Navient is a very large player in the student loan marketplace. It spun off from Sallie Mae in 2014, is a loan issuer, servicer and collector, has more than 12 million customers, and services more than $300 billion of government and private student loans. Private student loan borrowers can communicate directly with Navient if they want to settle a past due account, but they will have to deal with Navient’s aggressive communications. If you’re struggling to pay back your Navient private student loan, it’s important to u anderstand the repayment programs they offer as well as how to best protect yourself and your credit. Navient does sue in order to collect on loans that go into default
Be your own advocate
If you have a Navient private student loan, pay attention to how your payments are being applied towards your loan and ask questions about your repayment options. Navient has drawn attention for alleged mistreatment of its borrowers. While it has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, it received 1,426 complaints in the last three years. The majority were for billing and collections issues.
Additionally, in January 2017 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the states of Illinois, Washington, Mississippi, California and Pennsylvania filed suit against Navient alleging a long list of violations against its borrowers including failure to correctly apply payments, misdirecting borrowers causing them to pay more, deceiving borrowers about how to release cosigners from their loans, and harming the credit of disabled veterans.
How do I get help?
Navient offers several repayment programs for those having financial difficulty. Keep in mind that participation in these programs could increase the total amount you will pay towards your loan.
Navient assistance programs include:
- Interest Only Program: Reduces the monthly payment amount to just the accrued interest for a one- to four-year period.
- Rate Reduction Program: Reduces your interest rate for six months.
- Extended Repayment Plan: Extends the length of time for repayment.
- Term and Rate Modification Program: Combines the Extended Repayment and Rate Reduction programs.
Navient suggests contacting them to assess which program is appropriate for your situation. They may review your finances and ability to pay as well as that of your cosigner.
What if I miss payments?
Navient tends to send letters threatening to refer the account for litigation review to anyone who is four to six months past due, explained Andrew Weber, NACCC Certified Student Loan Counselor and a member of the Resolve team of experts. Weber said this usually means you are two to three months away from defaulting on your loan and should put together a plan for how you’ll handle this account. If you’re informed that the account has been referred to an attorney in your state, you need to make the account a priority because there is now a potential for a lawsuit.
“Those students who have taken out Navient loans will very likely find that Navient can also be one of the more aggressive lenders when it comes to legal action,” Weber explained in a blog post. “Occasionally with larger accounts, they can go directly to a collection law firm licensed in the client’s state.”
How can I resolve my debt?
The good news is that Navient often waits to charge off an account until it is 210 to 235 days past due, while many lenders charge off at the 180-day mark, Weber said. This gives you time to negotiate a settlement to pay less than you owe. It may take time and several conversations to reach terms that work for you. Generally, you need to be a few months behind on payments before starting this dialogue. Keep in mind, delinquency hurts yours and your cosigner’s credit.
“Even if it goes to a collection attorney you’ve got some time to work out a settlement or a payment plan,” Weber said. He’s negotiated settlements in the low 40% to 50% range on Navient accounts that were with a collection attorney.
“As with all things, be proactive. Come up with a plan,” said Michael Bovee, co-founder of Resolve. Bovee has successfully negotiated settlements with Navient and finds them the easiest to work with among the private lenders.
Unfortunately, you’re limited on ways to resolve your account If you can’t afford to settle. For more information, read our article about private student loan repayment options.
You don’t need to assess your options alone. You can access the Resolve financial management platform and receive guidance from our experts for free. Get started here.