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Why is My Son's WyoTech Navient Student Loan Being Reported as a Federal Loan? - Ava

Posted January 11

Question:

Dear Steve,

My son had a Sallie Mae student loan...it was sold to Navient which turned it into a private loan or so they tell me. We have tried the loan forgiveness or reduction twice with no results because it's a private loan. The lender as so stated on his account site says "Navient Federal Loan Trust" How can this be a private loan when it says Federal...what am I missing?

Thank you. He has been paying on this loan now for 7yrs and the balance is at $8,000. He left school after three months, WyoTech in Wyoming. Thanks.

Ava

Answer:

Dear Ava,

I know this all gets very confusing. Especially when it comes to Sallie Mae / Navient. While many people associated Sallie Mae with federal student loans, they actually service both private and federal student loans. In 2014 Navient separated from Sallie Mae and became a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol NAVI and took the student loans with them.

Because his loan is listed under a trust name that includes the word federal in it, that does not expressly mean it is a federal loan. To confirm the loan status you can check all federal student loans by logging in to the National Student Loan Data System. If the loan does not appear on that system then the strong odds are it is not a federal student loan.

Private student loans are a gotcha. They offer little in repayment options and you can get strung along for years paying the minimum payment or less. The loan balances will stay the same or inflate.

But let's say this is and was actually a federal student loan. In that case you've got some additional repayment options if you are struggling with the minimum payments. You can click here for details.

Regardless if this is a private or federal student loan, absent any special repayment programs the cheapest way to repay the loan to pay the least amount of interest is to at least make the standard 10-year repayment payments.

If this turns out to be a private student loan there are some questions you should ask of a bankruptcy attorney. It is possible the WyoTech school was not accredited at the time your son attended and if so, or the loans were used for expenses other than qualified educational expenses, the loans could be discharged in bankruptcy. Click here for details.

The fact your son left school after only three months is unfortunate if he did not withdraw within the early termination period to avoid charges. If he missed that date he would still be responsible for the tuition costs even if he did not attend. I've actually had people say to me they felt they did not have to repay their student loan because they did not go to class. That point of view, would be incorrect.

Source.

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About this Blog:

Steve Rhode has had careers in opthalmology, real estate and as the head of a nonprofit debt counseling firm. On his blog, he offers hard-won, free advice about getting out of debt, consolidation and making the right choices as you manage your money.