There are a lot of reasons people fall behind on their student loan payments — sometimes it’s as simple as forgetting a due date, other times extreme financial circumstances make student loan payments untenable.
Whatever the case, dealing with Navient late payments can be stressful and could leave a negative mark on your credit. Fortunately, there might be a way to minimize the impact of a late or missed payment. Here’s how to remove late payments from Navient on your credit report.
What does a late payment mean?
It doesn’t take long for your payment to be considered late by a creditor. After missing one, or sometimes two payments, Navient will consider your payment late. At that point, it’ll report your late payment to the credit reporting agencies such as TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax — and a late fee will be levied (except on federal student loans owned by the U.S. Department of Education).
A record of your late payment could stay on your credit report for up to seven years, adversely impacting your credit and payment history.
Keep in mind, there are different levels of lateness. One or two late payments will put your account in delinquent status, while being late for longer can result in a defaulted account.
Here’s the difference.
Delinquency occurs when you don’t make your monthly payment on time. Your account immediately becomes delinquent if payment isn’t made on the due date.
Not only are there consequences to you as a borrower, but your cosigner could face consequences if your account is delinquent. Your account status is reported to the major credit bureaus, impacting your credit score. Plus, your loan balance could increase as lenders add late fees to your student loan accounts.
How long does it take for loans to go into default? That depends on the type of loan you have.
- If you have a Direct Loan or a FFELP (Federal Student Aid): Your loan will default when it reaches 270 days delinquent.
- If you have a Health Education Assistance Loan (HEAL): Your loan will default when it reaches 120 days delinquent.
- If you have a private loan: The terms vary, so check your promissory note.
If you’re behind on your Navient student loan payments, immediately contact Navient and make plans to get your account current. If the problem is that you simply forget to make payments, enroll in autopay so that you can pay consistently on-time in the future.
Sorting through your Navient late fees to bring your account current can be confusing. In fact, the servicer is engaged in a lawsuit that’s currently winding its way through the courts, alleging Navient has misrepresented its late fees in the past.
If you’ve brought your account current, that doesn’t necessarily mean the record of the late payment will come off your credit report. Unfortunately, negative information can stick around and affect student loan borrowers for years to come.
How to get Navient off your credit report? Sometimes, the only thing that works is time:
Typically, a late payment lingers on your report for seven years. However, if you’re caught up, Navient should no longer be reporting your payment as late. If it’s still doing that, correct them by initiating a credit dispute. Here’s how to get started with a credit dispute if the company is still reporting your loans as late.
1. Collect your documentation
Reach out in writing to Navient in order to dispute any erroneous credit reporting. Be ready with the appropriate documentation and a detailed, written explanation that explains the dispute. Remember to make copies of anything you send to Navient.
Here’s the supporting materials you should include:
- A copy of your credit report. Highlight relevant sections that you’re concerned about. You can get a free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com.
- Bank statements. Highlight specific loan payments that weren’t applied to your loan balance.
- School enrollment information. This could be necessary if your enrollment status is related to your issue.
- Your address. Navient will respond to you by snail mail, so include your name, address and telephone number as part of the dispute documents. Possibly include them on every page in case the pages in your package get separated.
2. Confirm the type of loan you have
The type of loan you have will determine where you mail your dispute package. You can log in to your Navient account and find out if you have a private loan, U.S. Department of Education loan, FFELP or a HEAL loan.
3. Mail your package
Here are the corresponding mailing addresses depending on loan type:
FFELP and HEAL loans
U.S. Department of Education loans
Navient – U.S. Department of Education Loan Servicing
If the late payment has impacted your credit and your initial dispute doesn’t work to have it removed, you could attempt to write a goodwill letter. This letter should explain the specific circumstances that lead to your payment being late and ask for leniency.
Strike a respectful tone and be specific about the circumstances that caused you to be late. There’s no guarantee that this will work, but it’s worth a shot.
What should you say in your goodwill letter to Navient?
- Include your name, account number, and date of late payment
- Explain why the payment was late and how you’ve since improved
- Ask for a “goodwill adjustment”
- Provide evidence that you now pay on time
If your request for a “goodwill adjustment” is granted, Navient will ask the credit bureaus to remove your late payment from your record.
If there are persistent errors in your credit report and Navient won’t correct them, you can also launch a credit dispute with the specific credit reporting agencies that are erroneously reporting your account status. Provide them with the same documentation from your initial dispute package with Navient.
Can student loan late payments be removed?
Once a late payment is reported by your student loan servicer to the credit bureaus it can be difficult to have it removed. If the late payment was reported erroneously, you can launch a credit dispute.