Sweepstake launches opportunity

By Nicole Osuch
November 3, 2006

American Education Services launched The $20,000 Lighten Your Loan Sweepstakes on Oct. 1, to help students and recent graduates pay back their student loans. Students can win one of four loan payments that will knock a substantial chunk of change off their student loan debt. Students can enter the sweepstakes once a day until Dec. 1.

The four lucky winners will be drawn randomly on Dec 2. AES will draw one $10,000, one $5,000 and two $2,500 Federal Family Education Loan Program loan payment prizes to be made towards their loan balance. The sweepstake is open to all AES customers holding a FFELP loan guaranteed by AES.

The $20,000 Lighten Your Loan Sweepstakes is in relation to AES public service campaign, youcandealwithit.com, the site shows students how to repay student loans, the consequences of committing default, setting up a repayment plan and money saving ideas.

According to youcandealwithit.com, “Today, AES is one of the largest, full-service financial aid organizations in the nation. It manages more than $67.2 billion in total assets and serves nearly 4 million students nationally through its state grant, guaranty, servicing and financial aid processing systems. One example of AES’ commitment to students is its longstanding Zero Guaranty Fee Policy, which has already saved student loan borrowers more than $337 million in up-front costs through the upcoming school year.”

AES lets students know that they are not alone and that many people have paid back what seemed to be an insurmountable amount of student loan debt. An AES spokesperson Deena Engle, assistant vice president for Default Prevention said that 60 percent of students that entered the sweepstakes so far are currently making payments and of the 60 percent, 40 percent are still students in school.

There is a limit of one entry per day per student. Students and recent graduates can visit YouCanDealWithIt.com to enter for a chance to win and for the official rules of the sweepstakes.

Beth Scott, a senior, liberal arts major said, “I think this sweepstakes is a great opportunity for undergrads. If a student won this it could motivate an undergraduate to go on to graduate school without the concern of potentially doubling the amount of their student loans. It would allow an undergraduate to use the money that they would use to pay off their loans for investments for an early retirement.”

For students looking for a competitive edge, they can provide names of friends who want to be informed about the sweepstakes and they will be awarded a bonus. The four winners will be drawn at random on Dec. 2, 2006.

“The sweepstakes is definitely something I am looking forward to entering in everyday until Dec. 1st and telling my friends about,” Scott said.

AES is a source of information and advice for students, parents, school counselors and financial aid officers across the country. Everyone can check out youcandealwithit.com for information on how to budget, establishing good credit, avoiding messing up your credit, learning to save and so many more vital financial skills.

Engle suggested students to check out YouCanDealWithIt.com for the many useful tools such as a Budget Calculator, Debt Repayment Calculator, Consolidation Calculator and a Grace Period Calculator to help them. The website offers not only helpful advice for students but also for parents and financial aid advisors.

“We greatly encourage mom and dads to enter the sweepstakes to knock off a significant chunk of change of what they owe as well,” said Engle.

Loquitur welcomes your comments and questions on this story. Please send your comments to: Loquitur@googlegroups.com. The editors will review your comments each week and make corrections if warranted.

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Nicole Osuch

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