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.