If you are a bit confused about Aspire Resources and what they do, you aren’t alone. The organization went through many changes over the years, but it remains the for-profit arm of Iowa Student Loan, a non-profit.
In 2012, Aspire Resources won a contract with the Department of Education to service 200,000 federal student loans with the blessing of its parent, Iowa Student Loan. So, Aspire used to service Federal loans for a time. In 2015, Iowa Student Loan terminated their federal loan servicing contract with Aspire due to the heavy costs of loan administration.
What Do They Do Now?
Today, Aspire Resources is a business-to-business arm of Iowa Student Loan, operating with a mandate to provide service to employers, lenders, secondary loan markets, and educational institutions.
In relation to student loans, Aspire Resources helps the student loan system “work better” for students who are borrowing and paying back private and federal student loans.
To that end, the Aspire Servicing Center was launched in 2014 to better service Iowa Student Loan borrowers as well as federal and private borrowers. The website portal offers student loan borrowers several options for repayment to enable flexibility and better service from their loan servicing company.
The goal is to allow borrowers to easily apply for loan deferrals or forbearances if they qualify for the particular program.
What Loan Options Do They Help Facilitate?
Aspire Resources has four typical options for repayment: standard, graduated, extended, and Select 2. Standard repayment is a ten-year monthly plan with the lowest overall interest expense.
If the payments are too high for a borrower under that plan, they can find relief with a graduated plan (lower payments at first) or an extended plan (25-year servicing with standard or graduated payments). Extended plans are only available to borrowers with a balance of $30,000 or higher.
Select 2 offers interest-only payments for the first two years; this plan ends up being the most expensive option in the long run.
Are There Any Other Benefits to Working with Aspire?
Aside from the above options, Aspire Resources has other tools to help borrowers cope with their payments. Deferment and forbearance options can greatly improve the affordability of some loans, and there are caveats and restrictions for those programs that could be explained by Aspire.
In particular, soldiers can apply for relief on their student debt with deferred interest and forbearance while serving in America’s military. In some cases, their interest rates can drop during their service overseas.
The main benefits of working with Aspire Resources are flexible repayment options and access to some excellent deferment programs for special circumstances. If a borrower struggles with their monthly payment, Aspire Resources has the ability to help people in need while maintaining their loans in good standing.
The website is intuitive and simple to use, and borrowers will find a treasure trove of loan information for both private and public loans serviced by Aspire Resources. It’s up to each borrower to choose the best option for them, but it’s always nice to have a wide selection of repayment plans and access to deferred interest and forbearance where available.