Aspire Student Loan: Everything You Need To Know

If you’ve used Aspire student loan servicing for your student loans, here’s how you can avoid some common problems with the company.

Aspire Student Loan

Aspire Servicing Center is a student loan servicer that handles administrative tasks and customer service for various student loan lenders.

If you have a student loan with Aspire, here’s what you need to know about the company and how to manage your account.

Aspire Student Loan Servicing

Despite the aforementioned high customer service rating from the Department of Education, Aspire has not been immune to complaints.

We took a look at complaints posted in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau database, on the Better Business Bureau website, and other places around the web to get an idea of possible issues with Aspire loan servicing.

If you’re not quite sure where to start or what to do, consider hiring a CFA or CFP to help you with your student loans.

We recommend The Student Loan Planner to help you put together a solid financial plan for your student loan debt.

Here are some issues that stood out:

1. Phantom Student Loan Balances

Paying off your student loans can be a thrilling experience. However, the excitement can dull when you think you’ve completely paid down your debt only to discover that somehow you still owe something.

An Aspire borrower experienced this precise situation. To be sure, the amount they still owed was quite small: they paid off their loan and then later logged into their Aspire student loans account to make sure nothing was wrong.

They found 5 dollars of unpaid interest there, somehow leftover from the now-paid loan. Whatever the reason it was there, they had not been informed they still had that amount left.

Had the borrower never looked, it would have sat there accumulating more interest until Aspire decided to let them know.

2. Auto-Pay Agonies

Auto-pay can be a huge boon to both the borrower and servicer. For the borrower, auto-pay means they don’t have to remember each month to pay their loan, and it reduces the risk of being late with a payment.

Additionally, depending on the type of loan and the servicer, borrowers may get a discount on interest rates for enrolling in an auto-pay feature.

For the servicer, auto-pay is as close to a guaranteed payment as they are likely to get.

3. Duplicate or Triplicate Payments

Getting overcharged on a payment is one thing. Getting your payment tripled is even worse. This happened to at least one Aspire borrower.

And while the incident could have been a one-off error, it may have caused a lot of short-term distress for those affected. The borrower in question felt that Aspires handling of the situation left much to be desired.

The borrower logged into their checking account and saw that three loan payments had been taken out instead of one, sending them into overdraft.

When the borrower called Aspire to resolve the issue, Aspire said they knew of the problem and were working to rectify it.


Iowa Student Loan Aspire

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.

So What Do 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.

Aspire Iowa Student Loan

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 by partner lenders Alliant Credit Union, Ascentra Credit Union, or American State Bank.

Aspire Student Loan Repayment

If you have Aspire student loans, there are several different ways you can make a payment. Options include:

  • Online Account: Log in using your username and password. If you’re creating an account with Aspire, you’ll need your account number or Social Security number and your date of birth.
  • Aspire Servicing Center mobile app: Download the servicer’s mobile app on an iOS or Android device.
  • By mail: Send your payment with a payment stub to Aspire Servicing Center, P.O. Box 659701, West Des Moines, IA 50265-0970.
  • By Phone: Call 800-243-7552 or 515-243-5626 to use the automated payment service.

To avoid having to make payments manually every month, you can set up automatic payments through your online account or by filling out an authorization form and mailing or faxing it to the loan servicer.

If you need payoff information to refinance your loan or pay it in full, contact Aspire at 800-243-7552.

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.

Aspire Resources Student Loan Payment Information

The easiest way to pay your loans through the Aspire Servicing Center is by creating an online account.

1. Your Aspire student loan login will allow you to make payments and otherwise manage your debt.

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

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

Aspire Student Loan Payment

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

1. 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:

1. You are enrolled in school at least half-time.

2. You’re unemployed or suffering economic hardship.

3. You are serving in the military or Peace Corps.

4. You have a Parent PLUS loan and a dependent in school.

5. You’re in 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:

1. Your monthly payment is at least 20% of your total monthly income.

2. You’ve lost your job or are experiencing a temporary financial difficulty.

3. You live in an area experiencing an emergency.

4. You’re serving in the National Guard or AmeriCorps.

5. 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.


2. 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 is possible in two ways:

1. 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.

2. 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 for example.

Aspire Student Loan Forgiveness

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.


How to contact Aspire Servicing Center

If you have questions about your Aspire student loan account, you can contact the servicer in a few ways. The loan servicer’s customer service team is available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

CT Monday through Friday, and you can reach them at 800-243-7552 or 515-243-5626.

If it’s not an urgent matter, you can also send a message through the Aspire website to receive an email response. Other reasons and methods for contacting Aspire include:

  • Mail: If you need to send a form or another type of correspondence via mail, send it to Aspire Servicing Center, P.O. Box 659705, West Des Moines, IA 50265-0970.
  • Fax: If you need to fax a form, use the number 515-471-3983.
  • Private loan application assistance: If you need help applying for a private student loan with one of Aspire’s partners, call 800-542-6005 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.
  • Technical support: If you need technical assistance, call 888-584-0016 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.

Aspire Student Loan Servicing

Aspire Servicing Center provides customer service for private and federal student loans.

1. Private Loan Services

We can help you from program design to loan servicing and everything in between.

‣ Consulting

With more than 20 years of private loan experience, we are uniquely qualified to partner with you to analyze your marketplace;

Identify market needs, build support with key stakeholders, assist with compliance and get your program to market.

‣ Marketing

We can ensure your program effectively competes through conventional marketing and advertising campaigns as well as in the ever-evolving digital marketplace.

For example, from initial strategy sessions to campaign execution, we are ready to help you and your program succeed.

‣ Originations

Loan origination is about more than a slick online application. While our solution is 100% web-based with automated underwriting;

In addition, we also have the education and consumer loan subject matter experts to help ensure your assets are originated and disclosed properly.

‣ Servicing

Our loan servicing platform is a comprehensive solution that ensures your customers are supported with excellent customer service, convenient repayment options, and security for their personal financial information.

However, our servicing team will work with you to provide comprehensive standard reports as well as customized reports as needed.

2. Federal Loan Services

If your organization is servicing a Federal Family Loan Program portfolio, we can provide the economies of scale required for cost-effective management.

We offer a complete, outsourced servicing solution to help your organization achieve its desired financial goals.

‣ Borrower Friendly

At the heart of our quality service is a borrower-friendly user experience that you can rely on to deliver top-notch service for your customers.

‣ Tenured Management

You can rely on our highly experienced team and its comprehensive compliance management system to protect the value of your student loan assets.

‣ Exceptional Performance

Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation, our parent company that now provides loans under the name ISL Education Lending, was recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education for its high level of service for FFELP loans.

‣ Continuous Improvement

We consistently pursue service enhancements to address portfolio management considerations for clients and implement customer service experience improvements for borrowers.

FAQs on Aspire Student Loan

Some of the faqs about aspire student loans:

The loans we service, including FFELP and private loans, are not federally held loans and are not eligible for the interest waiver.

Many of the federal student loans we service are eligible for forbearance, which may be automatically applied or requested. Many private loans are also eligible for assistance.

In addition to servicing student loans, Aspire Servicing Center performs loan origination services for lenders with active private education loan programs for families who need assistance with college expenses.

Aspire is a for-profit subsidiary of the nonprofit company Iowa Student Loan and services loans as Aspire Service Center.

The company was contracted with the federal government to service loans from the Direct Loan program.

“After careful consideration, the decision to terminate the federal student loan servicing contract was made in the best interest of the State of Utah and our organization and its long-term financial sustainability,” said David S. Schwanke, Interim Executive Director of UHEAA in a statement.

“We regret that the decision to end the contract with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid negatively impacts so many of our highly valued employees, and we’re committed to helping them through this transition over the coming months.”

UHEAA blamed ongoing financial losses for its decision to terminate the contract.

In April 2012, Aspire Resources became a servicer of direct federal student loans, after the Department of Education awarded the company a contract to handle 200,000 loans in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.

Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation, doing business as ISL Education Lending, is a nonprofit corporation offering private student loans for students and families who have exhausted other sources of aid.

The Aspire card reports to the credit bureaus TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian right after the closing date of your billing cycle.

Just be aware that it can take a few days for the updates to appear on your credit report.

  • Max late fee: $40
  • Grace period: 25 days
  • Max over limit fee: $0

Call (800) 243-7552 to speak with a customer service representative who can assist you with any questions you may have.

Subsidized Loans do not accrue interest while you are in school at least half-time or during deferment periods.

Unsubsidized Loans are loans for both undergraduate and graduate students that are not based on financial need.

Subsidized loans can only be used for undergraduate studies. You must demonstrate a financial need for a subsidized loan.

The government does not pay any interest accrued on an unsubsidized loan. Unsubsidized loans have a higher interest rate than subsidized ones.

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