11/26/2014 08:45 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Navient Won't Help Me Repay My Debts. What Can I Do?

Huffington Post Reader Question

Dear Steve,

I have a private student loan from 2008 that I haven't been able to make the payments on since June of this year. The amount is about 22k and it was from Sallie Mae, but is now Navient.

I was under a payment plan but was not able to keep up this past few months and recently talked to a representative that is telling me my loan is on default. My online account says I am still under the repayment status but he said I was not anymore, and that my account is on a charge off status. He said he is from Navient (Sallie Mae) and not a collection agency.

I have not graduated yet and still plan to go back to school, but I am scared about this situation because I hear about the garnishments and lawsuits and how little options there is for private loan repayments. This loan was given to me when I started school because I was not 24 yrs old and was not eligible for financial aid, otherwise, I would have never applied, and I would like to set up a payment plan but they are not giving me many options.

I am also confused because the representative says my account is already charged off, but I don't see that online. I don't know which to believe.


Don't miss my free my weekday email newsletter with the latest tips and advice on how to beat debt and do better financially. Subscribe now. - Click Here

Dear Ileana,

If your loan is more than 180 days delinquent then it is quite possible it is charged off.

But your frustration over developing repayment plans you can afford with Navient, is not the current reality. Just yesterday I was talking with debt coach Damon Day and he was telling me about the fantastic success he is having getting 0.01% repayment plans for his clients with Navient.

Right now is the most encouraging time to negotiate a repayment plan you can afford with Navient. They are offering some fantastic deals if you can afford a minimum of $250 a month. Imagine, being able to repay your private student loans at no interest. I mean seriously, a 0.01% rate is effectively a zero interest rate.

The key is to negotiate with Navient and talk to them in a collaborative way to come up with a sustainable repayment plan that you can afford and they will accept.

I've never seen a time when Sallie Mae, through Navient, has been so flexible. But it does appear that these special terms are more available for people who are right before or at charge-off.

If you can negotiate a payment plan you can afford on your current loans, that is a much better option than letting them go. However, that being said, I'm also seeing private student loan lenders negotiating favorable settlements even after a suit. See this article for more information on that.

I think the bottom line is that you are a consumer are the least prepared to know what creditors will and won't accept. It might make sense to enlist the help of a knowledgeable professional to help with your private student loan debts. Otherwise you are just asking Navient for the best repayment plan and how would you know if they offered it to you?

Before I go I wanted to leave you with three easy action items you jump on right now to address your situation. Just click here.

Get Out of Debt Guy - Twitter, G+, Facebook

If you have a credit or debt question you'd like to ask, just click here and ask away.

If you'd like to stay posted on all the latest get out of debt news and scam alerts, subscribe to my free newsletter.