#1 Student Loan Lawyer
Updated on August 28, 2022
There are three ways to get rid of Navient private student loans without paying the balance in full: Qualify for debt cancellation, negotiate a settlement, or file student loan bankruptcy.
Earlier this year, Navient struck a deal with 39 state attorney generals to resolve charges it made predatory private loans to students and steered federal loan borrowers into costly long-term forbearance instead of more affordable income-based repayment plans. The agreement called for Navient to do two things:
Cancel nearly $1.7 billion in defaulted subprime private student loans.
Mail restitution payments of around $260 to more than 350 thousand borrowers dumped in long-term forbearances.
While that was happening, Navient announced it was terminating its contract to service federal loans that the Education Department owned. It later moved the accounts of millions of borrowers to a newly formed student loan servicer, Aidvantage.
Related: How to Get Rid of Private Student Loans
After all of those moves, if you still have private student loans with Navient, there are three options to get rid of the debt without paying the balance in full:
Wait to qualify for debt cancellation.
Negotiate a settlement.
File student loan bankruptcy.
Ahead, learn how each option to get rid of Navient private student loans works and if it’s right for you.
Wait for debt cancellation
Navient recently cleared its books of $1.7 billion in delinquent debt owed by 66 thousand of private student loan borrowers. Thousands more people may get their private loans wiped out if Navient settles the lawsuit filed against it by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Related: Navient Student Loan Forgiveness: Who Qualifies
Aside from those two options, it was possible that the Biden administration could have included loans from private lenders like Navient in any mass debt cancellation. But that didn’t happen.
President Biden recently took executive action to cancel some student loan debt. Read more about Biden’s $20k student loan forgiveness. But only loans held by the U.S. Department of Education are eligible for this relief. Those with private student loans aren’t eligible for that relief — even if you attended sham, for-profit schools like ITT Technical Institute, Corinthian Colleges, or the Art Institute.
Learn More: Navient Private Loan Forgiveness
Negotiate a student loan settlement
If you’re struggling to make your monthly student loan payments, Navient may be willing to settle your debt. This means they will forgive some of the money you owe in exchange for paying the settlement amount in a lump sum or over a few months. But missing monthly payments will ding you and your cosigner’s credit report, which could lower your credit score for a few years. Read more about settling student loan debt with Navient.
It could also lead to you being sued, having your wages garnished, your bank account seized, and a lien put on your home.
But even though there are risks, a settlement could bring you emotional and mental relief while saving you thousands of dollars.
File student loan bankruptcy
It can be challenging to get rid of student loans in bankruptcy. This is especially true if you have federal student loans. The Education Department offers income-driven repayment plans and student loan forgiveness programs, making it hard for most federal student loan borrowers to prove undue hardship.
But private student loans are different. Lenders like Navient don’t offer repayment options that allow borrowers to pay a portion of their income. They also don’t write off loans after 20+ years of payments or after a decade of work in public service. Read more about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
The lack of repayment and loan cancellation options combined with high-interest rates that cause balances to soar quickly make private student loans easier to discharge in bankruptcy.
Learn More: What Happens to Private Student Loans in Chapter 7?
Make sure you have private loans
Even though Navient is no longer working with the Education Department, they still service federal student loans. If you’re unsure whether your Navient loan is federal or private, log in to your account and check the name of the loan. Federal loans will have words like Stafford, Consolidation Loan, Federal Family Education Loan, and Subsidized and Unsubsidized in the title. Private loans usually have names like Signature or Tuition Answer.
Related: Who Took Over Navient Student Loans?
Options if you have FFEL Loans
If you have FFEL Loans with Navient, you may be able to get your loans forgiven. Since Biden took office, the Education Department has improved its existing student loan forgiveness program. The department has erased $32 billion in loans for borrowers who worked in public service, attended shuttered for-profit schools, served in the military, or are permanently disabled.
More forgiveness will come at the end of the year when the department implements Biden’s cancellation plan and finishes its one-time review of borrowers’ accounts to increase their payment count towards income-driven repayment plan forgiveness and PSLF. Read more about the IDR Waiver.
Here are the five main types of options for student loan forgiveness:
Biden’s debt cancellation* wipes out up to $20 thousand in federal student loans held by the Education Department.
Borrower Defense discharges your debt if your school lied to you about job placement, earning potential, the quality of education, and so on.
PSLF Waiver** increases your payment count towards public service forgiveness by crediting you for any payment you made while working full-time for the government or a nonprofit after Oct. 2007.
IDR Waiver** pushes you closer to repayment plan loan forgiveness by giving you credit for any payment you made on your student loan and the periods where the loan was in a long forbearance or certain deferment.
Total and Permanent Disability cancels your student debt if a doctor, Social Security Administration, or Veterans Administration determines you can no longer work due to a physical or mental disability.
Visit studentaid.gov to check out other loan forgiveness opportunities.
Learn More: How to Apply for Student Loan Forgiveness
*FFEL Loans may be eligible for debt cancellation if they’re consolidated into a Direct Consolidation.
*You’ll need to consolidate your FFEL Loans into a Direct Loan before you apply for the PSLF or IDR Waiver. You can check the eligibility requirements and apply for a consolidation loan at studentaid.gov.
If you cannot get rid of your Navient private student loans, another option is to refinance for a lower interest rate and longer repayment option. To get the best rates, you’ll need a good credit score and income or a cosigner who has both. Use an online marketplace like Credible to shop with multiple lenders without a hard credit check.
Learn More: Best Student Loan Refinancing Lenders