#1 Student Loan Lawyer
Updated on July 19, 2022
Last year, Navient called it quits, ended its contract with the Education Department, and moved the loans it was servicing for the department to a newly created company, Aidvantage.
Before the switch, Navient was the nation’s largest student loan servicer. It handled $300 billion in private and federal loans for 12 million borrowers.
Although the company handles about half as many accounts after it offloaded the department’s loans, Navient isn’t closing its doors anytime soon. Navient’s work for the Education Department represented a small share of its business, about 6% of its revenue.
If Navient transfers your student loans to Aidvantage, the Education Department owns the debt. And that means your loans are eligible for all federal student loan protections, including access to student loan forgiveness programs, income-driven repayment plans, deferment, forbearance, and so on. You’ll need to work with Aidvantage to make your monthly payments and apply changes to your account.
Learn More: Are Aidvantage Student Loans Being Forgiven?
Aidvantage took over some — but not all — student loans that Navient serviced. Last year, Navient proposed to transfer 5.6 million student loan accounts owned by the Education Department to Aidvantage. The Federal Student Aid office approved that proposal in October, and Navient moved the accounts to the new servicer immediately.
Before the transfer, Navient serviced three types of student loans:
Federal student loans owned by the U.S. Department of Education – e.g., Direct Loans. Navient moved all of these loans to Aidvantage.
Federal student loans owned by a guaranty agency – e.g., Federal Family Education Loans, Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized, and so on. Navient kept these loans and continues to service the accounts.
Private student loans owned by private lenders – e.g., Tuition Answer and Signature student loans. Navient kept these loans and continues to service the accounts.
Related: FFELP Loan Forgiveness
If you still have loans with Navient, those loans are either commercially held federal student loans or private student loans. The federal loans aren’t eligible for the payment pause. Nor are they automatically eligible for the student loan waiversapproved by the Biden administration. To qualify for those forgiveness opportunities, you’ll need to consolidate the FFEL Loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan. Read more about consolidation and student loan forgiveness.
Similarly, if President Biden approves sweeping student loan forgiveness, the Navient loans will be locked out of relief.
Navient didn’t change to Aidvantage. Navient remains its own company. Aidvantage is a new company created by Maximus Education to service the federal student loans previously serviced by Navient.
To make the move easier for borrowers, Navient switched the contact information — phone number, general mailing address, and payment address — to Aidvantage’s controls. It also allowed borrowers to use the login information they used on Navient’s website on Aidvantage.com and keep their autopay setup.
Here’s the checklist Navient sent to borrowers alerting them of the servicer transfer.
Learn More: Aidvantage Student Loans
Navient cut ties with the Education Department because of money. Navient wasn’t making enough profit to justify the headaches it was getting from servicing the accounts. The federal student loan servicing contract was a small part of Navient’s business,* but it was likely its loudest problem area.
Since being spun off from Sallie Mae in 2014, Navient has been dogged by allegations that it mistreated federal student loan borrowers. Tens of thousands of borrowers have lodged complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about their dealings with Navient. The company also faced related lawsuits from state attorney generals and federal authorities and unyielding pressurefrom lawmakers like Elizabeth Warren, senator from Massachusetts.
Navient announced that it was ending its contract after chatter increased that the federal government would reform its student loan servicing business. On an earnings call in July 2020, Navient chief executive Jack Remondi said the Education Department sought to transfer “too much risk to the servicer, and at rates and terms that…are effectively below cost for everybody.”
Moving marginally profitable, troublesome accounts to a new company was an easy fix. It was also one that Navient knew well. Sallie Mae did the same thing when it ended its contract with the Education Department and shifted its federal and predatory private loans off its books to Navient.
Learn More: Sallie Mae Student Loan Forgiveness
*The company makes most of its money from private loans, contracts to support states processing unemployment benefits, contact tracing, and vaccine administration services.
What to do if your loans were transferred
Here are three things you can do to stay on top of things.
Get your payment history. When accounts have moved to new student loan servicers, borrowers have complained that their loan balance and payment amount increased or late payments were mistakenly added to their credit reports, causing their credit scores to tank. Unfortunately, many of those complaints go nowhere because, aside from their student loan account number, borrowers typically don’t have any records to support their complaints. Don’t let that happen to you. Contact Navient to get a copy of your student loan payments and loan details.
Access your new account. After your loan is transferred, log in to aidvantage.com to review your account. Confirm how many loans you have, the loan amounts, payment due date, and so on. Consider enrolling in automatic payments to ensure you don’t skip a payment. You’ll get a small interest rate discount for your troubles.
Check studentaid.gov for other loans. The student loan system has changed a lot throughout the coronavirus pandemic. FedLoan Servicing and Granite State Management ended their contracts with FSA, and the White House has forgiven over $25 billion in federal loans. Check studentaid.gov to learn where your federal student loans are located and more about loan cancellation opportunities like Public Service Loan Forgiveness, the PSLF Waiver, the IDR Waiver, and so on.