#1 Student Loan Lawyer
Updated on December 31, 2022
Navient student loan forgiveness is available for FFEL Loans if you work in public service or have been in student loan repayment for at least two decades. Due to a lawsuit filed in Missouri, Navient loans are no longer available for Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan.
President Joe Biden announced he would cancel up to $20 thousand in federal student loans for borrowers who earned less than $125 thousand in 2020 or 2021 and married couples who earned less than $250 thousand in either of those years. This cancellation is on top of the two other temporary forgiveness opportunities the White House announced during the pandemic payment pause: the Limited Public Service Loan Forgiveness Waiver and the Income-Driven Repayment Plan Forgiveness Waiver & Account Adjustment.
Only borrowers with federal loans are eligible for these student loan forgiveness programs. This is where things become complicated for Navient customers.
Navient is a student loan servicer that handles both federal and private loans. It services federal loans made through the Federal Family Education Loan Program. Because they were made by banks, nonprofit financial institutions, and other private lenders and guaranteed by the federal government, these loans are commonly referred to as commercial loans.
Initially, FFEL Loans, or FFELP Loans, could qualify for Biden’s $20k student loan forgiveness, the PSLF Waiver, and the IDR Waiver — but only if they were combined into a Direct Consolidation Loan.
On Sep. 28, 2022, seven Republican-led states filed lawsuits against the Education Department over the president’s student loan cancellation plan. The department changed the plan’s eligibility requirements the next day. Only FFEL borrowers who submitted a Direct Loan consolidation application before Sep. 29, 2022, will be eligible for the relief — assuming judges allow it to proceed.
Private student loans aren’t eligible. And there’s no way to make them eligible through refinancing.
Keep reading to learn more about Navient loan forgiveness.
Biden's Student Debt Cancellation
President Biden announced a plan to cancel $10,000 thousand in federal student loan debt for borrowers earning less than $125,000 thousand per year or less than $250,000 thousand for married couples. Those who received Pell Grants, a type of financial aid for low-income students, can have $20 thousand knocked off their loan balance.
The president’s debt relief plan has faced several legal challenges, each alleging the Biden administration overstepped its executive powers in going forward with the program.
In response to those lawsuits, the Education Department unilaterally changed how the plan would work to try and preserve forgiveness for millions of Americans. One tweak was to allow borrowers to opt out of forgiveness for any reason, including to avoid paying state taxes on the canceled amount. The second fix limited the debt cancellation to borrowers whose loans were owned by the department and FFEL Loan borrowers who applied to consolidate before Sep. 29, 2022.
That date came out of the blue with no notice or apology.
If you didn’t apply to consolidate your Navient loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan before Sep. 29, you’re out of luck. You’re not eligible for Biden’s plan.
Is it possible that you will be eligible in the future? No, I don’t believe so. There are legitimate concerns about whether any borrowers will have their loans forgiven. A federal judge in Texas recently rejected the president’s plan, effectively halting the administration’s efforts to forgive up to $20 thousand in federal student loans for tens of millions of borrowers.
Related: FFELP Loan Forgiveness
What if my loans were with Navient but were moved to Aidvantage? During the pandemic, Navient ended its contract with the U.S. Department of Education and transferred department-held loans to Aidvantage. Those loans qualify for cancellation without the need for consolidation. Read more about the move from Navient to Aidvantage.
Learn More: When Will Student Loan Forgiveness Be Reflected?
Loan Forgiveness for Public Service
For years, the forgiveness program for full-time government and nonprofit employees, as well as active duty military service members, was broken. When it came time for public servants to apply for forgiveness, few met the program’s stringent requirements. Congress tried to fix the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program by allowing more types of payments to count toward the 120 qualifying payments needed to qualify for relief. But those changes didn’t benefit federal student loan borrowers with FFEL for Federal Perkins Loans.
Last year, the White House took a chainsaw to the PSLF Program rules and temporarily made it easier for those with the wrong loan type to qualify. Those fixes have led to the department wiping out over $10 billion in loan discharges for 175 thousand public servants.
To qualify, you’ll need to consolidate your Navient loans into the Direct Loan Program and submit a PSLF Employment Certification for every qualifying employer you’ve worked for since October 1, 2007. You’re eligible for the waiver even if you no longer hold full-time employment with a government or nonprofit organization.
The deadline to apply for the Limited PSLF Waiver is Oct. 31, 2022.
You can apply by going to the Federal Student aid website, StudentAid.gov, and entering your FSA ID. Use the PSLF Help Tool to check your employer’s eligibility.
Learn More: How to Apply for the PSLF Waiver?
Student Loan Repayment Forgiveness
Most Americans think that their loans will follow them to the grave if they don’t pay back the debt, but for nearly two decades, the Education Department has offered repayment plans like the Income-Based Repayment and Revised Pay As You Earn plans that will write off the remaining balance on your loans after you have been in repayment for 20+ years.
Related: Student Loan Forgiveness After 20 Years
This forgiveness program isn’t well-known. Yet it will help millions of people — especially those who’ve had student loans for years — walk away from their debt regardless of how much they owe.
Normally, before your loans can be forgiven, you must make at least 240 on-time monthly payments under an IDR plan. Time spent in deferment or forbearance would not be considered. But for a limited time, the department is using a one-time waiver and account adjustment to credit borrowers for any payments made since taking out the loan — even if their monthly payment was zero or made under a non-qualifying repayment plan. It’s also giving them credit towards IBR loan forgiveness for time spent in long-term forbearances and some deferment periods.
Related: Legitimate Student Loan Forgiveness Companies
To be eligible, you must consolidate your Navient loans into a Federal Direct Loan. The Education Department will review your federal student loan payment history and tally your total number of payments and eligible deferment and forbearance time.
The deadline to apply for the IDR Waiver is Jan. 2023.
Learn More: One-Time Payment Count Revision for Eligible IDR Borrowers
Forgiveness for Private Loans
Navient reached an agreement with 39 state attorneys general earlier this year to cancel $1.7 billion in subprime private student loan debt for borrowers who attended certain for-profit schools between 2002 and 2014, lived in certain states, and were more than seven months behind on their loan payments by July 31, 2021. This settlement wiped out the loans of over 66 thousand people, many of whom attended for-profit schools such as ITT Technical Institute and the Art Institute.
The settlement administrator was tasked with determining eligible borrowers for cancellation and notifying those who were. These notices were distributed this summer. If you still owe money on your private student loans, your loan most likely did not meet the criteria for forgiveness.
Related: Is Navient Forgiving All Student Loans?
If you’re struggling to keep up with your monthly payment amount, look into refinancing to score a lower interest rate and better repayment options. A settlement may also be another option to consider. But you’ll have to fall behind on several payments before Navient agrees to settle. And if you do that, you and your cosigner’s credit scores can take a huge hit.
Learn More: Can Private Student Loans Be Forgiven?
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.