Navient Student Loan Forgiveness: How to Get It

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Updated on October 13, 2023

Can you get your Navient private student loans forgiven? The answer is complex. While Navient doesn’t offer a specific forgiveness program, there are various routes to debt cancellation for eligible borrowers. If you’re struggling with student loan debt, one of these could be your ticket to financial freedom.

Three major opportunities have recently made headlines:

  1. The Navient Settlement: Last year, this eliminated $1.7 billion in private loans for borrowers who went to certain for-profit schools and were behind on payments. It also issued refunds to tens of thousands of people who were pushed into long-term forbearances.

  2. The $198 Million Bankruptcy Settlement: This offered relief to private student loan borrowers whose loans exceeded college tuition costs and should have been discharged in bankruptcy.

  3. The Income-Driven Repayment Plan Account Adjustment: This forgiveness opportunity differs from Biden’s debt relief plan struck down by the Supreme Court. The IDR Waiver has discharged $48 billion for nearly 1 million borrowers, many of whom were steered into long-term forbearances by Navient and other student loan servicers rather than Income-Driven Repayment plans.

Read on to find out how you can benefit from these opportunities to reduce your debt.

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Understanding Navient's Role in Student Loan Forgiveness

Navient originated as a spin-off from Sallie Mae in 2014, managing high-risk loans from for-profit schools and Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans. Despite its short history, the company quickly became a center for legal actions and controversies that have affected borrowers seeking loan forgiveness.

What Did Navient Do?

Navient specialized in tasks like tracking payments and determining eligibility for various forgiveness programs.

But it’s important for borrowers to be cautious.

Navient has often guided borrowers into forbearance, a strategy that can result in higher interest payments and increased loan balances.

This practice has been the subject of multiple lawsuits, notably from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and various state attorneys general, alleging that Navient engaged in deceptive practices that delayed or even derailed many borrowers from achieving loan forgiveness. These bad acts have led to Navient agreeing to different loan cancellation initiatives to resolve lawsuits.

In response to mounting legal pressures, including a 2022 settlement that canceled $1.7 billion in debt for around 66,000 private loan borrowers, Navient transferred its federal loan servicing contract to a new company, Aidvantage. Today, Navient largely services two types of loans:

  • Private Student Loans Owned by Navient: These often have names like ‘Tuition Answer Loan’ or ‘Signature Student Loan.’

  • Privately-Held FFEL Loans: These are federal loans not owned by the Education Department but by guaranty agencies. They often go by names like ‘Stafford Subsidized Loan,’ ‘Stafford Unsubsidized Loan,’ or ‘FFEL Consolidation Loans.’

Knowing the type of loans you have is key to getting your loans forgiven.

Related: Is Navient a Federal Loan?

If you have a privately-held FFEL Loan, you could still qualify for many of the loan forgiveness programs making headlines. But you must first combine them into a Direct Consolidation Loan.

Forgiveness Programs and Navient-Serviced Loans

If your loans are serviced by Navient, you might be eligible for several federal forgiveness programs, especially if you have FFELP loans. Consider combining these into a Direct Loan to access more forgiveness options. Additionally, there have been specific settlements that might apply to you.

Federal Forgiveness Programs

  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness: Forgives the remaining balance on Direct Loans after 120 qualifying payments. Eligible if you have full-time employment with a government or nonprofit employer. Apply by submitting the PSLF form through your loan servicer.

  • Income-Driven Repayment Plans and IDR Waiver: IDR Plans offer monthly payments based on income and family size, with balance forgiveness after 20 or 25 years. Open to all federal student loan borrowers, including those with FFELP loans serviced by Navient. Apply through the FSA website. There is no separate application for the IDR Waiver. After you consolidate, you’ll get credit toward 20-25 year forgiveness for your time in repayment and forbearance periods, including the last 3 years of the payment pause.

  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness: Up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness for full-time teachers in low-income schools. Apply by submitting the Teacher Loan Forgiveness form through your loan servicer.

  • Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge: Loan discharge for borrowers with severe disabilities. Eligibility requires medical documentation. Apply by submitting a TPD discharge application through your loan servicer.

  • Borrower Defense to Repayment: Provides loan relief if your school misled you or engaged in other misconduct. Apply by submitting a Borrower Defense to Repayment application through the Federal Student Aid website.

Related: FFELP Loan Forgiveness

Note on Consolidation: To maximize relief under many of these programs, consider consolidating your Navient loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan. You can do this for free online at Two things to remember:

  1. Your new interest rate will be the weighted average of your current federal student loans’ interest rates.

  2. Normally, consolidation would reset your progress toward loan forgiveness programs like income-based repayment. But for a limited time, the federal government is offering retroactive credit toward forgiveness through a special account adjustment.

Related: How to Apply for Student Loan Forgiveness 2023

  • The Navient Settlement: Last year, the Navient lawsuit eliminated $1.7 billion in private loans for borrowers who attended certain for-profit schools and were behind on payments. Note: The settlement administrator has contacted nearly all borrowers eligible for cancellation. So if you still have a private student loan with Navient today, you likely don’t qualify to get your loans forgiven.

  • The $198 Million Bankruptcy Settlement: This settlement offers relief to borrowers whose loans exceeded college tuition costs and should have been discharged in their bankruptcy cases.

Comparison of Navient Loan Forgiveness Programs

Forgiveness Opportunity

Eligibility Criteria

Application Process

Required Documentation

Need to Consolidate?


1. $1.7 Billion Settlement

Sent by administrator

Follow notice instructions

Settlement notice



2. $198 Million Bankruptcy Settlement

Sent by administrator

Follow notice instructions

Settlement notice



3. IDR Waiver for FFEL Loans

FFEL Loan holders

Apply via

Proof of qualifying payments


Several months to years

4. PSLF Retroactive Credit

Previous PSLF Program eligibility

Apply via

Proof of employment and qualifying payments


Several months to years

General Steps to Applying

While the steps can vary depending on the loan servicer and the specific forgiveness program, here are general guidelines:

  1. Determine Eligibility: Understand which forgiveness opportunities you may qualify for. For federal loans, you can use online tools like the PSLF Help tool on

  2. Complete the Application: Depending on the program, you may need to download specific forms or apply online. For settlements related to Navient, follow the instructions given in the notice you received.

  3. Submit the Application: Procedures can differ. For federal loan programs, you must typically submit forms to the U.S. Department of Education. For Navient-specific settlements, follow the instructions in the notice.

Note: if your application for PSLF relief was previously denied, you can submit a new application after you consolidate your Navient loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan.

Required Documentation

The required paperwork can vary but may include:

  • Settlement notices

  • Proof of employment (for PSLF)

  • Proof of qualifying payments (for IDR and PSLF)

Timeline and Potential Challenges

The timeline for forgiveness can range from several months to years, depending on the program and your specific circumstances.

Potential Challenges

  • Meeting eligibility criteria: Read all guidelines carefully, especially for Navient-specific settlements.

  • Providing correct and complete documentation: Double-check all forms and supporting documents before submission.

  • Navigating different application processes: Each program may have its own set of rules and procedures, so follow them closely.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a way to get your Navient loans forgiven or canceled, you’re not alone. I’ve helped hundreds of people like you find a way out. Schedule a phone call to discuss your options to eliminate your FFEL Loans.

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