Navient Loan Consolidation: How it Works

#1 Student loan lawyer

Updated on July 1, 2024

Quick Facts

  • Navient doesn’t directly consolidate federal or private student loans but services loans consolidated through other means.

  • Federal Navient loans can be consolidated through the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan program at

  • For private Navient loans, consolidation options include refinancing through Navient’s partners (Earnest and NaviRefi) or other private lenders.

  • Consolidation can simplify repayment and potentially lower monthly payments but may increase the overall interest paid over the life of the loan.

  • Consolidating federal loans may reset progress toward loan forgiveness and cause loss of certain borrower benefits.

Navient loan consolidation combines multiple student loans into a single loan, simplifying repayment.

  • For federal student loans, this process occurs through the federal student loan consolidation program on

  • Private Navient loans can be consolidated through refinancing with Navient’s partners or other lenders.

Consolidation can lower monthly payments by extending the repayment term but may increase the total interest paid. Understanding your options helps you make informed decisions about managing your Navient student loans.

Related: Navient Loan Forgiveness

Can Navient Loans Be Consolidated?

Yes, Navient loans can be consolidated, but the process depends on whether you have federal or private loans. Many borrowers are confused about which type they have, especially since Navient sometimes calls federal loans “commercial” or “privately held” loans.

Here’s how to tell what type of loans you have with Navient:

Federal loans include:

  • Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL)

  • Stafford Loans

  • FFEL Consolidation Loans

  • Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL)

  • Perkins Loans

These are federal loans even if you didn’t get recent benefits like the payment pause or loan cancellation.

Private loans include:

  • Tuition Answer Loans

  • Signature Student Loans

  • Career Training Loans

These are loans you took directly from Navient (or previously Sallie Mae) or another private lender.

For federal loans: You can consolidate through the government’s Direct Consolidation Loan program on the Federal Student Aid website. Navient isn’t involved in this process.

For private loans: You can’t use the federal consolidation program. Instead, you can refinance with Navient’s partners (Earnest or NaviRefi) or another private lender.

Be careful about mixing federal and private loans in consolidation. It’s rarely a good idea because you’ll lose federal benefits like:

  • Student loan forgiveness programs (e.g, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, IDR Waiver, Borrower Defense to Repayment, etc.).

  • Income-Driven Repayment Plans like Income-Based Repayment and President Biden’s new SAVE Plan.

  • Deferment and forbearance options in cases of financial hardship.

But in some cases, it might make sense. Consider your options carefully.

Related: Is Navient a Federal Loan?

Can Navient loans be consolidated?

No, Navient does not directly consolidate student loans. This often surprises borrowers, but understanding Navient’s role can help clarify your options.

For Federal Loans: Navientonly services federal loans; it doesn’t consolidate them. To consolidate federal loans, including those serviced by Navient, you must use the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan program through This process is managed by the U.S. Department of Education, not Navient.

For Private Loans: While Navient doesn’t offer direct consolidation for private loans, it has partnerships with two refinancing companies:

  1. Earnest: An online lender that offers student loan refinancing.

  2. NaviRefi: A refinancing program created by Navient specifically for its customers.

These partners can effectively consolidate your private Navient loans by refinancing them into a new loan. You’re also free to refinance with any other private lender of your choice.

Remember, Navient’s role is primarily as a loan servicer whether you have federal or private loans.

For any consolidation or refinancing, you’ll need to work with the Department of Education (for federal loans) or a private lender (for private loans).

Eligibility Requirements

For federal loans serviced by Navient:

  • Eligible loans include FFELP loans, HEAL loans, and Perkins Loans.

  • Loans must be in repayment or in the grace period.

  • You can consolidate a single FFEL, HEAL, or Perkins Loan into a Direct Consolidation Loan.

  • Some borrowers with Joint Consolidation Loans can’t consolidate until the Department of Education implements a process to separate these loans.

For private loans with Navient:

  • Eligibility for refinancing (which functions as consolidation for private loans) varies by lender.

  • Typically, you need a good credit score (usually 700+), a stable income, and a low debt-to-income ratio.

  • Specific requirements vary, so check with individual lenders like Earnest or NaviRefi for details.

Federal and private loans can’t be consolidated together through federal programs. Private loan refinancing is a separate process with its own eligibility criteria.

Note: In rare cases, some borrowers with defaulted FFEL loans may face challenges consolidating due to insurance issues. If you’re in this situation, contact the Department of Education or a student loan lawyer for guidance.

How to Consolidate Navient Student Loans

Federal Navient Loans

To consolidate your federal Navientloans, follow these steps:

  1. Go to and log in with your FSA ID.

  2. Select “Apply for Loan Consolidation” under the “Apply for Aid” menu.

  3. Choose which loans you want to consolidate. You can select all or some of your eligible federal loans.

  4. Select a repayment plan. Consider an income-driven plan if you’re struggling with payments.

  5. Choose your new student loan servicer. This can be Aidvantage, EdFinancial, or MOHELA.

  6. Review and submit your application.

The process typically takes 30-90 days. Keep paying your existing loans until you receive confirmation that the consolidation is complete.

Private Navient Loans

For private Navient loans, you’ll need to refinance:

  1. Check your credit score. A higher score can help you get better rates.

  2. Compare offers from multiple lenders. Start with Navient’s partners, Earnest and NaviRefi, but also consider other lenders.

  3. Gather necessary documents: pay stubs, loan statements, and tax returns.

  4. Apply with your chosen lender. You can often get pre-qualified without a hard credit check.

  5. If approved, review the terms carefully before accepting.

  6. Once you accept, the new lender will pay off your Navient loans.

Note: Refinancing private loans differs from federal loan consolidation. Shop around for the best rates and terms, and be sure you understand any changes to your repayment terms.

Key Considerations

For Navient Federal Loans

  1. How will consolidation affect forgiveness opportunities? While the IDR account adjustment has ended, consolidation can still be beneficial. The SAVE Plan offers significant advantages, especially for undergraduate loan borrowers. Consolidating may be necessary to access this program, particularly for older FFEL loans.

  2. What happens to my interest rate? The rate for your new Direct Consolidation Loan will be a fixed interest rate based on the weighted average of your current loans, rounded up to the nearest 1/8th percent. Your credit score doesn’t affect this rate. While you might pay more interest over time due to a longer repayment period, your rate isn’t necessarily higher.

  3. Will consolidation impact existing loan forgiveness progress? Consolidation no longer resets all progress toward forgiveness. You’ll receive a weighted average of the forgiveness credit from your existing loans. This means you won’t start from scratch on programs like PSLF or IDR forgiveness.

  4. How do I ensure I’m using the right consolidation process? Only use for federal loan consolidation. Navient isn’t involved in this process, so be wary of any company claiming otherwise.

For Navient Private Loans

  1. What if I can’t refinance my Navient private loans? If you’re not eligible for refinancing, talk to Navient about other repayment options. You might also consider improving your credit score or finding a cosigner.

  2. Can I get a lower interest rate? It depends on your credit score and income. Check rates with multiple lenders, including Navient’s partners Earnest and NaviRefi.

  3. How can I remove my cosigner? Some refinancing lenders offer cosigner release after you make on-time payments for a certain period. Ask about this when shopping for refinancing options.

  4. What if I can’t afford payments after refinancing? Unlike federal loans, private loans have fewer options if you can’t pay. Talk to your new lender right away if you’re struggling.

Bottom Line

Consolidating Navientloans can simplify your repayment and potentially lower your monthly payments.

For federal loans, use the Direct Consolidation Loan program at For private loans, consider refinancing through Navient’s partners or other lenders.

Consolidation isn’t always the best choice – it can result in paying more interest over time and losing certain benefits. Your specific situation determines whether consolidation is right for you.

Need personalized guidance? Book a 1:1 consultation with our student loan experts. We’ll analyze your Navient loans and help you make an informed decision about consolidation. Click here to schedule your consultation today.

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How Long Does Navient Take to Consolidate Loans?

Navient doesn't actually consolidate your loans. For federal loans, the Department of Education handles consolidation, which typically takes 30-90 days. For private loans, refinancing with a new lender usually takes 2-3 weeks. Keep making payments until you receive confirmation that the process is complete.

How Does Consolidating Navient Student Loans Affect My Monthly Payments?

Consolidating federal Navientloans can lower your monthly payments by extending your repayment term, potentially up to 30 years. For private loans, refinancing could lower payments if you get a lower interest rate or extend the term. However, remember that lower monthly payments often mean paying more in interest over time.

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