Consolidation won’t just pause the interest on your Navient loan. There has been a lot of noise over the past two years about Navient loans being forgiven. A lot of the hubbub came from the Navient settlement announced in January. In that deal, the company agreed to wipe out $1.7 billion in predatory, high-interest-rate private student loans it made to borrowers it knew had little hope of ever paying the debt back.
Navient has already acted on the settlement and cleared the student loan balances of 66 thousand eligible borrowers. If you still have a balance with Navient today, here are two other forgiveness opportunities you may be able to take advantage of by consolidating your loans with the Department of Education:
Last October, the Biden administration announced it would give service members, teachers, and other public servants shut out of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program another chance at debt cancellation. For a limited time, the Education Department will let all payments count toward PSLF, despite the loan program or payment plan. It’s also giving borrowers credit for some time spent in forbearance and deferment.
Related: Do FFEL Loans Qualify for PSLF?
You would qualify for the PSLF Waiver if you worked full-time for the government or a nonprofit organization anytime after Oct. 1, 2007. You must consolidate your FFEL Loans into a Direct Loan to apply for this limited relief. You can do that on studentaid.gov.
Learn More: How to Apply for PSLF Waiver
IDR Waiver & Account Adjustment
You may be convinced that you must pay your loans until you die, but that’s not true. Income-driven repayment plans are available through the Education Department, which lets you pay back only what you can afford for at least 20 years. The amount that remains after you’ve made your final qualifying payment will be written off.
Related: Student Loan Forgiveness After 20 Years
Few people are aware of IDR plan forgiveness, but it has the potential to drastically improve the lives of millions of student loan borrowers in America. This is especially true for those struggling to make ends meet for years.
Normally, you must make at least 240 monthly payments under an income-based repayment option before your loans can be forgiven. For a limited time, though, the department is allowing borrowers a reprieve. It’s 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 under a non-qualifying repayment plan. Also, the department is giving borrowers credit towards IDR forgiveness for time spent in forbearances and some deferment periods.
Your Navient loans can qualify for the repayment waiver if you consolidate them into a Direct Loan. Once that’s done, the department and your new student loan servicer will review your payment history and tally your total number of payments and eligible deferment and forbearance time.
Learn More: Limited IDR Forgiveness Waiver