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.

  1. Checking your rate with Laurel Road only requires a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
  2. Savings vary based on rate and term of your existing and refinanced loan(s). Refinancing to a longer term may lower your monthly payments, but may also increase the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Refinancing to a shorter term may increase your monthly payments, but may lower the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Review your loan documentation for total cost of your refinanced loan.
  3. After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship. During any period of forbearance interest will continue to accrue. At the end of the forbearance period, any unpaid accrued interest will be capitalized and be added to the remaining principle amount of the loan.
  4. Automatic Payment (“AutoPay”) Discount: if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically from a bank account, the interest rate will decrease by 0.25% and will increase back if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically from the borrower’s bank account. The 0.25% AutoPay discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the discount is applied to the principal to help pay the loan down faster.

Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.

Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.

Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.

Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.

KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

This information is current as of September 9, 2020. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
 


3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 2.99% APR to 6.09% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.25% APR to 6.09% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.25% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 0.18% plus 2.32% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. See eligibility details. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. 

4 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.

Splash Financial Disclosures

Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount.

The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.

To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of September 10, 2020.


5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. ‍All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.16% effective August 10, 2020.

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.