Federal student loans are serviced by several loan servicers. One of those servicers is Conduent Education Services, formerly known as ACS — though it’s often still referred to under that name.
What is Conduent, and what is its reputation as a loan servicer? What are your best options if you have Conduent student loans, previously ACS student loans? Here’s what you need to know.
What is Conduent?
Conduent Business Services acquired ACS Education Services in January 2017, changing its name to Conduent Education Services, though it still uses the ACS name and logo on some documents.
At the time, ACS was one of the largest federal loan servicers, with a $2 billion federal contract at one point. By 2013, all of the Direct Loans serviced by ACS were moved to other servicers by the Department of Education.
For borrowers who had loans serviced by ACS, Conduent is now your loan servicer. Any payments should go through Conduent.
Also note that ACS shouldn’t be confused with AES, or American Education Services. AES was established by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) and is one of the groups that services PHEAA’s student loans, along with FedLoan.
What loans does Conduent service?
Conduent services three specific types of student loans: Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program Loans, campus-based loans and private loans.
FFEL Program Loans
The FFEL Program was discontinued in 2010, but existing loans are still being serviced by Conduent. FFEL loans have the following repayment options:
- Standard Repayment Plan
- Graduated Repayment Plan
- Extended Repayment Plan
Because FFEL loans are federal loans, you may be eligible for an income-driven repayment plan.
Campus-based loans (CPS)
CPS loans include Federal Perkins Loans, Nursing Student Loans (NSL) and Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL). Keep in mind that repayment options for these types of loans depend on the school, not Conduent. CPS loans can also be moved to an income-driven repayment plan if you qualify.
Conduent also services private loans. Some of these are existing ACS student loans still being paid off. Private loan repayment options will depend on the lender that originated your loan. No loans were originated by ACS or Conduent.
Regardless of what type of student loan is being serviced by Conduent, you have repayment options available if you’re looking to make a change.
Services available through Conduent
Because it’s a loan servicer, Conduent handles customer service tasks for borrowers. This includes:
- Handling payments
- Administration of student loan programs
- Phone support
- Processing loan forgiveness and income-based repayment programs
- Reporting loans to the credit bureaus
- Seeking repayment for defaulted loans
- Correspondence with borrowers, such as statements
- Applying qualifying deferments and forbearances
You can also request support by logging into your account through the Conduent website. However, its website is out of date, and many of the features and information haven’t been updated to reflect more current data.
Legal issues for ACS student loans
Conduent has been in the news recently because of several lawsuits. In January 2019, ACS Education Services was ordered to pay $9 million, which stemmed from steering struggling borrowers away from affordable repayment plans. Additionally, ACS had to pay a $1 million fine and then give $8 million in restitution to 55,000 New Yorkers affected by ACS’ poor practices.
On May 1, 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a settlement with Conduent Education Services (CES). According to the CFPB’s website, “The Bureau found that CES engaged in unfair practices that violate the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 by failing to adjust in a timely manner principal balances of student loans made under the Federal Family Education Loan Program.”
Conduent is required to make proper adjustments to the principal balances of the affected loans and reimburse borrowers who have paid off their loans already. On top of this, it must fork out a $3.9 million fine.
Conduent has faced other legal issues in the past as well. It has developed a reputation as being a poor loan servicer that takes advantage of borrowers who have ACS student loans.
What current borrowers are saying about Conduent
Conduent’s shortcomings have led to many of their legal troubles along with customer complaints. Conduent Education Services has a D-rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Borrowers have submitted several complaints to the BBB about trying to contact Conduent and getting no answer or getting a recording to call back later. A quick scan of recent complaints on the CFPB Consumer Complaint Database shows similar communication issues.
Even when Conduent operated as ACS Education Services, it received tons of complaints from borrowers. ACS Education Services had a D-rating from the BBB. One ACS student loan borrower said ACS had the worst customer service they’d ever experienced.
With such a poor reputation among borrowers, it’s easy to see why the federal government moved student loans to other servicers.
Options for people with Conduent loans
If you have Conduent or ACS student loans, you have repayment options available. Federal loans through Conduent might qualify for federal repayment programs, such as:
If you pursue PSLF, your student loans will be switched over to FedLoan Servicing. To see what you qualify for, contact Conduent’s customer service.
Refinance your Conduent student loans
If you no longer want Conduent as your loan servicer, another option is to refinance your student loans, which could cut your interest rate. It could also lead to huge savings in interest charges over the life of your loan.
Refinancing federal loans will turn them into private loans. Because of this, you’ll lose access to federal protections. This includes loan forgiveness, income-driven repayment (IDR) plans and forbearance. If you can qualify for PSLF or may need lower payments available through an IDR plan, you may want to hold off on refinancing your loans.
Not sure if refinancing is right for you? Take Student Loan Planner’s refinancing quiz to see if refinancing makes sense. Another tool you can use to find the right repayment plan is our Student Loan Calculator. If you have loans through Conduent, looking into other options may be worthwhile because of its reputation for poor service.