Navient Student Loan Forgiveness Lawsuit 2018

California has joined several other states in filing suit against major student loan forgiveness servicer Navient, regarding their alleged abusive collection practices. A common misconception is that Navient itself offers loan forgiveness. However, this is not the case. Navient is simply just a loan servicer, contracted by the federal government. Essentially, all they do is manage loan administrative duties for the government. The federal government is the only entity that offers federal student loan forgiveness.

What Allegations Are Being Brought Against Navient?

Originally, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a lawsuit against Navient in January 2017. Their lawsuit accused Navient of things like incorrectly processing payments, not responding with action when borrowers complained, in addition to other accusations.

The recent lawsuit filed by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra against Navient, is similar to the one filed by CFPB against Navient in 2017. One aspect California’s lawsuit accuses Navient of, is putting borrowers into forbearance, when they may have been better off in an income based repayment program. Forbearance essentially put a “pause” on loan payments for borrowers. This can help borrowers relieve financial pressure in the short term. However, Forbearance only puts a “pause” on the payments. Not on the interest. This can cause borrowers to fall more into debt in the long run because the original loan payments will still be due as well as more interest.

Income based repayment programs set up payments for borrowers that are based on how much money they make. These programs usually help borrowers pay less each month toward their student loans. These programs usually do so by extending the amount of time borrowers are required to pay the loan back in. Borrowers in this program will still owe the same amount of loan principle; they’ll just likely pay less toward their loan each month. This can make it easier for borrowers to cover other monthly expenses like car payments or rent.

One aspect the attorney general is arguing is that income based programs may have been a better option for borrowers than forbearance, since these programs usually offer borrowers the ability to have low monthly loan payments. As a result, this could help borrowers pay down the total amount they owe and could help them keep the practice of making loan payments each month.

In 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) also received almost 10,000 federal student loan complaints about various companies in the industry. LendEDU recently released an analysis of these student loan complaints. Their findings highlighted companies who received the most or least student loan-related complaints in 2018. According to their report, Navient received 2,239 complaints – the most of any company highlighted in the study (Brown).

Fig. 1. Brown, Mike. “2018 Federal Complaints by Volume.” LendEDU, 2019, infogram.com/2018-federal-complaints-by-volume-1hkv2nynvn3n6x3.

What Can Borrowers Do?

One of the best things to do is research and monitor the requirements of your student loan on your own. That way you’ll be adequately informed on your options. This can also help ensure your loan is properly managed. If you have questions about student loan forgiveness or your student loan in general, we would be happy to talk with you. Feel free to contact us today by clicking here.

Sources:

Friedman, Zach (2018, July 9). What this Navient Lawsuit Means For Your Student Loans [News]. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/zackfriedman/2018/07/09/student-loans-navient-lawsuit/#f6ded7027778

Ribe, Matt (2018, September 5). What Borrowers Need to Know About Navient Lawsuits [Education]. Retrieved from https://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/student-loan-ranger/articles/2018-09-05/what-student-loan-borrowers-need-to-know-about-navient-lawsuits

Brown, Mike. “Report: 2018’s CFPB Student Loan Complaints.” LendEDU, 8 Jan. 2019, lendedu.com/blog/report-2018s-cfpb-student-loan-complaints/.

Fig. 1. Brown, Mike. “2018 Federal Complaints by Volume.” LendEDU, 2019, infogram.com/2018-federal-complaints-by-volume-1hkv2nynvn3n6x3.

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