Can I Just Stop Paying My Navient Student Loans Now That I’m Living in Canada?

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

my question is regarding student loan debt. I am a US citizen, currently living in Canada with about $80K or Navient student loans left, after paying for close to 11 years.

A lot of that time I was on repayment plans, but I am not paying the full payment because there is a “cut-off” to how long they will allow me to be in those plans now.

Anyway, another reason I began paying the full amount is because I want to remove my mom from the loans, because I’d like to stop paying them.

I’m wondering what the cross border implications would be in the event that I was sued – they may not be able to contact me/locate me, so what happens if I never actually receive or appear for it? Are there criminal implications for that? Can you explain more about the 7 year statute as well?



Dear Paige,

It sounds like these might be private student loans since you are out of time on a payment plan. If these are federal student loans the income-driven repayment plans don’t expire but they do require an annual recertification.

But the most difficult point you raised was when you said, “I want to remove my mom from the loans.” That indicates these are either federal ParentPLUS loans or cosigned private student loans.

In the case of a federal loan, a ParentPLUS loan is a loan owed by the parent. In the case of a private student loan the cosigned parent is on the hook so if the student defaults the lender can go after the parent as the responsible party.

The cosigner has all the liability of the loan but none of the benefits of it. Navient is notorious for not releasing cosigners. However, I have seen cosigner releases when the cosigner agrees to pay a large lump sum amount of the loan to release themselves. You would still be on the hook for the balance due.

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If you can let me know in the comments below if these are federal or private I can narrow down the advice a bit more.

Regarding crossing the border, that will not be an issue.

And you asked about the Statute of Limitations (SOL) but that will certainly require an answer by an attorney who is licensed in the U.S. you are or were considered a resident of. Your time out of the country can pause the SOL clock and make reliance on that a less than a certain tactic.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.


      • Thanks for the informative post. How much information am I required to share with Navient, while living in a foreign country? What they’re asking for (bank records, foreign taxes, US taxes…) seems a bit much. Sallie Mae/Navient is my private student loan provider.

        Like Paige, I’m forced to deal with them because my Dad co-signed on my loan for me while I was at college.

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