Legal Action Facts
Who We Are
Navient has supported the investment students make in college by helping them navigate a complex federal student loan program created by Congress. Despite a maze of obstacles for borrowers that badly needs reform, we have led the way by increasing enrollment in affordable payment plans and helping millions of Americans successfully pay off their student loans. From 2009 through 2021, Navient provided student loan servicing for the U.S. Department of Education, and we are proud of the work we accomplished for borrowers.
As of fall 2021, Navient no longer services loans for the Department of Education
THE ROLE OF SERVICERS FOR U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION-OWNED LOANS
Servicers of federal student loans, including Department of Education-owned loans, do not set loan terms like interest rates, loan limits, and repayment programs. Instead, they are established by the federal government. Servicers begin working with student borrowers after many important decisions have been made, such as the amount to borrow or which college to attend.
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT LAWSUITS INVOLVING NAVIENT
Beginning in January 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and six state attorneys general filed lawsuits against Navient asserting a variety of allegations.
NAVIENT’S AGREEMENT WITH STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL
On January 13, 2022, Navient announced agreements with state attorneys general to resolve all previously disclosed multistate litigation and investigations. While these allegations are false and baseless and we strongly believe we would prevail in court, we decided to resolve these matters to avoid the continued burden, expense, and distraction of state litigation.
FACTS ABOUT THE CFPB LAWSUIT
Filed in January 2017, the CFPB’s lawsuit against Navient continues and contains nearly identical claims as those made by the state attorneys general.
The suit’s primary allegation is that, during Navient’s time servicing Department of Education-owned loans, Navient “steered” borrowers away from income-driven repayment (IDR) plans toward forbearance. This and other allegations raised are false. Importantly, no court has found that Navient harmed consumers as alleged, and the CFPB has never been able to identify even one borrower to substantiate this allegation. The litigation continues, and the company will continue to fight these baseless allegations in court.
On May 19, 2020, Navient filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in the CFPB lawsuit, seeking to dismiss the case in its entirety.
Here are the facts:
- During its time as a servicer for Department of Education-owned student loans, Navient was a national leader in enrolling borrowers into Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plans. More than half of the Department of Education loans Navient serviced were enrolled in IDR programs – more than any comparable servicer. Furthermore, servicers are paid up to 60% less for loans in forbearance, so there was no economic interest in Navient placing a borrower in forbearance instead of an IDR plan.
- The CFPB’s assertion that Navient steered borrowers away from IDR plans and toward forbearance is plainly false. Indeed, after nearly seven years of investigations and false claims, the CFPB has not been able to identify even one borrower who was “steered” away from an IDR plan into forbearance. That is because the company does not do this.
- For the vast majority of student loans, interest accrues regardless of whether the borrower was in an IDR or other repayment plan or in forbearance. Navient’s forbearance usage was always in line with, or lower than, other major servicers.
- Navient provided clear and easily understood notices to borrowers about IDR plans and their renewals
- The CFPB could not provide any evidence to support its assertion that Navient’s practice of notifying borrowers about IDR renewal was unfair and deceptive, or caused any borrowers to miss their renewal deadline.
- Navient accurately processed tens of millions of borrowers’ payments every year.
- The CFPB has failed to provide evidence that Navient mishandled borrower payments. Navient had a strong track record of ensuring that borrower payments were applied and allocated correctly.
Student loan servicers succeed when borrowers succeed.
Navient will continue to vigorously defend itself against the CFPB’s baseless claims with the facts and our strong performance and support of our borrowers’ success during our time as a servicer of Department of Education-owned student loans.
Fact sheet on Legal Actions:Show all
CFPB Case Resources:Show all
State AG Case Resources:Show all
Navient Correspondence With Sen. Elizabeth WarrenShow all
Resources on PSLF casesShow all
SUPPORTING A STRONG, CENTRAL SET OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS TO HELP BORROWERS
In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Higher Education Act into law. Since then, it has helped millions of Americans earn college degrees. Too many Americans, however, have had to borrow too much to do so, and outstanding student loan debt is now about $1.7 trillion. To address the issue, some states are adding state-specific regulations to federal student loans. While well-intended, this is misguided: such regulation would not only allocate scarce resources on the wrong solution, it would create more challenges for borrowers.
Supporting preemption does not mean states must stay on the sidelines. They can promote college readiness, support efforts that improve college completion, make financial literacy a key component in the educational process, require colleges to provide transparent data on debt and costs, and establish state student-loan ombudsperson offices. Further, if borrowers believe they are victims of fraud, misrepresentation, or some other consumer protection harm that does not conflict with federal law, they may file suit in state court or turn to their state attorney general for recourse.
Servicers, states, and the U.S. Department of Education must work together to develop a strong, central set of federal regulations that work for borrowers.