Navient ended its contract with the Education Department and moved the federal student loans it services to Aidvantage, a unit of Maximus Education.
Not long ago, Navient ended its contract with the U.S. Department of Education to manage the accounts of federal student loan borrowers. The department announced that it would transfer 5.6 million accounts to Aidvantage, which is owned by Maximus Education — not by Navient. The new company has hired former Navient employees to help smooth the transition for borrowers moving to Aidvantage.
Ahead, learn repayment and forgiveness options for Aidvantage student loans.
Latest on student loans
- Forgiveness update: $10,000 student loan forgiveness may happen later this year.
- Covid-19 forbearance extended: The newest student loan payment pause moved the repayment start date to May 2, 2022.
- New deadline: The latest coronavirus forbearances moved the student loan recertification deadline to August 2022.
- Did your servicer change? Do this if you have a new student loan servicer.
What is Aidvantage student loans?
Aidvantage is a for-profit company the Department of Education hired to takeover collecting payments for federal student loans from Navient. It is a unit of Maximus Education, LLC; it's not owned by Navient. Aidvantage is one of seven federal student loan servicers the department contracted with to manage its loan portfolio.
The company's responsibilities also include:
- Helping you enroll in repayment plans.
- Postponing payments with deferments and forbearances.
- Tracking your progress towards income-driven repayment plan forgiveness.
Aidvantage services Direct Loans, PLUS Loans, and Stafford Loans owned by the federal government. Navient will continue servicing private student loans and Federal Family Education Loans owned by guaranty agencies.
What Aidvantage can help you do:
- Review eligibility for loan forgiveness. Federal student loan borrowers have several opportunities to rid themselves of their debt, including the student loan forgiveness after 20 years and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. If you work for the government or a nonprofit and your loans are with Aidvantage, your loans will move to MOHELA when you apply for PSLF.
- Accept monthly payments. As your income changes, you can quickly switch repayment plans to pay off student loans or get a lower payment with an income-driven repayment plan. If all of your loans are Direct Loans, you can self-report your income when applying for IDR or completing your annual student loan recertification. This option to skip submitting your income information lasts until July 31, 2022. To use the self-report option, visit studentaid.gov/app/ibrInstructions.action. When you get to Step 2, select "I'll report my own income information."
- Process account changes. If you need to stop making payments and IDR doesn't help, Aidvantage can apply a deferment or forbearance to your account. Interest will continue to build in most cases, leading to student loan interest capitalization. But the brief pause will help keep you out of default and in good standing.
- Enroll in autopay. Allowing Aidvantage to deduct student loan payments from your bank account with auto-debit makes sure you avoid late payments. Plus, it reduces your interest rate by 0.25%.
- Register for online access. Setting up an online account lets you access your 10-digit account number and billing statements, make payments, and upload documents to modify your loan status.
Learn More: Do I Qualify for Student Loan Forgiveness?
Aidvantage Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
Aidvantage student loans are eligible for the following student loan forgiveness programs:
- Income-driven repayment forgiveness: extends your repayment term to 20 or 25 years and forgives the remaining loan balance after your last payment.
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness: clears the balance owed on Direct Loans if you work full-time for a government or nonprofit entity and make 120 qualifying payments. If you have FFELP Loans, you will need to consolidate your loans to qualify for PSLF. If you do that before Oct. 31, 2022, you can get credit towards forgiveness for payments made while working full-time in public service using the department's limited PSLF waiver.
- Teacher Loan Forgiveness: allows teachers working in Title I schools to eliminate up to $18,500 of federal student loan debt after five years.
- Total and Permanent Disability Discharge: cancels your entire student loan debt if a medical doctor, or the SSA, VA determine that medical issues prevent you from working.
- Closed School Discharge: wipes out the balances for student loan borrowers who attended a school that closed while they were in attendance or shortly after they left.
Learn More: Are Student Loans Forgiven After 20 Years?
How to find Aidvantage account information?
You can find your Aidvantage student loan account number and interest rate on your billing statement and online at aidvantage.com. You'll need to provide your Social Security number, full legal name, and birth date to create an online account. You'll then have to choose a username and password.
Aidvantage tax information is available for borrowers who paid $600 or more in student loan interest. It will mail you a 1098E on January 31st by US Postal Service.
Learn More: Are 529 Contributions Tax Deductible?
Are my loans stuck with Aidvantage?
The Education Department moves loans from one servicer to another from time to time based on contracts and performance. Following announcements from FedLoan and Navient that the companies were calling it quits on federal student loan servicing, the department is overhauling its servicing platform. The departures will cause more than 15 million borrowers to move to new servicers — a process that hasn't in the past always gone smoothly.
Here are two things you can do to minimize errors with your account:
- Download your payment history from your online account or ask your servicer to mail you a copy.
- Update your contact information with your most recent address, phone number, and email address.
You'll be notified before your loans are moved to or from Aidvantage. Despite the changes, your student loan repayment options and forgiveness will remain the same with the new servicer. But the quality of customer service may be different.
If you're dissatisfied with Aidvantage's performance, you can move your loans to a new servicer by consolidating at studentaid.gov.
Federal student loan servicers:
- Aidvantage (took over for Navient)
- Edfinancial Services
- FedLoan Servicing
- Great Lakes
- American Education Services services Federal Family Education Loans only.
- Default Resolution Group only handles federal students loans in default.
How to contact Aidvantage customer service
Aidvantage customer service representatives are available Monday-Thursday, 8 am-9 pm EST, and Friday 8 am-8 pm EST. Here's the contact information for Aidvantage:
Aidvantage contact number: 1-800-722-1300.
Aidvantage fax number: 1-866-266-0178.
Aidvantage address for general correspondence: Aidvantage – U.S. Department of Education Loan Servicing, P.O. Box 9635, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773-9635.
Aidvantage address for loan payments: Aidvantage – U.S. Department of Education Loan Servicing, P.O. Box 4450, Portland, OR 97208-4450.
Aidvantage website: aidvantage.com.
Aidvantage social channels: Aidvantage does not post to social media at this time.
How to file a complaint about Aidvantage
How to report issues with Aidvantage:
- Federal Student Aid Ombudsman: 877-557-2575 or by mail at U.S. Department of Education, FSA Ombudsman Group, P.O. Box 1843, Monticello, KY 42633
- FSA Feedback Center: You can submit a complaint to the Feedback Center after you've worked with the Ombudsman group.
- State consumer protection office: You can file a complaint with your state's consumer protection division. That office is responsible for making sure you're protected from fraud, deception, misrepresentations, and false promises.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: If all else fails, you can also submit a complaint to the CFPB. They are a third-party government agency that helps consumers solve issues with financial products, including student loans.