This Navient Student Loans review will provide you a number of reasons why you should still consider getting a loan from this company regardless of the controversies it has been involved in recent years.
Navient is one of the largest federal student loan service provider in the United States. It is known for helping student borrowers go through a long-term process of student loan repayment.
While it has established itself as a student loan giant, as we earlier mentioned, unfortunately, in January of 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) sued Navient. CFPB claims that the company has cut corners to be able to save on operating costs. Furthermore, it says that the lending company did an overall poor job in terms of helping borrowers in paying off their loans.
Speaking of student loans, in an article published by Forbes, it says that Americans have recorded $1.6 trillion student loan debt in 2020. This amount was collectively owed by 45 million borrowers. Based on this figure, “U.S. Student loan debt is now the second-highest consumer debt category,” says Forbes. It runs behind mortgage debt and higher than credit cards and car loans.
Furthermore, the report says that the “average student loan debt for members of the Class of 2018 is $29,200, a 2% increase from the prior year.” The data came from the Institute for College Access and Success.
You see, student loan debt is such a big deal.
If you are a student loan borrower, rather you are planning to apply for a student loan, it is important to take time to check financial institutions that offer such service, and compare.
One of the financial institutions that offer student loans is Navient.
So, to be able to do this Navient student loans review, and hopefully, help you gauge whether it’s the right lending company for you, here are our guide questions:
- What is Navient?
- What are the different types of Navient student loans?
- What are the repayment options for Navient student loans?
- Does Navient forgive student loans?
- Is refinancing possible with the Navient student loan?
- What are the pros and cons of getting a student loan from Navient?
- How to contact Navient?
WHAT IS NAVIENT?
Navient is one of the most popular student loan providers in the United States. In fact, it is one of the financial institutions that the Education Department contracts with to manage student loans.
Navient used to be part of Sallie Mae. However, in 2014, the two companies formally split up into two separate businesses. Sally Mae stayed in-charge of handling private student loans, while Navient focused on handling federal student loans.
Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, Navient currently serves almost 6.5 million borrowers. At the same time, the company manages a portfolio of about $227 billion federal student loans, which makes the company third-largest of the federal loan servicers.
Apart from providing federal student loans, the company also provides loan servicing for a portfolio of private student loans.
Navient Lawsuits and Complaints
Earlier, we mentioned that company faced one of its greatest hurdles when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which is a government agency that oversees the financial industry, filed a suit against the company in January 2017. The CFPB claimed that Navient misallocated student loan payments and that it gave inappropriate advice as well as inaccurate information. Such actions lead to borrowers failing at every state of repayment.
Furthermore, attorneys general in California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Washington also filed legal claims against the lending institution.
The student loan giant, though, called all claims unfounded and promised to “vigorously defend” against them. In June 2018, the company published a fact sheet, which was posted on its website. It says that the suits targeted the company “based on unannounced servicing standards applied retroactively and only against one servicer.” The company also stated that Navient’s borrowers are 37% less likely to default on student loans as compared to other student loan servicers.
Last year, the company started issuing refunds averaging about $770 each to 80,000 veterans who were overcharged for their student loans. Navient will have to process payments of $60 million in total.
In addition, Navient also faces nearly 26,000 formal complaints coming from consumers, which were filed at CFPB. The number is by far the biggest percentage a single student loan servicer got ever.
Some of the complaint made has something to do with receiving bad information, as well as having trouble with how the company handles payments.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF NAVIENT STUDENT LOANS?
As part of this Navient student loans review, we are going to look into the different types of student loans that the company offer. This way, you’d your options.
As mentioned earlier, while Navient focuses on providing federal student loans, it also provides private student loans.
FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS
Navient is one of nine student loan servicers that is used by the Education Department to service federal student loans, which include the following:
- Direct subsidized loans
- Direct unsubsidized loans
- Parent PLUS loans
- Grad PLUS loans
- Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP)
So, if you have federal student loans, you were assigned a student loan provider or services by the U.S. government through the Department of Education once your loan funds were first distributed.
Sadly, borrowers do not have a choice. They cannot choose their loan services, which means, if the Education Department assigns you to Navient, even if you do not like the company, you have no choice but to accept.
PRIVATE STUDENT LOANS
Navient also provides private student loans, and these loans come from a variety of lenders, which include banks, credit unions, and other finance companies.
Navient’s private student loans have different repayment plans available. Choosing a repayment plan is usually at the lender’s discretion.
WHAT ARE THE REPAYMENT OPTIONS FOR NAVIENT STUDENT LOANS?
One thing to particularly like about Navient is that it gives you access to all types of federal repayment programs. More so, it also offers repayment programs to those under private student loans.
With regard to federal student loans, keep in mind that upon receipt of the loan, it will be automatically set up with the standard plant by default.
Meanwhile, if you are into learning how to lower your student loan debt with Navient, check this very informative video by Gamez Law Firm to know more:
Moving on, here are the different repayment plans Navient provides:
FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS: TRADITIONAL REPAYMENT PLANS
Navient offers three traditional repayment plans for federal loan borrowers. These are:
- Standard Repayment Plan – This particular plan lasts up to ten years. It comes with a fixed payment (at least $50), and your monthly payment will be based on the total amount of your loan.
- Graduated Repayment Plan – This plan starts with lower monthly loan payments. It will then gradually increase over the course of the loan. Typically, repayment terms are set at ten years as well. Meanwhile, monthly loan payments increase every two years.
- Extended Repayment Plan – This plan is similar to that of the Graduated plan. However, it has 25-year terms. While it sounds good, borrowers will actually end up paying a lot when choosing this option because of the interest.
FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS: INCOME-DRIVEN REPAYMENT (IDR) PLANS
Navient also offers IDR plans, and federal student loan borrowers may opt any of the following:
- Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) – With this plan, the monthly payment is 10% of your discretionary income. Once you have made payments for 20 or 25 years for graduated loans, whatever outstanding balance you have is forgiven.
- Pay As You Earn (PAYE) – This plan is quite similar to REPAYE except that you are not going to pay more under this plan than you would under the standard plan ever.
- Income-Based Repayment (IBR) – This plan lets you make payments of 10% or 15% of your discretionary income. After 20 years of making payments, your loan will be forgiven.
- Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) – With this plan, how much you pay for the loan will be determined by your income. Just the same, your loans are forgiven after 20 years.
PRIVATE STUDENT LOANS REPAYMENT PLANS
When it comes to the repayment of Navient’s private student loans, they are mainly dependent on the terms and conditions set by private lenders.
Some of the repayment options the company provides for private student loans are:
- In-School Interest-Only – With this plan, borrowers will only pay monthly interest payments while they are still in school, as well as during their grace period.
- In-School Fixed – For this repayment plant, borrowers pay a $25 monthly payment while in school, as well as during grace period. Interest may capitalize on this plan.
- Deferred – This is applicable to borrowers who would choose not to make payments while in school. Usually, no monthly payments are required up to six months after graduation. The same goes if you drop below half-time as a student. Interest will also capitalize on this plan.
DOES NAVIENT FORGIVE STUDENT LOANS?
Now that you already know the company’s repayment options, this time around, let’s talk about student loan forgiveness.
Does Navient forgive student loans?
The answer to that is a resounding YES, they do. In fact, we mentioned some of them already earlier. But for you to fully understand the rules when it comes to student loan forgiveness at Navient, read on.
For those who have federal student loans serviced by the company, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness through different government programs such as:
PUBLIC SERVICE LOAN FORGIVENESS (PSLF)
It takes ten years to qualify for a Public Service Loan Forgiveness or PSLF. Once you are done paying off the loan for 10 years, you may already apply for this program.
To qualify, borrowers must make 120 qualifying monthly payments while working full-time for a qualified employer. If requirements are met and the application is approved, the remainder of the student loan will be forgiven tax-free.
Furthermore, borrowers need to make on-time payments that are paid in full. They also need to move their loans to one of the found IDR plans, which we already discussed earlier.
For employers to qualify, they must be part of any of the following:
- Government organizations
- 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations
- Other qualified non-profit organizations
- Full-time AmeriCorps or Peace Corps volunteers
With PSLF, your designation at work is immaterial. What only matters is that your employer qualifies.
Please take note that only payments made while working for a qualified employer counts. Payments, however, do not have to be made consecutively. Also, it may come from more than one qualified employer.
INCOME-DRIVEN REPAYMENT LOAN FORGIVENESS
Earlier, we discussed the different plans under IDR. Just to refresh your memory, with IDR, you need to make payments between 20 and 25 years, depending on the plan you are in, and then, any outstanding balance after those years will be forgiven already.
Unlike PSLF though, with IDR you will have to pay taxes. They are considered taxable income by the IRS as payments were made for a longer period of time.
Not a lot of Navient borrowers know that there are actually other options for their loans to be forgiven. Most of these options though are specialized according to where you reside, your career choice, as well as other factors.
Some of the loan forgiveness options offered by Navient are:
- Teacher Student Loan Forgiveness
- Indian Health Service (IHS) Loan Repayment Program (LRP)
- Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program
- State-Run Forgiveness Programs
Keep in mind though that qualifications vary for each. If you want to know more, better check directly with Navient.
IS REFINANCING POSSIBLE WITH NAVIENT STUDENT LOAN?
Another thing that we will look into as part of our Navient Student Loans review is if the company allows refinancing for the student loan.
Luckily, the answer to that is a YES as well.
In fact, Navient offers plenty of refinancing options.
If you are interested in refinancing your student loan with Navient, all you have to do is visit NaviRefi.com.
The downside though is that these loans are kind of exclusive as you have to be an existing member of Navient and that you must receive an invitation to refinance your loans to be able to avail the refinancing option.
To refinance your student loan, the minimum amount required is $5,001. So, if your anywhere below that, then that automatically disqualifies you.
With Navient, rates can be as low as 4.65%. However, keep in mind that rates offered to vary depending on your income as well as your credit score. How much you are trying to refinance and the term length will also be taken into consideration.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Navient prefers to refinance college graduates. Although refinancing options are still available for those who did not graduate, the chances of approval though may be significantly low.
WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF GETTING A STUDENT LOAN FROM NAVIENT?
So, our Navient student loans review will not be complete without us sharing with you the pros and cons of getting a loan with Navient.
Here they are —
- Navient offers a variety of repayment options. As you can see from above, they have a lot of repayment options to choose from depending on your preference as well as your qualifications.
- The company offers the opportunity to refinance your loan.
- The company provides borrowers the opportunity to customize their monthly payments within specific parameters, set up an automatic payment from your bank, and many more.
- Federal student loan borrowers have the access to standard lineup of federal loan benefits, which include standard, graduated, and extended repayment plans; income-driven repayment plans; forbearance and deferment; and the potential for student loan forgiveness.
- Navient offers hardship options for private student loans such as term and rate modification, a rate reduction program, interest-only, as well as extended student loan repayment plans provided you are eligible.
While working with or getting a student loan from Navient has a lot of benefits, it surely has downsides as well. These are:
- Navient faced its share of controversy over recent years.
- The company also faces the most number of complaints about a single lending company based on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) data.
- Attorneys general of California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Washington also filed legal claims against the Navient.
HOW TO CONTACT NAVIENT?
Navient can be reached by using different platforms depending on the type of loans you have. For assistance, questions, and inquiries, you can contact Navient via phone, email, fax, mailing address, and through their website.
For your reference, here’s the company’s contact information:
Navient customer service phone numbers:
International: 800-722-1300 or 317-806-0580
International Fax: 001-570-706-8563
For mail payments:
Navient – U.S. Department of Education Loan Servicing
P.O. Box 4450
Portland, OR 97208-4450
For general correspondence:
Navient – U.S. Department of Education Loan Servicing
P.O. Box 9635
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773-9635
The cosigner can mail payments to:
P.O. Box 9988
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773-9988
For general correspondence and submitting documents:
P.O. Box 9640
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773-9640
FINAL THOUGHTS ON NAVIENT STUDENT LOANS REVIEW
Navient is a student loan giant. Needless to say, it is one of nine financial institutions that the Education Department contracts with to manage student loans.
With years of being in the student loan business, there surely is no doubt it’s a strong company.
However, just like any other strong companies out there, hurdles do come as well. Unfortunately, in recent years, the company do still has pending lawsuits and several borrower complaints to face, and get through.
Setting the controversies aside, focusing on what the company offers, we have to say that Navient is worth it.
But then again, it is all up to you. Are you willing to give it a try? Do you think the company can bounce back after all these controversies?