Tired of juggling multiple Navient student loan payments? If all of your Navient student loans are federal loans, you could apply for a federal student loan consolidation. Virtually any federal loan borrower can qualify for a federal Direct Consolidation Loan as there is no credit check requirement.
Federal consolidation isn’t available if you’re looking to consolidate private student loans (or a mixture of federal and private loans). But if you have private loans, you can take out a new private consolidation loan with Navient or another private lender.
Consolidating student loans with private lenders is more commonly referred to as student loan refinancing. Unlike with federal loan consolidation, you can get a lower interest rate and/or lower monthly payment through refinancing.
Navient’s own refinancing product, called NaviRefi, is only available to its existing customers. Here’s everything you need to know about consolidating Navient student loans with NaviRefi.
With NaviRefi, borrowers can refinance multiple Navient loans into a single new loan. Below, we cover the terms, eligibility criteria and application process to refinance Navient loans.
What are the loan terms and fees?
Borrowers can refinance from $5,001 to $500,000 in student loan debt with NaviRefi. Navient offers a strong selection of loan terms. You can select anywhere from 5 to 20 years (in yearly increments), for a total of 16 choices. That’s a plus because it gives each borrower a better chance of finding the right repayment terms (and monthly payment) that fits their budget.
In most states, NaviRefi is able to offer both fixed rate and variable rate loans. Unfortunately, Navient doesn’t publicly disclose its interest rate ranges. So you’ll have to wait to see your rate until after you apply. There are no origination fees.
Who is eligible to consolidate Navient student loans?
Even if you have student loans that are serviced by Navient, you may not be eligible to consolidate them with NaviRefi. Currently, NaviRefi refinancing is an invitation-only program.
Additionally, you must be:
- At least the age of majority in your state
- A United States citizen or non-citizen permanent resident
- Employed or have sufficient income from other sources.
- A former student of an eligible Title IV school
Finally, you can’t be a resident of Nevada, as this is the only state where Navient isn’t currently offering refinancing loans.
How do eligible borrowers apply?
If you meet the eligibility requirements above and received a loan invitation from NaviRefi, here’s how to move forward with applying.
- Visit the NaviRefi website and click “Get My Rate.”
- Enter your name, email and 16-digit invitation code (found on the letter or email you received).
- Follow the prompts to complete your application.
Here a few pieces of information that you’ll need to provide when you apply:
- Social Security number
- Employer information
- Annual income
If you have questions or need help filling out your application, you can reach out to Navient’s customer service team at 844-381-6621 (Mon-Thurs, 8 AM to 9 PM ET and Fri, 8 AM to 8 PM ET). Their team can also assist you if you’d like to add non-Navient student loans to your loan application.
How long does Navient take to consolidate loans?
Applicants can receive a rate quote from Navient in as little as three minutes. But if you move forward with your application and are approved, Navient doesn’t offer an estimate on how fast your loan funds are disbursed. However, the refinancing process with other lenders often takes one to two billing cycles.
Once the consolidation is complete, you’ll receive your first billing statement from Navient. Until then, continue to pay your existing loans according to schedule to avoid accidental late or missed payments.
How do borrowers make payments?
To make your first payment, navigate to the NaviRefi website, click ” Log In” and select “Register Now.”
After setting up your account profile, select “Make a Payment” to add your bank account information. You can’t make credit card payments. And you’ll only be allowed to make debit card payments by phone.
You can also enroll in auto-payments at any time. And choosing to do so could save you money as you’ll earn a 0.25% auto pay interest rate discount.
One of the biggest advantages of refinancing with Navient is that it offers a high degree of repayment flexibility. In addition to Standard (or Level) Repayment, borrowers may be able to take advantage of the following options:
- Rate Reduction Program: Provides a reduced interest rate for 6 months for borrowers who are experiencing financial difficulty.
- Term and Rate Modification Program: This combines the benefits of the Rate Reduction Program with an extended repayment term.
- School, Training or Military Deferment: If you’re enrolled at least half-time in school, are working through a training program (internship, residency or fellowship), or are in the military, you may qualify for temporary payment postponement.
- Forbearance: This temporarily suspends payments (but not accrual of interest) for borrowers who qualify based on their financial situation.
Further, Navient will consider discharging debts in the event of a borrower’s death or total and permanent disability.
In addition to these Navient-specific benefits, there are a few potential advantages that apply to student loan refinancing as a whole. Examples include the potential to lower your interest rate, choose a more convenient repayment term or release a cosigner.
As mentioned earlier, NaviRefi consolidation loans are private loans. So if you consolidate federal loans with Navient, they’ll no longer be eligible for a variety of benefits. By refinancing federal loans with Navient you will lose access to federal:
- Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plans (REPAYE, PAYE, IBR, and ICR)
- Forgiveness programs (like the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program)
- Forbearance and deferment
- COVID-19 student loan relief
Beyond these general disadvantages of refinancing, it should be noted that Navient doesn’t have the best of reputations. Loan servicers, in general, don’t often receive glowing customer service ratings. But Navient specifically has been involved in a series of lawsuits over the past few years alleging misapplication of borrower payments, deceptive practices and more.
Finally, NaviRefi’s uses credit-based underwriting, like most private lenders. So only borrowers with excellent credit scores will qualify for the best rates.
In most cases, yes, consolidating Navient student loans in some fashion will make sense. The only question is if you should choose private or federal consolidation.
If you need income-driven repayment options or you qualify for PSLF, you should choose federal consolidation for your Navient loans. Note that while only Direct Loans qualify for PSLF, Federal Family Education Loans (FFELP) and Perkins Loan can become eligible after they’re consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan.
Just know that if you’ve already made any qualifying payments towards PSLF, you’ll lose credit for them and will restart at zero eligible payments after consolidating. So if you’ve already made a significant number of eligible payments, you may be better off avoiding federal consolidation altogether.
If you don’t need to make payments on an income-driven repayment plan and work in the private sector, student loan refinancing could be worth considering. But if you decide that refinancing is right for you, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Navient should be your choice. Another lender may be able to provide more attractive rates and terms, better customer service or both.
Additionally, some lenders may be willing to pay you a refinancing cash bonus of $200 to $1,275. Before choosing a refinancing lender, it’s important to look at all your options. Compare Navient’s refinance loans with our top refinancing lenders.