Aspire Student Loans: How to Track Down and Manage Your Debt

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If you think you have an Aspire student loan but aren’t quite sure, you aren’t alone.

We’ll explain the confusing story of how Aspire Resources is connected to Iowa Student Loan and how to make your student loan payments if you have debt that was serviced by Aspire.

What’s the deal with Aspire student loans?

It all started with Iowa Student Loan, a nonprofit organization that’s been around since 1979. In 2001, it launched a for-profit subsidiary called Aspire Resources.

Then, in 2012, Aspire Resources received a Department of Education contract to handle 200,000 federal student loans.

Aspire student loans consistently received good reviews — and it still has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

But, only a few years into its contract, Iowa Student Loan announced that Aspire Resources would no longer service federal loans.

“We recently decided to exit the Direct Loan servicing business due to the heavy cost burden of maintaining this federal contract,” Steve McCullough, Iowa Student Loan president and CEO, said in an August 2015 press release. “Revenue from the contract is primarily driven by the number of accounts being serviced and the number of accounts allotted to Aspire, including future projections, simply was not enough to generate the revenue needed to offset the costs.”

Following the announcement, Aspire Resources transferred all its federal Direct Loans to the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA).

So, if you had Aspire Direct Loans, you should contact MOHELA with any questions — because, as part of the transfer, Aspire Resources scrubbed its data about prior borrowers.

So what does Aspire Resources do now?

That doesn’t mean Aspire student loans shut down, though.

Today, the company “performs functions outside of Iowa Student Loan’s tax-exempt designation by providing services to employers, lenders, secondary markets and postsecondary institutions,” according to its site.

In other words, it’s more of a business-to-business arm of the company — one you probably won’t need to deal with.

Repaying student loans serviced by Aspire

The platform you do need to know about, though, is the Aspire Servicing Center. Whether you have an Iowa Student Loan payment to make or have additional loans, you’ll use the Aspire Servicing Center to manage them.

The Aspire Servicing Center provides customer service to people who’ve taken out private loans with Iowa Student Loan or had federal loans originally serviced by Iowa Student Loan. Aspire student loans for college are also offered and managed for partner lenders Alliant Credit Union, Ascentra Credit Union or American State Bank.

Aspire student loan repayment options

To pay your private loans through the Aspire Servicing Center, here are your options:

  • Standard repayment: Make monthly payments for a set repayment term. With this plan, you’ll pay the least interest.
  • Graduated repayment: Your payments will be lower to begin with, then increase every two years — before you pay them off in 10 years or less. You’ll pay more in interest over the lifetime of the loan.
  • Select 2: This plan allows you to make payments that are limited to mostly interest for the first two years. But, as with graduated repayment, you’ll end up paying more in interest in the long run.

If you’re struggling to figure out the right plan for your Aspire payment, phone the servicing center at 800-243-7552.

If you have federal student loans serviced by Aspire, log into your Federal Student Aid account at studentaid.gov — the Loan Simulator tool can help you choose a repayment plan. There are eight federal repayment plan options available.

Making student loan payments to Aspire

The easiest way to pay your loans through the Aspire Servicing Center is by creating an online account. Your Aspire student loan login will allow you to make payments and otherwise manage your debt.

Aspire Servicing Center

You’ll need to provide your name and Social Security number, and then create a username, password and security questions.

Besides accepting only payments, the private loan servicer also takes payments submitted through snail-mail and over the phone.

Aspire resources during repayment

Aspire resources includes a student loan advocate who could walk you through these programs over the phone.

Deferment and forbearance

If you’re struggling to make your payments, there are additional Aspire resources on deferment or forbearance.

Aspire student loans from private lenders are eligible for such a payment postponement on a case-by-case basis. Aspire Servicing Center recommends on its website that you reach out if you have difficulty making your next payment.

For federal loans serviced by Aspire, your options are more expansive. With a deferment, you can pause your payments for up to three years. Here are some of the reasons you might qualify:

  • You’re enrolled in school at least half-time.
  • You’re unemployed or suffering economic hardship.
  • You’re serving in the military or Peace Corps.
  • You have a Parent PLUS loan and a dependent in school.
  • You’re in a rehabilitation training or graduate fellowship.

If you don’t qualify for deferment, you can look into forbearance, which pauses your payments for up to 12 months. Here are some situations that might make you eligible:

  • Your monthly payment is at least 20% of your total monthly income.
  • You’ve lost your job or are experiencing a temporary financial difficulty.
  • You live in an area experiencing an emergency.
  • You’re serving in the National Guard or Americorps.
  • You’re completing a medical or dental residency.

Note that unsubsidized loans will accrue interest while in deferment, and all loans will accrue interest in forbearance. That means your loan balance might be substantially higher when you start paying again.

Aspire loan consolidation

The Aspire Servicing Center doesn’t directly offer consolidation for either federal or private loans.

With that said, Aspire student loan consolidation in possible in two ways:

  • Direct Consolidation Loan: You could look to consolidate your Aspire-serviced federal loans into one new federal debt with the loan servicer of your choice. Your overall interest rate wouldn’t decrease, but you would hang onto government-exclusive protections like income-driven repayment (IDR) plans.
  • Student loan refinancing: You could refinance your Aspire-serviced federal or private loans into one new private debt with the lender of your choice. If you’re creditworthy, you could qualify for a lower interest rate or monthly payment. On the downside, refinancing federal loans would strip them of perks like IDR.

If you’re considering refinancing your Aspire student loans, you can request a payoff amount, by calling the servicing center at 800-243-7552.

Aspire student loan forgiveness

If you’re seeking information about Aspire student loan forgiveness or repayment assistance, keep in mind that there are few programs available for private loans. There are, however, many loan forgiveness programs to consider for federal borrowers.

Aspire student loan assistance for military personnel

While not offering military student loan forgiveness per se, Aspire Servicing Center does participate in programs that help soldiers with student debt.

Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), for example, the maximum interest rate you can be charged is 6.00%.

And, under the Armed Forces Interest Reduction Program, you could have interest on your private student loans reduced to 0.00% for up to 24 months. To qualify, you must be on active duty, have a non-defaulted private student loan and be deployed before June 30, 2021.

Aspire contact information

If you need to call the Aspire Servicing Center, see which Aspire loans phone number fits your needs.

Customer servicePrivate loan application assistanceTechnical support
800-243-7552
515-243-5626
800-542-6005888-584-0016

If you’d prefer to reach Aspire via email, you can do so using its contact form.

For general correspondence, or to submit forms, use the following address:

Aspire Servicing Center
P.O. Box 659705
West Des Moines, IA 50265-0970

Andrew Pentis contributed to this report.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 6 lenders of 2020!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
1.89% – 6.66%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Splash

1.89% – 5.90%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Laurel Road

2.25% – 6.09%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

1.99% – 5.34%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

1.97% – 8.54%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Lendkey

2.39% – 6.01%Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Elfi

Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 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 October 1, 2020.


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 December 1, 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 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 5.49% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.34% 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 October 26, 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 10/26/2020. 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.


5 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

LendKey Disclosures

Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it  endorse,  any educational institution.

Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of  5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.

As of 11/13/2020 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.97% to 8.54% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.95% to 8.77% Fixed APR with AutoPay.