Again, the transparency and information provided to private loan borrowers is disappointing.Navient does, however, make a point to refer clients to credit counseling.
Federal student loans are well-regulated and have structured programs to help borrowers.
It’s easy to find all of your federal student loan information (via and the interest rates and terms have historically been reasonable.
Like with many repayment programs, this can lead to higher payments later and a more expensive total loan amount, but it helps consumers get on their feet after graduation.
This is particularly important for those who struggle to find work. One of the most successful appears to be the 12-month rate reduction program: According to Sallie Mae, “Most participants successfully complete the program and return to current payments.” Sallie Mae also claims that it will extend the reduction period for some borrowers, based on employment status and other financial indicators.
In their letter to the CFPB, they also state that they are in favor of rehabilitation programs for private loans that can help borrowers recover from default.
Navient, the sister company of Sallie Mae, now holds and manages many of the private loans that were previously managed by Sallie Mae.Instead, Navient advises, “If you have a private loan, contact Navient and your other loan servicers to find out what options are available.” The good news, however, is that it appears that Navient does work to help borrowers who show the initiative to call in.According to a Huffington post article from August 2014, “More than 28 percent of loans serviced by Navient are enrolled in repayment plans tailored to borrowers’ earnings, making the company the second-biggest user of income-driven repayment plans.” What’s unclear is the percentage of these borrowers who are offered income-based plans for their private loans, and the chances are that the number is zero or very close to zero.As in the past, Sallie Mae doesn’t offer up much publicly accessible information about which options are available for struggling borrowers, but it does provide this call to action: “If you are experiencing financial challenges, whatever the reason, at the first sign of a difficulty don’t ignore it. We know you don’t want to be in this situation, and we’re committed to working with you to help you get back on track.” In addition, it mentions its forbearance program, which can be used in three-month intervals for up to twelve months.This is certainly helpful for those who need it, although interest does accrue and a collateral payment is required.Even when consumers do struggle or fall behind, there are numerous resources available, and these resources are guaranteed.