Navient is one of the oldest and most well-known student loan servicers in the United States. Yet, while it has helped millions of borrowers get the money they need to attend college, Navient has been surrounded by recent controversy.
Here you’ll find more details about Navient’s history and services, plus information on how to potentially have your Navient student loans forgiven.
Who is Navient?
Originally part of Sallie Mae, Navient split from the company in 2014. While Sallie Mae kept consumer banking and private lending services, Navient was created to handle education loans coming from the DOE.
Today, Navient manages roughly $300 billion in student loans and is one of the leading student loan servicers in the United States. Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, Navient currently employs more than 6,000 people across the U.S.
What Does Navient Do?
Navient is a student loan servicer that offers its services to more than 12 million student loan borrowers. As a loan servicer, Navient handles a variety of services for nearly a dozen student loan repayment plans, consolidation options, and student loan forgiveness programs.
Navient and Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
Due to Navient’s partnership with the Department of Education, there are several Navient student loan forgiveness programs available to eligible borrowers.
Navient and Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
If you have qualifying student loans and you work in the public sector, you could be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). This includes anyone working full-time in AmeriCorps or as a Peace Corps volunteer.
As part of qualifying for the program, you’ll also need to make 120 on-time payments on your eligible loans. But once you’ve met all the requirements, you could have your student loans forgiven – meaning the remaining balance will be wiped away for good.
Even if you’ve been denied for PSLF before, a new Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF) could help.
With most PSLF applications being handled by FedLoan Servicing, your loans will be moved to FedLoan once you’ve met the program’s requirements.
Navient and Teacher Loan Forgiveness
Qualifying for Teacher Loan Forgiveness requires having certain loans and meeting specific job-related requirements. However, if you meet these requirements, you could earn up to $17,500 towards the balance on your Direct Loan or FFEL program loans.
Requirements for Teacher Loan Forgiveness through Navient include teaching full-time at a low-income school or educational service agency.
Upon meeting the qualifications for Teacher Loan Forgiveness, your loans will be moved to FedLoan Servicing, who largely manages the program for the DOE.
Navient and Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge
To qualify for the TPD Discharge through Navient, you’ll need to prove your disabled status through Veterans Affairs, your doctor, or the Social Security Administration. Then once your paperwork is approved, your loans will be moved to Nelnet, who serves as the DOE’s exclusive TPD Discharge servicer, and the remaining balance on your student loans could be wiped away entirely.
Navient and Other Student Loan Discharges
Depending on your circumstances, you could be eligible for other student loan discharge programs. Available Navient student loan discharge programs include:
- School closure discharge
- False certification discharge
- Unpaid refund discharge
Through a student loan discharge, you could be released from your obligation to pay back your student loans.
Navient and Income-Driven Repayment Plans
Many of Navient’s student loan forgiveness programs require certain loan types to make borrowers eligible. If your loans don’t qualify for loan forgiveness, you might consider switching your loans to a more favorable income-driven repayment plan, which include:
- Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan
- Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Repayment Plan
- Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) Repayment Plan
- Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan
Recent Navient Loan Forgiveness & Repayment News
Here are some recent news stories about Navient that will interest you as a borrower.
April 2015: President Obama releases the Student Aid Bill of Rights to help protect borrowers and address problems with servicers. As part of Obama’s efforts on behalf of borrowers, the Student Aid Bill of Rights plans to end customer complaints against servicers like Navient.
January 2017: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) files a lawsuit against Navient, along with the Attorneys General of Illinois and Washington. The CFPB alleges that Navient is knowingly misallocating payments, steering borrowers toward unnecessary forbearances, and not giving borrowers enough information about income-driven repayment plans.
October 2017: Pennsylvania’s Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, sues Navient. In the lawsuit, the Pennsylvania AG claims Navient offered expensive, high-risk loans to borrowers despite knowing these loans would likely go into default.
February 2018: NPR obtains an internal memo from U.S. Education Secretary Betsy Devos, where she argues to protect federal student loan servicers like Navient from state lawsuits.
July 2018: The Attorney General of California, Xavier Becerra, sues Navient. Speaking about the lawsuit, Mr. Becerra said, “Navient’s loan servicing abuses have compounded the misery of parents and students who sacrificed to pay for college…We are ready to hold Navient accountable.”
As a loan servicer to millions of borrowers, Navient has amassed hundreds of online reviews. Currently, Navient has an “A-” rating with the Better Business Bureau, despite a large number of negative reviews. On the Consumer Affairs website, Navient has a one-star rating.
Is Navient Your Loan Servicer?
Is Navient your student loan servicer and you’d like to switch to another lender? You do have options. As a Navient borrower, one of these options includes a Federal Direct Loan Consolidation. By consolidating your federal loans into a single loan, you get access to a few key benefits. These include:
- Making your loans eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) if you already qualify for the program
- Simplifying multiple payments into a single loan and single monthly payment
- Getting a single interest rate that is a weighted average of all your consolidated loans
During the Direct Loan Consolidation process, you can choose which servicer you want to have your loans handled by. Besides Navient, other servicers include Nelnet, FedLoan, and Great Lakes.
If you’re not concerned about losing the benefits that come with federal student loan programs, you can also apply for a private student loan consolidation. In some cases, a private consolidation loan could offer a lower interest rate, better repayment terms, and superior customer service.
Interested in moving your loans away from Navient? Want to learn more about your student loan options? Simply fill out our free online form or call a student loan specialist by phone at (800) 771-6358.