Navient is a student loan servicer that handles both private and federal student loans. The company was created in 1973 as a division of the Student Loan Marketing Association, otherwise known as Sallie Mae, but split with the company in 2014. Today, Navient services more than $300 billion in student loans for more than 10 million customers.
What is Navient and what does it do?
Navient is a student loan servicer, or the company that acts as a middleman between you and your lender. It handles administrative tasks such as sending bills, collecting payments, enrolling borrowers in repayment plans, reporting account activity to the consumer credit bureaus and helping customers resolve issues along the way.
Is Navient a good loan servicer?
Between 2011 and 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received more than 34,000 complaints about Navient Solutions, which is far more than most loan servicers receive. Among the nine other companies that currently service federal student loans, the CFPB received an average of about 920 complaints per servicer over the same time period.
Navient has also been the subject of a number of lawsuits. These lawsuits allege that Navient has misled borrowers, pushed expensive loan options and overcollected on loan amounts.
What types of student loans does Navient service?
Navient services both private loans and federal loans, including Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans and Health Education Assistance Loan (HEAL) Program loans.
How do I know if Navient is my servicer?
If you have federal student loans, first log in to the Federal Student Aid website using your FSA ID. Here you’ll find details about your federal student loans, including your “Current ED servicer.” You can also log in to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to find out who services your student loans or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800-4-FED-AID (800-433-3243) for details.
But private student loans won’t be listed on the NSLDS database or the FSA Information Center. To find out who services your private student loans, try logging in to your online account and looking for details there. You can also check your credit reports to see who’s listed as the loan holder.
Things might change for some borrowers over the next year, though. In June 2020, the Department of Education announced that it would consolidate its contracts to just five companies servicing federal student loans. Navient’s contract runs through December 2021, but the government agency hasn’t listed the servicer as a partner in its Next Gen platform. So if Navient services your federal student loan, your loan may be transferred to a new servicer once Navient’s contract expires.
How do I make Navient payments?
If Navient services your student loan, you have several options for making your monthly payments:
- Pay online: You can log in to your online account and make a secure payment there. You’ll need your bank account information to schedule an electronic funds transfer.
- Pay by phone: You can call Navient and make a payment using your bank account or debit card information. Navient’s contact page lists phone numbers for each type of loan. You’ll need your account number handy.
- Pay by U.S. mail: Another payment option is mailing a check (with your account number written in the memo line), along with your remittance slip, to Navient. Navient’s contact page lists addresses for each type of loan.
Lawsuits against Navient
Beginning in 2017, the CFPB, several attorneys general and a group of teachers have filed a handful of lawsuits against Navient asserting harmful and deceptive practices. According to the lawsuits, the servicer allegedly:
- Mismanaged accounts: Navient failed to correctly apply or allocate payments to customer accounts and reported loan payments incorrectly to the consumer credit bureaus.
- Steered borrowers toward expensive options: The CFPB said that Navient often advised borrowers to enroll in forbearance programs, which could increase the overall debt borrowers owe, instead of income-driven repayment plans.
- Provided unclear information: Navient didn’t adequately inform borrowers of critical deadlines for income-driven repayment plans or the consequences if they failed to act.
- Advised expensive options: According to the New Jersey lawsuit, the servicer pushed borrowers into taking out private student loans with co-signers, even if it wasn’t in the best interest of the borrower.
- Collected more than the due amount: If borrowers were late on their payments, the New Jersey lawsuit says that Navient told borrowers they owed more than they really did. The servicer would then collect the amount that was past due plus the next month’s payment.
If Navient services your student loans, track your payments to make sure that they’re processed correctly. You can report issues to the servicer directly. If Navient won’t resolve the issue, you can file a complaint with the CFPB, the Department of Education, your state attorney general’s office or your state consumer protection office.
How to contact Navient
You can contact Navient during its normal hours of operation, which are Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET and Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Contact details vary depending on your student loan program. Toll-free phone numbers for each program are:
- FFELP and HEAL: (888) 272-5543.
- U.S. Department of Education student loans: (800) 722-1300.
- Private student loans: (888) 272-5543.
- Military service members: (855) 284-4879.
For TDD phone numbers, international phone numbers, fax numbers and addresses, visit Navient’s contact page.
The bottom line
If Navient is your student loan servicer, it will manage your account and can help you with any issues you have. The company offers various payment options, educational guides and information about managing your account on its website. But in light of Navient’s legal troubles, it’s a good idea to make sure that every payment is processed correctly and to watch for any communications with the servicer.