Navient, the biggest name in student loans, which has handled loans for 5.6 million U.S. clients, has shifted its workload to Maximus, a global administrator of government programs. Maximus is already a federal student loan manager and will manage Navient’s legacy student loans under the name Aidvantage.
Although Navient himself is not a lender, he handled 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 COVID-19. Since then, this measure has been extended several times by President Joe Biden. Student debt obligations remain on hold since December 22 announcementlargely due to the surge in the omicron variant.
The moratorium on reimbursements being extended andextensions, there is a lot to follow. If you are one of the millions of borrowers who have benefited from a loan managed by Navient, here is what you need to know.
Why did Navient withdraw from the student loan market?
Navient came under fire from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which sued the loan manager in 2017, saying the company made it difficult for borrowers to repay their loans. This trial is still ongoing. Michael Lux, student loan expert, lawyer and founder of The Student Loan Sherpa, said “increased federal regulation and government control over the federal loan department is almost certainly to blame for Navient’s departure.”
Additionally, in 2020, the US Department of Education announced changes to the loan department to modernize the federal student loan system. As part of the Next Gen Initiative, the Education Department expanded its partnership with five of the 10 current loan managers, who would continue to manage federal student loans, but under more stringent government regulations. Navient, along with FedLoan and Granite State, have elected to end their involvement in the Federal Student Loans Service at the end of 2021.
What does the departure of Navient mean for borrowers?
If your loans were managed by Navient, here’s what you need to know:
1. Aidvantage is your new loan manager
At this point, you should have been informed 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 verify your contact information to make sure it is correct. Even if your address was out of date, you should be able to sign in to your new account.
2. You can connect to your Aidvantage account with your Navient credentials
If you try to log into Navient you will find a balance of $ 0 – this balance just shows that your loans have been purchased by Aidvantage. To log into your new account, visit www.aidvantage.com and enter your Navient login information.
The process is almost identical to that of Navient. Once you enter 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’ll be taken to the Aidvantage account home page, which looks like the Navient landing page – down to the left navigation options.
If you can’t remember your login information, select “Forgot User ID” or “Forgot Password” and confirm a personal identification question to receive a new one by email. If you still cannot enter or no longer have access to the saved email, contact Aidvantage for assistance at 800-722-1300.
3. Your refund preferences should be the same
All the payment terms you set up with Navient (automatic payment, deferral, income-based repayment plans, etc.) should have been transferred seamlessly to Aidvantage. Of course, since federal student loan payments have been on hold for more than 20 months, you may need to review payment details, especially as the forbearance end approaches. And, if your employment situation has changed since you last looked at your loan repayment options, you may want to apply for income-tested or other repayment options through Aidvantage now, so that you be ready to go when the repayment begins in May 2022.
So, after logging into Aidvantage, you should see that your preferred payment method and your automatic payment selection have been transferred, along with the payment history and record of fully repaid loans.
4. You may experience problems or delays during the transition
Be sure to log in before the federal moratorium on student loan payments expires on May 1, 2022, to review your contact details and recheck your transferred loan amounts.
If you notice any problems, you should contact Aidvantage. You can use the website’s AI help desk, CORA, or the 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 loan type on the Aidvantage contact page.
Keep in mind that the transition can slow things down. Customer support response times may be delayed as account information is transferred, particularly if your account is on hold. “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 anticipate a longer response time. ”
5. Prepare for reimbursement in 2022
If you haven’t paid your loans during the forbearance period, be sure to review your payment options now, so you are ready to go in May. Check your payment method, make sure you know your minimum monthly payment, and explore repayment options if you need additional help. If you would like to explore other deferral or forbearance options, you can do so through your online account under “refund options”. You can also speak directly to Aidvantage at 800-722-1300.