Federal student loan repayments have been on hold for more than two years, since the start of the pandemic — and last week, President Joe Bidenthis time until August 31.
Since federal student loan payments have been on hold for so long, you might not even know you have a new loan manager. Maximus, a loan servicer that handles federal student loans as Aidvantage, took over Navient’s workload of 5.6 million student loans at the end of 2021.
Although payments are suspended until September, if your account has switched from Navient to Aidvantage, it’s worth logging into your account, so you’re good to go when payments resume. Here’s everything you need to know about why Navient is no longer serving yourand how to log in to your new Aidvantage account.
Why Navient exited the student loan business
Navient has long been criticized by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which sued the loan manager in 2017: it claimed the company pushed borrowers into expensive, subprime private loans that they would be unable to repay. In January, Navient canceled $1.7 billion in private student loans for nearly 66,000 borrowers after coming under scrutiny for engaging in abusive and deceptive practices, including targeting students whose company knew they could not.
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 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.”
Here’s what leaving Navient means for borrowers
If your federal student loans were previously managed by Navient, here’s what you need to know:
1. Aidvantage is your new federal student 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 should be able to access 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 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 looks like 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 payment preferences should be the same, but check
Any payment terms you have set up with Navient (auto-pay, deferment, income-contingent repayment plans) 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 September.
So, after logging into Aidvantage, you should find that your preferred payment method and automatic payment selection have been transferred, along with your payment history and history of fully repaid loans.
4. Prepare for repayment in 2022
Currently, federal student loan repayment is on hold until August 31. If you haven’t paid your loans during the forbearance period, be sure to review your payment options now so you’re prepared from now on. 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 forbearance options, you can do so through your online account under “Refund Options”. You can also speak directly to Aidvantage at 800-722-1300.
Does Navient become Aidvantage?
No. In late 2021, Navient shifted its $5.6 billion student loan workload to Maximus, another federal student loan contractor. Maximus operates its student loan service as Aidvantage.
Will I receive tax documents from Navient or Aidvantage?
If Aidvantage is your new student loan provider, you will be able to download the 1098-E tax form, which shows the amount of interest you paid on your student loan, by navigating to the left panel and selecting “Tax Statements”.
Your old tax slips should have been imported from Navient to Aidvantage. For example, I was able to view my 2020 and 2021 tax documents through Aidvantage. Logging into Navient only allowed me to access my 2020 tax documents.
Should I prepare for repayment now or wait to see if loan forgiveness is accepted?
If you are trying to follow student loan cancellation policies, here is a brief summary. In March, the Department of Education identified 100,000 borrowers with a combined total of $6.2 billion in student loan debt who are eligible for debt cancellation, due to changes to the program. cancellation of civil service loans last October.
That said, only a small number of student loan holders are currently eligible for loan forgiveness. Although the refund break may be extended, it is a good idea to make a plan to prepare for the refund now, just in case. You can explore income-based repayment plans and other repayment options through your Aidvantage account.