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Navient is Being Rude and Nasty But I Can’t Pay

Written by Steve Rhode

Question:

Dear Steve,

I attended UMFK, took every private and federal loan offered to me for my tuition because I was young and dumb. I graduated with a measly associates in general studies, and work full time as an insurance agent making a take home of about $17,000 ($10,000 of that goes to childcare). Granted I do pay my family’s health insurance, homeowners and auto insurance before my take home, but that only leaves me with $7000 a year to live on and pay bills. Clearly that is not enough. I do receive some assistance from my significant other, however if something were to happen to him, I can’t fathom what would happen to us financially.

I took about $12,000 out for student loans with Sallie Mae (now Navient) they have sent me all the validation documents, my loans are required to be paid back, I signed them…

My balance is now $28500 at 10% interest. I make to much for them to reconsider the loan agreement, and they refused my $15,500 settlement offer. (I have already paid in about $4000) I am now delinquent (as is my mother who co-signed) and they are not nice to me when I call and try to work something out.

Can they drag my spouse into this? Can they garnish my wages without a court order? Can I attempt bankruptcy on this loan?

Kristen

Answer:

Dear Kristen,

I’m assuming you went to University of Maine Fort Kent (UMFK). Congratulations on graduating and getting something to show for your student loans. Most people never make it that far.

And your situation is yet another sad classic example of society assuming public universities and colleges want to do what is best for the student. We can’t be blinded that non-profit universities are motivated to make the sale and gets students into seats. Just because they are non-profit, it’s not the way they have to run their business. It just means they don’t pay taxes on the profit they make.

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But following a period of good times and school expansion, colleges are now saddled with legacy hard costs and declining state support. The need for revenue gets laid at the feet of the income 18-year-old and their parents.

A hard question that all parents and students should ask themselves is maybe you should not go to college. And while studies show that people who go to college and graduate can do better financially in the future, not everyone does. Especially the majority of enrolled students who will never graduate.

Today, student loan debt is exploding and a crisis. Good solutions are hard to find, but if you get the right person to work through this for you I know a settlement with Navient is possible.

The key though is getting your account in the right department and at the right time. Without your account being in the right place to settle, I’ve seen Navient reject offers.

The fact your co-signer is also delinquent is helpful but if your mother has an assets for they to go after, they might choose that approach.

This situation is why one of the best worst options to dealing with private student loan debt is to stop paying on it. Read Top 10 Reasons You Should Stop Paying Your Unaffordable Private Student Loan.

But to rest your worries, they can’t drag your spouse in, they can’t levy wages without suing you first, and these are some possibilities to discharging all or part of this loan in bankruptcy if the loan was not used for “qualified educational expenses.” See These Private Student Loans Can Be Easily Discharged in Bankruptcy. The key to that strategy will be to find a local bankruptcy attorney with experience in these student loan issues.

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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.

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