Navient Parent PLUS Loans: Forgiveness & Repayment Options

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Stanley Tate

#1 Student Loan Lawyer

Updated on November 5, 2022

The Parent PLUS Loans Navient services aren’t eligible for income-driven repayment plans and loan forgiveness programs until they’re consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan — even if they’ve previously been consolidated.

Parent borrowers who had loans with Navient didn’t get any relief during the pandemic. They had to keep making their monthly payments. Interest continued to accrue. And they didn’t get any credit toward loan forgiveness.

They missed out on that pandemic-related relief because the federal government doesn’t own their Parent PLUS Loans. Private lenders do. But that doesn’t make those loans private student loans. Instead, they are federal student loans that were made through the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program.

Confused? You have company. When the Trump administration announced the Covid-19 forbearance, tens of thousands of parents with FFEL Loans stopped making their monthly payments. They were taken aback when the loan servicer began reporting late payments despite their belief that their payments had been halted.

Related: Is a Parent Loan a Direct Loan?

They were shocked again when the Biden administration suddenly announced that borrowers with FFEL Loans who hadn’t sought to consolidate before Sep. 29 wouldn’t be eligible for the cancellation of up to $20 thousand that it had promised millions of other borrowers.

Related: Navient Student Loan Forgiveness

The separate and unequal treatment FFEL Loan borrowers receive results from political decisions. Thankfully, there is a way that you can balance the scales for your Parent PLUS Loans with Navient: consolidate.

You may have already consolidated once before. But if your loans are still with Navient today, the type of loan you have is an FFEL Consolidation Loan. You’ll need to refinance* your Parent PLUS Loans with the U.S. Department of Education to access income-driven repayment plans and forgiveness opportunities unique to Direct Consolidation Loans.

Keep reading to learn about relief options for your Navient Parent PLUS Loans.

*Technically, you can’t refinance your loans with the federal government. But refinancing is what you’re effectively doing when consolidating an FFEL Consolidation loan.

Relief options for Navient Parent PLUS Loans

The Education Department has made several improvements to the federal student loan program in the past two years. Those changes have led to hundreds of thousands of people getting tens of billions of loan forgiveness. Nearly all of that relief has been limited to borrowers with Direct Loans. Parents who have loans with Navient can take advantage of those opportunities, but they’ll need to consolidate first.

You can apply for consolidation by using the Federal Student Aid website, StudentAid.gov. Here are three benefits you’ll gain once you have your new loan.

  • Lower monthly payments. After you consolidate, you can switch to the income-contingent repayment plan. The ICR plan caps your student loan payments at 20% of your discretionary income and family size and stretches your repayment term to 25 years. This plan is a great option if you’ve been holding off on retiring because you’re worried you can’t keep up with the bill. Read more about Parent PLUS Loan forgiveness and retirement.

  • Forgiveness after 10 years working in public service. The department writes off borrowers’ remaining loan balance after they spend a decade working full-time for the government or a nonprofit organization. If you’ve already been working in public service, you may be able to consolidate and get credit for some of the work you’ve already done. Read more about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

  • Forgiveness after 20+ years of student loan repayment. Starting this fall, the Education Department plans to review its records to find borrowers who’ve been in repayment for 20+ years. Those people will have their balances immediately cleared. Others who’ve been paying for less than two decades will get credit for every payment they’ve made and any time they spent in long-term forbearances and deferments. They, too, will be eligible for forgiveness once they’ve made 240 qualifying payments under an IDR plan. Read more about the IDR Waiver.

Worried about your interest rate changing if you consolidate? Don’t. Your rate likely won’t change because it’s not based on your credit score or credit history. Your new loan will have a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan based on the weighted average of the rates you included in the consolidation.

Learn More: Parent PLUS Loan Forgiveness

Bottom Line

Parent PLUS Loans have helped many undergraduate students complete their college education at schools they otherwise couldn’t have attended based on their financial aid package. Unfortunately, picking up the tab has left parents carrying debt that’s wrecked their nerves, threatened their credit scores, and made them wonder how they’ll afford the monthly payments when they begin to draw Social Security.

Thankfully, the Biden administration’s improvements to the PSLF Program and IDR Forgiveness are giving student loan borrowers a way out.

Let’s talk if you want to find a way to tackle your Navient Parent PLUS Loans.

UP NEXT: Do I Qualify for the Navient Lawsuit Settlement?

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