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Navient is Back At It Again

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Just the latest in my long, long history of grievances with Navient.

When I realized I’d missed that extra debt payment in September, I was carefully reviewing my account history and something jumped out at me that caught me off-guard:  I’m being over-charged roughly $500 per month.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t noticed the egregious error earlier. I blame it on my busy schedule, but really there’s no excuse to have not noticed such a HUGE discrepancy.

Here’s the short of it (I’m trying to run out the door for work, so sorry this is a little rushed)….

My minimum payment is about $130/month. When I re-did my paperwork for Income-Based-Repayment over the summer I was notified it would go up a little bit (like $20 or $40….I can’t remember now, but not much). Only, that’s not what happened. For the past two months (August & September), my auto-debit withdrawal has been over $650. I  always make extra debt payments on top of the minimum and pay – in total – over $1,000 each month. So it didn’t make a big difference in terms of actual money spent because I always put well extra into Navient anyway. But what it did is take my money and mis-appropriate how it was spent. Instead of putting all the extra (over and above my true minimum of about $150-ish) toward the unsubsidized loans, it was being equally distributed across all loans. That’s not at all how I would appropriate it myself.

So I called up there to ask what the deal was. And I was told that apparently there was some issue. The system “shows” that my payment should only be the $150-ish payment, but the auto-debits are actually around $650ish (yes, I know. That’s why I called). It was a total error on their part. They would put in paperwork to get it fixed. It probably won’t be fixed by the October debit, but then it will go back to normal in November.

The representative was all happy with herself for putting in whatever notes to bring it to their internal auditor’s attention. Happy that she had resolved the problem.

 

Ummmm……lady. You get this means you’ve been overcharging me to the tune of $500-ish per month for what will now be 3 months. That’s an extra $1500 you have basically stolen from me. Illegally. You think that’s just going to fly??? (yes, I would have given them that extra money anyway with my extra payments but, again, I would appropriate it completely differently than they have done; also, with the way they’ve done it, a great deal of that money has gone straight to interest instead of toward principal reduction).

The best I could get out of the representative was a promise that after the situation has been resolved, I can call back and they will allow me to re-allocate those extra funds toward the loans of my choice. Doesn’t really make me feel to warm and fuzzy inside. I also have about zero hope that this actually gets resolved as promised. I mean, Navient has quite a long history of lying to me. Repeatedly. All the time.

So there’s that.

Today, though, I’m going to choose to focus on the positives. I’m thankful that we have that extra money. that the extra $500 Navient is literally stealing from me does not force us to go without food, housing, or utilities. That we have the money to spare.

I’m going to try to let it go. I’ll call back toward the end of the month as they’ve requested and see if it makes a difference at that time. In the meantime, I just have to let go of the anger and the frustration. I don’t have any space or time for that negativity in my life.

But you better believe…..as SOON as the house stuff is done (currently set to close on Oct 14th! EEEK!!!), I’m consolidating with a private company as fast as humanly possible. I’m SO STINKING SICK of Navient and their absolute incompetence (at best) and downright illegal activities (at worst). Sick of it. Also, my last ACS loan has notified me that it’s going to be migrated to Navient, too. Fabulous. Last time that happened my loan “switched” from being subsidized to being unsubsidized. An issue that I spent months dealing with and countless hours (and even wrote my legislatures and involved a 3rd party group for problem resolution) and, ultimately, nothing happened. They just f-ed me. And they got away with it. So I’m pretty excited to rid Navient from my life once and for all. As SOON as the closing is behind us, I’m done with them.

Have you ever experienced serious over-charging by a student loan company? Trying to focus on the positives, what’s something good that’s happened recently or something fun you’re looking forward to this week? To share one of mine, we had an awesome weekend! Saturday was packed full of fun stuff – two different kids’ birthday parties. Sunday was full of relaxation. A nice mix of fun/activities and family time/relaxation. The perfect weekend balance!

Ashley

Texan at heart; Arizonan on paper. Lover of running, cheese, camping, and family (fur-family included!). Blogger, motivated to get out of debt YESTERDAY! Follow along with my journey!

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15 Comments

  • Reply Angela |

    Here are some things I’ve learned about dealing with Navient (formerly Sallie Mae) over the years that might be of some help to you:

    1. When you call the 800 number you’re automatically routed to their call center in India. This is not to say that people there aren’t capable of doing a good job. I’ve interacted with a number of call center reps there that were knowledgeable and helpful. However, I’ve also interacted with others that were absolutely wrong in what they were telling me. Similar to your situation, they were telling me things that are technically illegal for Navient to do under US law.

    2. If you get an India rep that is telling you questionable things, you have to ask them to transfer you to a native English speaker. They will then redirect your call to someone in the US. (I was actually given a different 800 number by the person in the US that I spoke to and told to call that in the future, but I still got routed to India initially.)

    3. The US reps are MUCH more helpful. Probably because they have less of a “script” to follow and more freedom to make independent decisions in order to trouble shoot. I always have something wacky happening with my loans and every time I get an India rep they ALWAYS have to talk to their manager first.

    4. You shouldn’t give up on fighting the overcharge and allocating the payments as you would like them allocated. A similar thing has happened to me in the past with Navient. They can reallocate past payments to go toward particular loans and will backdate the payment to the original date of payment. You’re right that if they incorrectly overcharged you, they have to fix that.

    5. I’ve discovered that Navient is similar to insurance companies in that you have to keep at it and advocate for yourself. They don’t make anything easy, but if you keep making your point and asking to speak with a manager you’ll eventually get through to the right person.

    It is a pain and I don’t blame you for looking to transfer your loans as soon as possible. Good luck getting this resolved! But don’t feel you’re just out money and have to accept how they allocated your extra payments they erroneously took!

  • Reply Alexandria |

    I am so happy to read that you will be getting rid of Navient. What a bunch of nonsense!

  • Reply Kate |

    Ugh! They are the worst. I have had the worst experience with ECSI as well. It’s a loan that has to be paid back in service (a long story related to my med school) but they routinely f it up, also at one point told me I couldn’t make payments on the other loan I have with them without paying the first – which I will literally never pay a dollar to. I could go on and on but it makes you so crazy.

  • Reply Isabella |

    Ugh. What a predatory company Navient must be. You can bet your bottom dollar that they are doing this to many people besides you. That said, you may call us dinosaurs, but Hubby and I pay exactly zero bills online. (We have no mortgage on our home or debt of any kind.) Yup, we write a check for our utilities, phones and other expenses and mail them in the old-fashioned way. We were burned in our checking account once when funds were illegally withdrawn like this, and several checks bounced. It was a long drawn-out affair to recover those fees.

    I understand that automatic withdrawals will get the student loan borrower a percentage reduction each month and help them to “remember” to pay bills on time, but I just do not like people to have access to my accounts. Have you ever tried to stop a magazine subscription that automatically comes from your account? Even something that simple is a big hassle. I hope that you can get away from Navient as soon as possible!

  • Reply Angie |

    Although its a pain to have to watch them like a hawk I don’t think any other provider is going to be much better… So I wouldn’t let it annoy you. After this many years of paying back loans I think you should be expecting them to screw up and prepare yourself mentally!

    On another note, I’m surprised with your huge upswing in income over the past year that your payment is still so low. It is kind of disappointing to see that someone can have huge income and still have some of interest subsidized. Probably just my jealousy kicking in though..

    • Reply Ashley |

      Yeah, I’ve got to say that I agree about the payment! I was pretty surprised that our payments increased so minimally (I thought it would be a much larger increase). I’m now in my third year, which is also the final year of subsidized interest. I’m definitely trying to take advantage of it while I can!

      Regarding the loan provider, though, I don’t necessarily think you’re right about that. Most of the big national student loan providers have a bad rap. I’ve heard nothing but grief about most of them. BUT, when you consolidate through private company it’s a whole different ballgame. From what I’ve read and researched, as long as I pick a reputable lender I should never experience these types of issues again. It’s like having a car loan or a mortgage. It’s a whole different regulatory process and shouldn’t be as error-riddled and terrible as the Navients and the Sallie Mae’s out there.

    • Reply Ashley |

      The main one I’ve been looking at/researching/considering is SoFi. But I can’t say that I know enough about all the different private companies out there to make a real recommendation. I might write a blog post about it to get reader feedback and advice.

  • Reply Leah |

    Luckily I did not have to deal with my fed loan provider for too long before I refinanced and switched to SoFi. All I have are awesome things to say about the company- great customer service, they send you freebies, invite you to local events/dinners, etc. Because they are selective about the people they choose (i.e. higher income, high credit scores), I truly feel like they care. They use Mohela as their loan servicer and I’ve had none of these crazy problems. I’d be happy to share a referral link with you when you kick Navient to the curb!

    • Reply Ashley |

      SoFi is precisely the company I’ve been researching and leaning toward using. I haven’t submitted any applications or anything (I don’t dare TOUCH anything that could influence my credit – even credit checks, etc. until the house deal is complete). Researching the consumer reviews, etc. most people rave about the company! Good to hear some good things from a real-life user! : )

    • Reply Susan Melvin |

      I have a very small balance left in student loans but wanted to comment about Mohela. They are wonderful! The online payment process is very simple. If you have to telephone them, a real, English speaking American person answers the phone. They are very professional.

      You will love Mohela if you are ever able to get out from under Navient.

      SCM

    • Reply Ashley |

      I thought that after I’d published the blog post, but was too lazy to go back and edit. But you’re absolutely right.

So, what do you think ?