Regulators, Consumers Target Student Debt Servicer Navient

By Becky Yerak
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr)“Navient”services $300 billion in student debt, about a quarter of all federal and private loans nationally. The company is facing lawsuits over a range of business practices, including allegedly making unauthorized robocalls, doing a poor job of tracking payment processing and misapplying payments.

CHICAGO

Fanny Sampson co-signed student loans for three of her four children, so when one of her daughters got a letter in May from student debt servicer Navient saying it would no longer accept credit card payments, Sampson stepped up with her checking account number.

Not long after, the suburban Chicago mom, her daughter and even her son, whose name isn’t on the loan, started getting calls saying the loan was delinquent.

Sampson, who estimates that her children are on the hook for nearly $100,000 in combined student debt, said she wasn’t notified about an increase in the loan’s variable interest rate.

As a result, the automatic payments deducted from her checking account no longer covered the entire balance due.

“I said, ‘You call me three times a day to tell me that I’m delinquent, but why didn’t you have a courtesy call telling me that my interest rate was going up?'” Sampson recalled.

Other aggravations she’s encountered include inconsistent service from call center representatives and requests to speak to supervisors that go unmet.

Sampson is far from alone in experiencing frustrations dealing with Navient, which services $300 billion in student debt, about a quarter of all federal and private loans nationally.

The company is facing lawsuits in Illinois and elsewhere from federal and state regulators, as well as consumers, over a range of business practices, including allegedly making unauthorized robocalls, doing a poor job of tracking payment processing errors, steering borrowers into costlier repayment options and misapplying payments.

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