Ascendium Student Loan Forgiveness & Repayment Options

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If you have student loans with Ascendium, you may qualify for loan forgiveness programs offered by the federal government.

Ascendium owns federal student loans made under the Federal Family Education Loan Program. FFELP loans qualify for the loan forgiveness programs and repayment options the U.S. Department of Education offers, but you may need to apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan to access some of the newest opportunities.

Ahead, learn the student loan forgiveness and repayment options available for your Ascendium student loans.

Student loan forgiveness programs

Income-driven repayment plan forgiveness. The government offers four income-driven repayment plans that not only cap your monthly payments at a percentage of your monthly income but also wipe out your remaining balance after 20 or 25 years, depending on the plan. Read more about IDR forgiveness.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Full-time employees of the government and qualifying nonprofit agencies can have their loans erased after making 120 qualifying payments. The payments you’ve made on your Ascedium loans ordinarily don’t qualify for the PSLF program because you have the wrong type of loans. But until Oct. 31, 2022, the Education Department has expanded the program to count all payments made on FFEL Loans toward PSLF. Read more about the Limited PSLF Waiver.

Total and Permanent Disability Discharge. If you can’t work due to a permanent mental or physical disability, you may qualify to have your remaining student debt canceled. You can prove your disability using a letter from a doctor, Social Security Administration, or Veterans Administration. Read more about disability student loan forgiveness.

Borrower Defense to Repayment. The Education Department can cancel your loans if you attended a school that lied to you about your job prospects, earning potential, or ability to transfer credits. Read more about Borrower Defense Program.

There are a few additional niche forgiveness programs you may meet the eligibility criteria for, depending on your situation.

Learn More: How to Apply for Student Loan Forgiveness 2022

Repayment options

You have four repayment plans to choose from, but the best one for you depends on your budget and goals.

  • Standard repayment lasts 10 years and is the best plan to pay less in interest over time, but your monthly payments may be higher than what you could get under the other plans.
  • Income-driven repayment plans tie the amount you pay to a portion of your income and stretch your payment term to 20 to 25 years. This plan is best if you can’t afford the payments under the Standard Plan.
  • Graduated repayment lowers your payments at first and then increases the amount you pay every two years.
  • Extended repayment starts your payments low and then increases the amount you pay every two years for 25 years. You can also choose a fixed version that stretches your payments evenly over 25 years.

You can see what you’ll owe on each plan by using the Loan Simulator on the Federal Student Aid website, studentaid.gov.

Learn More: What is the Best Way to Pay Off Student Loans?

What is Ascendium?

Ascendium is a guarantor of FFELP loans made by private lenders to federal student loan borrowers. Congress ended that program in 2010 and switched to making direct loans owned by the Education Department. The government later purchased some — but not all — of the existing FFEL Loans.

This ultimately created a two-tiered system during the coronavirus pandemic when the Education Department put the loans it holds in forbearance. The loans owned by Ascendium and other guarantors like ECMC and Trellis weren’t affected.

Why is Ascendium calling me?

Ascendium is calling you because you’ve fallen behind on your monthly payments and are over 60 days delinquent. Their representatives will work with you to bring your account current using deferment or forbearance, or by switching you to an income-driven repayment plan.

Is Ascendium legit?

Ascendium is a legitimate company that owns federal student loan debt. It may appear on your credit report if you’ve defaulted on your loans. You work with them to stop wage garnishment and return your loans to good standing.

Is Ascendium the same as Navient?

Ascendium hired Navient to service its defaulted student loan accounts. When borrowers fall behind on student loan payments and default, Ascendium sends their accounts to Navient. Navient then places the account with a collection agency.

Is Ascendium the same as Nelnet?

Ascendium and Nelnet are different companies. Ascendium was created by Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates in 2018 after it sold its student loan servicing business to Nelnet. After the acquisition, Great Lakes reorganized its companies as Ascendium Education Group, Inc. Ascendium remains the largest guarantor of federal student loan debt.

Ascendium’s Contact Information

Ascendium’s contact number: 1-800-236-2700 or, if you’re in default, 1-800-331-2314.

Ascendium’s hours of operation: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 CST.

Ascendium’s address for general correspondence:

Ascendium
38 Buttonwood Court
Madison, WI 53718

Ascendium website: ascendiumeducation.org

UP NEXT: Student Loan Forgiveness: Who Qualifies

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