Navient Settlement FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions Concerning the Office of the Attorney General's Settlement with Navient

On January 13, 2022, the New York Attorney General’s Office (“NYAG”) and 38 other state Attorneys General reached a settlement with Navient. The settlement needs court approval. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the settlement.

1. What is Navient?

2. What is the settlement about?

3. What relief does the settlement provide?

4. Who is eligible for restitution relating to federal loan forbearance steering?

5. Who is eligible for private loan debt cancellation?

6. Do I need to do anything to qualify for settlement relief?

7. What type of conduct reforms is Navient required to make?

8. Where can I go for updates or new information about the settlement?

9. How can I identify my student loan servicer?

10. I am having problems with Navient or another student loan servicer, Where can I get help or file a complaint?

11. Can I still sue Navient if I get relief under this settlement?

12. Can my state Attorney General's Office give me legal advice about whether I have legal claims against my loan servicer?

13. I've heard of Public Service Loan Forgiveness. How can I find out if I qualify?

14. I can't afford my student loan payments. What resources are available?

15. My federal loan is being transferred from Navient to my Aidvantage. How do I reach Aidvantage or log in to my new account?

16. What steps do I need to take to prepare for my federal loan payments to resume?

  • Navient is a company that services federal and private student loans. Navient was created in 2014, when the company then known as Sallie Mae (formally, SLM Corporation), separated its loan servicing and recovery business from its consumer banking business. After the separation, the company’s loan servicing and collection operations were re-branded as Navient, and the consumer banking business continued under the Sallie Mae brand.
  • On October 20, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education announced the transfer of Navient’s contract for servicing federal student loans to Aidvantage, a division of Maximus Federal Services, Inc. As a result of this transfer, a lot of federal student loans serviced by Navient have been or will be transferred to Aidvantage. But Navient will continue to service federal student loans made under the FFEL Program that are owned by private lenders as well as non-federal private student loans.

 

  • Beginning in 2017, the Attorneys General of several states, including Illinois, Washington, Pennsylvania, California, and New Jersey, filed lawsuits against Navient claiming that the company violated consumer protection laws by engaging in unfair and deceptive servicing and collection practices and that, as Sallie Mae, the company originated predatory subprime private student loans. The Attorneys General in many other states also investigated Navient for potential violations of consumer protection laws. These lawsuits and investigations by state Attorneys General resulted in this settlement.
  • Among other things, the Attorneys General claim that:
    • Navient deceptively steered distressed federal loan borrowers into costly long-term forbearances when they should have told them about income-driven repayment plans, which could have saved borrowers money. Interest that accrued during these forbearances was added to borrowers’ loan balances, pushing borrowers deeper into debt.
    • Navient also failed to adequately inform borrowers who did enroll in income-driven repayment of the yearly obligation to re-certify income and family size information.
    • In addition, the Attorneys General of Washington, Illinois, and Pennsylvania claimed that while operating as Sallie Mae, Navient made predatory subprime loans to students attending for-profit schools and colleges with low graduation rates even though it knew that borrowers would be unable to repay the loans. Navient made these risky private loans as an inducement to get schools and colleges to use Navient as a preferred lender for highly profitable federal loans.
    • Some of the state lawsuits also claimed that Navient engaged in some other unlawful servicing practices, such as failing to follow borrower instructions concerning allocation of payments, asking delinquent borrowers to pay more than the amount necessary to bring their accounts current, and promoting “cosigner release” benefits for private loans while implementing requirements designed to ensure that very few co-signers were ever released.
  • For all Participating States: Under the settlement, Navient has agreed to pay a total of $142.5 million to all of the participating States. $95 million of that payment will be used to provide restitution to some federal loan borrowers who live in participating States and who were placed in certain types of long-term forbearances. Navient has also agreed to cancel $1.7 billion in private student loan debt for certain borrowers who live in participating States. Finally, Navient has agreed to reform its loan servicing practices. If you are eligible for restitution or cancellation of your private student loans, you will receive notice(s) in the mail in the coming months.
  • Relief for New Yorkers: Over 25,000 New Yorkers are eligible for restitution under the settlement. Each eligible New Yorker will receive a check in the mail for about $260 to $500 in the coming months from Rust Consulting (the administrator of the settlement). The settlement provides for a total of about $6.8 million in restitution for New Yorkers. Around, 4,300 New Yorkers are eligible for cancellation of their private loans under the settlement. Over $110 million in private loan debt will be cancelled for eligible New York borrowers as a result of the settlement. Navient will tell eligible borrowers about the debt relief in writing by July 2022. In addition, Navient will pay almost $1.2 million to the State of New York as part of the settlement.
  • Generally, borrowers are eligible for restitution if they:
    • Resided in a restitution-participating state (such as New York) and had federal loans serviced by Navient as of January 2017;
    • Entered repayment on a Direct or FFEL Program loan before January 2015;
    • Had at least one federal loan that was eligible for income-driven repayment;
    • Had at least two years of consecutive verbal or administrative forbearance between October 2009 and January 2017, where at least one of the forbearances was entered through a phone call, and where at least half of the forbearance time was prospective (i.e., not used to bring a past-due loan current); and
    • Did not enroll in income-driven repayment prior to the forbearance period.
  • The following states are providing restitution to their residents: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MN, MO, NC, NE, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, TN, VA, WA, and WI.
  • The transfer of your student loans to Aidvantage does not affect your eligibility for restitution under this settlement. In other words, if you are otherwise eligible, you will still receive restitution from
  • The private loan debt relief will primarily go to borrowers who took out private subprime student loans (made to borrowers with low credit scores) through Navient’s predecessor, Sallie Mae, between 2002 and 2014, and then had more than seven consecutive months of delinquent payments prior to June 30, 2021.
  • The debt relief also includes certain other, non-subprime private student loans made by Sallie Mae Bank and certain other lenders between 2002 and 2014 for borrowers to attend specific for-profit schools that have been subject to state or federal law enforcement actions. A list of these for-profit schools is shown in the table below.
For Profit School List
Company Name Example School Brands
Advanced Career Technologies, ABC Training Center of Maryland, and The Career Institute American Career Institute, The Career Institute of American International College, and Clark University Computer Career Institute
Alta College Westwood College and Redstone College
Apollo Group University of Phoenix
ATI Enterprises ATI Career Training Center
Bridgeport Education Ashford University
Career Education Corporation Le Cordon Bleu, Sanford Brown, American InterContinental University, Brooks Institute, Colorado Technical University, Briarcliffe College, Harrington College of Design, International Academy of Design & Technology, and Missouri College
Corinthian Bryman Institute, Everest Institute, Everest College, Heald College, and WyoTech
DeVry DeVry University, Ross University, Keller Graduate School of Management, and Carrington College
Education Corporation of America Virginia College and Brightwood College
Education Management Corporation Art Institute, Argosy University, Brown Mackie, and South University
Minnesota School of Business Minnesota School of Business and Globe University
Graham Holdings Kaplan University, Kaplan Career Institute, Kaplan College, and Mount Washington College
ITT Educational Services ITT Technical Institute
Lincoln Educational Services Lincoln Technical Institute
B&H Education Marinello School of Beauty
Premier Education Group Salter College, Branford Hall, Hallmark Institute of Photography, Harris School of Business, American College of Medical Careers
  • Generally, to be eligible for private loan debt relief, the loan must have been in past due status for more than seven consecutive months prior to June 30, 2021.
  • Generally, only loans that were within a statute of limitations period or still credit-reporting as of June 30, 2021 are within the scope of the debt relief.
  • To qualify for debt relief from this settlement, the borrower’s address on file with Navient as of June 30, 2021 must have been in one of the following states AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WA, WV, or WI, or associated with a military address postal code.
  • Some borrowers might be eligible to receive both private loan debt relief and a restitution payment.
  • No. Restitution payments will be automatically distributed to eligible federal loan borrowers by the settlement administrator, Rust Consulting. If you are eligible for a payment, you will receive a postcard in the mail from the settlement administrator later this spring. Checks are expected to be sent by mail in mid 2022. To ensure the settlement administrator can find you, federal loan borrowers who may be eligible for a restitution payment are encouraged to update their contact information in their studentaid.gov account or create an account if they do not already have one.
    • studentaid.gov is the U.S. Department of Education’s main website for federal student loans and a portal to access information about all your federal student loans. You can use your studentaid.gov account to apply for repayment plans, consolidate your federal loans, explore repayment plans with a loan simulator, and use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool.
  • Navient will notify eligible private loan borrowers of the discharge of their private loans in writing by July 2022. Consumers who are eligible for the private loan cancellation under the settlement do not need to take any action.
  • For additional information, please visit the settlement website www.NavientAGSettlement.com

The settlement includes conduct reforms, including prohibitions on unlawful, unfair and deceptive conduct and terms designed to ensure that Navient improves its servicing and debt collection operations by:

  • explaining the benefits of income-driven repayment plans and offering to estimate income-driven payment amounts before placing borrowers into optional forbearances;
  • refraining from compensating customer service agents in a manner that incentivizes them to minimize time spent counseling borrowers;
  • making additional attempts to notify borrowers of the need to annually recertify income and family size information to continue making income-driven payments;
  • training alternative repayment specialists who will receive calls from distressed borrowers and help them to explore repayment options;
  • creating public service specialists who will help public service workers access Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and related programs;
  • sending notices to FFEL borrowers about the U.S. Department of Education’s recently announced PSLF limited waiver opportunity, which temporarily offers millions of qualifying public service workers the chance to have previously nonqualifying repayment periods counted toward loan forgiveness if they consolidate into the Direct Loan Program;
  • using default payment allocation methods that are favorable to borrowers (e.g., allocating overpayments to loans with the highest interest rate);
  • enabling borrowers to provide one-time or standing instructions to control the allocation of their payments between their loans;
  • providing billing statements clarifying the amount due, the amount past due, the borrower’s current repayment plan, and if applicable, their income-driven repayment recertification status;
  • refraining from charging multiple fees for a single late payment or fees for entering forbearance;
  • providing payment histories identifying how payments were applied and the reason for capitalization events;
  • ensuring consistent evaluation of requests for alternative repayment arrangements and the provision of accurate information regarding alternative repayment options for private loans;
  • refraining from informing private loan borrowers that their loans are non-dischargeable in bankruptcy;
  • easing certain cosigner release rules and providing information to private loan borrowers about the process and criteria for securing cosigner release; and
  • describing each default resolution option available to federal loan borrowers with defaulted loans.
  • To find out which company services your federal loans, log in to your studentaid.gov account, go to your account dashboard and scroll down to the section titled “My Loan Servicers.” Alternatively, you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 1-800-433-3243.
  • To identify a private loan servicer, look for the most recent communication from the entity that sends bills for your private loan payments or check your credit report.
  • Yes. Under the settlement terms, individual borrowers’ claims are preserved. This means that even if you receive restitution or debt relief under this settlement, you may still sue for legal claims you may have.
  • No. Attorneys General and their staff are not able to give you legal advice or any other advice on this matter. If you would like legal advice, please consult a private attorney or a legal aid attorney if you qualify.
  • Individuals can review the requirements of the PSLF Program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Education, for detailed information.
  • Loan forgiveness is also available to some borrowers under the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF) Program even if their repayment plan doesn't qualify under regular PSLF. View more information about TEPSLF.
  • For a limited time, borrowers may also be eligible to receive credit toward PSLF under the U.S. Department of Education's PSLF “limited waiver opportunity” even if their loan type, repayment plan, or repayment history don't qualify under regular PSLF rules. However, borrowers may need to consolidate into the Direct Loan program and/or file employment certifications by October 31, 2022 to benefit. View information on the PSLF limited waiver opportunity.
  • Beginning in June 2022, the Navient settlement requires Navient to designate customer service specialists specifically trained in assisting borrowers with PSLF and related programs.
  • If you struggle to afford your federal student loan payments, consider applying for an income-driven repayment plan. Under income-driven plans, payments can be as low as $0 per month. Monthly payment amounts are based on family size and income. Income-driven plans also offer the possibility of loan forgiveness after 20 or 25 years of qualifying payments and can provide valuable interest subsidies (where you do not need to pay all of the interest that accrues on your loan).
  • More information on income-driven plans is available. You can also use the U.S. Department of Education’s Loan Simulator to explore your repayment options.
  • Beginning in June 2022, the settlement requires Navient to designate customer service specialists specifically trained in assisting borrowers with determining eligibility and applying for income-driven repayment.
Ways to Apply for Income-Driven Repayment or Request Recalculation
Online Use or create your FSA ID to apply for income-driven repayment or request recalculation of your monthly payment on the U.S. Department of Education’s studentaid.gov website.
Mail Submit an Income-Driven Repayment Plan Application to your federal loan servicer to apply for income-driven repayment or request recalculation of your monthly payment amount.
Phone If all your loans were covered by the COVID-19 payment pause, you can call your servicer and ask to apply for income-driven repayment or have your payment recalculated over the phone. This option may not be available after July 31, 2022.
  • Aidvantage will send you a welcome letter to let you know your loans are with Aidvantage.
  • You can call Aidvantage at 1-800-722-1300.
  • Once your loans are transferred you should be able to log in to your Aidvantage online account at aidvantage.com using the same User ID and Password you used at Navient.
  • More information about the servicing transfer is available on Navient’s website.
  • The transfer of your student loans to Aidvantage does not affect your eligibility for restitution under this settlement. In other words, if you are otherwise eligible, you will still receive restitution from the settlement, even if your loans are or will be transferred to Aidvantage.