Navient Student Loan Servicer Review

One of the Largest Student Loan Servicers

When you graduate college with federal student loan debt, you're assigned a student loan servicer to collect your loan payments and provide customer service. Navient was once one of these federal loan servicers but recently exited that business.

If Navient was your servicer, your loans are now most likely serviced by Aidvantage. Navient still offers private student loans and other products. Here is what you need to know about the company.

What Is Navient? 

Navient was originally known as Sallie Mae. In 2014 Sallie Mae split into two entities and rebranded its student loan servicing offshoot as Navient.

Navient was once one of the few private companies tasked with servicing federal student loans. However, Navient decided to stop servicing federal student loans near the end of 2021.

You can find out who services your student loans at any time by signing into your StudentAid.gov account dashboard or checking your credit report to see what student loan servicing company is listed.

Navient Explained

While Congress originally created Sallie Mae to support the federal student loan program, it was eventually privatized. Navient is a private company that the U.S. Department of Education once hired to service its federal loans.

A number of lawsuits have been filed against Navient, including one filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in 2017 alleging that it deceived and overcharged borrowers, specifically that it penalized borrowers for paying in advance by failing to count lump payments toward the number of consecutive on-time payments required for cosigner release.

In March 2021, after four years of litigation, a settlement was reached between Navient and the attorney general's office in Washington, where a judge ruled that Navient violated the Consumer Protection Act. Similar lawsuits in California, Illinois, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are ongoing, and Navient denies any wrongdoing.

In May 2020, Navient settled a lawsuit brought forth by members of the American Federation of Teachers in 2018. The suit alleged that Navient misdirected borrowers into repayment and forbearance programs instead of being directed to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Enrolling in PSLF would have transferred the loans to competitor FedLoan Servicing. Navient also allegedly encouraged students struggling financially to choose forbearance over Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plans that would have resulted in them paying less interest.

The settlement included a $1.75 million payment to a fund that would educate borrowers on the PSLF program and $15,000 paid to each of the 10 plaintiffs. As part of the settlement, Navient will also monitor its customer service calls and create standardized templates for borrowers who ask for information about public service loan forgiveness.

How to Make Navient Payments 

If you're assigned Navient for your loan servicer, you'll first receive an email with instructions on how to register for online access. The amount of your first loan payment will be available in your Account Overview 30 to 45 days before you enter repayment.

In your online account, you can make a payment or enroll in autopay. Under the Make a Payment page, you can make a one-time payment of any amount on any combination of loans simply by changing the numbers in the Amount column.

Should you need to mail a payment for private students loans, you can send a check to:

Navient
P.O. Box 9000
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773-9000

Navient and Customer Complaints

In addition to litigation, Navient has no shortage of consumer complaints. Out of 3,075 complaints against student loan servicers in the CFPB Consumer Complaint Database from December 19, 2020, through December 19, 2021, nearly 38% (1,155) were against Navient.

Many complaints with narratives include Navient raising or lowering payments without ample notice and deceptive practices from customer service representatives.

How to Contact Navient

The easiest way to contact Navient is to email the company from your account using the Email Us link in the Help Center. Phone numbers are also available, but they differ based on your loan type. You can see them by logging into your account or looking at the contact page.

Options for Leaving Navient

If you are unhappy with your Navient student loans, you could consider the following options for no longer having to deal with the company.

Refinancing Your Loans

Refinancing your student loans through a new lender can get you a new servicer and potentially a lower interest rate, as well as reduce your monthly payment and help you pay off your loans early. Investopedia has reviewed all of the best student loan refinance companies to help you find the right fit for you.

Consolidating Your Loans

If you have multiple loans, you could take out a consolidation loan that combines all your loans into one loan with one balance. This would simplify things as you would now have only one company to pay to and deal with. It could also potentially lower your rate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Navient Federal or Private?

While Congress originally created Sallie Mae to support the federal student loan program, it was eventually privatized. Navient is a private company that the U.S. Department of Education once hired to service its federal loans.

Is There a Class Action Lawsuit Against Navient?

A number of lawsuits have been filed against Navient, including one filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in 2017 alleging that it deceived and overcharged borrowers—specifically, that it penalized borrowers for paying in advance by failing to count lump payments toward the number of consecutive on-time payments required for cosigner release.

What Can Navient Help You With?

Navient is responsible for all aspects of payment and customer service related to your loans. Borrowers can choose their payment plan, apply for deferral or forbearance, and request military benefits. If eligible, you can also enroll in autopay to take advantage of a 0.25% interest rate discount.

Borrowers cannot access federal programs like IDR or PSLF through Navient. You must apply and recertify by filling out forms found at StudentAid.gov.

Verdict

If you’re happy with Navient or plan to pay off your loans quickly, there’s no need to switch to another student loan servicer. However, if you’re frustrated or have suffered financially due to a lack of communication or mismanagement, then you can take action and move your loans elsewhere via refinancing or consolidation.

If you had a federal loan serviced by Navient, they no longer service federal loans, and your loan has already been transferred to a new servicer, most likely Aidvantage.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Federal Student Aid. "Navient to Transfer Federal Student Loans to Aidvantage." Accessed Dec. 20, 2021.

  2. Washington State Office of the Attorney General. "Judge Rules National Student Loan Servicer Navient Broke the Law in Servicing Student Loan Debt." Accessed Dec. 20, 2021.

  3. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "CFPB Sues Nation's Largest Student Loan Company Navient for Failing Borrowers at Every Stage of Repayment." Accessed Dec. 20, 2021.

  4. American Federation of Teachers. "Class-Action Lawsuit Launched Against Student Loan Servicer Navient over PSLF." Accessed Dec. 20, 2021.

  5. The New York Times. "Navient Agrees to Settle Teachers’ Loan Forgiveness Lawsuit." Accessed Dec. 20, 2021.

  6. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Consumer Complaint Database." Accessed December 20, 2021.

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