Is Navient a Federal or Private Student Loan?

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Navient sent most of its federal student loans to Aidvantage, but it still services FFEL Loans and private student loans.

Navient was one of the largest federal student loan servicers before it ended its contract with the Education Department last December and moved millions of accounts to Aidvantage. Today, Navient still services federal loans made under the Federal Family Education Loan Program and millions of private student loans it owns or manages for different lenders.

The best way to discover whether your student loan is federal or private is to use studentaid.gov. After you log in with your Federal Student Aid ID, you’ll see a list of every federal student loan you borrowed. If you see one of your Navient loans listed there, it is a federal loan.

Key takeaways

  • Navient moved most of its federal student loan accounts to Aidvantage.
  • But it still services FFEL Loans that don’t qualify for the interest-free payment pause during the pandemic.
  • Navient also services, refinances, and owns private student loans.
  • Check studentaid.gov or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243 to discover if your loans are federal.

Navient still services federal and private loans

Navient is a private corporation created by Sallie Mae to service and collect student loan debt.

At one point, Navient was one of the country’s largest student loan servicing companies. It handled three types of loans:

  • Federal student loans owned by the U.S. Department of Education (e.g., Direct Loan Program loans).
  • Federal loans funded by the federal government (e.g., FFEL Program Loans, Perkins Loans, and Joint Spousal Consolidation Loans).
  • Private student loans it owned or serviced for other private lenders (e.g., Signature Loans and Tuition Answer Loans).

At the end of last year, after years of being under heat from the lawmakers and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for its shady practices, Navient terminated its contract with the Education Department and transferred millions of student loan borrowers to Aidvantage.

It also struck a deal with 39 states to cancel $1.7 billion in delinquent private student loan debts. Read more about the Navient settlement.

Despite those major decisions, Navient isn’t closing. It reported first-quarter 2022 earnings of $135 million.

If you still have loans with Navient, the loans are FFEL Loans or private loans.

Learn More: FFELP Loan Forgiveness

How do I know if my Navient loan is federal or private?

There are three ways to discover what type of loan you have with Navient:

  • Check studentaid.gov. After you log in, you’ll see a list of the federal financial aid you received while in school. Any Navient loan on this site is a federal loan.
  • Call Federal Student Aid. You can also call the FSA customer service unit at 1-800-433-3243. The representative can check the National Student Loan Data System to find the loans you borrowed and the student loan servicer.
  • Check your Navient account. Your online account groups your loans by type, with federal loans listed first.

Not sure if you have a Navient loan? Check your credit report to see if any loans are listed there, or contact Navient’s customer service department at 800-722-1300. The representative can use your Social Security number to retrieve any records it has for you.

Forgiveness and repayment options

Your options to lower payments and qualify for student loan forgiveness hinge on whether your loan is federal or private.

If you have FFEL Loans

You can get an affordable monthly payment based on your income and family size by switching to an income-driven repayment plan. The IDR plans also forgive your remaining loan balance after 20 or 25 years of monthly payments. Read more about what happens to student loans after 25 years.

You can also qualify for the interest-free payment pause forbearance and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program if you consolidate your loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan. The interest rate of your new loan will be the weighted average of your previous rates.

Another reason to consolidate is to increase the likelihood that your loans will be included in any blanket student loan cancellation that President Biden or Congress approves.

Learn More: Are FFEL Loans Eligible for PSLF?

If you have private student loans

There are few options to lower your student loan payments. You can:

  • Request to pause your payments with a deferment or forbearance.
  • Ask for a temporary interest rate reduction.
  • Refinance for a lower interest rate.

Navient offers refinancing options, but you can also use a tool like Credible to prequalify with multiple lenders without adding a hard pull to your credit history. After you apply, you can compare refinance rates, loan terms, and origination fees.

You’ll need a credit score in the 700s or a cosigner with good credit to get the best refinancing options.

Learn More: Here’s the Credit Score You Need to Refinance

Need help with a Navient student loan? Let’s talk.

Now that President Biden has announced the coronavirus forbearance is ending this September, you need to review your student loan repayment options to set yourself up for success.

If you want help creating the best plan for you, schedule a free 10-minute phone call with me. I’ve got years of experience helping people like you with their student loans.

Reach out. I can help you develop a strategy to tackle your student loan debt once and for all.

UP NEXT: When Do Student Loan Payments Resume?

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I'm a student loan lawyer that helps people like you with their federal and private student loans wherever they live.

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