Navient is one of the nation’s largest federal student loan servicers that helps borrowers navigate the long-term process of student loan repayment. Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, Navient was established in 2014 when Sallie Mae was split into two separate corporations — Sallie Mae stayed in charge of handling private student loan debts and Navient services federal student loans.
It’s important to point out that in January of 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) sued Navient, claiming it had cut corners to save on operating costs. It states Navient did an overall poor job of helping borrowers pay off their loans.
As of April 2020, Americans owe $1.5 trillion in student loans. The vast majority is owed to the federal government, which means most student loan borrowers will have to deal with a student loan servicer at some point. Your student loan servicer is pre-selected, but if you’re unhappy with yours, you can try consolidating with a new lender. You can also opt to refinance your federal student loans with a private lender of your choice.
Beware that when you refinance federal student loans with Navient, you may lose access to various repayment options and loan forgiveness programs. Depending on your situation, this could be a good option since interest rates on private student loans tend to be lower than those issued by the government.
Paying back loans with Navient
Navient gives you access to all federal repayment programs, and it offers repayment programs to those with private student loans.
Here is a list of repayment options with Navient for federal student loans:
- Standard Repayment Plan: Repay the loan in 10 years with fixed payments.
- Graduated Repayment Plan: Your payment amount increases every two years. Pay off the loan in 10 years.
- Extended Repayment Plan: Payments may be fixed like the standard plan or graduated like the one above. Ensures your loan is repaid within 25 years.
- Revised Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (REPAYE): The monthly payment is 10% of your discretionary income. After making payments for 20 years, or 25 for graduate loans, any outstanding balance is forgiven.
- Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (PAYE): Similar to the REPAYE plan, except you will never pay more under this plan than you would under the standard plan.
- Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR): You will make payments of 10% or 15% of your discretionary income. Loans are forgiven after 20 years of payments unless you repay them beforehand.
- Income-Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR): How much you pay is determined by income. Once again, your loans will be forgiven after 20 years.
- Income Sensitive Repayment Plan: Like the ICR, this plan bases your payment on income, but it also ensures you will pay off the loan within 15 years.
- Standard Repayment plan: This is the cheapest private loan repayment option offered by Navient.
- Interest Only Plan: You pay interest only for one to four months. This option is similar to the graduated repayment plan offered above. Expect your payment amount to increase after the months of interest-only payments.
- Rate Reduction Program: This program lowers your interest rate, which in turn reduces your monthly payments. However, this reduction is only extended for a period of 6 months. After this, your payment may increase beyond the standard repayment amount.
Navient student loan refinancing
You can refinance your student loans with Navient by visiting NaviRefi.com. However, these loans are somewhat exclusive since you have to be an existing member of Navient and receive an invitation to refinance your loans. The minimum amount required to refinance is $5,001, so if you took out less than that to pay for school, this option is not available to you.
Rates at Navient can be as low as 4.65%, but the rate offered to you will mainly depend on your income, credit score, — how much you’re trying to refinance and term length. Keep in mind that Navient prefers to refinance college graduates. If you didn’t graduate, it’s still possible to refinance with Navient, but your chances of approval are significantly low.
Navient partners for private loans
Although Navient mainly handles federal student loans, you may be able to service your private student loan through Navient considering it works with credit unions, banks and online lenders to help borrowers pay off their student loans. You contact Navient directly to find out if it works with your specific lender.
How to contact Navient
There are several ways you can contact Navient depending on the type of loans you have. If you need assistance, you can contact Navient by phone, email, fax, mailing address and through their website.
Navient customer service phone numbers:
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
The bottom line
Getting an exclusive offer in your inbox to refinance your student loan may tempt you to jump the gun, but you should be cautious when refinancing with Navient. The CFPB and Navient have been battling in court for the past three years, and even though Navient denies the allegations that it stands accused of, as a borrower, it’s better to err on the side of caution.
According to the CFPB, Navient’s actions have cost consumers thousands by misallocating funds and forcing them to pay more than they have to. A student loan servicer should inform borrowers of the best repayment options to help them pay off their student loans, not deceive borrowers in order to save money on operation costs. However, the final verdict still isn’t out and won’t be in the near future as a case of this magnitude can last years in court.