Student loan payments are a great way to help manage your finances. Navient is one of the largest providers of student loans in the United States, and they have many different repayment plans that can help you lower payments. The standard repayment plan for Navient student loans is a fixed monthly payment for ten years. It can be quite tough to afford, especially if you are on a tight budget or have other debts to pay off on top of this. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to reduce your payments with Navient.
How To Lower Navient Student Loan Payments
Lowering your monthly payments is important to keep your debt from spiraling out of control. Here are some ways that you can reduce your Navient student loan payments:
1. Refinance a Portion of or All of Your Loans
By refinancing a portion of your loans, you may be able to lower the monthly payments on all or some of your student loans. Many people refinance their federal and private student loans through Navient to receive better rates. You can also consider refinancing an entire loan if it has a high-interest rate compared to other lenders.
2. Apply for a Deferment
If you cannot make payments on your Navient student loans during times of financial hardship, then consider looking into temporary loan deferrals. These can help keep your interest rates low and prevent them from skyrocketing further. With the unemployment rate still high in many parts of the United States, this is an option that is becoming increasingly popular.
3. Request for a Forbearance
If you are unable to make your monthly payments but don't qualify for a deferment, then you may want to apply for a forbearance. A forbearance will allow you to stop making payments or lower your monthly payment amount for a specific period. Remember that interest will continue to accrue during this time, so it is best to only use forbearance as a last resort.
4. Enroll in an Income-driven Repayment Plan
The best way to lower your payments with Navient is to switch to one of their income-driven repayment plans. It will cap your monthly payment at a percentage of your discretionary income, which can be much more affordable than the standard plan. You can also choose from four different plans:
- PAYE (Pay As You Earn): This plan caps your monthly payment at 10% of your discretionary income, and it forgives any remaining debt after twenty years.
- REPAYE (Revised Pay As You Earn): This is comparable to PAYE in terms of payment calculation. REPAYE helps you benefit by requiring you to only pay half the interest accrued over the loan's term.
- IBR (Income-Based Repayment): IBR considers your income, but they also look at how many people live in your household and where you reside.
- ICR ( Income-Contingent Repayment): ICR is normally more expensive than income-based plans, but it has fixed interest rates. With a 25-year payback term, this is very beneficial.
It can be challenging when you've had the opportunity to repay your student loans over time. No one wants to have a mortgage for the rest of their lives, so it is wise to explore all options available.
Navient offers a variety of repayment plans — like what was discussed above — that can help borrowers with different financial situations to start repaying their loans. If you know which plan is best for you, you can lower your monthly payments or even receive forgiveness on certain plans.