Information regarding Navient settlement
Thank you for contacting our Office about our recent settlement with Navient. This settlement resolves this Office’s allegations that, since 2009, Navient misrepresented that it would help borrowers find the best repayment options for them. This Office also alleged that Navient steered struggling student loan borrowers into costly long-term forbearances instead of counseling them about the benefits of more affordable income-driven repayment plans. The settlement, reached and executed in January 2022, provides restitution relating to federal loan forbearance steering and cancellation for specific types of private loans.
First, federal loan borrowers who are eligible for forbearance steering restitution will be notified by the settlement administrator later this spring. To ensure that the settlement administrator can reach them, federal loan borrowers are encouraged to update their contact information or create an account at the U.S. Department of Education’s website studentaid.gov.
Second, private loan borrowers who are eligible for loan cancellation will be notified by Navient of the cancellation in the coming months. Any payments made on the cancelled loans after June 30, 2021 will be refunded. Borrowers do not need to contact Navient to receive this relief.
For more information about the settlement, including more detailed information about eligibility for restitution or loan cancellation, please visit www.NavientAGSettlement.com. At this time, our Office is not able to tell individual borrowers whether they are eligible for a federal loan forbearance steering payment or private loan cancellation.
If you do not qualify for relief under this settlement and are having trouble affording your student loan payments, the following information may be of some use to you. You should also review the Student Loan Handbook published by this Office, which includes information about student loans and the rights of borrowers facing issues with lenders, servicers, and debt collectors.
Income-Driven Repayment Plans
If your federal student loan payments are unaffordable, you can explore income-driven repayment plans that may lower your monthly payments. Income-driven repayment plans base monthly loan payments on income and family size and may offer interest subsidies as well as the possibility of loan forgiveness after 20 or 25 years. You can use the U.S. Department of Education’s Loan Simulator to estimate your monthly payments, projected total costs, and potential forgiveness amounts under income-driven repayment plans.
You should also contact your servicer or speak with a certified credit counselor if you would like to explore or discuss income-driven repayment options. Two organizations that can assist you in locating a reputable nonprofit credit counseling agency are:
Lutheran Social Services Financial Counseling
PO Box 306, Duluth, MN 55801
(218) 529-2227 or (888) 577-2227
National Foundation for Credit Counseling
Borrower Defense to Repayment Application
Under federal law, you can apply for forgiveness of your federal student loans if your school misled you or engaged in other misconduct in violation of state law. To apply for this forgiveness, you must submit a Borrower Defense to Repayment Application to the U.S. Department of Education. Please be advised that there is no guarantee that your Borrower Defense to Repayment Application will be approved. It could take many months for the U.S. Department of Education to make a decision about your application.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
If you work for a non-profit or government employer, you may want to learn more about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program and the recently announced limited waiver opportunity. The PSLF Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. Under the Department’s recently announced PSLF limited waiver opportunity, borrowers may receive credit for past periods of repayment that would not otherwise qualify for PSLF, provided that they consolidate into the Direct Loan Program and file employment certifications by October 31, 2022.
Private Student Loan Borrowers
If you would like help obtaining and reviewing your private loan’s payment history or finding out if alternative payment arrangements are available to you, please contact the Attorney General’s Office at (651) 296-3353 (Twin Cities Calling Area) or (800) 657-3787 (Outside the Twin Cities) or file a complaint online.