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This is How You Can Settle Your Navient Student Loan

By on January 6, 2015

“Dear Steve,

My wife has a reasonably large private student loan. I have recently come into money and would like to settle this loan with Navient for a lesser sum than what is owed on the loan. What is the best way to go about this and what questions should I ask in order to get a settlement?

Chris”

Dear Chris,

While Navient may say they don’t settle private student loans they hold, they actually do. Settlement offers I’ve seen have been in the 45%-50% range with up to two years to pay.

But, and this is a big but, they only seem to do this for people who are significantly past due on the loan. I’m not encouraging you to go past due, just telling you what reality is. This is more of a general creditor process failure than anything else. Creditors do not exercise logic when it comes to collecting. Instead, an understandably so, they use what they feel works best for them. This might be continuing to pressure people rather than let on they do settle.

If you call Navient and say you’d like to settle, don’t be surprised if they tell you they never settle. This is because the general collections and the initial delinquent collections departments just don’t have the authority to enter into such agreements.

The settlement offers seems to come from the pre-charge-off department when loans are more than 120 days past due.

So herein lies the problem. You will have to risk going significantly past due and hope they continue to offer the settlements. It will negatively impact your credit and you could get sued over the delinquent debt. Let’s not forget, if you are solvent, the forgiven debt will be taxable and you will probably get a 1099.

Feel free to take a swipe at settling the debt or contact my friend, and get some professional help with this.

READ  Would I Be Better Off Just Not Paying Navient?

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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About 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.

65 Comments

  1. mr andre

    August 8, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    graduated in 06 and not sure why am just looking at my forms right now. I had them sent to me and one note is not signed by me, its a computerized signature.

    So back story, my loan was bought from Sallie Mae. So i am also discovering my rate, it differs to what Sallie Mae was charging and i never signed anything for Navient.

    In addtion to my rate and unsigned note, the summary of what i owe and my balance today differs big time. From that summary page they sent me and what i paid, im owed a refund by $5k.

    What are the steps to getting rid of my loans and a possible refund? I found all this out by asking for all my documents what they have on file.

  2. Andrew

    June 29, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Hello,
    Everything I have researched so far, basically says that I am out of luck, but I thought I’d ask anyway. I have been paying on a student loan through AES for about 11 years now – they have not had the loan the entire time. During that time, it seems that most of the payments have been going to interest as the full amount has not seen much movement. Maybe 20%. I have a special needs child that basically forces my wife to be an at home mom even though she has a college degree. I do well enough that I am not eligible for many assistance programs but so well that I can put anything aside for retirement or to know that my daughter will be taken care of when I am gone.
    My question is this. Why are people like myself that have been paying their loan for years (I have sent already enough to have almost paid off the original amount) not eligible for settlements? I understand that people do come upon hard times, but it feels like punishment for doing the right thing.

    • Steve Rhode

      June 29, 2017 at 10:06 am

      Is yours a federal or private student loan?

      • Andrew

        June 29, 2017 at 11:09 am

        To my knowledge, federal. Not sure how to confirm that and it has been so long since I got it, I cannot remember.

      • Andrew

        June 29, 2017 at 11:11 am

        I also just caught a typo in my original question. It should say “NOT so well that I can put…”

  3. Michelle

    May 23, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    Steve,

    I would greatly appreciate and be grat your advice.

    My boyfriend owes over $140,000 with 3 private student loans that are all through Navient. He did not graduate from school and has had a difficult time finding jobs over the years that aren’t borderline minimum wage. Due to this he hasn’t always had the money to pay the monthly balance and for some time, even when he made good faith payments to them, they fined him with late fees and for not paying the monthly payment they wanted him to make (even on the months when he did pay them) claiming that he didn’t pay them at all. They still took the money and applied it to his balance but they reported all of the fines to the credit bureaus. They now want him to pay them $900 a month which is between 1/2 to 2/3 of his monthly income. He’s currently paying $150 a month to them just so he doesn’t default on the loans. He works 55 hrs a week between two jobs, has less than $1,000 in credit card debt, and owes less than $3,000 on his car. His payments for the car are on time and he’s going to have the card paid off by the end of the year. The combined interest on the student loans is about 8.5% compound interest. In short, the student loans through Navient are the only things that are killing him and his credit.

    He can’t refinance or consolidate the loans since he didn’t graduate and the bankruptcy lawyer he talked to was more interested in arguing that Navient only does Federal loans to students, not private loans, and wouldn’t bother trying to help him file. Navient has offered to settle with him for $90,000 but there is no way he’ll have that sort of money any time soon if at all and they won’t accept any other terms for paying down on the debt. They have not gone into default even though they’re 8 years old. What options should he look into to get rid of this? We live in east Tennessee and we’re not finding many bankruptcy resources for student loans. Do you have any you could give?

    Also, what would happen to me and my assets if we were to get married? I’ve paid my student loans off and have no debt at all. If he were to settle with them or declare bankruptcy after we’re married could they touch any of my savings, investments, house, car, etc? What would happen to the loans if we were married and he were to die? Would his loans be passed on to me after his death?

    Thank you!!

    • Steve Rhode

      May 23, 2017 at 5:27 pm

      Clearly the bankruptcy attorney is “misinformed” and it would be well worth talking to a couple of different bankruptcy attorneys. It is a long standing frustration that bankruptcy attorneys are not getting up to speed with the private student loan issues. This is a perfect example of that. You might want to chat with http://bankruptcy.getoutofdebt.org/listings/nashville-bankruptcy-attorney-edgar-rothschild

      As far as getting married, Tennessee is not a community property state so there is no issue. Besides, debts he brings into the marriage would not be your debts anyway.

      However, until this is resolved I’d suggest keeping your financial accounts separate. Because, it appears absent any other relief your soon to be husband is going to have to default on the debt to get Navient to a place where they MIGHT settle the debt for less. They are making exceptional offers at the moment and accepting payments.

      You should read https://getoutofdebt.org/63127/top-10-reasons-stop-paying-unaffordable-private-student-loan

  4. Kasey Looy

    February 6, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Hi,
    My husband currently has 41k in federal loans and 46k in private loans (with Navient). We have been paying on them consistently since the first payment was due, we have not missed a payment or have been late. We have come across a lump sum of money and plan to pay off the loans, do we have any negotiating room for settlement for either of these? Also, I could tell them that if they don’t allow us to settle then we will refi to another company because I get offers from other companies in the mail almost daily. So either a lump sum of money or no money, right? What are your thoughts here?

    • Steve Rhode

      February 7, 2017 at 11:00 am

      Every situation is different. I can give you some general advice but I would strongly suggest you speak with someone like debt coach Damon Day, http://damonday.com , who regularly works with student loan lenders. You might also want to contact law firms like https://debtorprotectors.com if you live in CA or http://www.acsmithlawgroup.com/home.html in NY.

      In general, federal loans will settle but you will need to be years behind and the balances will explode. So by the time you settle those it really isn’t much of a deal from where you started.

      The private loans, again you will either need to be around 120 days past due to get near the right department to settle, wade through the threats of being sued, or actually being sued, and consider if the private loans may be all or in part dischargeable in bankruptcy. You might want to read https://getoutofdebt.org/63127/top-10-reasons-stop-paying-unaffordable-private-student-loan

      I wish I could tell you there is a straight path to accomplish your goal but there isn’t. With so many variables there are many things to consider before rushing to think settling is the best option.

  5. Marky

    August 30, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Steve,

    I have $215,000 student loans with Navient and am basically current (the balance seems to never go down in the past 15 years however). I miss payments and catch up when I can. I am about ready to get $120,000 and want to make an offer to settle my loans. I called Navient and talked to a woman and her supervisor but got nowhere. Is there anything else I can do to pursue this?

    Mark

  6. michelle

    August 17, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    steve, my son has a enormous loan debt with sallie mae and has been contacted by someone who says they are from kevin mason law and that they can help to reduce his loan and payments because the school charges for profit and is not interested in the success of the student. my son attended this school for 2 years has over 75,000 in debt and still has not graduated. He has gotten more knowledge and experience from his employer then his school.

  7. Steve Rhode

    August 9, 2016 at 10:17 am

    I wish there was an automated process to make this happen but there is not. Here is what Navient says about the application of extra payments on private student loans. “How to Send Overpayment Application Instructions – By check: Enclose your instructions for each loan, along with your loan IDs, on a separate piece of paper included with your check.” See https://www.navient.com/loan-customers/how-payments-work/private-loan-payments/default.aspx

    Clearly this is designed to maximize the revenue on the loan since most people would not do this.

  8. Anthony

    July 28, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    I am considering filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. I have myriad debts such as back taxes (roughly $2K), past-due parking tickets and medical bills (and other similar), up to another $2K – $3K.

    However, I also have roughly $177,000 in student loans that I want to try and discharge through bankruptcy, or outright forgiven. I understand how much of a longshot that is, but I believe I have extenuating circumstances and was the victim of a predatory recruitment practice on the part of the school.

    I was enrolled in a film program at the for-profit Art Institute of California – Los Angeles. Before I could finish the degree program, I moved from Los Angeles to Oakland, and was assured that I could transfer to the San Francisco campus of the school and finish my degree. However, once I arrived, I was told that my loan program had been cancelled. I had to apply all over again. My co-signer was denied, as was a second co-signer. I was told that because of the loans I had already accrued – for a program that I had not yet completed – I could not take out any more loans… this despite the fact that those loans were not yet in a repayment period.

    That school’s parent company EDMC has since been sued by the federal government for predatory recruitment practices and as of 2012 has lost all accreditation. I cannot use the units I earned there toward a degree at a state school. Also, the current company holding the loans is Navient, and I apparently have $60,000 in loans for Merritt College from March of 2015, a school I have never attended and which has no record of me.

    I called Navient at 8am to discuss settlement options for the federal loans. They said they cannot adjust the balance of the federal loans. I asked about the Merritt College loans. They said that there was a record of me withdrawing from that school in 2015 – but I’ve never been enrolled there. They said the loans under that school’s name are consolidations of AI loans, but that’s not what is listed. When I told them I wanted 2/3 of the private loans settled, they transferred me to a different department. After some runaround, the “Post-Claims Assistance” department transferred me to the “Escalations Team,” which informed me that the student loans need to be placed with a third party collections department before I can settle a payment. They had a record of a cease & desist from my from 2014 and need to remove that before it can be bumped to a collections agency and THEN I would have to work out settlement/repayment with them. However, in my research, I’ve found that Navient can and will settle, but the circumstances for this are apparently not consistent. I badgered them in Escalations until they put me through to their supervisors’ voicemail (the first time I tried this, they hung up on me after saying they’d transfer me). I kept calling back until I got through to his voicemail, told him I’d settle if they discharged 2/3 of the total private loan debt.

  9. nicolekay

    July 28, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Hi Steve,
    Thanks so much for your website and great advice. I’m so glad I found it. My husband and I have been paying on his student loan, not missing one payment, for the past 15 years. It was consolidated right after he graduated (and we got married) to be more affordable. It went from 10 years to 25 years pay off. It started at $47k and is now $28k. Is there anything we can do, besides not making payments to get the settlement. I do not feel comfortable being delinquent. But I need some relief. The interest rate is the federal set 5.875%. Any advice would be so appreciated. Thank you! Nicole

    • Steve Rhode

      July 28, 2016 at 11:33 am

      Are these federal or private student loans?

      • nicolekay

        July 28, 2016 at 11:48 am

        Hi Steve,
        There are 2 (consolidated) loans and both are federal loans. Originally both were Sallie Mae until a year (plus?) ago. We just make 1 monthly payment but apparently it’s 2 loans. Thanks again for any help/info.
        Nicole

        • Steve Rhode

          July 28, 2016 at 3:36 pm

          Navient services both federal and private loans so I think this is a straight direct loan consolidation. When it comes to federal loans, settlement options are generally seen when you are so delinquent that the United States of America sues you or you file a consumer bankruptcy and have some basis for claiming the loans are an undue hardship through an additional process called an Adversary Proceeding. But if it is a lower payment you are after then one of the income driven repayment programs might be worth looking at. But beware, there are potholes to avoid. See https://getoutofdebt.org/85779/income-based-student-loan-payments-can-terrible-trap

          • nicolekay

            July 28, 2016 at 6:49 pm

            Thank you so much for the info!
            Nicole

  10. Leonor Ortuno

    March 1, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    Hi steve! I love your discussing about get out of debt Guy. My name is Leonor. I’m very Concern with the collection agency. I cosigned 3 Sallie mae loans for my brother. (Now Navient ) The amount is 27000. My brother is paying his school loans that’s under his name. Paying with his taxes. He said to me, he’ll pay the other 3 loans after getting married. He’ll get married in November 2016. How will it affect me. I’M UNEMPLOYED AND MY HUSBAND WORKS. THANKS

  11. Jen

    February 3, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Steve- thank you for your sound advice – at no charge and no interest! I co-signed on a student loan for 12K (small in comparison I know but still debt at a very high interest rate) with Sallie mae/ navient. He/ we were both suckered into a scam with a lawyer – Kevin Mason in Florida through National Legal Services. His law office told us to stop paying payments to navient and instead, pay him and that all of his cases either settle or are resolved. Very vague and good deal for him.

    He also informed us that when a loan is in dispute, you do not have to make payments and our credit would not be negatively effected. Not sure what part of this is true, but I can say without a doubt our credit was effected.

    After having our loan charged off– Navient offered us a 55% settlement.

    Quick tax question — does a cosigner pay taxes on the forgiven amount in a settlement, or just the student?

    • Steve Rhode

      February 4, 2016 at 10:52 am

      As far as I’m aware, just the primary account holder.

    • caitlin

      April 4, 2016 at 9:23 pm

      did you end up using Kevin Mason? My parents are using him right now for my student loans and I am worried this is scam. Can you tell me any more information? thank you so much.

      • kevin

        April 8, 2016 at 4:18 pm

        Caitlin: I am in the same boat as your parents as of the other day. It looks legitimate to me but certain things in the contract leave open ended questions. Hopefully we can get some feedback that will help ease the stress that it is a scam

      • Jon

        July 15, 2016 at 1:55 pm

        So did you ever find out if this was a scam or not? I was considering using this option.

    • g434

      August 8, 2016 at 10:38 pm

      File complaint with Attorney Generals office

    • Brittany Grasso

      August 14, 2016 at 10:47 am

      Also wondering what happened during/after your settlement with Kevin Mason? Since Navient offered a 55% settlement and you were only paying 50% to Kevin Mason did you have to pay the remaining 5%? Also, was your credit fixed after the lawsuit?
      I was also suckered into using Kevin Mason law to lower the remaining $92k+ on my private Navient loans and now owe $46k+ to Kevin Mason and have been paying them over $700 a month for about a year now.
      They never warned me that my pretty great credit score would be completely destroyed as well as my dad’s, who was my co-signer. It’s really stressing me out and I’m losing a lot of sleep lately. I actually missed a wedding yesterday because I tried renting a car and couldn’t because of my now 498 credit score.
      They keep telling me it will take up to 3 years for a resolution and there isn’t a guarantee my credit will be fixed, 2 things they never mentioned in the beginning and I honestly can’t imagine suffering through 2 more years of bad credit and stress like this.
      I should’ve just kept paying Navient the $700+ a month for the next 10 years just for peace of mind I guess. I also just received letters from Navient saying my loans are now in default and will be turned over to a collection agency..did this happen to you as well? I emailed the person I’m set up with at national legal staffing about how they can still have a suit against Navient now that my loans are now in the hands of a collection agency and they haven’t gotten back to me yet.
      Any advice on what I can do or what my rights are? Please help!

      • Nick Leon

        August 31, 2016 at 1:56 pm

        Hi Brittany, find me on Facebook under ‘Nick Leon’. I’d love to chat with you about this. I believe I’m in the same situation and after doing some research I’ve realized that what National Legal Staffing Support has told me they have done, they actually haven’t. Missing documentation, unsigned documentation, credit score lies and the list goes on. I’m planning on putting a package together to send to the Florida Attorney General.

        • Ryan W

          November 23, 2016 at 11:01 am

          My wife is in the same predicament with Kevin Mason. They haven’t done much of anything and her credit is completely destroyed. Now they are saying that Navient and Wells Fargo offered to settle for about 22,000 less than the original if she can pay it all in 1 lump sum. Kevin Mason originally told her that they would pay it all off in the end but now they are asking if she wants to accept this offer. Seems really fishy. Anyone have any luck? Nick i tried to find you on facebook but there are lots of Nick Leons. what is your username behind the .com/

          • Steve Rhode

            November 28, 2016 at 9:08 am

            Have you tried dealing with Navient directly?

  12. Joseph Andreasen

    January 5, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    Steve, I owe Navient about $23,000 in student loans. I’m about $1,000 past due on my payments. I’ve experienced unemployment off and on the last few years. I’ve been a few months off my payments everytime I’ve been unemployed. I make a monthly payment of $300 to $400 when I can. I think my initial student loan was for about $18,000. I’ll will never be able to pay off my current balance at the rate I’m going at. It’s like if I pay $300/month, it only knocks off $100 off my loan. I am set to receive an inheritance of about $14,000. I would love to put all of that to my loan and settle it off. Is this possible and what would be the way to go about it?

  13. JS

    November 29, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Steve,

    I settled my private loan with a collection agency for a fair amount about a month ago but I still haven’t seen Navient update its website to reflect that my account is settled. I am looking to reboot my credit history and increase my score and this loan was the only thing hindering the process. I have the receipt from the debt collector and my bank statements as proof of payment. What should be my next steps or should I give it more time for Navient aknowledge my payments and to make the changes.

    Best, JS

    • Steve Rhode

      November 30, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      Two critical issues. 1) Did you get the settlement offer in writing? 2) When you you make the full settlement payment?

      If this was a valid offer and after the full settlement payment is made, it can take 30-60 days for the data dump to the credit bureau with the updated information.

      • JS

        November 30, 2015 at 1:07 pm

        Yes, I received the settlement offer in writing and also a scanned copy and hard copy of the receipt of the full settlement payment. I will wait the 30-60 day to make sure the data has been sent to the credit bureau.
        Also my score was 680 prior to me settling with the collection agency and it hindered my ability to take out loans for big purchases even though this was the only big blemish on my report. With your knowledge do you foresee credit scores increasing significantly with this debt being paid off?

      • Itsmy2cents_sothere

        December 8, 2015 at 1:39 pm

        Steve I need your advice! Can I email you? I am about to find out if the collection agency with approve my settlement offer on a private student loan but im not sure I understand everything and can’t afford to hire an attorney! They are currently suing and going to court with the cosigner but I have a payment plan set up and offering to pay lump sum by next week. I dont understand the 1099 and what is going to happen to the cosigners? Thanks

        • Steve Rhode

          December 9, 2015 at 9:53 am

          It sounds like it would be smart to arrange for a personal consultation with my friend at http://damonday.com to review everything first. There are some gottcha things to watch on a settlement with a cosigner.

          • Itsmy2cents_sothere

            December 9, 2015 at 10:30 am

            I wrote him yesterday too thanks for the advice! I spoke to my tax preparer and the 1099c shouldn’t be a problem as I would qualify for insolvency. Perhaps the cosigner should reach out to Damon as well since they haven’t hired any representation yet. I think they are waiting until I finalize the pay off. Thanks again!

  14. kmt89

    November 4, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    My Private Loan through My Rich Uncle (which got sold off multiple times and is now in the hands of Younomics), is 6.5 years past due. I recently put it in forbearance until we could figure out what to do. Did I screw myself by restarting the statute of limitation on debt? In my current state (California) it is 4 years, and in my state of residence when I took out the loans (Florida) it is 5 years.

  15. Adam

    October 14, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    Is there anything I can do???

    I owe a $37,335.02 CONSOLIDATION LOAN to U.S. Bank GUARANTOR – AMERICAN STUDENT ASSISTANCE

    I owe a $5,713.51 FEDERAL STAFFORD LOAN to NAVIENT CREDIT FINANCE CORP – FHLB

    Guarantor – NATIONAL STUDENT LOAN PROGRAM

    I owe a $5,038.22 FEDERAL STAFFORD LOAN to NAVIENT CREDIT FINANCE CORP – FHLB

    Guarantor – TEXAS GUARANTEED STUDENT LOAN CORP

    I owe a $6,120.06 FEDERAL STAFFORD LOAN to AMERICAN EDUCATION SERVICES

    I am drowning in this student loan debt. I make well, but in recent years have had to take in my disabled mother-in-law which required significant expense to build out an in-law suite accessible for a disabled person. I also have 2 young children in elementary school. My wife and I are each driving cars over 10 years old but cannot even begin to think about looking for a new car due to the hardship of these loans.

  16. Felicia

    October 11, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    This is a great article. I currently have $27K loan with Navient and well over $100K with Federal government and another private lender. They have been ok to work with and for federal loans i qualify for PSLF so just need to continue with those payments. Navient has been a pain to deal with. My cosigner is disabled so there is no money to be had there. I would like to settle this loan and am already 1 month behind. I am thinking I should just go late again and see if they offer anything. My credit is not great at this point anyway as I have had a previous bankruptcy. I just want to get this loan settled and done with. I have already made payments for several years but my balance is still higher than what I took out initially even though I made the interest payments at first and started paying principal plus interest when I was done with school.

  17. Laura

    August 24, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Hi Steve,

    I’ve been scouring the net for months in search of any and all information I can gather that could help my fiance and I in our situation. To be honest, we feel utterly hopeless. My fiance owes around $130k in mostly private student loans with Sallie Mae (now Navient). They are also very high interest loans, of course. We’ve tried to stay positive. I always search for uplifting news articles about individuals or couples getting out of this kind of student loan debt in relatively small amounts of time. But there’s always something in their situations that aren’t plausible for us. He recently extended the life of the loans just so he could actually make the monthy payments. At one point he was paying over $1400 a month and though he has a full time job, it certainly doesn’t pay nearly enough for that type of payment. And even at the end of the year when it looks like he did a little bit of damage to the total, about $20k is tacked right back on from interest.

    When I think of our future with this $130k financial burden hanging over our heads I just see… darkness. I don’t see the possibility of a wedding, children, ever owning a home and certainly never traveling. I’ve started to look into bankruptcy as a possibility but as I gather more information it’s looking like even private student loans can’t be touched. We are looking around for a lawyer who may do a free consultation, but I guess my question to you is – where would you go from here? Bankruptcy? A settlement? I believe his parents co-signed for a couple of the loans and I’m afraid if he stopped paying they may be bombarded with calls. We’d love to hear any advice you may have to give. Thank you!

    • Steve Rhode

      August 25, 2015 at 10:18 am

      If he defaults, the lenders will go after the cosigners who guaranteed the loans. That’s what the cosigners agreed to when they signed.

      There are bankruptcy and settlement options but everything is situation and loan dependent. See articles in https://getoutofdebt.org/category/debt-articles/student-loan-related/student-loan-bankruptcy-discharge and this article – https://getoutofdebt.org/63127/top-10-reasons-stop-paying-unaffordable-private-student-loan

      The lower payments just inflate the balance. It’s not a strategy to getting out from under the debt. It just makes the private loan debt worse.

    • Jim

      October 6, 2015 at 11:28 am

      Hello, I feel where you are coming from. I too have over $50K in private loans and I have a co-signer on 2 of the loans all are with Navient. I immediately stopped paying the ones that did not have a co-signer for over 1 year. I literally did not answer 1 phone call, I blocked all their numbers and literally went silent for over 1 year. During that time I only made payment on the 2 loans I had with the co-signer as I did not want them to get calls. After about a year of non-payment, I started listening to the voicemails. I got 1 guy that sounded like he was nice leave me a message inviting me to let him know what i wanted to do, to just talk to him. I called and sure enough they offered me to pay $10,000 on a $30,000 balance and that was before it was sent to collections. I told him I had $5,000 and thats all I would pay, he said he could not go that low. Now it got sent to collections. Sure enough, they took the $5,000. Meanwhile my balance on the loans with my co-signer are about $8,000 down from $20,000 all through payments so those are manageable, though she is very old so if she passes away, I will stop paying those also and settle them out. The student loan crisis is going to be the same thing that happened with the mortgage crisis,the longer you don’t pay, the longer you hold out, the better offers you get. I worked for the FDIC when they were absorbing all these bad and out of business banks with bad loans. They ran a secret program never advertised that settled out home loan balances some as low as .030 cents on the dollar. People were literally getting $100-200K taken off their mortgage and a new loan at a super loan interest rate fixed for 30 years. It was the deal of the century considering how much prices have come back. You know how many people would hang up on our call center people for fear it was a scam or that it was too good to be true. Trust me when I tell you having had a lot of experience in the mortgage mess, don’t let this hang over you at all, think like a business. The way I see it, the settled money I am paying to clear these loans out is the market rate for my education from the schools I got them from. If they have to be settled this low, thats what the degrees are really worth. People are not getting the benefits they think when they do undergrad and grad schools. And I graduated #2 in my grad school class. You do everything right to have over $100k in loans and no way to start a life. F-that. Please please please take my advice and wait it out. I also never give my true information in terms of income and assets to any of these collectors cause they are just writing those notes down and running the numbers on the backside to tailor the settlements to that figure. I went as far as filing separately from my wife, signing everything over to her, and through my business writing everything off to show a very small AGI and providing that to show them that wage garnishment wasn’t going to be an avenue for them. Once I volunteered that information, the settlements went way down. Steve is right, 50% should be standard at this point. But is that a 50% after they capitalized all the interest and fees and all the BS cause if so they are getting a high net return on the debt after they factor what you paid over the life. With all those fees they were saying I would have owed over $40. So 50% of that figure would be $20. Plus what I paid i almost paid back the $30 in full if would have taken a deal like that. In reality, I paid a total of about $10 (payments + settlement) on $30 original balance so that is $.030 in my book. I’m happy with that deal. Now I have over $80 in federal loans Im working on. Ill let you know how that goes.

      • Ashley

        May 1, 2016 at 9:20 pm

        How long does it take before they start to negotiate? I stopped paying my private loans so I could take care of other debt and try to save money so I can actually have money to negotiate. I stopped paying a month ago. My mom is my cosigner, but her financial situation isn’t the best so she is okay with me not paying them. She wanted me to stop a long time ago.

        • Jim

          May 25, 2016 at 12:41 pm

          I stopped paying in 2014. For the first 12 months Navient did nothing. all they did was email and call about 1x per week. Letters as well. After 12 months they transferred it to another firm, but still retained the debt. thats when the offers started coming in. They started at around 50%, I talked to them twice, then went silent for another 6 months, talked again, didn’t like the offer, then it went to NES and the offers got lower. Honestly, sit down and talk with a lawyer to review your assets. In NC we are a tenants by entirety state so what you own with your wife cannot be split up and sold. There are a number of provisions. They can’t get your home. They can’t get car up to $7,000. they can’t get joint accounts. Anything owned in husband and wife is pretty much off limits and there are certain limits for personal property and the like. Bottom line they can’t get anything in this state. The state does allow the creditor to get a judgment for 10 years. So, as long as you are not selling your house or other assets, they can’t get any money off the judgment cause so much is protected. They can renew it for another 10 years but that is rare and sometimes not allowed by the court. However, most companies will not sue you if they see no foreseeable avenue to collect on the judgment. in which case they are just wasting their time. Every state is different and every situation is different. Because I was married all my assets were protected. This gave me far more significant leverage in the situation. Take the phone calls, take the letters, who cares? You can easily block numbers these days. Google voice is available. Don’t let people harass you. Just hold out until the offers start coming in at 30 cents or less. I would not take the advice of paying 50% as has been talked about on this thread. Boiler plate offers are now 30 cents on the dollar and companies are going lower for the more patient settlers out there.

  18. Stuart

    June 3, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Steve, my girlfriend has two private Navient loans past due, in collections with a total balance of around $25k. The person she spoke to alluded to being able to settle without further negotiation for almost 1/2 this amount. My question is, given he alluded to being able to get approval to settle for a lower amount, how much would you suggest we go back to them with? I feel like there is nothing to lose offering them $5k tomorrow to get out of this…

    • Steve Rhode

      June 4, 2015 at 10:18 am

      A 50% settlement is about normal with them. Get it in writing and be aware if she is not insolvent, settling has tax consequences. I think they’d laugh at $5K.

      • Stuart

        June 4, 2015 at 2:25 pm

        Thanks Steve. I guess that’s what I’m determining, how low to go without getting laughed off the phone, but also not leaving money on the table. From your comment it sounds like we can get the offer in writing too? I was wondering this as I wasn’t on the call with her and would feel much more comfortable if we could see the particulars in writing (and details as to how long the offer stands etc..)

        • Steve Rhode

          June 4, 2015 at 3:28 pm

          From my experience a 50% offer is average. I’ve seen them go lower but I’ve seen them turn away higher.

          Without the offer in writing and proof they received the payment, it’s not a real offer. You want to keep the offer and proof of payment with your important papers and NEVER lose those.

          Settled debts are know to resurface in the future and debt owners say, “What deal?”

  19. Derek Holland

    March 31, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    I thought Navient only handled federal loans, and Sallie Mae proper handles the private ones. Isn’t that why they spun it off?

    • Steve Rhode

      March 31, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      Here is what Sallie Mae told me, “Sallie Mae no longer services federal student loans, the company spun off its federal student loan servicing into a separate, publicly traded entity now called Navient Corporation.”

      Navient also services private student loans as well. Again, from Sallie Mae, “Navient is the entity that now owns and services federal loans. Navient owns approximately $140 billion in federal and private student loans and services loans on behalf of other parties, such as the U.S. Department of Education. In total, Navient services $300 billion in student loans.”

      • Derek Holland

        March 31, 2015 at 4:36 pm

        Thanks for the clarification. Love reading all of your topics. My wife and I are both paying student loans. I have Mohela, which is not bad. She had Sallie Mae, now she has Navient and Fedloan. Both of them are a constant battle. I need to write a book or a blog about it, insane. She had all of her loans (all federal) with Salle Mae, did a consolidation last year, and now has a ‘consolidated’ loan with two servicers! Filed a case with the Ombudsman, no response. Preparing to get my Representative’s office involved, but have little hope of it helping.

        • Steve Rhode

          April 1, 2015 at 9:29 am

          A consolidated loan with two servicers? [Insert head slap.]

          • Derek Holland

            April 1, 2015 at 2:34 pm

            Yes! She had two undergrad loans (already consolidated), and finished a masters which had 11 unconsolidated loans. All of these 13 loans were serviced by Sallie Mae. She applied for consolidation. Nothing happened for 8 months. Called Sallie Mae to cancel the consolidation. We re-did the consolidation through the federal website and chose FedLoan since she is going for PSLF. Within a week, Salle Mae consolidated, then Fedloan completed a consolidation about 3 weeks later. Fedloan got the two already consolidated undergrad loans, Sallie (which converted to Navient during this time) consolidated the remaining grad loans into two loans and managed to mess up the IBR even though Fedloan got it right. We have been trying to straighten this out for 6 months. Neither servicer has made any progress toward resolution, nor an explanation. Opened a case with the ombudsman, but have gotten zilch contact from them. It will drive a person insane. We are going to try to buy a home in a few months (maybe) if we can get this straightened out. I feel for all borrowers that have to deal with this mess.

          • Steve Rhode

            April 1, 2015 at 4:29 pm

            I would suggest you file a complaint with the CFPB to try and get some attention. http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/#student-loan

          • Derek Holland

            April 6, 2015 at 10:28 am

            The response I got from them was that they just handle complaints with private student loans.

          • libknot

            June 16, 2015 at 1:51 am

            You can add loans within 180 days of the completed consolidation if it was done on the government website with a Request to Add Loans form. I would suggest you dump Navient asap by going to studentloans.gov & consolidating again choosing FedLoan as the new servicer. It sounds like that both servicers consolidated the loans they had. Servicers do this in order to keep the loans (they are paid by DOE to service them.) If you consolidate on studentloans.gov, ALL federal loans with be under one servicer’s roof. I suggest FedLoan or Great Lakes.

  20. Robert

    March 27, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Steve,

    You mentioned that Navient has been accepting settlement offers in the 45-50% range. Is this on the original note balance or the past due balance including accrued interest and fees?

    Have you heard of Navient accepting a settlement offer if there is a solvent co-signor with a job or are they more likely to sue the co-signor to collect?

    Is there any advantage to attempting to settle without the aid of a debt negotiation attorney?

    Thank you for all of your insight; you provide a bit of light at the end of a very long tunnel.

  21. Tyler

    March 5, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    $8k owed to Navient. Last May called to settle but they said no they don’t doll that– I agreed to a forebearance to bring the account current, but still haven’t paid them a dime since. Now getting more email offers to forbear again. Can I expect an offer to settle if I hold out a little longer? Thank you much!
    Tyler

    • Steve Rhode

      March 5, 2015 at 5:46 pm

      They do settle, you just have to be delinquent to get to the right department. You might want to consider talking to http://damonday.com who has experience with this.

  22. Steve Rhode

    January 6, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Chris, thank you for the excellent question.

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