AES claims that I have two federal loans with them. One is from 1999 and the other from 2002. I did not begin taking federal student aid for graduate school until 2003 and I have never taken out a loan for undergraduate studies.
AES calls me about five to ten times a day. Several times I have spoken with them attempting to clear up matters. Two months ago I was told they had made a mistake. The phone calls stopped until about two days ago. Now I am receiving phone calls from their loan default department.
I spent an hour last night (12/18/12) trying to find out as much information as I could. After being treated very rudely by a customer service rep and a supervisor, I was finally transferred to someone who said they might be able to help.
I had been told that the key is to ask AES to fax you the Master Promissory Note which one would have signed in order to receive a student loan. Interestingly, once I asked this the conversation began to change. (Additionally, if you mention things like, "Didn't the Obama administration have the government take over all of the loans, etc." AES gets very nervous! In other words, do your homework).
At first the AES rep said they could not send me a copy of the MPN without me first faxing them a form with extensive information. After some discussion they agreed to look up the MPN on their computer. (This was all rather strange, considering that at first the AES rep claimed they had no access to the MPN). Once the rep located the MPN they said that information was missing from the MPN. They even said, "To me it looks like this is fraud and we should send you a fraud packet..."
As I explained to the AES rep, this is the first time in months anyone has told me that I would need a fraud packet. Moreover I explained that every time I talk with AES the story changes. Additionally, I cannot understand why AES takes fraud so lightly.
Suddenly, the rep also agreed to put a hold on my account until further investigation had taken place. (Again, this is the first time I had heard of this service being available).
I have contacted the US Department of Education, and I have been told by them to be suspect of AES. I have also contacted the Attorney General's office in PA and in Ohio. Because I am able to do so, I am also getting a lawyer involved. At this point, I think AES has perpetrated the fraud, but I am not entirely sure. I have never seen a company take fraud and/or identity theft so lightly.
For the sake of argument, I also asked a few more questions: (1) Let's say these loans are real. Are they private or government? (the rep said, "I cannot tell from the information we have"); (2) Again, let's say that these loans are real. Why is AES demanding I pay them off in full right now? There should be a payment plan. Why has no one told me about a payment plan? (the rep said, "I cannot answer that."); (3) Why does Sallie Mae and the US Department of Education claim they have all of my loans and that I should not talk with any other "loan provider?" (the rep said, "I do not know."); (4) Can you give me your name so I can keep working with the same rep in order to solve this problem? (the rep said, "It is AES policy not to give out any information). (5) Can you put a note on my account so that my lawyer can contact AES in order to speak directly with AES about this situation, which, again I think is fraud? (the rep said, "Only you can talk with us, but we can send you a form to authorize other individuals to speak with us. It will take 7 to 10 business days to receive that form.").
Having dealt extensively with Sallie Mae, it is interesting how little information AES has on me. For example, they cannot even tell me which graduate school I went to, which should be obvious based on the school code on the MPN. Additionally, their inability to take fraud seriously or answer my questions is somewhat alarming. I am going to keep on this. Student loan fraud is horrible, and since I have the resources, I am going to go after AES as best as I can. Too many people have been burned by this company. Something needs to be done.