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The Navient Lawsuits: Large Settlement for Some, No Relief for Others

Navient Corporation is one of the nation’s largest federal student loan servicers. Since 2017, Navient has been mired in a growing number of lawsuits. This includes suits from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), several state attorneys general and a group of teachers.

A major settlement, joined by 39 state attorneys general, was announced on January 13, 2022 that requires Navient to provide a total of $1.85 billion in relief to private and federal student loan borrowers.

More than 66,000 Navient private student loan borrowers who were taken advantage of will receive complete loan cancellation of their remaining balances. Additionally, approximately 350,000 federal loan borrowers who were steered into long-term forbearance instead of an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan will receive restitution payments equaling about $260 each.

We'll explain what the conclusion of the Navient lawsuit means for you.

Navient lawsuit: A brief history

Let’s take a look at why legal action against Navient Corporation began and how it got to the point it’s at today.

CFPB lawsuit: The beginning

In January 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a lawsuit against Navient. The CFPB accused Navient of failing to act in its customers’ best interests. Among other things, the CFPB charged that Navient:

  • Failed to correctly apply or allocate borrower student loan payments to their accounts
  • Steered struggling borrowers toward multiple forbearances instead of income-driven repayment plans
  • Deceived private student loan borrowers about cosigner release requirements
  • Reported loans incorrectly to the credit bureaus
  • Failed to inform borrowers of IDR plan renewal deadlines

In May 2020, Navient filed a motion for the CFPB lawsuit to be dismissed in its entirety. This lawsuit is currently still open.

State lawsuits: Attorneys general nationwide unite for a big win

The CFPB lawsuit was followed up with state attorney general lawsuits in Illinois (January 2017), Washington (January 2017), Pennsylvania (October 2017), California (June 2018) and Mississippi (July 2018).

The allegations made by each state attorney general are similar to those made by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

A total of 39 state attorneys general joined in a settlement that was announced on January 13, 2022. It requires Navient to:

  • Cancel $1.7 billion in subprime private student loan balances owed by more than 66,000 borrowers.
  • Pay $95 million in restitution payments to approximately 350,000 federal student loan borrowers. Payments are estimated at around $260 each.

Additionally, Navient must pay the attorneys general $142.5 million and implement reforms to better serve student loan borrowers. For example, Navient must explain the benefits of IDR plans. It must train specialists to advise distressed borrowers on alternative repayment options and provide guidance on forgiveness programs, such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

Navient also has to stop providing compensation that incentivizes its team to get borrowers off the phone as quickly as possible.

Teacher lawsuit: A small win with no direct relief for borrowers

In October of 2018, nine teachers filed suit against Navient. They were supported by the American Federation of Teachers, the second-largest teacher’s union in the United States.

In their lawsuit, the teachers allege Navient misled borrowers in public service professions when they tried to access Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). These teachers claim that Navient attempted to keep borrowers from transferring their loans to FedLoan Servicing (the exclusive servicer for PSLF) in order to avoid losing the associated fees.

In June 2020, a final settlement was reached. The primary ruling requires Navient to improve staff training on Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and donate $1.75 million to a student loan counseling nonprofit group. The only money coming out of the settlement is for the lawyers representing the class. Borrowers who received inaccurate information about their loans will receive nothing.

The Navient lawsuit details and conclusion

The recent Navient settlement is the first to provide direct relief to borrowers who were impacted by “widespread unfair and deceptive student loan servicing practices and abuses in originating predatory student loans”, according to the

Borrowers who are eligible for Navient loan cancellation or restitution payments don’t need to do anything to receive the benefits of this settlement. This will be an automatic process.

Who qualifies for Navient settlement loan cancellation?

The $1.7 billion in Navient loan cancellation will be primarily given to borrowers who took out subprime student loans with Sallie Mae between 2002 and 2014. Note Sallie Mae was Navient’s predecessor.

As part of the settlement, the borrower must have had more than seven consecutive months of delinquent payments prior to June 30, 2021.

Additionally, the borrower’s mailing address on file with Navient must be within one of these states or associated with a military address postal code as of June 30, 2021: AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WA, WV and WI.

Borrowers who attended certain for-profit schools who received non-subprime student loans between 2002 and 2014 may also receive relief.

Source: Navient Multi-State Settlement informational website, Common Questions

However, many of these borrowers have sought cancellation through the federal Borrower Defense to Loan Repayment due to school misconduct.

Eligible private student loan borrowers will automatically receive notice from Navient by July 2022. Refunds will also be processed for any payments made on the canceled debt after June 30, 2021.

Who qualifies for Navient restitution payments?

Federal student loan borrowers who were steered into long-term forbearance by Navient will receive a very small payout from the $95 million bucket. Each eligible borrower is looking at a whopping $260 each.

To qualify, you must have been a resident of one of the participating states (AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MN, MO, NC, NE, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, TN, VA, WA, and WI) or had an address with a military postal code as of January 2017.

Additionally, you must have entered repayment on a Direct or FFEL Program loan before January 2015 and had at least two years of consecutive verbal or administrative forbearance between October 2009 and January 2017.

Source: Navient Multi-State Settlement informational website, Common Questions

Eligible federal loan borrowers will automatically receive a postcard from the settlement administrator sometime in the spring. So, be sure to update your mailing address in their StudentAid.gov account.

Navient’s response

From the beginning, Navient has been adamant that it has done nothing wrong and that it has serviced loans to the best of its ability.

The recent settlement doesn’t require them to admit any wrongdoing. In fact, Navient’s take on the settlement is this: “While these allegations are false and baseless and we strongly believe we would prevail in court, we decided to resolve these matters to avoid the continued burden, expense, and distraction of state litigation.”

Additionally, in a rebuttal posted on its site, Navient responded to the CFPB’s allegations point by point. Here are two of its key claims:

  • Borrowers serviced by Navient are 37% less likely to default than borrowers serviced by Navient’s peers.
  • 53% of student loan balances serviced by Navient for the government are enrolled in income-driven repayment plans — more than any comparable servicer.

Navient says there’s a good reason why it recommends forbearances so often to borrowers who are struggling with student loan repayment. It explains that forbearance is often a required tool to help people eventually become eligible to enroll in IDR plans.

It also says that the Department of Education pays up to 60% less for borrowers in forbearance. In other words, it would have no financial incentive to recommend a forbearance over IDR plans.

In short, Navient feels like it’s being picked on in these suits. It contends that it hasn’t done any worse than other federal student loan servicers — and that it has often done better.

Navient and other federal student loans servicers aren’t set up for success

Despite its faults, Navient is right about one thing. The student loan system as a whole is broken.

The people working for federal loan servicers are overworked and often not given proper training. They may be too busy to give personalized advice to every borrower, so they “read from the script.”

And when the federal government first introduced the PSLF program in 2007, the Department of Education didn't give a guidebook about how to handle it. Many servicers simply didn’t understand the rules.

Intent or incompetence?

In the suit against Navient by the nine teachers, Jessica Saint-Paul, one of the plaintiffs, explains that she asked a Navient customer service representative about PSLF. The rep told her she needed to make 120 consecutive student loan payments in order to qualify.

Obviously, this is completely wrong because PSLF payments don’t need to be consecutive. You can imagine how you may be discouraged from even pursuing PSLF in the first place after being told something like that.

So, assuming this is true, was Navient wrong in this situation? Absolutely. But was Navient purposely giving this type of wrong advice to public servants on a regular basis?

Or did Navient just fail to properly educate a customer service representative who ended up later giving a borrower bad advice?

In reality, the federal government requested a low-cost contract to service millions of borrowers. That low cost translated into low pay for the customer service reps, which translated into poor customer service and frequent incompetence.

Borrowers are the ones who paid the biggest price.

What can you do if Navient is your servicer?

If your federal student loans have been with Navient, these lawsuits may have you worried. But don’t panic. There’s a good chance that Navient serviced your loan exactly as it should.

If you notice any problems with your student loans, however, contact your loan servicer immediately. With all the bad PR Navient has dealt with over the past few years, the company should be eager to fix mistakes.

But if you come across an issue Navient (or your new servicer Aidvantage) won’t resolve, you can file a complaint with the CFPB or with the Department of Education.

How to switch servicers

Want to just switch student loan servicers altogether? Unfortunately, that’s not easy to do. The federal government only allows borrowers to switch servicers during a Direct Loan Consolidation.

You could also switch student loan servicers by refinancing your student loans; however, you’ll lose out on federal student loan benefits, including eligibility for student loan forgiveness programs like PSLF.

Your student loan servicer is not required to act in your best interest

The most telling text from the conclusion of one of the Navient lawsuits is that one of the main defenses was that Navient “is not required to act in a customer's best interest”. But the most recent settlement might signal a new level of accountability for student loan servicers. We can only hope.

You can absolutely get help from your servicer for free. Help like filling out forms, updating your address, asking your bank account to be debited, etc. However, student loan servicers are known for doing a really poor job. They often give advice that can cost you thousands and slow down your repayment journey.

That's why Hornsby founded Student Loan Planner®. It was meant be an unbiased source of advice about how to manage complex, large student loans.

Is Navient or any other federal loan servicer not giving you the personalized student debt advice that you need? If so, Student Loan Planner® can help. Our team would love to talk through all the student loan repayment strategies that may be available to you. Book a student loan consultation today.

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Comments

  1. Liz July 2, 2019 at 11:57 AM
    Reply

    I am an active duty Naval Officer and have been completely swindled by Navient since 2001. I was a young ignorant college girl just wanting to make something of myself. I came from nothing, complete poverty and considered by most a person who will simply never make it in the world. I had zero idea of how I was going to pay for college once I arrived. I figured someone would direct me and give me some sort of assistance on financial aid. Besides, my guidance counselor said being poor should never stop me and “they” give kids like me a shot every day. The financial aid department directed me towards Sallie Mae. I really didn’t understand most of what they were saying but the woman on the phone assured me it was a deal of a lifetime and I was very lucky. I finally did it though and graduated with my degree!! Sallie Mae was already on my heals for a crazy amount of money I knew I couldn’t pay. With each phone-call I was threatened with damaged credit, default, higher interest rates, larger payments. They weren’t kidding either, they actually did all of those things to me and not just for a short while they constantly made me suffer. At the end of every phone call I was giving the last bits of every cent I had and they had absolutely no problem with doing it. After graduation there were no jobs, opportunities or even internships due to the economy just taking a dive. I was barely scraping by as a receptionist by day and waitress by night. I decided I needed to truly make something of myself. I decided to enlist in the Navy. I signed up as E-1 with no rating only because beggars can’t be choosers. I knew I was getting a fast one pulled on me but I took what I could get with job security in mind. I’ve worked my way through the Enlisted ranks and finally after consistently trying, I was selected as an Officer. I have now served 13 years of Active Duty as an O-3 Lieutenant, 5 deployments, over seas tour, a Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, multiple Good Conduct Medals, 3 Warfare Pins, Volunteer Service, continuous professional education, and the list goes on. I will continue to serve as long as the Navy will have me. My service means nothing to Navient or FedLoan. I’ve paid faithfully for 10 years. I will admit for about 3 years I did struggle to pay only because the number was always changing or I missed a deadline on a renewal. It was very hard to keep up as a grunt on deployment with the Sallie Mae demands. Now and then I ask for forgiveness or a lower interest rate and there’s always a catch, something I missed or another reason why I will spend the rest of my life paying for my education times ten. As an Officer I am required to complete graduate school so I can continue to advance. I was hoping to use part of my GI Bill for my daughter so she wouldn’t get stuck in my shoes. Unfortunately, military is now under pressure and the fine print on the GI Bill is rearing it’s ugly head. I suppose I will continue to pay my extremely high student loans payments and put money aside for my daughter as well. I guess I truly will never actually “make it.” Serving my country still isn’t enough. The military hasn’t paid one penny of my education and student loan creditors could care less.

    • Travis Hornsby July 2, 2019 at 4:32 PM
      Reply

      Thanks for your service Liz. You might try reaching out to your representatives to share your story. Many similar stories might prompt some reform of PSLF rules.

      • Liz July 2, 2019 at 7:24 PM
        Reply

        You’re right, what’s the worst that could happen? No one listens.

    • Jennifer Nelson-Burgher July 15, 2019 at 4:48 PM
      Reply

      WOW! I want to thank you for your dedicated service and for sharing your story! I find it shameful and unacceptable that you’ve struggled financially your entire life despite following “society’s script” of obtaining a higher education as one’s path to success and financial freedom. WHAT A JOKE! I highly encourage you to inform our congress of your circumstances. I’m confident you’re not alone and WE, THE PEOPLE, MUST CHANGE THIS! Good luck and please keep us informed of your progress. I would gladly sign a petition calling for federal student loan reform for our actively enlisted as well as our veterans!

    • Jack May 7, 2020 at 4:45 PM
      Reply

      What ever you do, do NOT put your child’s loan on to yours. Later on if you qualify for loan forgiveness because of age,etc. you won’t be eligible because your child is on the loan with you. (Another gotcha they won’t tell you about)

  2. Sharon Granahan July 16, 2019 at 1:45 PM
    Reply

    Hi if I refinance my student loans from Navient? Do this exclude me from the 2 lawsuit I am in against Navient? I was steered toward forbearance when my husband died. My loan is 7.9% and have been paying for 8 years. It only goes down $1 a month. I now owe 98k. Can I switch loan companies if waiting for the lawsuits to settle?

    • Travis Hornsby July 16, 2019 at 3:02 PM
      Reply

      The only way to switch is by refinancing your loans with a private lender or doing a consolidation, which may or may not be in your interest. Getting a long term plan is the key which our blog can help with if you read more articles 🙂

  3. Kyle July 23, 2019 at 7:38 AM
    Reply

    Pretty bold of you to list Earnest as a potential option if you’re looking for a company to refinance through – they’ve been owned by Navient since 2017…

    • Travis Hornsby July 23, 2019 at 10:46 AM
      Reply

      That’s true. They continue to operate as an independent brand though and I hear almost exclusively positive reviews of Earnest. The complaints about Navient’s student loan servicing of federal loans is a different service than refinancing is, which is primarily focused on rate terms and how low the rate you’re being offered is.

      • Miles August 8, 2019 at 8:28 AM
        Reply

        I can say, as a borrower who’s student loans were previously serviced by Navient (and having experienced years of being “guided” to forbearance by their reps rather than an IBR plan), I have had a good experience with Earnest so far. In a terribly frustrating situation where I felt powerless, refinancing and knowing exactly where I stand has been the right choice for me.

        I was reticent to switch to Earnest at first, as I found out about the Navient connection early on in my research. This said, because of my overwhelming existing loans and interest rates (and resulting credit score), I could not find another private lender that would offer the reduced rate that Earnest would (we’re talking a difference of 1 point, which equates to thousands of dollars over the life of my repayment). So, I went with the low bidder and refinanced with Earnest.

        Earnest hangs its hat on transparency and simplicity, with no hidden fees. I have been with them now for almost a year, and I can say this has proven to be the case. While I have given up the opportunity for (the promise of) loan forgiveness down the road, I have gained immediate peace of mind in seeing my loan finally go down every month, little bit by little bit. This is the first time since I walked away from grad school that my student loans are trending in the right direction.

        For all the frustration I still struggle to let go of over the unfairness of my situation, I still chose to trust Navient to guide me to the best solution rather than find the solution myself. What can I say, I was scared. I now own my part in this situation.

        This does not make their duplicity or ineptitude, whichever descriptive noun you prefer, any less egregious. They marketed themselves as a trusted advisor to borrowers, so we chose to trust them, myself included. I am now in a much larger hole thanks to my mistake to choose to trust them.

        You may not be able to let go of your frustration either. I don’t blame you. But don’t let this overwhelmingly unfair situation paralyze you into inaction. I don’t blame anyone if you wish to hold on to the possibility that loan forgiveness (and the very large capital gains tax bill for the forgiven amount) will be there at the end. If you want to take control of the fear that I also was experiencing, it is worth your time to look into Earnest or other private loan servicers.

        This peace of mind I now have in knowing I am moving in the right direction, that I have control of the future of my loans, has been far better for me than relying on political levers that are well beyond my control. It might be worth it to you also.

        • Travis Hornsby August 8, 2019 at 3:26 PM
          Reply

          Thanks for sharing Miles. I’m glad you had a good experience with Earnest and that’s why we have a lot of readers use them for refinancing. I get the Navient affiliation question often and they’ve really let it stay independently operated for the most part. Hopefully some of Earnest can rub off on Navient too.

  4. Sonya Gipson August 23, 2019 at 6:51 PM
    Reply

    I am also a veteran of the Navy
    And I also put money in the veap program while in the military. Sallie Mae was my provider and I had no idea that the loan was sold after I apply for the private loan approved and never received it. Still have the emails they sent me in 2009. Also I’m a veteran dependent. I was approved for total disability in 1993 and gave them the information. They totally ignore it

    • Travis Hornsby August 26, 2019 at 6:49 PM
      Reply

      Seems like you should get an attorney in your corner. If you share what state you live in I might be able to make a connection.

  5. Suzanne Thompson October 28, 2019 at 9:09 AM
    Reply

    Good morning

    Here is a story for you, for which I am very unhappy about.
    July 23 is when I applied for my forbearance an I sent them the paperwork needed to lower my payments. On September 29, 2019 I get an email stating I owe the a lot more than I was paying. So, I didn’t think anything about it, because they have a history in doing this. I called them on Friday October 25, 2019 asking why did they send another email stating I owe this high payment? They said on the other end someone in another country, which makes me very upset, that they never received my paperwork. I said how come Great Lakes received within minutes and you did not and what Happened to my forbearance? They said, that never happened, it’s not in the computer. I told them I have the email that was sent from them on July 31st. They claimed it never went through.
    This company needs to be completely looked at. They are underhandedly ripping of students.

    Thank you for reading my story.

  6. Jack November 15, 2019 at 6:55 AM
    Reply

    The CFPB is the Consumer Financial [not ‘Finance’] Protection Bureau, FYI.

    • Travis at Student Loan Planner November 15, 2019 at 11:15 AM
      Reply

      Good catch updated it.

  7. Michael Smith December 5, 2019 at 9:09 AM
    Reply

    I graduated from College in Maine in 1995 and have been paying on my school loans since that time. I did not owe a large amount I think the original amount was $20,000.00. We were young an might have been late on a few payments. We have not been late on a payment for the last three years and my amount owed this month is has gone up to $22,000. I called the company and spoke with a customer service agent to find out what I could do as I have paid in over $45,000 and the total is still going up. She told me that I signed for it 25 years ago and I have to pay it. Great help!!! Thanks a lot.

    • Travis at Student Loan Planner December 13, 2019 at 10:36 AM
      Reply

      You probably havent been on IBR so my suggestion is pay 400 a month or more and it’ll be done in 5 years or less.

  8. Cindy December 29, 2019 at 10:11 AM
    Reply

    My student loan was originally 21,000. I’ve been paying since 1995. I had a few recommended forbearances. I was a struggling single mom working as a GS 5, for the veterans hospital in Biloxi MS. I added up the total money I have actually paid and it is more than double what I borrowed. I’ve been paying $350 per month the past five years by direct payment from the bank, never late. I’ve been turned down for loan forgiveness more than once. I’m 66, tired of fighting with Navient. I want to retire but I will no doubt be paying Navient with my social security check.

    • Travis at Student Loan Planner January 6, 2020 at 3:15 PM
      Reply

      You might have FFEL loans which arent eligible for PSLF. You might consider consolidating if you’re low income and using the REPAYE plan. Or if you’ve been on an income driven plan you might be close to forgiveness.

  9. Brittney January 8, 2020 at 2:50 PM
    Reply

    I received a call from this phone number (763)401-0790 on 1/7/2020 and the VM they left gave me another call back number (202)921-7300 and a code to enter. I called it and the recording sounded legitimate and then I spoke with a real live person who did not ask me for any personal information just the code. Has this happened to anyone else?

    • Travis at Student Loan Planner January 14, 2020 at 12:39 AM
      Reply

      Sounds like a fake thing I would not do

      • Megan January 21, 2020 at 12:53 PM
        Reply

        I just got the same phone call, but dis nor answer or call them back. Not sure what to believe anymore with all the fraud going on. Would like to know if this is true or not?

        • Travis at Student Loan Planner January 27, 2020 at 3:20 PM
          Reply

          Not true

      • Laura L January 21, 2020 at 12:56 PM
        Reply

        Yes, I just got that call today, telling me that they were following up with the recent Navient Lawsuit and that I can get my loans forgiven. It sounds too good to be true.

        • Travis at Student Loan Planner January 27, 2020 at 3:20 PM
          Reply

          That’s because it is

    • Kevin P. January 21, 2020 at 12:27 PM
      Reply

      Seems they are making the rounds, the calling number was (760) 440-4481, but the call back number was (202) 921-7300 (same as yours).
      The Voicemail claims the lawsuit has been settled and I am eligible for loan forgiveness. Yeah right!
      Like so many others, between hard times and bad information, I will be paying off my loans till the day I die.

      • Travis at Student Loan Planner January 27, 2020 at 3:20 PM
        Reply

        You should use an IDR plan and get it forgiven over 20 years

    • Clairissa January 21, 2020 at 5:53 PM
      Reply

      I just had the same call. For a moment I thought I was being sued because I’m behind on payments.

      • Travis at Student Loan Planner January 27, 2020 at 3:17 PM
        Reply

        These folks will never call you. That’s why you know it’s a scam when the phone rings.

    • Amy January 22, 2020 at 4:05 PM
      Reply

      I got the same voice mail and number, saying because of the lawsuits, my loan would be forgiven. It sounds too good to be true so I assume its a scam. I haven’t called the number back.

      • Travis at Student Loan Planner January 27, 2020 at 3:11 PM
        Reply

        That’s a scam

        • Ashley March 28, 2020 at 11:03 AM
          Reply

          Just got the same call and came to do some internet research before I attempted to call back. Glad I found this info first!

  10. Caleb January 14, 2020 at 8:39 PM
    Reply

    What should I do if I’ve called Navient and they said I don’t owe anything but online it says I do and the loans are still affecting my credit? I had about 12,000 in loans and contacted Navient and other people to try and get it figured out but no one will give a straight answer or return calls.

    • Travis at Student Loan Planner January 27, 2020 at 3:44 PM
      Reply

      I would get a free annual credit report and call the number you see there that says you owe the debt.

  11. Sharon Granahan January 21, 2020 at 3:55 PM
    Reply

    Hello,
    Is there any light at the end of the tunnel? I had a triple whammy happen to me.
    *I have had a Navient Student loan since 2008. They guided me toward forbearance in 2012 & again in 2013. This was when my mother and new husband died suddenly. I am now about 90K & 60 yrs. old. Also, I am part of the CFPB’s lawsuit for Navient’s attempts to steer borrowers into forbearance rather than income-based repayment plans.

    *Also, over the phone Navient reassured many times over the years that I was on the right track for the Federal Loan forgiveness as a Nurse for a non-profit. Last month, I applied to the Fed Loan Forgiveness with 110 monthly payments completed. I was turned down f because I was not on an IRB loan plan. So now at 60, I need to start over for the next ten years to qualify and retire at 70.

    *Lastly, I went to Kaplan University which called me for more and more money all through my Master’s degree and closed 2 yrs. later. I have applied and have been added to the federal lawsuit (for discharge) which passed in the House of Reps. but probably won’t pass the Senate House for the lack of votes soon.

    **So my question is do you see any of these lawsuits being settled soon? Will we ever see help with repayment of these loans? Or will I pay until I am 70 yrs. old or never retire? I have been a RN for 30 yrs. help others especially in non-profit settings.

  12. lorenzo ramirez February 14, 2020 at 12:04 PM
    Reply

    If the Navient lawsuit is legit, does my loan servicer Fed loan account included? How can find if it applies to me. I have been for a number of years, and I feel my money is being stolen. As a nurse for 30 yrs, i will be dead before i pay it off and i cant afford to retire at 66 yrs of age. These programs are wanting to rob me and my family of all my years of hard work. Please advise and help with this.

    • Travis at Student Loan Planner February 16, 2020 at 9:32 AM
      Reply

      It won’t apply if you have a different servicer. I’m sorry to hear that, and I think that’s why it’s important to not trust your servicer for advice on how to pay off your loans. They want to keep your debt around as long as possible.

  13. Vera March 3, 2020 at 2:55 PM
    Reply

    I’m so glad I googled this info! I was finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and two paychecks ago, my total balance shot up to almost $500 added on. I tried to find out why….and the representative on the other side just kept asking if I was disputing it??? I told her I wanted to know why my balance increased…finally hung up!

  14. Monica March 4, 2020 at 4:11 PM
    Reply

    Why is it that nowhere in this article say anything about private student loans and what we as private student borrows can do? Is it because the answer is nothing? Does anyone care to address the fact that not all student loans with Navient aren’t federal?? Why are we all pushed aside and forgotten about every single time this subject comes up?? This is sickening, as my behemoth of a loan has quite literally ruined my life. I need help just as much or even more than my federal student borrower counterparts, and now for a fact that I’m not the only one. SOS.

    • Monica March 4, 2020 at 4:34 PM
      Reply

      I also just want to say that I’m in the same boat with another comment above regarding that fact that my loan initially was with Sallie Mae, and they had also sold my loan to Navient. I did not find this out until after the fact, and since then my headaches have further ensued. My initial loan received was about $60,000. Upon graduation, Sallie Mae had me at $180,000. I was told forbearance was the only option if I couldn’t afford full payments of over $1100/month, so of course went through with countless forbearances initially. Since the Navient switch, I have caught Navient in countless lies and misinformation and “administrative forebearances” that I have no choice in the matter, which incurs more interest/fees back into my loan. I will die before I see the end of this with the way it’s going, and have tried to search for any avenue out. No one will refinance it, I can’t just choose to say “screw it all” and default because my brother is a cosigner, and I can’t afford full obscene monthly payments for the length of time required to let the cosigner off the hook. Trying to find a lawyer who doesn’t just suggest bankruptcy has been near impossible, and when I found the single lawyer in Vegas that works on student loans, he charges an expensive consultation fee that I just cannot afford. I see no end in sight, no light and the end of the tunnel, and just so badly want to start living my life. My entire twenties were taken away from me, I have no savings because of this loan, and my mom has to pay my parent plus loan since I have barely been able to even afford the Navient monthly payments on top of all other life expenses. My school was also fraudulent, and was shut down shortly after the president was convicted with fraud charges, but because my loan isn’t federal, and because it is private, there are no resources for me, which just doesn’t seem right at all. I even tried to gather my class together to start a class action lawsuit, but it just didn’t stick, and the statutes of limitations passed in Massachusetts, so that went out the freaking window also. SallieMae/Navient are getting away with taking advantage of us, and I am sick of it affecting my life DAILY. If I didn’t have a cosigner, I would have fled the country years ago. I just turned 30 a few months ago, and sincerely just want my life back before any more time is wasted being a slave to something that never advanced me in the ways that were drilled into my head when I was 18. The suffering needs to end before I choose to just end it myself..countless times I’ve considered suicide as a way out of this, feeling like it was my only option to ease the suffering. I cannot describe the amount of pain and hardship this has inflicted upon me. I just want some relief, and can’t seem to find it anywhere.

      • Travis Hornsby March 4, 2020 at 6:52 PM
        Reply

        If you have Navient debt there’s a chance that it’s federal. If it is, then you might want to look at using the REPAYE or IBR plans to minimize the monthly payments and turn it into a tax instead of a debt. You’re not alone in how you feel Monica. 1 in 15 of our readers have said they’ve had suicidal ideation, so I’d suggest looking into these Income driven options and maybe consolidating the loan to get it away to navient and towards a different federal loan servicer on studentaid.gov.

    • Travis Hornsby March 4, 2020 at 7:10 PM
      Reply

      Sorry didnt see this comment before seeing your other one. If it’s Navient Student Loan Trust then it’s a private loan and if you’ve been in default a long time you need to work with a student loan attorney: https://www.studentloanplanner.com/student-loan-lawyer/

      Sometimes borrowers think FFEL loans are private when they’re actually federal. So just check in with an attorney if you’re in default if you’re not then you could work with us.

  15. Monica March 4, 2020 at 8:44 PM
    Reply

    Hi Travis,

    Thanks for the speedy reply. My loan is a Signature Student Loan. This has been the biggest problem in finding any kind of relief. I want to at minimum find a way to relieve my brother of his cosigner position, as he’s dealing with a multitude of financial hardships of his own and wouldn’t be able to assist financially in any way. Problem is that I cannot afford consecutive $1k+ loan payments for the amount of time necessary in Navient’s eyes to drop him. I was also hoping to find a way to form some kind of settlement offer if there was a way to do so without strategically defaulting first. I don’t believe I’ve ever defaulted on this loan, as I always ended up in forbearance initially, and am in a current rate reduction plan with Navient. I’ve been in rrp since 2012. I’ve got countless recordings of them leading me astray as well as paperwork from when Salliemae was in charge of my loan. I have dictated some recordings from when I was attempting to work with a previous lawyer that ended up going nowhere with my case. There are conflicting numbers, as well as gaps in information. I have so much evidence against them, it’s obscene. My school also lead me astray from the very beginning by not properly informing me of all the pros and cons of private student loans. They were getting paid by Salliemae to promote their services. I’m pretty sure I still even have a pamphlet with misinformation and propaganda in it as well. They charged us $10k more per student than the year prior. The president was charged and convicted with fraud and tax evasion. This is all so sickening, and I don’t understand why there isn’t a way to receive compensation from that alone, as well as a possibility of getting a portion or even all of my loan forgiven because of these very reasons.

    • Travis Hornsby March 5, 2020 at 10:33 PM
      Reply

      I’m so sorry. That bad news is there isnt a way out of private loans unless you go into a strategic default. So I would advise to just pay it off as painful as it is. If you wanted a second opinion you could check w a student loan attorney https://www.studentloanplanner.com/student-loan-lawyer/

  16. Ann Rentfro March 26, 2020 at 3:37 PM
    Reply

    Travis, I have been making payments on my husband’s student loan since 8/2010. I too was misled and several times was convinced to put my loan in forbearance which resulted in lots of capitalized interest. My payment plan is listed on their website as “Graduated Repayment – 4 years – Ends 06/28/2040.” I’m guessing that is not an “Income Driven Plan? It seems like they should have advised me to be on that plan from the beginning and I would be halfway to my 20 years forgiveness.
    So, do I have a leg to stand on if I hire an attorney, or just keep paying another 20 years.

    Also, I read that a lot of payments were misappropriated. Should I carefully look over all my payments made to determine they were correctly applied?

    Thank you. Ann

    • Travis Hornsby March 27, 2020 at 5:43 PM
      Reply

      You probably wont get help w a lawyer. I’d keep paying for the 20 years. We do plans professionally if you want to make sure no further mistakes are made: studentloanplanner.com/help

  17. Ann E Rentfro March 26, 2020 at 3:44 PM
    Reply

    Also, Navient “owns” the loan and I read on their website that, therefore, it does not qualify for the 0% interest instituted by the Government. So, it is an FFEL, but does this mean it is not direct and a private loan? My interest rate is around 3% so maybe it is not private?

    • Travis Hornsby March 27, 2020 at 10:20 AM
      Reply

      That sounds like a commercial FFEL loan. You can consolidate it at studentaid.gov and then it will qualify but you would lose any IBR credit if you had any

  18. Jasmin April 27, 2020 at 2:54 PM
    Reply

    Hello,
    This March I received a 10k check from the US Treasury stating it was a Payments Refund due to Defense to Repayment Application. I was confused why I received it since I did not get a letter in the mail about any upcoming refunds. I called the number on the check and it was a Navient phone line. I spoke with a rep who said that my payments made since June 2017 were refunded. I did mention that I applied for the loan forgiveness program since I went to Heald and that I was a member of the class lawsuit but did not receive an update about it being settled or anything. The Navient rep said that she was not too sure but it could possibly be a refund from any investigations done in that period. Also, in December 13, 2019, Navient informed me that U.S Department of Education told them to process and administrative forbearance while they review my application. I looked up all my payments since 6/2017 and it said “Payment Reversal” and they all amounted to the check amount received from US Treasury. Has anybody else received any refund recently?

  19. Chad April 30, 2020 at 8:18 PM
    Reply

    I got a message in the mail today saying that Naviant had settled a $4,500,000 class action suit with borrowers in Massachusetts, for breaking MA calling laws? Have you heard anything about this? Or is this a scam? Appreciate it.

    • Travis Hornsby May 2, 2020 at 10:45 PM
      Reply

      Not likely to benefit you

      • Chad May 6, 2020 at 3:27 PM
        Reply

        It says it’s for all borrowers in Ma, which I imagine is an astronomical amount of borrowers. Money will be split after legal fees etc. but didn’t know if you had heard if that was an actual agreement that Navient reached? Specifically by Horton Settlement Admin? Appreciate any info, couldn’t find any on my own. They were literally calling my exes elderly parents on the other side of the state harassing them in my name. Whereas ilI was permanently disabled in 2009 and fit all the criteria to get them forgiven.

  20. Jonathon Baker May 23, 2020 at 1:55 PM
    Reply

    I’ve had a private loan and two FFELP loans through Navient since I enrolled at the Art Institute of California- Los Angeles in 2007. At one point I was making $1500/monthly payments and it hardly put a dent in those loans, I still have them, I’m about to graduate from Portland State University, and it seems like I’ll never be able to shake those loans. I am a servant to student loans, and today they docked my credit score 7 points for a balance increase, making it even harder to refinance with good rates when I graduate in July. Navient is just the malicious, greedy offspring of SallieMae (who my loans were under) and if I could go back 13 years and choose not to “follow my dreams” I would. I was never informed that private student loans would screw over so hard, and I was given these loans with the servicer knowing full well I worked as a barista making minimum wage and would not be able to get enough loans to actually finish school, which is why it took 13 years to finally graduate from a different school. It’s a sad world when we must pay indefinitely for choosing to better ourselves and the “do what we love”.

  21. John R Buckley June 24, 2020 at 1:08 PM
    Reply

    Sallie Mae extorted $50,000+ from me for personal loans that were in my ex-wife’s name. Since I am the co-signer, they insisted that I was just as liable for the debt. They accidentally admitted to me that less than 1% of co-signers are ever released; when the loan was signed by my THEN wife, that co-signer could be released — but, that was not true. They destroyed my credit, threatened me with asset seizure, wage garnishment, lied about the status and condition of the loans, robodialed my phone several times a day, threatened to take my Federal Tax Returns, and all of this because of a loan my ex-wife took out at a cooking academy. The loan swelled from $17,500 to $65,000. They provided her with over 52 unauthorized forbearances on the loan including a nice three year hiatus. Later they came back to me and said that if I paid them $50,000 (basic extortion) then they would remove me from the loan entirely but keep after my ex-wife for the remaining $15,000 plus interest.

    It seems Sallie Mae has all the rights and protections provided to them by our Government. They also have been convicted in court for mismanagement of loans. They have thousands of complaints with the CFPB, BBB, and RipOff Report, youtube, and others. They have misappropriated payments, stolen money from people’s checking accounts and refused to refund the money when they clearly took too much, lost payments, and sent people to collections who paid on time. They have a vested interest to keep you in that loan, for eternity.

    On top of that, Sallie Mae decided to purchase their OWN debt collection agencies so that they could evade the Fair Debt and Collections Act. Additionally, they have recently changed their name since Sallie Mae has such a nasty reputation in the marketplace to Navient. They explained in detail to their shareholders why this action was necessary to “protect their financial interests, in liew of fear of pending litigation.”

    They have victimized co-signers, borrowers, and even people that have nothing to do with the loans by harassing phone calls and using intimidation.

    A quick look at my claims above is very easy to find and my case is not isolated. Sallie Mae has the ability to make your life a living hell and they are seemingly allowed to by the Government. Additionally, they have lobbied for and won significant protections that allow them to continue to do whatever they like without any oversight. They are a premier Federal Loan Servicer. Therefore, students are directed to Sallie Mae through the US Department of Education. Schools have also been known to receive a nice hefty kickback for loans that are originated through Sallie Mae. It’s absolutely disgusting that a mafia-like organization can get away with ripping people off seemingly legally.

    They have a high powered attorney group working for them, who works for the borrower and co-signers? Right, no one. They very well know this and exploit it against the student population every chance they get. They know that they have the upper hand and a quick look at their 10K filings with the SEC points to their deceptive practices. The 10K clearly outlines Sallie Mae’s low default numbers, but if you look further you’d see how they keep borrowers out of default, not by the kindness of their hearts, but because they keep borrowers in their loans, resetting the clock by getting the student to make any kind of “forbearance payment” then tack on additional fees making sure that the loan will never be paid off, raising the interest rate and compounding the interest. That is how my ex-wife’s loan went from $17,500 to $65,000 and if you did more digging you’d find MANY student borrowers that had a small loan amount that is now 5 to 10 times MORE than what they originally borrowed.

    Sallie Mae has also diversified their risk portfolio according to their 10K filing by moving their business lines around to prevent the disgusting practices from affecting other aspects of their company. They are a horrible company with horrible people and at the expense of people who have nothing more than a desire to attain an education. One more thing, you should know that they have people who are pro-Navient (likely employees) who go out and specifically post articles and even threaten or ridicule people who take out student loans and end up defaulted in a system that is already rigged against them.

  22. lynn maholias July 7, 2020 at 1:01 PM
    Reply

    My story is the same. Two federal loans., one with Great Lakes and the other Sallie Mae. I was told to consolidate without telling me you can only do that once and it resets your loan date. I missed my school district paying loan due to working in a title 19 school by one year. My original loan was in 1992 for 32,000.00. I now owe close to 50,000. I was unable to pay the almost 600.00 per month and was put in forbearance. I submitted a request for temporary hold on loan due to exorbitant medical bills for my daughtet who has a serious illness that is one of two conditions excluded from all insurance.. employer, private and state. She had made 5 serious suicide attempts in four years time between the ages of 13 and 16. They declined my petition even though I was on unpaid FMLA and qualified for all government assistance. $800 a month was garnished from my paychecks for 8 years nor did I receive any kind of refund during that time. I also due to the forbearance you’re not eligible for the forgiveness even though I have worked in a title 19 inner-city school for 22 years. I also owe more money than I originally borrowed and was told it was not eligible to be written offIn a bankruptcy

  23. Christina Smith July 11, 2020 at 2:55 PM
    Reply

    Hey! Thanks for all the info on your blogs. I received an email regarding the lawsuit with Navient. I believe in late 2012 or early 2013 I started paying on my student loans after grad school and some internships. Sallie Mae and Navient held my loans then. I was also encouraged to take a few forbearances in those early years. In 2016 I discovered PSLF due to a Facebook post and entered into IDR at that time. This is when fed loan took over my loans. I have been working for the same non-profit since Nov 2012. Do you think there is any chance with this lawsuit that they will give borrowers credit for those early payments? PSLF existed then but I had no idea until 4 years later. Thanks for your insight! Interested to see how it all plays out.

    • Travis Hornsby July 15, 2020 at 10:30 AM
      Reply

      Not without a new law from Congress

  24. Jack July 15, 2020 at 9:14 PM
    Reply

    I was told by Navient that at age 72 my loan would be erased if any remained as long as I didn’t miss any payments. I’m now 76 and still paying and told I’d have to pay until it’s paid off or I died. I was lied to by their representatives. Go figure!

  25. Lynn Maholias December 16, 2023 at 4:58 AM
    Reply

    I had a loan with Sally Mae in 1997 and I refinanced in the loan ended up with Navient for the majority of my payments. My original loan was around 40,000.00 and 26 years later and retired from teaching this past may I owe around 40,000.00. at one point they were taking $900 every two weeks from my pay. I applied for loan forgiveness due to financial hardship when my daughter was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, and made 14 suicide attempts between the ages of 14 and 17. I am over $20,000 paid absence over the course of three years due to court ordered to stay home when she did not attend school, court dates, hospitalizations, or injuries caused by her. I was denied even though at that point I went from $76,000 salary to qualifying for all federal aid. Then offered me an income based payment which was suspended over Covid. they have taken every single tax refund for 20 years. I worked in a title 19 low income in school for my entire 26 years of teaching. I will never pay this off as I said, I am retired.

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