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Grin and Bear It!


Hi all!

I hope your weeks are off to a nice start! It’s still stifling hot here in Tucson (mid 90’s over the weekend), but we’ve been packing in lots of fun fall activities! This weekend we went to a pumpkin patch and the kids had an absolute blast! As they get older it’s so fun to really celebrate and enjoy the holidays together!

Today I just wanted to give you the latest on my Navient grievance that I aired last week. Basically….it’s gotten worse (is that possible? yes, yes it is).

My payment due date is the 10th. Recall I was being overcharged by $500/month and was told they would not have it resolved by my October payment, but it should be shortly thereafter. So I logged into my account like a fun little game – how much have I been charged???

Only I see a long line of red exclamation marks and this message:






On every one of my Department of Education loans (strangly, the federal loans were fine).

Ummmmm…..how can that be? I’ve been on auto-pay for over 2 years!

I call up to Navient and am informed that – somehow that no one can quite explain – my auto payment withdrawal has been removed from my Department of Education account. ALL of those loans are past due.

I asked if this was related to their overcharging me to the tune of $500/month?

They don’t know.

I asked if this would affect my income based repayment?

They don’t think so.

I asked if the monthly debit has been corrected?

They don’t know.

Then they ask if there’s anything else they can help me with.

Ummmm…..you didn’t really help me with anything, now did you???

(Ultimately, I was instructed to make a one-time payment for the month of October, then wait a week and call back again to see if everything has been fixed. Yeah, won’t be holding my breath holding out hope for anything positive to come of this).

And as if Navient’s nonsense isn’t enough to make me rip out my hair – our house closing has been pushed back. After the inspection we’d negotiated for some additional repairs to be done and I guess it’s taking longer than expected. So our closing has been pushed from the 14th to the 28th, pending everything getting done in time. Bummer.

On my last Navient post a couple people commented and asked about private student loan consolidation companies. Just to reiterate – I’m not doing anything until the house deal is closed. But I’ve been researching and looking at SoFi. They’ve got good user reviews and seem to be a reputable company. But we have such a broad readership here, I’d love to ask for your opinions!

Have you ever done a student loan consolidation through a private company? What were your experiences like? Good, bad, ugly, etc??? Would you recommend your company? Why or why not? I’d love any info you can provide!

And, just for fun, do you have any fun Fall plans on the docket this month?? I wish we lived closer to an orchard! There’s one about 90 minutes away, but our weekends are pretty full. Maybe in November we could make it out there – I’d love to take the girls to pick apples and just enjoy the experience! Do you have any annual Fall traditions as a family?


  • Reply scarr |

    A few months ago I remember commenting about my trials with Navient – now this may not be the same thing but here is what I had experienced:

    Over a 3-day weekend, I had checked my student loan balance and it said I was past due – I called immediately and we figured out that since my auto-pay landed on one of the weekend/holiday days, it obviously didn’t process so it automatically changed my status to past due. After the proper week resumed, it ended up being fine. I was really upset because OBVIOUSLY I WAS NOT PAST DUE THEIR STUPID SYSTEM WAS STUPID. sorry, I hate that company. I am so glad my student loans are paid off and I can move on with my life.

    Good luck!

    • Reply Ashley |

      That’s what I thought, too, since Monday was a holiday (and Monday was when the payment was due), but somehow their system showed I wasn’t even enrolled in auto-pay anymore! I can’t explain that (nor can they)! Makes no sense! It’s just nonsense!!!

  • Reply Ms. Mintly @ MintlyBlog |

    Hey – I feel your pain!

    Off-topic, but any tips on your packing/moving process? We are closing on a house – hopefully! fingers crossed! – in a couple of months and … just wondering if you’ve got any tips/tricks for making this process smoother that you’ve been using so far? (We also have a kid, you have kids – you work in secondary education, we work in secondary education – not easy to move in the middle of the semester, is it?!)

    Anyway, good luck with Navient… like you need this in addition to the stress of the home-buying process!

    • Reply Ashley |

      I’ll try to plan a post on this. To be fair, though, my husband has done most of the work thus far. He’s a good one. : )

  • Reply Angie |

    I just refinanced my private student loan with Earnest about 6 months ago. We are in the process of doing the same with DH’s federal loan. From my rate quotes I’ve gathered the following: Sofi appears to look mostly at income. While Earnest relies more on assets (retirement accounts). Sofi was quoting me rates 2% higher than Earnest.

    If you would like a referral for Earnest let me know. They give $200 cash once your loan is transferred over. You need to use the referral link to start the quote.

    I’ve had no issues. But my loans are straightforward. No IBR. No extra payments. If you have any loans that still get subsidized interest I would make sure to refinance them separately than the rest of your loans. This will help ensure they are separate.

  • Reply AJ Clark |

    When I consolidated my student loans, I used Wells Fargo. My experience was awesome. Payments never got mixed up, and their customer service was helpful. I have paid off the loans I consolidated with them (about 60K), but I would highly recommend them!

    Google “Wells Fargo Private Student Loan Consolidation”.

  • Reply dh |

    I’m dying to hear more about the house! I assumed that you wanted to wait to close, but since it’s 3 weeks away, can you tell us more?!

    I have no advice on consolidation, but remember it’s only about three weeks till you can celebrate both the closing AND kicking Navient to the curb!

    • Reply Ashley |

      What would you like to know? The biggest surprise to me is how LONG everything takes! And we’ve never been audited (knock on wood), but it sure FEELS like an audit. I think our stuff is a little more complicated since I’ve only been in my salaried position for a little over a year, and prior to that BOTH hubs and I were considered “self employed” (I was a contracted employee). That’s meant many more hoops and a LOT more paperwork. And everything is so “hurry up & wait.” Like, our loan processor will call and say he needs X, Y, Z IMMEDIATELY for the underwriter, but then it takes a week to hear back after that. I dunno….is that the stuff you wanted to know about or more like about the house, itself?? I’m happy to talk more : )

  • Reply Mindy |

    So frustrating…. sorry to hear about this. All the tales of student loan woes make me ever more grateful for my parents’ assistance with the cost of college.

    On another note, did you have the meeting with your supervisor last month re: salary/responsibilities? If so, how did it go? My apologies if you already posted about this – I don’t recall seeing an update.

    • Reply Ashley |

      Ugh. That’s my response to that.
      Really though, I’m not going to address it on the blog at all but I’ll answer here since the comments aren’t as widely read.
      We DID have the talk and it went…meh.
      Basically, to change my title to match what I’m doing (which I consider to be a “director” role), my official role through HR would change from “faculty” to “administrator” and, unfortunately, our department’s budget for administrators is maxed out. I was told that, internally, I could be “director” whatever I want….but they can’t make it HR-official because they wouldn’t have the salary available for that position. It’s not what I wanted to hear, because the title is pretty important to me. And not just an internal title – but the HR-official one.
      I did receive a 3% raise this year. Also, I was told I’m guaranteed funding for summers (which substantially increases my annual salary – but is at my same current rate of pay, so not an actual raise per se, but more money annually). Also not what I wanted to hear.
      It’s kind of a crappy position to be in because I love what I’m doing and find my job quite fulfilling, but I don’t feel like I’m getting the recognition I deserve for the work I’m doing. I’m probably not going to talk a lot more about it on the blog unless/until something DOES change. But no changes are on the immediate horizon.

      • Reply Mindy |

        Well, poo. That’s not good. I’m sorry to hear things didn’t go as you had hoped, but appreciate you taking the time to respond my query. Paws crossed that the Navient nonsense gets sorted sooner rather than later.

  • Reply Leah |

    I commented on your last post about my positive experience with SoFi, but in the process of refinancing I also looked at Earnest. These 2 are probably the biggest competitors in the industry. I would agree that Earnest is more focused on assets- During the application process, you have to link literally every bank account/asset you own which in my opinion, was pretty tedious. It also made me uncomfortable providing that much information. I ended up not being approved for Earnest even with what I consider to be sufficient savings/emergency fund and my retirement accounts. So I would say they are more selective than SoFi. SoFi does look more at your income and doesn’t ask about your assets. My loan was funded in about a week. Not to bash on Earnest, they just do things differently. I wanted to provide a comparison since I had experience with both.

    • Reply Angie |

      As an FYI to others, you don’t have to link accounts if you don’t want to. It just makes the process quicker. If you don’t link an account you have to send in a screenshot or statement of the account with your name and the balance. This is only once you’re doing the full application.

  • Reply Jean |

    I’m sure you’re SO ready to be done with them – how frustrating!

    I bought a new (to me) car two weeks ago. (I had my old car 10-1/2 years and it has 235K miles on it – yay for Hondas!) I closed on the loan at the dealership. I thought my first payment wasn’t due until 13 November, but when I got paid last week, there was an automatic withdrawal from my checking account to my car loan – for $66. Of course I had to wait until yesterday to call about it. For some reason, the withdrawals were set up to coincide with my direct deposits (which was good) but the amount was $66 – not even CLOSE to what it needed to be for a half payment! We got it all straightened out fairly easily. But how bizarre!

    I guess my fall ‘tradition’ at the moment is giving cemetery tours during the month of October. They’re not ghost tours but we talk about people in the cemetery that were murdered. The last half of the tour is done in the dark with lanterns.

    • Reply Ashley |

      oh my gosh, that sounds so cool! What area are you in? I wonder if they do something similar in my area – it sounds awesome!
      And congrats on having your old car for 10.5 years! That’s the plan with my car! It’s only 5 years old and already has over 100,000 miles on it (we drive it on all our cross-country trips), but we keep up with all the routine maintenance and hope it will drive, drive, drive for many years to come!

      • Reply Jean |

        I’m in Ohio. I know that several of the old cities on the East Coast (Savannah, Charleston, even Williamsburg) do ghost tours (not necessarily cemetery tours). I don’t know if it’s a big thing in the Southwest.

        My husband is actually driving my old car to save miles on his. I had said I would wait until 250K to get a new one, but I got the bug & found a good deal. Regular maintenance is critical to being able to put 150K – 200K miles on a car.

  • Reply Shanna |

    This is not something I would normally recommend, but you clearly are driven and responsible so it may be a good option for you. Have you asked your mortgage broker about taking out a second at the same time as your first to pay off all the school loans and only be dealing with one entity? You are not taking on additional debt, simply changing it’s provenance. Sometimes a HELOC or second comes with 6-12 months zero or very low interest and you could really knock some of the school loans out with that time frame.

    • Reply Ashley |

      I’ve actually thought about this – our interest rate is pretty killer (in my opinion), so hubs and I discussed it. He actually asked “What would Dave Ramsey say?” lol. Even though I obviously don’t abide by all of Ramsey’s teachings, I had to agree on this one that I just didn’t feel *right* about tying up student loan debt into our house. Even if it would save us money on interest. It just doesn’t give me the “warm fuzzies.” I know that’s probably not a great answer to why I’ve decided not to do it, but that’s what the decision was based on. I just didn’t like it in my gut is all.

  • Reply Katie |

    Wow, Navient is shockingly bad. I’m so glad to be done with student loans. As an aside, any word on Hope? Last I saw she was having a rough summer, I’m hoping for an update.

  • Reply Sandra |

    ‘Not sure this is what you are asking, but we found it to be a great tip! Zip Lock bags for moving! They come in all sizes (huge to tiny). Just take everything in each drawer and put it in a separate ziplock. Mark the ziplock as to which drawer. When you arrive, just put everything back in its drawer in one motion. No having to sort through large boxes to put things back. HUGE time saver!

So, what do you think ?