Navient Update

If you’re read my previous posts about Navient (there’s fake-swearing, be warned! – #1 & #2), you already know how I feel about that company.

After I shared my second post via Twitter, @Navient did respond and wanted to help me (by having me contact their social media email address).

I didn’t take them up on it, because I had already gotten a response by more traditional methods.

After the last debacle (again, see my second post about our dealings with them), I did, of course already contact them via email. I am not the kind of person who just complains (on such a vast platform, no less!) without contacting the company to also let them know how I feel!

Here’s what I wrote to them, regarding the most recent issue:

Hello. I made an online payment yesterday (in addition to our regularly scheduled automatic debit payment which went through on March 13th). (I also recently made a large payment of $2800 by check sent through the mail with a letter.) Yesterday, I made an additional payment online. I received the pop-up message that said, “Any payment you make today will be in addition to your scheduled automatic debit payment.” On your website, you state: “If you make a payment online at Navient.com, you will choose at that time whether you want any extra funds to apply toward future payments and, if applicable, advance your payment due date.” My payment was indeed more than my minimum payment; however, the information on your website states that I will be able to “choose at that time whether [I] want any extra funds to apply towards future payments and, if applicable, advance your payment due date.” I was not given that option; instead, I was told via pop-up that my payment would be in ADDITION to my scheduled automatic debit payment (which already went through). For the time being, I was okay with that not having a “choice” (which your website told me I would), because I didn’t want my due date advanced.

However, in checking my account today, I can see that it now states: “Next payment due: 5/13/2015,” so my due date WAS advanced. (It should read 4/13/15).

Perhaps I misunderstood the way the extra payments work. From the wording on your site, it sounds like I should have the option of whether or not I advance my due date. However, perhaps what it truly means is that if I paid TWICE my minimum payment (or more), the site would ask if I wish the extra payments to advance my due date AGAIN. I find this to be a very unclear and frustrating process. (I have screenshots of the website and the pop-up message, should you wish to see them.)

Should I understand from this issue (and the previous ones I’ve had, although I’ve sent very clear instructions with each check and the funds are still handled incorrectly by the company) that I should make my future payments online, and then just send an email the following day to make sure that my due date is not advanced?

I appreciate your timely response. Thank you.

I’ll share the screenshots with you, dear readers, because I can.

Here’s the pop-up I got when I was about to make my extra payment for March:

2screenshot

 

And here’s the screenshot of our due date that had apparently been changed from 4/13/2015 to 5/13/2015.

screenshot

 

Navient responded to my email a few days later. I will admit, this response was more thorough than they have been in the past. I was still left with one question, though. Check out part of what they wrote, paying close attention to the part I highlighted.

1screenshot

Keeping in mind that we are enrolled in Automatic Debit, how do you interpret that section?

I interpret it to mean that while the due date gets advanced*, they will continue to automatically debit our checking account with the minimum payment each month.

This seems odd to me, as the whole point of doing an automatic debit would be that the company would automatically debit your account when you have a payment due. If you don’t have a payment due, why would they automatically debit your account? (If it were a credit card company, I’d understand, but Navient doesn’t stand to gain much by getting our money now – they’d be better off putting off that due date and letting our loans gain even more interest.)

Of course, this is all kind of academic to us, because we want Navient to continue to debit our account even if our due date is pushed off to May. I can see a benefit to this: if we have an emergency and we can’t afford to pay our minimum payments one month, then we’re okay if we contact Navient to cancel our automatic debits – we would have at least a month’s grace period. There may be other benefits, too, that I haven’t thought of, but that one struck me first.

So, what do you think? Did I interpret the above excerpt correctly? I told H that I was so tired of going back and forth with them that I might just wait and see instead of asking for clarification. I also find it odd that if I did interpret what Navient is saying correctly (again, I think it looks like they’re planning to continue debiting our checking account each month, even if the due date has been advanced), then why did Navient go ahead and change my due date back to April? Did they do it just to give me something concrete to sate me, but it doesn’t really matter (because they were going to debit my account automatically on that day anyway?), or is it that I’m completely wrong about my interpretation of their email?

So, while I’m writing this post to update y’all, I’d really appreciate anyone else’s insights/opinions!

H is irritated beyond belief about the fact that “advance your due date” means to push the due date to a later time. He said, “In what world does ‘advance’ mean to go farther away?!” I let him blow off steam about it, but it doesn’t really bother me…. Which side are you on? 🙂

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8 thoughts on “Navient Update

  1. Could you not accumulate the repayment money in a separate acct and just do a big paymt once a yr? If not I would suggest that everytime you have extra to put on these loans that you make it with a credit card pymt and then put your funds to the credit card

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    • Thanks for the comment.

      We thought of doing what you suggest about keeping the money in an account and then doing one lump sum payment and only having to deal with Navient, but I decided it was better in the long run to pay down the debt frequently to minimize the amount of interest accumulating.

      And I totally wish we could pay down our loans with credit cards that we could pay off each month. Unfortunately, Navient (and I think some other student loan companies) charges a fee for using a credit card, which ends up negating some of the benefit of paying it down early (and generating the points on the credit card, too, which is a big reason I looked into that in the first place). Do you have any experience with that?

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    • BettyH says:

      I quit letting any student loan company from debiting my bank account.( Student loan companies are not trust worthy) Instead I set up bill pay myself to pay biweekly. If I want I add extra. I then put on my memo line on bill pay not to advance the payment. ( Each check send.) I raised #### if they tried to advance the payments. I also send payments from bill pay when I get extra money. I also threatened them with Ombudsmen. I make sure that even the biweekly payments get in prior to the due date. I watch my account like a hawk. By the way I consolidated away from Navient. Sallie Mae. Crooked company. So far I have been successful. I am with Nelnet they are a little above your company, but not much better. Honestly I wish you the best of luck.

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  2. Hmmm…interesting. Came over here from Blogging Away Debt and I’m also dealing with Navient. I’m Matt, btw- one of the 3 bloggers there.

    So…yeah…Navient…fun. I’m also in their auto debit program and have been for some time (5 1/2 years) and I also pay a substantial amount more onto my loans than the monthly minimum. I’ve never encountered a point at which they advanced my due date and I’m wondering why that is. Anyways- this is I do so I can pay off the most on one of my student loans as possible (I have 4) following the Navient website “rules”:

    My auto debit day is the 21st of the month, with the statement date usually a week later (typically the 27th or 28th, it varies). With me having 4 loans with them, I have to pay the minimum on all of them (giving me a monthly payment due of $0.00) before I can allocate additional funds to only one the loans. I make the minimum payment at the first chance I get after the statement date, allowing me to put all I can on one of the loans until the 21st. Upon the 21st I get auto-debited the minimum for all 4 loans (so essentially I make 2 payments a month on all 4 loans). I can then put any additional money onto the 1 loan prior to the statement date, which is the date that the monthly payment due resets from $0.00 to the minimum due for all 4 loans.

    Hope this makes sense :/

    I guess what I have noticed is that instead of advancing my payment due date, they’ve been decreasing my monthly minimum due at a bimonthly rate, so every other month or so, my minimum payment due decreases about $5 or so.

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    • Hi, Matt! I’ve been enjoying your posts! I’m so excited to talk to you!

      For the longest time, we were only paying the minimum on our student loans. Then we transferred some of our loans to a credit card by using one of those checks you get from the credit card companies. So then all of our extra payments went to the credit card. Now we are in a situation where we can actually send extra payments to the loan company itself and it seems like the rules are just way crazy.

      I feel like a relatively intelligent person, but the language and rules surrounding the process of paying back more than the minimum payments is pretty convoluted. I really appreciate you sharing your experiences with paying more than the minimum payments but still having the automatic debits. I THINK that means that I interpreted their answer correctly?

      Thanks for the info!

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      • It appears that you interpreted it correctly, but I think the only ones that can say for sure are Navient and their lawyers, lol.

        I read on one of Ashley’s comments that you consolidated your loans, which was something I never did (their big selling point to do this seemed to hinge on whether or not you wanted only 1 monthly bill- I didn’t since I didn’t like the thought of tackling a mountain vs tackling a bunch of slightly less high mountains) so maybe that’s why they were applying the extra payments to your payment due date vs. amount due? Again, who knows…

        Anyways- you guys seem to have a really thought out plan for being debt-free and have made some really, really nice headway! Way to go!

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  3. spiffi says:

    I wonder if the “advancing the date” action is only triggered if your additional payment is equal to or larger than your minimum monthly payment? The wording above what you highlighted says something about how your payment will advance “by the number of whole payments received” – so what if you tried making an additional payment that was *slightly* less than a full month’s payment? I suspect it would not trigger them moving your date?

    I wonder if you made multiple payments of $200, whether they would slide under the radar, or if they would notice that you had now made more than a full month’s additional payment or if they would trigger the date advance?

    I can see where they would advance the date, but also continue to do the scheduled debits – they’re kind of separate? It gives people like you the option of adding additional payments, without derailing your scheduled payments – but for people who are maybe not on automatic debit, paying ahead of time, would give them flexibility to make their payment early or pay more one month, and skip the next payment since they had “met” the minimum for that month?

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    • That’s an interesting idea! Our regular “additional” monthly payment is $756, which is more than double our minimum payment (on these loans – we do have two others that we’re not paying down as aggressively because they’re at an interest rate under 3%), but we could conceivably break it up into smaller payments to slide under the radar (if that works). I guess I SUSPECT that they would trigger the date advance anyway after the additional funds accumulated to more than the minimum, but I can’t say for sure.

      I am also coming to the same understanding that you mention in your last paragraph – if I’m interpreting their email correctly, perhaps scheduled debit payments and the due dates are actually kind of separate (or could be). I’m really hoping that this interpretation is the actual truth – you’re right that this system would give flexibility to Navient customers.

      Why, oh, why can they not say it more clearly on their site?

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