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What to do if you’re one of 16 million student loan borrowers left in limbo after your maintenance department closes

  • Navient, the largest student loan company in the United States, is not renewing its government contract.
  • Almost 16 million borrowers in total will have their loans transferred to new businesses by next year.
  • Keep copies of all relevant student loan documents now in case they get lost during the transition.
  • Learn more about Personal Finance Insider loan coverage here.

Navient, a student loan company that manages federal student loans, this week announced plans to end its service contract with the government. The plan is still pending approval, but it is likely that around six million borrowers currently served by Navient will be transferred to the Maximus company.

Two other federal loan managers, Granite State Management and Resources and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, are also not renewing their federal contracts. This brings the total number of borrowers in flow to nearly 16 million.

To find out if your loans are managed by one of these companies, check the initial correspondence you received from the federal government when you took out your loan.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prepare for the change – or avoid it altogether if you choose to do so.

Document all your current documents

One of the biggest issues you might face when your loans are transferred from one student loan manager to another is the lack of consistent record keeping. You’ll want to make sure that you can prove that you made timely payments on your loans, so that you can print or download your payment history from your lender’s website and keep it in a safe place.

It is especially important to keep track of your payment history if you participate in the civil service loan forgiveness program or follow an income-based repayment plan, as the time spent repaying these loans is crucial to possibly get a student loan discount.

You should also keep copies of all correspondence between you and your loan manager, including anything that refers to your enrollment in the PSLF or an income-based repayment plan. Save hard copies if you can and upload digital copies to the cloud.

Keep track of your credit report

When your loan is transferred from one manager to another, you may come across bad negative credit reports, such as an incorrect missed payment. It can continue to hurt your credit score if you don’t understand it, so get a copy of your credit report and know where your account is currently.

You can find your free credit report on from any of the three major credit bureaus each week until April 20, 2022. Although this report does not give you your credit score, it will show you information. on your credit and payment history. , which lenders use to decide whether or not to give you a loan. Examining your credit report can help you figure out what you need to improve.

Get a New Manager with a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan

If you have multiple Federal Student Loans from your lender, you may want to consider consolidating them into one monthly payment with a Direct Consolidation Loan and bringing in a new loan manager. Here are the pros and cons of consolidation:

Refinance your loan with a private company

If you want to refinance your student loans, you can only do so with a private company. The government does not have a refinancing program.

This should be an option you are considering with extreme cautionbecause you will lose major federal protections when you refinance with a private lender. You will not be eligible for the coronavirus forbearance, which is currently in effect until January 31, 2021. Additionally, the Biden administration continues to consider forgiving student loans, which would not apply to loans. private.

Refinancing will allow you to choose a new supplier without waiting for the government to reassign you. You may qualify for a lower interest rate or a term better suited to your needs with a private company. You might also have the option of getting a variable rate loan from a private lender, while you can only get a fixed rate loan from the government. You can find our list of the best private student loans here.

Contact your repairer for any additional questions

As the federal government decides how to transfer nearly 16 million borrowers to new agents, your agent will likely have the most recent information about the future of your loan and likely be able to answer all of your questions.

If you don’t want to go through the tedious process of switching student loan companies, you can take steps to switch providers now. Otherwise, just keep a close eye on your documentation to make sure that errors don’t occur during the transition.

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