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What happened to Navient and what is Aidvantage? Answers to your questions about student loans

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Student loan company Navient on Thursday reached a $1.86 billion settlement agreement to cancel $1.7 billion in private student loans for some 66,000 borrowers. Accused of predatory student loan practices, Navient agreed to pay $95 million to borrowers who were stuck with long-term forbearance plans that forced them to pay more than they should have.

Navient, the biggest name in student loans, exited the student loan business in September last year, shifting its workload of 5.6 million student loans to Maximus, a global administrator of government programs. Maximus is a federal student loan servicer and services former Navient student loans under the name Aidvantage.

Although Navient itself was not a lender, it managed the student loan repayment process on behalf of the government until former President Donald Trump suspended student debt payments in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19. This measure has been extended several times by President Joe Biden, including most recently on December 22. Student debt remains pending until May 1, 2022largely due to the rise of omicron variant.

With the extension of the repayment moratorium and civil service student loan forgiveness extensions, there is a lot to follow. If you’re one of the millions of borrowers who’ve had a loan serviced by Navient, here’s what you need to know.

Why did Navient exit the student loan business?

Navient has long been under fire from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which sued the loan manager in 2017, saying the company pushed borrowers into expensive and risky private loans that they would be unable to repay. Navint reaches a 1.86 million settlements January 13.

In 2020, the U.S. Department of Education announced loan servicing changes in an effort to modernize the federal student loan system. As part of the Next Gen initiative, the Department of Education expanded its partnership with five of the current 10 loan servicers, who would continue to service federal student loans, but under stricter government regulations. Navient, along with FedLoan and Granite State, have elected to end their participation in the federal student loan service at the end of 2021.

Michael Lux, student loan expert, attorney and founder of The Student Loan Sherpa, said “increased federal regulation and government oversight over the servicing of federal loans is almost certainly to blame for Navient’s departure.” .

What does Navient’s departure mean for borrowers?

If your loans were managed by Navient, here’s what you need to know:

1. Aidvantage is your new loan manager

By now you should have been notified of this change by post or email from Navient, Aidvantage and the Department of Education. If you did not receive a notification, you should log into your existing Navient account and double-check your contact information to make sure it is correct. Even if your address was outdated, you should be able to log in to your new account.

2. You can login to your Aidvantage account with your Navient credentials

If you try to log into Navient, you will find a balance of $0 – this balance simply indicates that your loans have been purchased by Aidvantage. To log in to your new account, go to www.aidvantage.com and enter your Navient login information.

The process is almost identical to that of Navient. Once you have entered your username and password, you will be prompted to enter your social security number or account number and date of birth to confirm your identity. From there, you will be taken to the Aidvantage account homepage, which is similar to the Navient homepage – down to the left navigation options.

If you don’t remember your login information, select “Forgot User ID” or “Forgot Password” and confirm a personal challenge question to receive a new one by email. If you still cannot enter or you no longer have access to the registered email, contact Aidvantage for assistance at 800-722-1300.

3. Your repayment preferences must be the same

Any payment terms you have set up with Navient (auto-pay, deferral, income-based repayment plans, etc.) should have been seamlessly transferred to Aidvantage. Of course, since federal student loan payments have been suspended for more than 20 months, you may need to revisit the payment details, especially as you approach the end of the forbearance. And, if your work situation has changed since you last looked at your loan repayment options, you can apply for income-contingent repayment or other repayment options through Aidvantage now, so you’re good to go. when repayment begins in May 2022.

So, after logging into Aidvantage, you should find that your preferred payment method and automatic payment selection have been transferred, along with payment history and a record of fully repaid loans.

4. You may experience hiccups or delays during the transition

Be sure to log in before the federal student loan repayment moratorium expires on May 1, 2022, to review your contact information and double-check your transferred loan amounts.

If you notice any issues, you should contact Aidvantage. You can use the website’s AI help desk, CORA, or Customer Online Resource Assistant, or contact directly by phone at 800-722-1300. Make sure you have your account information handy. You can also find the contact numbers for your specific type of loan on Aidvantage’s contact page.

Keep in mind that transitioning can slow things down. Customer support response times may be delayed as account information is transferred, particularly if your account is forborne. “It will be interesting to see how the new services handle the transition and formation of new borrower assistance calls,” said Fred Amrein, CEO and Founder of PayForED. “Borrowers should expect a longer response time.”

5. Prepare for repayment in 2022

If you haven’t paid your loans during the forbearance period, be sure to review your payment options now, so you’re ready to go in May. Check your payment method, make sure you know your minimum monthly payment, and explore repayment options if you need further assistance. If you would like to explore other deferral or opt-out options, you can do so through your online account under “refund options”. You can also speak directly to Aidvantage at 800-722-1300.

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