Navigating Navient Student Loans: Understanding the Landscape

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Navigating Navient Student Loans: Understanding the Landscape

The pursuit of higher education is often accompanied by financial challenges, and many students turn to student loans to bridge the gap between their aspirations and the cost of education. Navient, one of the largest student loan servicers in the United States, plays a crucial role in managing and facilitating these loans. However, the complex world of student loans can be overwhelming, and it’s important for borrowers to understand the nuances of Navient and how their student loans are managed.

Introduction to Navient: A Key Player in Student Loans

Navient Corporation, established in 2014 as a spin-off from Sallie Mae, is a leading loan servicer responsible for managing and collecting payments on federal and private student loans. With millions of borrowers under its umbrella, Navient’s influence in the student loan landscape is significant. It acts as a middleman between borrowers and lenders, handling tasks such as processing payments, managing accounts, and providing customer service.

Navient is a private corporation that was created by Sallie Mae to service and collect student loan debt. At one point, Navient was one of the country’s largest student loan servicing companies, but it has since been sued by multiple states for predatory lending practices.

In 2022, Navient agreed to a $1.85 billion settlement with 39 states to resolve claims that it had made predatory loans to students who were unlikely to be able to repay them. As part of the settlement, Navient agreed to cancel $1.7 billion in private student loan debt for nearly 66,000 borrowers and to pay $95 million in restitution.

The Types of Student Loans Managed by Navient

Navient handles both federal and private student loans, each with its own set of terms, conditions, and implications. Federal student loans, which are backed by the government, come with benefits like fixed interest rates, income-driven repayment plans, and potential loan forgiveness programs. Private student loans, on the other hand, are offered by banks or other financial institutions and have varying terms based on the lender’s policies.

Services Provided by Navient

Navient’s responsibilities extend beyond mere loan management. They provide various services that borrowers can utilize to make their repayment journey more manageable. These services include:

  1. Repayment Plans: Navient helps borrowers choose the most suitable repayment plan based on their financial situation. This might include options like standard repayment, extended repayment, or income-driven repayment plans.
  2. Loan Consolidation: For borrowers with multiple federal loans, Navient offers the option to consolidate loans into a single new loan. This can simplify repayment and potentially lower monthly payments.
  3. Deferment and Forbearance: If borrowers face financial hardship, Navient can assist in applying for deferment or forbearance, which temporarily pauses or reduces loan payments.
  4. Loan Forgiveness: Navient guides eligible borrowers through the process of applying for loan forgiveness programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) for those in qualifying public service positions.
  5. Customer Service: Navient offers customer service support to answer questions, provide guidance, and address concerns regarding loan repayment.

Controversies and Criticisms

While Navient plays a vital role in managing student loans, it has not been without controversy. In 2017, Navient faced a lawsuit from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and multiple states for alleged deceptive practices and improper loan servicing. The accusations included allegations that Navient systematically steered borrowers into forbearance (which can lead to increased costs) instead of offering more suitable repayment options. Navient has denied these allegations and has maintained that it has serviced loans properly according to the contractual terms.

The settlement also requires Navient to change its lending practices, including:

  • No longer steering borrowers into forbearance or other repayment plans that are not in their best interest.
  • Providing borrowers with more accurate information about their loans and repayment options.
  • Offering borrowers more affordable repayment plans.\

Navient is still servicing federal and private student loans, but it is no longer the largest student loan servicing company in the country. In 2021, Navient’s federal student loan servicing contract was transferred to Aidvantage.

If you have a student loan with Navient, you should be aware of the following:

  • You may be eligible for loan forgiveness if you work in public service or have been in repayment for at least two decades.
  • You can contact Navient to request a lower monthly payment or to change your repayment plan.
  • You can also contact Navient to request a loan deferment or forbearance if you are experiencing financial hardship.

If you have any questions about your student loans with Navient, you should contact Navient directly. You can also contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for assistance.

Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful:

  • Navient website:
  • CFPB website:
  • Student Loan Hero:
  • NerdWallet:
  • MagnifyMoney:

Navigating the Navient Experience

For borrowers with Navient-serviced student loans, it’s essential to proactively engage with the company to stay informed about repayment options, benefits, and any changes that might impact their loans. Here are some tips to navigate the Navient experience effectively:

  1. Stay Informed: Regularly check your Navient account and any communications from the company to stay up-to-date with your loan status and repayment options.
  2. Explore Repayment Plans: Understand the various repayment plans available and select the one that aligns with your financial situation and goals.
  3. Consider Consolidation: If you have multiple federal loans, weigh the pros and cons of loan consolidation to determine if it’s a suitable option for you.
  4. Communicate: If you encounter financial difficulties, don’t hesitate to reach out to Navient’s customer service to explore deferment, forbearance, or other assistance programs.
  5. Document Everything: Keep thorough records of all interactions with Navient, including phone calls and emails, to protect yourself in case of any disputes.


Navient plays a significant role in the complex landscape of student loans, assisting borrowers in managing their federal and private loans efficiently. While controversies have marred its reputation, many borrowers have successfully navigated their repayment journeys with the help of Navient’s services. Understanding the types of loans managed, the services offered, and staying informed about your own loan details will empower you to make informed decisions and take control of your student loan repayment.

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