Student Loan Payments Will Resume in January, but You May Have a New Loan Servicer

Courtney Johnston Senior Editor
Courtney Johnston is a senior editor leading the CNET Money team. Passionate about financial literacy and inclusion, she has a decade of experience as a freelance journalist covering policy, financial news, real estate and investing. A New Jersey native, she graduated with an M.A. in English Literature and Professional Writing from the University of Indianapolis, where she also worked as a graduate writing instructor.
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Cynthia Paez Bowman is a finance, real estate and international business journalist. Besides Bankrate.com, her work has been featured in Business Jet Traveler, MSN, CheatSheet.com, Freshome.com and SimpleDollar.com. She owns and operates a small digital marketing and public relations firm that works with select startups and women-owned businesses to provide growth and visibility. Cynthia splits her time between Los Angeles, California, and San Sebastian, Spain. She travels to Africa and the Middle East regularly to consult with women's NGOs about small business development.
Courtney Johnston
Cynthia Paez Bowman
4 min read
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What's happening

If Navient was your federal loan servicer, your loans have been transferred to Aidvantage.

Why it matters

With the federal loan pause ending at the end of the year, you'll want to know how to log into Aidvantage's website to view your student loan account.

Federal student loan repayments have been paused for more than two years, and President Biden recently announced a final extension through the end of 2022. Whether you're eligible for student loan forgiveness or not, if you haven't logged into your student loan account since the payment freeze began, now is a good time to check in. 

If you had Navient federal student loans owned by the US Department of Education, your loans have moved to a new loan servicer, Aidvantage. There's one exception: If you're in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, your loans have likely moved to MOHELA or soon will.

Here's everything you need to know about what happened to Navient, and how to log in to your new Aidvantage student loan account.

Why did Navient exit the student loan industry?

Navient was long under fire from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which sued the loan servicer in 2017: It claimed the company had pushed borrowers into costly, subprime private loans they would be unable to repay. In January, Navient canceled $1.7 billion in private student loans for nearly 66,000 borrowers after coming under scrutiny for engaging in abusive and deceptive practices, including targeting students the company allegedly knew couldn't pay back loans

In 2020, the US Department of Education announced changes to loan servicing in an effort to modernize the federal student loan system. As part of the Next Gen Initiative, the Department of Education extended its partnership with five of the 10 current loan servicers, which would continue servicing federal student loans but under stricter government regulations. Navient, along with FedLoan and Granite State, opted to end their participation in federal student loan servicing at the end of 2021.

Michael Lux, a student loan expert, attorney and founder of the Student Loan Sherpa, said that the "increase in federal regulation and government scrutiny over federal loan servicing is almost certainly to blame for Navient's departure." 

Did Navient become Aidvantage?

No. At the end of 2021, Navient transferred its caseload of 5.6 million student loans to Maximus, another federal student loan contractor. Maximus is operating its student loan servicing under the name Aidvantage.

How do I log into my Aidvantage account?

If you try to log into your former Navient account, you'll find a $0 balance, which simply means your loans were moved to Aidvantage. To log in to your new account, visit aidvantage.com and enter your Navient login information.

The process is nearly identical to Navient's. Once you enter your login and password, you'll be prompted to enter your Social Security number or account number and date of birth to confirm your identity. 

From there, you'll be taken to the Aidvantage account home page, which looks just like the Navient landing page, right down to the left-hand navigation options and color scheme.

If you can't remember your login information, select "Forgot user ID" or "Forgot password" and confirm a personal identification question to have a new one emailed to you. If you still can't get in or no longer have access to the email on file, reach out to Aidvantage for assistance at 800-722-1300.

Once you're in, double check your payment preferences

Any payment terms you set up with Navient -- autopay, deferment, income-driven repayment plans -- should have transferred seamlessly to Aidvantage. Since federal student loan payments have been paused for more than two years, you may need to review the payment details, particularly with the end of forbearance approaching. 

If your job situation has changed since you last reviewed your loan repayment options, you may want to apply for income-driven repayment or other repayment options through Aidvantage now, so you're ready to go when repayment begins in September.

Prepare for repayment in January

Federal student loan payments remain on pause through Dec. 31. If you haven't already been paying your loans during the forbearance period, be sure you know what your monthly payment will be now, so you can factor this into your budget. You can also explore the repayment options if you need additional assistance. 

If you want to explore further deferment or forbearance options, you can do this through your account online under "Repayment options." You can also speak to Aidvantage directly at 800-722-1300.

Should I pay my student loans during the payment pause?

If you're able to, paying during the pause can lower your principal loan amount, helping you save money on interest when payments resume.

The only borrowers who may not want to consider paying now are those working towards Public Service Loan Forgiveness. During the payment pause, each month counts toward your 120 qualifying payments -- whether you're paying or not. So there's little benefit to making payments during the freeze.