Navient, the largest name in student loans, which has provided loan services to 5.6 million customers in the United States, has shifted the caseload to Maximus, the global administrator of government programs. Maximus is already a federal student loan service, and will be managing Navient’s ex-student loans under the name Aidvantage.
Although Navient itself is not a lender, it ran the student loan repayment process on behalf of the government until former President Donald Trump temporarily suspended student debt payments in March 2020 in response to COVID-19. Since then, this measure has been extended several times by President Joe Biden. As of the December 22 announcement, student debt obligations remain outstandingIt is due in large part to the sudden rise in the omicron variable.
With the extension of the suspension of payment andExpansions, there’s a lot to keep track of. If you are among the millions of borrowers who have a Navient loan, here’s what you need to know.
Why did Navient withdraw from the student loan business?
Navient has come under fire from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which sued the loan service provider in 2017 claiming the company had made it difficult for borrowers to repay their loans. That lawsuit is still under consideration. “Increased federal regulations and government scrutiny on the federal loan service are definitely to blame for Navient’s departure,” said Michael Lux, student loan expert, attorney and founder of The Student Loan Sherpa.
Additionally, in 2020, the US Department of Education announced changes to the loan service in an effort to modernize the federal student loan system. As part of the Next Generation initiative, the Department of Education has expanded its partnership with five of 10 existing loan providers, which will continue to serve federal student loans, but under stricter government regulations. Navient, along with FedLoan and Granite State, has chosen to end its participation in the Federal Student Loan Service at the end of 2021.
What does Navient’s departure mean for borrowers?
If your loans are serviced by Navient, here’s what you need to know:
1. Aidvantage is your new loan server
Now, you should be notified of this change by mail or email from Navient, Aidvantage and the Ministry of Education. If you have not received a notification, you should log into your existing Navient account and double-check your contact information to ensure it is correct. Even if your address is old, you should be able to log into your new account.
2. You can login to your Aidvantage account using your Navient credentials
If you try to log into Navient, you will find a balance of $0 – this balance simply shows that your loans were purchased by Aidvantage. To sign in to your new account, visit www.aidvantage.com and enter your Navient login information.
The process is almost identical to that of Navient. Once you have entered your login and password, you will be asked to enter your Social Security number or account number and date of birth to confirm your identity. From there, you’ll be taken to the home page of your Aidvantage account, which looks just like the Navient landing page – all the way to the left navigation options.
If you don’t remember your login information, select “Forgot User ID” or “Forgot Password” and confirm your personal identification question to have a new question sent to you via email. If you still cannot or can no longer access your registered email, contact Aidvantage for assistance at 800-722-1300.
3. Your payment preferences must be the same
Any payment terms you set up with Navient — automatic payment, deferment, income-based payment plans, etc. — should be transferred seamlessly to Aidvantage. Of course, since your federal student loan payments have been on hold for more than 20 months, you may need to review your payment details, especially as the end of forbearance approaches. And if your employment situation has changed since you last reviewed your loan repayment options, you may want to apply for income-driven repayment or other repayment options through Aidvantage now, so you’re ready to go when repayment begins in May 2022.
So after logging in to Aidvantage, you should find that your preferred payment method and automatic payment selection have been transferred, along with your payment history and fully paid loan history.
4. You may encounter some hiccups or delays during the transition
Be sure to sign in before the federal moratorium on student loan payments expires on May 1, 2022, to review your contact information and double-check your transferred loan amounts.
If you notice any problems, reach out to Aidvantage. You can use the Website’s AI Support Service, CORA, Online Customer Resource Assistant, or reach out directly by phone at 800-722-1300. Make sure you have your account information handy. You can also find contact numbers for your specific loan type on Aidvantage’s contact page.
Keep in mind that moving may slow things down. Customer support response times may be delayed as account information is transferred, especially if your account is on hold. “It will be interesting to see how the new servers handle the relocation and train support calls for new borrowers,” said Fred Amrin, CEO and founder of PayForED. “Borrowers should expect a longer response time.”
5. Prepare to repay in 2022
If you haven’t paid off your loans during the bearing period, be sure to check your payment options now, so you’re ready to go in May. Double-check your payment method, make sure you know the minimum monthly payment and explore payment options if you need extra help. If you wish to explore further deferment or deferment options, you may do so through your online account under Payment Options. You can also speak to Aidvantage directly at 800-722-1300.