If you are a college student, I'm sure you've heard of Navient before. If that name doesn't ring a bell, I know that Sallie Mae does. In 2014 Navient was a new company that split off from Sallie Mae. They took over Sallie Mae's federal loan servicing business. If you've had private loans for a while, you probably remember the switch. I think the switch or name change was done to get some of the negative press off of Sallie Mae. For years, Sallie Mae has been getting negative complaints from its current borrowers. People may not like the interest or the outrageous payments that they have to owe. Since the name change, I hadn't heard that much negative stuff about Navient. Well, that changed in January of this year.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a lawsuit against Navient. That was news to some of my friends and me especially since we are still repaying loans. In the lawsuit, the CFPB alleges that Navient did not help borrowers as much as they could. They did a lot of questionable practices such as processed payments incorrectly, deceived private student loan borrowers about requirements to release their cosigner from the loan, illegally cheated many struggling borrowers out of their rights to lower payments which caused them to overpay for their student loans and created obstacles to repayment by providing wrong information.
My First Thoughts
After hearing about those allegations, all I could do was shake my head. I believe that the claims are true. I wouldn't be surprised if some of those things happened to me before in the past. The representatives for Sallie Mae/Navient were not always the nicest especially before the spin-off. Some of the people I talked with on the phone before were just plain rude. I know I'm not the only person that dealt with that. The news of the lawsuit brought up another question.
Should There Be a Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Navient?
That's a question a lot of people are currently thinking about. My answer to it is heck yes! If they are found guilty of the allegations, there should be a class action lawsuit filed against them. As a student, you'd think that your lender would have your best interest at heart. After reading the allegations, it looks like Navient was money hungry. They didn't care about the students.
Out of all the allegations, there is one that strikes home to me the most. The fact that they illegally cheated struggling borrowers out of their rights to lower payments is crazy. I was a struggling borrow. I had a hard time finding a good paying job when I initially got out of school. For me to find out that there might have been lower payment options just pisses me off. That would have helped me out a lot a few years ago. The principal of my student loans would be lower than they currently are. I know that there are other people that were in the same situation as me.
If the accusations are true, Navient has helped screw a lot of people's finances up over the years. From wasting money on late fees to overcharging people, Navient has some explaining to do. In my opinion, Navient owes their borrowers money. If the borrower has paid off their loans, they should receive a check from Navient. If they are in my situation, they should have the option of receiving a check or having what they are owed applied to their student loan balance. The current borrowers should also be told if they qualify for lower payments or interest rate reductions. I would have Navient apply that money to my balance. The sooner that I pay these loans off, the better. I can't wait for the day that Navient becomes a distant memory.
I know that I'm not the only person watching this Navient situation. I can't wait to see how things will play out. Honestly, I would be shocked if a class action lawsuit doesn't happen. Student loans are a problem for a lot of people. Most people take them out to help us pay for tuition and fees. It's a shame that sometimes that is supposed to help so many people have become a nightmare. Some people wish they never went to college and took out those loans. The situation truly sucks. Hopefully, Navient gets their act together and help out their borrowers. If not, I can see them having more problems.
Image Copyright © Jack Markell