Navient Student Loan Forgiveness Programs - Do they exist?

Wondering how to deal with your Navient loans? Need help with getting rid of them? We've got it all covered in this article on Navient Student loan forgiveness programs

Updated by Jason Joy Manoj on 10th October 2019

Getting out of debt or reducing your monthly payments one way or another is a primary consideration when you have to prioritize student loan repayment. Student loan debt can trouble your financial growth, and it can cause a significant amount of stress. Navient is a student loan servicer that offers its services to over 12 million student loan borrowers and manages around $300 billion in student loan debt. 

If you come across any unfortunate events such as Total and Permanent Disability, loss of life, or other unavoidable situations, your Navient Loan may be eligible for forgiveness. While this is probably true, Navient student loan forgiveness is a bit complex than one may presume it to be.

There is no such thing as a "Navient loan forgiveness" since Navient Corporation only acts as a loan servicer for federal and private loans. Your Navient loan may qualify for loan forgiveness with the federal loan forgiveness programs or other forgiveness programs under eligible private loans. The point of focus here should be how Navient as a loan servicer helps the borrowers serviced under them to apply and avail the loan forgiveness.

Table of Contents

In 2014, after the split of Sallie Mae into two publicly traded companies being Sallie Mae and Navient. Where Navient was to handle education loans coming from the DOE. 

Due to this association with the DOE, Navient has a number of student loans forgiveness programs available for eligible borrowers. It should be noted that these forgiveness programs are available to the eligible borrowers even if they were under another loan servicer.

The focus here should be on the ease of application for these loan forgiveness program with a loan servicer.


Navient and federal student loan forgiveness programs

Navient provides a number of federal student loan forgiveness programs. Depending on your career, your income and other factors, you might become eligible for either of the following -

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF)

Borrowers working full-time in public organizations like government agencies or certain non-profit organizations may qualify to get their loans forgiven under the PSLF program. After making 120 qualifying monthly payments, which is 10 years, any remaining balance on your loans will be forgiven, which is not taxable. The borrower will also have to be enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan to qualify for this program.

Eligibility criteria

  • The borrower must be working in a federal, state or local government agency and certain eligible not-for-profit organizations

  • You must be a full-time employee or working for at least 30 hours per week

  • The borrower has to make 120 qualifying payments not more than 15 days after the due date under an income-driven repayment plan

Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge

This is a form of loan forgiveness or discharge which is made available for those borrowers who are unable to make their student loan payments due to total and permanent disability. If eligible, you would not need to make any further payments on the loans and the remaining balance will be forgiven. You must provide proof of your disability to the US Department of Education.

The following is the documentation you will have to provide:

  • If you are a veteran, documents which you can get from the Department of Veterans Affairs that shows you are unemployable due to a service-connected disability, have to be submitted

  • Show that you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits

  • Your physician can prove that you are totally and permanently disabled

With every option, there are certain requirements for the supporting documents that you need to submit along with your TPD discharge application.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program

You can qualify for a Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program if you teach full-time for five successive and complete academic years in a low-income elementary or secondary school or educational service agency. You can get up to $5000 of your loans forgiven or $17500, in case you are a highly qualified teacher.

Eligibility criteria

  • You should not have any remaining balance on your Direct or FFEL Loans as of Oct 1, 1998, or after Oct 1, 1998, on the date, you got the Direct or FFEL Loan

     

  • You are a full-time teacher or highly qualified teacher for five successive and complete academic years and at least one of those years should be after the 1997-98 academic year

  • You should be teaching in an elementary, secondary school or educational service agency in which students come from low-income families are studying

  • The loans that you want to seek forgiveness should be made before the end of your five years of qualifying teaching service

Requirements to become a highly qualified teacher

  • You should have at least a Bachelor’s degree

  • You received full state certification as a teacher

  • Your certification or licensure requirements have not been disregarded on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis

Other student loan discharge programs

Navient also provides other discharges for borrowers who are facing certain situations.

School closure discharge - You can be eligible for this discharge if your school shuts down before you finish your education.

False certification discharge - You can be eligible for this discharge if your school falsely certified your eligibility for a student loan or your identity has been stolen and used by someone else to get a loan.

Unpaid refund discharge - You can be eligible for this discharge if you are supposed to receive a refund of your Federal student loan because you stopped attending school, withdrew from the school or was terminated by the school, and the school failed to return the loan funds to the lender.

Income-Driven Repayment Plan (IDR)

There are four plans under the Income-Driven Repayment Plan - REPAYE, PAYE, Income-Based Repayment Plan, and Income-Contingent Repayment Plan.

This plan is designed to allow you to repay your loans at a much lower monthly payment for a longer-term usually anywhere between 20-25 years. At the end of this term, if you have made all of the payments on time and in full without any deferment or defaulting on the loan, you can have the rest of your loan balance forgiven. This is usually for those that are seeking payment relief.


Navient and private student loan forgiveness options

Although Private Navient Loans are not always eligible for loan forgiveness, there are a few private student loan forgiveness options. It also includes private loan assistance programs, such as the ones that are offered to the health care providers by the National Health Service Corps, and more. 

Loan forgiveness programs from private lenders differ widely in terms. It is advisable to be well informed and check with your lender for any forgiveness programs before you sign for your loan.

Many of the loan servicers, which also include Navient would rather look to find a repayment plan for you than to see you default on your loans if you are not able to make payments.


When you open the loan forgiveness program page on the Navient website, there are different loan forgiveness plans and in each, there is an option for you to select in order to apply for them.

1. To apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, you have to select the option which is given below the information on PSLF on the Navient website. It will redirect you to the Federal Government’s website where you have to log in to use the PSLF Help tool. This tool will help you go through the application process through which a form will be generated to be signed by you and your employer.

This form will be reviewed which will tell them if you qualify for this program or not. Along with the form, you should also provide the documents as proof like your recent W-2 form, detailed information about your employment, and more. 

2. To apply for the Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge, you must submit a TPD application with the documents demonstrating your disability. You can apply for this on the official website of Federal Student Aid or download the form.

3. To apply for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, you have to log in directly to your Navient account and apply online directly with them.

4. If you want to go for the income-driven repayment (IDR) plan to get the benefit of loan forgiveness after the loan term, you can enroll for it by logging into your account on the Federal Government’s website.

You need to get an IDR application which you have to complete and submit. It takes about 10 minutes to complete the whole application process, which you can do online.


What type of loans do I have?

Based on whether your loans are federal or private determines if you can be eligible for a forgiveness program. If your Navient loans are federal, they will qualify for most of the benefits that are offered by the U.S. Department of Education, while private loans won’t qualify for much.

You can go through the following steps for confirmation.

1 - National Student Loan Data System - Firstly, to check whether or not your Navient loans are federal or private you need to login to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and clicking 'Financial Review'.

You will need to enter your FSA ID or create a new one. Once you are logged into the system you will be able to see a list of all of your federal student loans, including consolidation loans. Any private student loans you may have taken out will not appear on this list.

2 - Contact your loan servicer - Another way to understand whether your student loans are private or federal is by getting in contact with Navient directly. You will be able to access all your loan info directly by logging into your account at their website navient.com. If Navient is not your student loan servicer contact your current loan servicer and clarify your doubts on the loans you currently have.

To set up an account, you will need your social security number or the account number that is associated with your loan. You will also be able to contact them via mail or phone with the info that is given on the website.


Conclusion

Your student loan servicer is responsible for a number of things from collecting, tracking your monthly student loan payments, customizing your loan payments, finding the best repayment plan suited to your needs and much more. Having a good relationship with your servicer is important but you need to keep in check of your credit score on your own and closely monitor for any errors and be well aware of all the options available to you for loan forgiveness and repayment.

Other Blogs You May Be Interested In - 


FAQ's

  Is there a class action lawsuit against Navient?


Yes, there has been a class-action lawsuit against Navient. It was reported that student loan servicer Navient has misled borrowers in public service professions from accessing a loan forgiveness program to boost its own profits.

  Is Navient forgiving student loans?


There was a lawsuit against Navient regarding their stance on forgiving student loans, the lawsuit stated that Navient systematically misdirected borrowers into student loan repayment programs and types of forbearance, which do not qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

  How do I lower my Navient student loan interest?


If you can get a lower interest rate, through Navient or another company, take advantage of it. Use the money you save each month and apply it towards your higher-interest loans. The more you can attack the principal balance of your debt, the sooner it will be gone.

  Is there a grace period for Navient student loans?


Your grace period depends on whether you have a PLUS loan or subsidized/unsubsidized loan. If you have a Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized federal loan, your grace period lasts for six months. If you have a Direct PLUS federal loan, there is no grace period. Payments begin immediately after the final loan disbursement is made. Payment postponement options are available.