Aspire Student Loans Review

Aspire is a federal government student loan servicer, so if you borrowed from the U.S. Department of Education for your higher education costs, Aspire may be the company that you make payments to. Governments spend over $200 billion dollars a year on higher education, according to the Wall Street Journal. Once student loans are in repayment, they are sold to one of nine servicers that will then service your student loan.

You don’t get to choose your loan servicer, but consolidating your student loans gives you more options outside of your preselected loan servicer.  Aspire federal student loan servicing is standard across the board, however, if you need private Aspire student loans, make sure you compare with the other lenders out there to get the best student loans for your situation.

Paying back loans with Aspire

Paying back your loans with Aspire makes you eligible for several federal student loan repayment programs.

  • Standard Repayment Plan: This is the cheapest plan; it pays off your student loan debt in 10 years or less.
  • Graduated Repayment Plan: This plan begins with lower payments that increase every two years. This sounds nice, but its best for borrowers who can guarantee a spike in their income relatively early in their career. Otherwise, you risk forcing yourself into a corner when an increase in the minimum monthly payment outstrips an increase in your income.
  • Extended Repayment Plan: This plan gives you up to 25 years to repay the loan. This means you will pay more in interest, however you can pay more than the monthly minimum if you want to pay off the loan sooner. This is like the standard plan with a little more flexibility.
  • Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan: The monthly payment amount is never more than 15% of your discretionary income. The lowest earners may qualify for monthly payments as low as $0 a month. However, this is not the same as loan forgiveness; interest will continue to rack up and your balance will grow, but any debt outstanding after 25 years of payments is forgiven.
  • Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan: Payments are between 4% – 25% of your gross income. This is similar to the IBR plan above, however, your payments will never dip lower than the interest accumulated by your loans. This means If your loans accrued $5 in interest last month, the lowest your monthly payment could be is $5.

Aspire student loans offer a rate discount of 0.25% for borrowers enrolled in autopay, but even with autopay, you should check your account status regularly to make sure everything’s in order and on schedule.

Aspire Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Certain professions may qualify for Aspire student loan forgiveness programs. Nurses, teachers and public service workers can contact Aspire to see if they’re eligible to have their loans reduced or forgiven outright.

Here are some of the federal student loan forgiveness programs Aspire offers Nurses and Teachers:

Nurses

Qualifications vary for each program. For instance, to qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, you must first make 120 qualifying payments on your student loans, while also being employed by a government organization or qualifying non-profit. PSLF forgives the remaining balance on your student loans.

  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
  • NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program
  • Federal Perkins Cancellation for Nurses
  • Iowa Registered Nurse and Nurse Educator Loan Forgiveness Program

Teachers

The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program (TLF) forgives up to $17,500 of Direct or FFEL subsidized or unsubsidized loans. To be eligible for TLF you must first teach at a qualifying school for 5 years,

  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program
  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program (TLF)
  • Federal Perkins Loan Teacher Program
  • Teach Iowa Scholars Program
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

Your loans may also be forgiven if your school closes before you’re able to complete your education.

Aspire partners for private loans

Aspire student loan servicing is available for both private and federal student loans. It offers private student loans through its parent company, Iowa Student Loans. Through it, you may qualify for the Partnership Advance Education Loan or a College Family Loan.

Aspire works with both Alliant Credit Union and Ascentra Credit Union to bring consumers student loans at competitive rates. Although you need to join the credit union to qualify for the loan, once you do you can shop fixed rates as low as 4.25%.

If banks are more your style, Aspire offers loans through American State Bank. Their rates go as low as 5.75%. This is higher than the federal student loan interest rate for undergraduate loans, which stands at 4.53% as of April 2020. But it’s lower than the 6.08% the federal government charges students to borrow for graduate-level studies.

How to contact Aspire

Aspire’s customer service phone numbers:(800) 243-7552 and (515) 243-5626

Private loan application assistance:(800) 542-6005

General Questions: fill out the email form

Login Assistance: fill out the email form

Website: https://www.aspireservicingcenter.com

Aspire mailing address

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

For credit disputes:
Credit Department Aspire Servicing Center
P.O. Box 659705
West Des Moines, IA 50265-0970

For mailing payments: 
Aspire Servicing Center
P.O. Box 659701
West Des Moines, IA 50265-0970

The bottom line

Aspire offers a lot of options to repay your loans and will work best for borrowers interested in completing graduate coursework. You can find cheaper interest rates with a private loan from Aspire than the federal government, but you won’t have access to certain forgiveness options. If you have a good credit score you should keep shopping.

An interest rate of 4.25% isn’t bad at all, but student loans have some of the lowest interest rates of any industry. If your credit history is pristine enough you may be able to find rates below 3%. If you don’t have the time or inclination to build your credit before applying, most Aspire  loans come with cosigner options which can help you win approval. If you’re questioning your ability to land a loan, check out the best student loans of 2020 to find out where you might secure a loan to pay your way through school.