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Student Loans Student Loan Repayment

How to Get Rid of Navient Private Student Loans

Navigating the complexities of student loans can be daunting, especially when dealing with private loans serviced by Navient. As one of the largest student loan servicers in the U.S., Navient handles millions of accounts, but it’s faced criticism and legal action over its practices. This has left many borrowers looking for alternatives.

One such alternative is refinancing. Refinancing your Navient private student loans can allow you to replace your current loan with a new one—ideally with better terms or a lower interest rate. It also provides the opportunity to switch to a different loan servicer if you’re unhappy with Navient’s service. 

Refinancing can free you from Navient as a lender, but it doesn’t eliminate the student loan itself. The goal is to make your student loan debt more manageable and less costly. In this guide, we’ll focus on refinancing Navient private student loans and discuss four of the top lenders in the market. As always, it’s important to assess your individual circumstances and consider all your options before making a decision.

About Navient

Navient, a major player in the student loans industry, originated as a spinoff from Sallie Mae in 2014 and became one of the largest student loan servicers in the United States. Navient serviced federal and private student loans, with millions of borrowers relying on it for loan management. However, it no longer services federal student loans.

Here are two important points about Navient:

  • Services provided: Navient is a servicer and lender. It manages loans for other lenders, handling billing and other services for borrowers, and it offers its own loans.
  • Types of loans serviced: Navient services private student loans. Its federal loans were transferred to Aidvantage in 2022.

Despite its significant role in student loan servicing, Navient has faced multiple lawsuits over its practices concerning its handling of federal and private student loans. The allegations range from misapplication of payments to steering struggling borrowers into forbearance instead of income-driven repayment plans. Find out more about the Navient lawsuits.

Why refinance Navient private student loans?

Refinancing your student loans can provide several benefits, especially for those with private student loans from Navient.

An image showing the steps involved in the student loan refinance process

Here are several reasons you might consider it:

  • Lower interest rates: If you qualify for a lower interest rate, you could save a significant amount of money over the life of your loan.
  • Consolidate loans: Refinancing can consolidate multiple loans into one, simplifying your monthly payments.
  • Adjust loan terms: You might choose to lengthen your loan term for lower monthly payments or shorten it to pay off your debt faster.
  • Escape negative aspects of Navient: If you’ve experienced issues with Navient’s loan servicing, such as those alleged in the lawsuits, refinancing can allow you to switch to a different loan servicer.

However, refinancing isn’t for everyone. 

How to determine whether refinancing is right for you: Our expert’s take

Erin Kinkade

CFP®

I would not recommend refinancing if the borrower has a poor credit rating and may not be accepted, the terms available to them to not offer an economic benefit, the borrower does not have a willing cosigner to help, or refinancing leads to assuming a new loan with a higher interest rate (even if the borrower can afford the higher payment or if the term is lengthened). In this case, I’d recommend waiting until rates go down to avoid the additional expense.

Options to refinance Navient private student loans

Based on our research, here are four lenders we recommend exploring if you’re considering refinancing your Navient private student loans. Click the lender’s name in the table for more about why we think it’s a solid alternative to Navient.

LenderEditorial rating (out of 5)Best-for designation
SoFi4.9Best online lenderView rates
Credible4.8Best marketplaceView rates
Earnest4.8Best skip-a-payment benefitView rates
ELFI4.8Best personalized supportView rates

SoFi: Our top-rated online lender

  • Editorial rating: 4.9
  • Offers specific refinance programs for different professional and academic categories, including medical professionals, medical residents, Parent PLUS loans, MBA loans, and law school loans
  • Prequalify with no impact on your credit score

SoFi stands out as an online lender that offers a variety of loan refinancing options. The company’s diverse loan offerings make it an excellent choice for borrowers with specific needs, such as medical professionals or parents with PLUS loans. If you’re looking to refinance your Navient private student loans, SoFi’s range of programs and competitive rates could be a suitable fit.

One of SoFi’s standout features is its member benefits. These include career coaching, which can be invaluable for recent graduates entering the job market, unemployment protection, and a referral program that could offset some of the expense of your loan. 

The 0.125% rate discount on additional SoFi loans might also appeal to borrowers planning to take out more than one loan.

Terms:

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 – Total outstanding loan balance
  • Term lengths: 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
  • Rates: 4.99% – 9.99% APR
  • Autopay rate reduction: 0.25%
  • Fees: None

Credible: Our highest-rated marketplace

  • Editorial rating: 4.8
  • Compare rates from up to 9 lenders with one application
  • Service is free for borrowers

Credible operates as a marketplace for student loan refinancing, which means it provides a platform for multiple lenders to offer their loan products. This can be a terrific resource if you’re looking to refinance Navient private student loans because you can compare rates and terms from various lenders in one place.

Source: Credible

The major advantage of using a marketplace is the ability to view multiple offers with a single prequalification. This can save time and make the process of comparing lenders much easier. Checking your rates on Credible won’t affect your credit score, which is a significant benefit for those conscious about maintaining their credit health. 

Credible features a wide range of reputable lenders, including Brazos, Citizens Bank, ELFI, EDvestinU, INvestEd, ISL Education Lending, MEFA, Nelnet Bank, and RISLA. This diversity of lenders increases the chances you’ll find a loan product that suits your specific needs and circumstances. 

Terms:

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 – Total outstanding loan balance (depends on which lender you choose)
  • Term lengths: 5 – 20 years (depends on lender)
  • Rates: 4.40%14.25% APR
  • Autopay rate reduction: Depends on lender
  • Fees: Depend on lender

Earnest: Best skip-a-payment benefit

  • Editorial rating: 4.8
  • Option to sign up for biweekly automatic payments, which can help you pay off your loan faster
  • Skip 1 payment each year, offering flexibility when you need it

Earnest stands out for its skip-a-payment feature, which can be a lifesaver in a tight financial situation. This unique benefit, combined with competitive rates, makes Earnest a strong contender for refinancing Navient private student loans. 

Earnest also offers the flexibility to tailor your loan term down to the day to achieve your ideal monthly payment. This level of customization is rare among lenders and can allow you to adjust your payment plan to fit your budget.

Earnest’s rate-match guarantee promises to not only match the rate from another lender but give you a $100 bonus. This feature can give you peace of mind that you’re getting the best possible rate on your refinanced loan.

Terms:

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 – Total outstanding loan balance 
  • Term lengths: 5 – 20 years
  • Rates: Starting at 4.96% APR
  • Autopay rate reduction: 0.25%
  • Fees: None

ELFI: Best personalized support

  • Editorial rating: 4.8
  • Assigns applicants a Student Loan Advisor to assist throughout the process
  • Allows parents to transfer Parent PLUS loans to the student, offering more flexibility in managing loan repayment

Education Loan Finance, or ELFI, provides personalized support throughout the loan refinancing process. When you apply for refinancing with ELFI, your Student Loan Advisor will assist you from start to finish. This high level of customer service sets ELFI apart and can make the refinancing process less daunting.

ELFI also offers competitive rates and a variety of term lengths, making it a strong option for refinancing Navient private student loans. The company’s $400 referral program could be an attractive feature for borrowers who know others looking to refinance.

Terms:

  • Loan amounts: Starting at $10,000
  • Term lengths: 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
  • Rates: Starting at 5.08% APR
  • Autopay rate reduction: Yes (integrated into your approved APR)
  • Fees: No upfront fees (Late fee and returned payment fee might apply)

Other methods to get rid of Navient private student loans

Refinancing is our recommended method for most borrowers who want to get rid of Navient private student loans, but other methods are available:

Repayment in full

The most straightforward method to get rid of your student loan is to repay it in full. If you have the financial resources, you can choose to pay off your loan in a lump sum. This will eliminate your debt and save you from accruing further interest. However, this option is not feasible for everyone due to the large amounts often involved in student loans.

Debt settlement

Debt settlement is another option where you negotiate with your lender to accept a lump sum less than the full amount you owe to settle the loan. This method requires negotiation skills and may cause a drop in your credit score. The forgiven portion of the loan may be considered taxable income.

Bankruptcy

It’s difficult but not impossible to have student loans discharged in bankruptcy. You must prove that repaying your student loan would cause undue hardship, a standard known as the Brunner test. This is often a last resort due to the severe impact bankruptcy can have on your credit score.


Our expert’s experience

Erin Kinkade

CFP®

Repayment in full has been an option for my clients in several instances: inheritance, large cash bonus from employer, and family (often parents who pay it off for their child when the parents are in a better financial condition). I always recommend discussing your options with a trusted advisor and understanding your options with the funds from an inheritance, employer, or other windfall to ensure paying off the loan in full is the most advantageous for your unique circumstance.


These options are methods to get rid of Navient private student loans, but our primary focus is on refinancing as a way to potentially lower your interest rate, reduce your monthly payment, or change your loan term. Always consider your financial situation and consult with a financial professional before making decisions about your student loans.

Is refinancing Navient private student loans right for you?

Refinancing your Navient private student loans could be a wise financial move, but it’s important to understand the implications and assess your circumstances. 


Our expert’s advice

Erin Kinkade

CFP®

Understand why you want to refinance, and get familiar with your cash flow by tracking your income and expenses to understand what you can afford. Monitor your credit score and credit report to understand where you stand, and make corrections to any mistakes on your credit reports ASAP—be sure to check your reports at all three credit bureaus. Bottom line: The refinance should be an economic benefit for the borrower. It should lower your monthly payment, allowing you not to incur additional debt or secure a lower interest rate—or both.


Remember, the best lender for you will depend on your individual needs and financial circumstances. The lenders we discussed—SoFi, Credible, Earnest, and ELFI—each have unique benefits and might be a fit based on your needs. 

Taking the time to explore your options can put you in a stronger position to take control of your financial future. Refinancing your Navient private student loans could be a step toward achieving your financial goals. Always consider your current financial situation, future plans, and consult with a financial professional before making any decisions.

Check out our guides for more:

FAQ

What are Navient private student loans?

Navient private student loans are serviced by Navient Corporation, a major student loan servicer in the United States. These loans are not backed by the federal government, and private lenders set the terms and conditions. They may have different interest rates and repayment options than federal student loans.

Can anyone refinance their Navient private student loans?

Anyone with Navient private student loans can apply to refinance their loans, but approval is not guaranteed. Refinancing is subject to credit approval and depends on several factors, such as your credit score, income, employment history, and the lender’s specific criteria. 

It’s always best to check the eligibility criteria of the lender you’re considering. If possible, we recommend prequalifying with several lenders to ensure you’ll get the best rates and terms possible.

What’s the difference between refinancing and consolidation?

Refinancing and consolidation may be used interchangeably, but refinancing involves taking out a new loan with a private lender to pay off one or more loans, often with a lower interest rate or a different repayment term.

Consolidation, specifically a Direct Consolidation Loan, combines multiple federal student loans into a single loan with a weighted average interest rate. You cannot include private loans in a federal loan consolidation.