#1 Student Loan Lawyer
Updated on October 3, 2022
Navient typically doesn’t forgive private student loan debt it owns or services. Unlike the federal government, which will write off debt if a borrower works in public service, becomes disabled, or pays their loans for 20 to 25 years, Navient rarely cancels private loans. When it does, it’s almost always part of a deal to end litigation filed against it by state attorneys general, consumer groups, and so on.
For example, earlier this year, Navient agreed to cancel over $1.5 billion in private student loan debt for 66 thousand people. Eligible borrowers include those paying back subprime private student loans — loans with high-interest rates given to people with low credit scores. It also includes a group of people with private student loans from Sallie Mae who attended certain dubious for-profit schools. Navient has contacted those borrowers and let them know it cleared their loan balances. Read more about the Navient settlement.
If you still have student loans with Navient, forgiveness isn’t on the table for your private loans. But it could be for any privately held federal loans — e.g., Federal Family Education Loans, and Stafford Loans.
Ahead, learn how Navient private loan forgiveness works and your options if you have federal loans.
Learn More: Will Navient Loans Be Forgiven?
Borrowers who attended bogus for-profit institutions and those with low credit ratings have had their private loans canceled by Navient twice in the last year.
In January, Navient agreed to wipe away $1.7 billion in predatory private loans its predecessor, Sallie Mae, made to students who had long defaulted on the crushing debt. Those who paid their fraudulent, high-interest loans for often useless degrees from schools like the Art Institute and ITT Technical Institute were disqualified from relief and compelled to keep paying.
A few months later, Navient settled a much smaller complaint filed by the Attorney General’s Office in New Hampshire. In it, Navient agreed to forgive $3.5 million in private loans for 129 state residents.
Most borrowers eligible for either settlement have been notified by Navient. If you check your account and find a balance, you likely didn’t qualify for debt forgiveness, which means you and your cosigner must repay the debt.*
The only way to get out of paying the entire balance back is to negotiate a settlement. But that involves missing several student loan payments, which will temporarily tank your credit score, and having access to a lump sum of money that can be used to pay the settlement amount.
Related: Can I Negotiate My Student Loan With Navient?
Another option that can save you money is refinancing. Depending on your credit, you may be eligible for a lower interest rate and a longer repayment term, which will result in a lower student loan bill. To compare refinance rates from multiple lenders at once, use an online marketplace lender like Credible.
* The conclusion of those two lawsuits resolved much of the litigation against Navient for private loans, but the company is still fighting a class-action lawsuit over whether certain private loans were discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases. The lender was ordered by the New York bankruptcy judge to stop collecting on those debts until their status could be determined.
Federal student loan forgiveness options
As part of the deal it made to cancel private loans, Navient agreed to send restitution payments to borrowers it steered into costly long-term forbearances rather than helping them find a more affordable way to pay, such as enrolling in an income-driven repayment plan. Read more about forbearance steering. Most federal student loan borrowers who qualify for the $260 payment have received it.
While it was sending out those checks, Navient finished moving millions of borrowers whose loans were owned by the Education Department to a new student loan servicer, Aidvantage. The loans that changed hands are automatically eligible for many changes that the Biden administration has made to the department’s forgiveness program.
Related: Who Took Over Navient Loans?
The same isn’t true of the federal loans that remain with Navient.
If you still have Navient FFEL Loans, you can benefit from the Education Department’s latest debt cancellation waivers — the PSLF and IDR Waivers. But you must consolidate your loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan to be eligible.
Learn More: Aidvantage Loan Forgiveness
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
Eligibility requirements: Work full-time for a government or nonprofit organization and make 120 IDR Plan student loan payments, and the US Department of Education will write off your remaining balance. Read more about PSLF qualifying payments.
How to apply: Follow these two steps to apply. To begin, combine your FFEL Loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan. You can do that on the Federal Student Aid website, studentaid.gov. Next, submit a PSLF application to MOHELA, the student loan servicer that manages the program. If you apply before October 31, 2022, you’ll be eligible for the PSLF Waiver and will receive retroactive credit for payments made on the loans before consolidation.
Income-Driven Loan Repayment Forgiveness
Eligibility requirements: Have federal student loans and make payments for 20 to 25 years under an IDR plan.
How to apply: Enroll in one of the income-driven repayment plans to receive a monthly payment amount that is affordable for the entire year. Continue to participate in one of those plans for the next two decades, recertifying your income and family size annually. If you borrowed federal loans for your undergraduate studies, only, the Education Department will forgive your loans after 20 years. If you borrowed federal loans for graduate school, you’ll have 25 years to repay them.
If you consolidate your FFEL Loans before the year ends, you’ll be eligible for the IDR Account Adjustment. This waiver will give you IDR forgiveness credit for:
Loan payments made before consolidation.
Periods in which your account was in long-term forbearance.
Months spent on deferment before 2013 — but not in-school deferment periods.
If you’re looking for ways to get your Navient private loans forgiven, stop your search here. Instead, turn your attention to your repayment options, such as refinancing or, if you’re behind on payments, negotiating a settlement.
Not sure what to do about your Navient student loans? Let’s talk. Schedule a call with me to go over your loans and find a strategy that gets rid of the debt once and for all.