Navient Student Loans - What You Need to Know

Some of the most prominent servicers of federal student loans in the country are Navient Corp and Nelnet. These are intermediaries that the federal government uses to collect loan repayments from student borrowers. Aside from this, they also perform administrative tasks, customer service and other duties related to student loans on behalf of the Department of Education. On this page, we’ll cover some of the following topics, all pertaining to Navient student loans
  • What is Navient?
  • Navient’s federal student loans
  • Private Navient student loans
  • The Navient Lawsuits
  • Navient Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
  • How Borrowers Got Navient
  • Contacting Navient
If anything, it’s not difficult to feel overwhelmed by the different repayment plans, loan types and industry terms available in the student loan market. Therefore, if you’re one of the students interested in Navient student loans for one reason or the other, it’s crucial to pay close attention to the content of this page.  Without much ado, let’s take a closer look at the student loans Navient services and how to navigate them to your financial benefit.  What is Navient? As of today, the U.S Department of Education has nine student loan servicers. The Department relies on these companies to manage the loans the Federal Government extends to scholars to cover their education expenses.  Navient is one of these servicers and is also one of the biggest. Previously, the company was part of another company known as Sallie Mae. However, a formal split saw the separation into two different business entities in the year 2014.  Today, Navient is in charge of student loans amounting to about 6.5 million, which is very significant. However, the company serves a portfolio that above of $227 billion. All this money is part of the Federal student loans allotted to borrowers across the country.  Hence, when you judge by the size of the portfolios, this puts Navient at the third position amount the eight other federal student loan servicers. However, the company doesn’t stop there. It also renders its services to private lenders by servicing private loans for borrowers too.

Federal Navient Student Loans

Generally, Navient student loans are federal if they are provisioned via the Direct Loan Program of William D. Ford. There are otherwise simply known as the Direct Loans, but another way the system called them is the Federal Family Education Loan Program.  Repayment Plans Typically, the plan you get for setting up your loan repayment depends fundamentally on the types of loans you borrowed. In this case, you might have gotten Federal Family Education Loans or Direct loans from Navient.  As such, you have their basic repayment plans. We outlined them below as follows: 
  • Standard repayment plan
  • Graduated repayment plan
  • Extended repayment plan
Once you figure out which of these plans are best for your particular financial situation, you have to ready yourself to work with it for an extended period of time (years) as you pay off your student loan debt.  Let’s take a look at the key attributes of each plan. 

Standard Repayment Plan

Typically, the plan extends for about 10 to 30 years depending on your loan. If you have consolidation loans, you’ll be looking at 30 years.  The lowest monthly repayment amount is set at $50 each month.  Primarily, your principal outstanding loan determines the specific amount you’ll pay every month. Therefore, the higher the amount you borrowed, you’ll have to pay more each month.  With this program, the interest you pay on your outstanding loan will decrease as the months go by and you make regular payments. 

Graduated Repayment Plans

Borrowers get lower payments under this plan and their payments move on to become completely amortized.  Graduated payments get you to lower monthly payments initially. However, as time goes by, your repayments increase. Normally, this happens each time two years go by and the plan determines an amount the ensure you make full payment by the time the repayment term is over.  Typically, the repayment term extends for 10 years. However, like the standard repayment plan, it also extends for 30 years for borrowers of consolidation loans.

Extended Repayment Plans

Like the name implies these plans offer borrowers longer payment plans. Usually, borrowers get about 25 years to make a full loan repayment.  Usually, if you obtain Direct Loans or FFELP loans of about $30,000, an extended repayment plan will be available for you to conveniently pay off your loans.  Also, it’s possible to combine a graduate or standard repayment plan with the extended plan.  Apart from these three, there are other repayment plans depend on the condition students find themselves in and how they might best pay off their student loan debts. One such plan is the Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Plans. 

Types of IDR Plans

Income-Driven Repayment plans come in different forms and they are as follows: 

Revised Pay as You Earn Repayment Plan

These plans only support borrowers who took out Direct Loans. However, you want to remember that if you have a Consolidated Loan or Parent PLUS, you are not eligible for the Revised Pay as You Earn Repayment Plan. 

Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan

Like its revised counterpart, this plan also excludes borrowers of consolidated loans and Parent PLUS loans but supports other Direct Loans.  Income-Based Repayment Plan This plan is for borrowers of FFELP and Direct Loans alike. But again, excluding Consolidated and Parent PLUS loans. 

Income-Contingent Repayment Plan

The plan is ideal for Direct Loans and covers borrowers just like the first two. However, it has a slight difference. In this case, parent borrowers of Direct PLUS Loans can use this plan to repay their debt.  Yet, there is a condition and this is the fact that you need to have consolidated your existing loan into a Direct Consolidation loan. Remember, this consolidation must have been applied for either after or on 1st July, 2006.  As you can see, these conditions are not very simple. However, these income-driven plans help you avoid the financial strain of loan repayment by making the process more manageable. 

Attention

 It is possible to reduce your loan repayments for each month significantly with the Income-Driven Repayment Plans. Reductions can go all the way to $0. It might sound interesting but there are serious eligibility criteria you’ll have to meet.  Plus, you need to renew the plan every year. Therefore, you’ll have to thoroughly do your homework before settling for any of these plans. 

Private Navient Student Loans

Generally, Private student loans are financial aid packages organized by third-party institutions, such as credit unions, banks, and other financial institutions. Primarily, private Navaient student loans exist to offer student opportunities to borrower loans beyond the limits of federal student loans.  AS you would expect, they differ from Federal Navient student loans in many aspects. To begin with, the private loans Navient offers have very different requirements to qualify borrowers for this type of loan. Usually, they also differ in the terms, conditions and interest rates.  However, one thing you can expect is a variety of options depending on the lender from whom the loan originates. Each loan program is unique and like other Navient student loans, you’ll find that there are different repayment options at your disposal. The Navient student loans you get from private lenders come with differences in their promissory note as well. Some of the promissory notes detail how you will repay the loans. However, you can obtain more options depending on the discretions of your lender.  Below, we’ve covered some of the standard alternatives of repayment plans you can get with private loans. But if you find yourself having many questions, you can jump further down this page and get the contact details of Navient. This way, you can reach them directly and get all the information you need regarding their private loans. 

Repayment Plans of Private Loans

The following are some of the common repayment plans you can get with private Navient student loans

Standard/Level Repayment

Normally, your promissory note will contain a schedule for your loan repayment. This repayment schedule is the level or standard repayment plan. Usually, it amounts calculated from your principal debt plus interest per the terms of your contract. Of all the ways to repay your private student loans, the level monthly repayment plan is the most affordable for most students. Hence, it is worth checking out. 

In Case of Challenges

If your cosigners and you are having a hard time with choosing a repayment plan, there are very good situation-based options at your disposal. Hence, it might be helpful to know that your promissory note isn’t the only source for repayment plans. Your loan program or lender may also provide different payment options.  Nevertheless, you must be prepared for a full review of your financial standing. And the same goes for your cosigner if that’s applicable and your loan type requires a cosigner. This is all aim at helping your lender determine your ability to pay or your cosigner’s ability to bear the liability your failure to pay will bring them. 

Interest-Only

This plan depends on the amount of money you pay each month by decreasing it to the point where it might even be as low as the total interest your loan generates every month.  Usually,  the years of repayment may differ but usually, they extend from one to four years. Also, upon the end of the interest-only period, your monthly repayments drop significantly.  Despite the convenience, your overall loan cost may end up more expensive after you’ve paid for a longer number of years. Usually, this isn’t the case with standard repayment plans. 

Rate Reduction Program

This particular program is unique in that it overs private student loan repayment plans for borrowers that facing some challenges with making their monthly payments. You can consider it as an alternative that helps lessen the financial load for a period of 6 months.  The Rate Reduction Program helps reduce your monthly payments for a specific duration of time. However, you need to compare it with a standard repayment option to find out if it’s worth it. Because upon comparison, we found out you might end up spending more on repayment with this plan.  That’s due to the fact that you’ll have to make down payments on your principal balance for a longer time during the lifetime of the program. On the other hand, level repayment helps you pay faster and reduces the time you’ll send on repayment.  To be eligible for the program, you’ll need to take your financial information and that of your cosigner into consideration. Other details that Navient will require include proof of income and at least three monthly repayments to get you qualified for the program. 

Extended Repayment

Under the Extended Repayment Plan, you will get an extension on the duration of your repayment. Hence, you get to decrease the amount you pay every month. As such, you get to spread the total amount over a longer duration of time. But again, you’ll end up paying significantly more than you’ll do in a standard repayment scheme. 

Term and Rate Modification Program

When you combine the Extended Repayment and Extended Repayment plan, you get the term and rate modification program. 

Postponing Payments Under Different Conditions

Assuming you re returning to school, either for full or even partially, you may meet the requirements to defer your repayments. This is also applicable if you’ve begun receiving an internship training, joined an educational fellowship, or residency.  Ultimately, a lot depends on your lender’s discretion or promissory note. This is because the two hold the key to deferment of loan repayments by borrowers. Mind you, once you successfully defer a payment, you’re at liberty to fully stop your repayments.  In some cases, your lender will ask you only to make small monthly payments. However, this isn’t’ without some major drawback.  This drawback is the fact that your overall cost increases significantly due to accrued interests. The lender calculates your unpaid interests and adds it to your outstanding principal.  By the end of the deferment period, you would have a significantly higher amount that you’ll have to repay your lender. It makes many wonders if this plan is worth the trouble. Because the general idea is to get out of debt as soon as practically possible. As such, postponing your monthly repayments only to later pay a higher amount of reducing the burden.  Those in the military also have many Tuition Assistance (TA) options at their disposal. Be sure to check out our page on Federal Tuition Assistance and Army National Guard TA program. 

The Navient Lawsuit

Since Navient is a major loan servicer in the U.S, and oversees not only federal loans but private loans too, the legal issues regarding the company raise a lot of concerns.  In recent times, Navient student loans have reduced in their popularity due to the legal battles the company is facing in the courts. It is battling six lawsuits, all because of allegations that it wrongfully influenced its borrowers via its repayment process.  At the moment, the lawsuits are to see a final settlement and things continue to hang in the balance. They could remain like this for years. Meanwhile, students and other concerned parties have many questions. Some of the common questions we encounter about the Navient lawsuit include we’ve listed below. 
  • What is the Navient lawsuit?
  • How real is the Navient student loan forgiveness?
  • What kind of loan servicer is Navient Corp?
  • Can I change student loan servicer and how?
  • In what ways can I protect myself?
These questions tell the story of many American student loan borrowers. Some of just concerned while others need serious advice regarding the current situation. Because its vital to understand how the actions of your loan servicer have affected or will affect you.  Remember, it is always better to take action sooner, rather than later when it comes to financial matters. Therefore, let’s begin by taking a closer look at the Navient lawsuit. 

What is the Navient lawsuit?

In January 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of the U.S and the Washington and Illinois attorney generals collectively filed a suit the student loan service. Later that same year, in October, the attorney general of Pennsylvania also sued Navient. Then another lawsuit ensued, but this time it was by the Mississipi and California attorney generals and this occurred in July and June of 2018, respectively.  In view of all these lawsuits, the U.S Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s allegation against the company includes the fact that from January 2010, Navient Corp has committed the following: 
  • Wrongly apportioned student loan payments 
  • Misled borrowers in financial difficulties toward cases of forbearances rather than the better options of income-driven repayment plans
  • Issued information that wasn’t clear regarding the way to re-enroll in income-driven repayment plans and the borrowers could meet the requirements for a co-signer release. 
According to its lawsuit, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is demanding that Navient offer reasonable compensation to its borrowers that these malpractices affected over the years.  As of 2020, Navient Corp has declared the allegation raised against it by CFPB as “unfounded.” According to a fact sheet issued by the company in October 2017, these lawsuits are backed by standards for new loan servicing under retroactive application.

Navient Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

As a matter of act, the so-called Navient student loan forgiveness program doesn’t exist. And from what we have seen so far, nothing indicates beyond a reasonable doubt that you’ll receive any compensation from Navient if the company is the servicer of your student, whether private or federal. The CFPB has made the formal request for compensation for borrowers, it doesn’t’ seem like the Navient will comply at any time in the near future.  However, all hope isn’t lost. If those who took out federal Navient students may meet the requirement to participate in some federal student loan forgiveness programs. Some examples of these programs being: 
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness
  • Teacher’s Student Loan Forgiveness Program
There are other federal loan forgiveness programs for military personal and other occupations. However, you need to know that it takes a lot of hard work, time and patience to qualify and receive the benefits of these programs. For instance, you’ll have to make no less than 10 years of payment without delays to meet the requirements for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

What kind of loan servicer is Navient Corp?

To better understand this question, let’s look at what a student loan servicer is or isn’t. Primarily, the company the oversees and receives your monthly loan payments is your student loan servicer. In some cases, the lender and the company you pay back are two different entities.  Hence, it’s normal to find a hard time determining which company has the responsibility of servicing your student loans. Below, we’ve outlined how you go about finding out which company services your student loans. 

Private Loans

Despite the fact that Navient Corp is a federal loan servicer, they also handle private loans for several private lenders. Student borrowers who wish to find out if their private loans are in the books of Navient can first ascertain the fact they have borrowed private by visiting the Federal Student Aid System.  Once on the site, you need to check for the loan you borrowed. If the Federal Student Aid System doesn’t mention your loan, you definitely have a private loan. Next, those that have an online loan account can log into their system and check for the loan servicer there.  On the other hand, if you don’t have such a system, then please contact your previous loan statement. The company that issued the stated or in charge of your loan account is also the one servicing the loan. 

Federal Loans

Borrowers of federal loans have the Federal Student Aid Portal fat their disposal. Hence, you simply have to visit the site with the FSA ID you received upon borrowing your loan. In the loan table, you’ll see some blue numbers. These numbers will provide you with more detail if you click them. One of the details you’ll find by clicking these is the “Current ED Servicer’ of your loan.  Those with Navient student loans can expect to find the name of the company displayed when they click. However, if this isn’t the case, you can expect to see other loan servicers such as Nelnet, FedLoan Servicing or Great Lakes Higher Education.

Determine Whether Your Loan is Private, Federal or a Mix

For the record, the company Navient is well known to service both types of loans – federal and private. Student borrowers with Navient student loans can look up their credit report to check out all the necessary details about their student loan debts. As you would expect, some of these details include the type of loans you have, whether federal or private student loans.  Can I change student loan servicer and how? The answer is Yes! You can change your student loan servicer through a number of ways. Or we can put it another way by saying it’s possible to go with another loan servicer using two approaches. Ultimately, the way you go about this change depends on the type of loan you borrowed. Those who borrowed Federal Navient student loans that they’ve consolidated are eligible.  On the other hand, your private Navient student loans will become eligible if you make them refinance student loans. However, we must state that no one should have to refinance their private loans or consolidated federal ones. This is due to the fact that these two carry with them some possible financial risks according to Adam Minsky. He is a well-known expert of student loans and a lawyer based in Based.  Remember, you won’t be a 100% guarantee of better conditions and terms with your student loan servicer.  Hence, you should only seriously take the step to refinance your loans if your current expenses are too uncomfortable to afford. These expenses should include your monthly loan payments and any other debts you need to deal with. Secondly, your credit needs to be in good standing.  Note: The moment your federal student loans become refinanced, you can no longer enjoy any student loan forgiveness programs. Neither can you meet the requirement for any income-driven repayment plans. 

In what ways can I protect myself?

At the end of the day, changing the servicer of your loan isn’t the only thing you have to do. Indeed there are other causes of action you can take to protect yourself. As borrowers, it’s warranted to voice your concerns about any injustice the Navient Corp did to you.  Some of the available options include the following: 
  • Look out for errors in your credit report
  • Avoid fee-charging companies that offer to help with your student loans
  • Research your options for repayment
  • File a formal complaint. 
Some students have no idea they can even file a complaint against their loan servicer. Others know the fact but have no idea how to get it done. Irrespective of which side of this equation you find yourself, you can continue reading to know more.

Filing a Formal Complaint

Provided Navient is the company servicing your loans, you can take the following steps Visit the Consume Advocate office of the Navient Corp and submit your complaint. You can either contact them by email at advocate@navient.com  or get them on call t 888-545-4199. Next, you can use the following organizations to file your complaints: 
  • The attorney general’s office of your state
  • Your representative of Congress
  • The Office of consumer protection in your state
  • The feedback portal of the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid. 
It’s not every time a complaint helps. However, there is another option if that’s the case for you. You need to contact the Ombudsman Group. This is the last resort in a worst-case scenario, and this is according to the Office of Federal Student Aid.  When you are at the point where you think you need to contact Ombudsman, refer to the lower portion of the page to get the contact details of Navient. Remember, you must have exhausted all other options before contacting Ombudsman directly. 

Looking out for errors in your credit report

According to the allegations the CFPB raised against Navient, one of the wrongdoings of the servicer is the fact that it disabled the accounts of some borrowers.  The reports said that the company put the accounts of borrowers who received loan relief via the Permanent and Total Disability discharge program from the Federal government.  Such a mistake could adversely affect your credit score. Therefore, you want to make sure you protect yourself. That’s why you need to get to your credit report and check for any irregularities. And getting your credit report isn’t difficult. You have a fee credit report any of the three main credit bureaus TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.  Finally, you need to know and avoid the services of third-party companies that prey on unsuspecting students. 

Look Out for Fee Charging Companies

All the other options listed above are free of charge. However, you might come across some firms that offer assistance with student loans for a small fee. Usually, these companies have no affiliations with the Department of Education and take advantage of students who do not know any better.  Through some questionable means, these companies charge fees to help students get aboard federal student loan programs for free. Often, you’ll advertising materials from such companies that promote packages such as “Obama Student Loan Forgiveness” on Ad networks such as Google and Facebook.  Irrespective of which type of Navient student loans you borrowed, we strongly advise against such companies. However, if you should succumb to the temptation, just remember that you don’t ever have to pay any entity, whether state, federal or private, for help with student loans.  Hene, if you can’t get all the help you need and information from your loan servicer, you have other options. We advise you to contact the Department of Education or the attorney general’s office of your state for assistance. 

Contacts

Navient Corp

Advocacy: Call 888-545-4199 or email advocate@navient.com

Toll-free at 888-272-5543

Monday – Thursday 8 am – 9 pm and Friday 8 am – 8 pm ET

US Depart of Education

 

Phone: 877-557-2575

By mail: U.S. Department of Education

FSA Ombudsman Group

P.O. Box 1843

Monticello, KY 42633