Student loans are common in the U.S. Many students get these low-risk loans to invest in their education. When they finally graduate and find a good-paying job, they can slowly pay their debts off. But what happens if the borrower dies? More specifically, what happens to Navient student loans when you die?
Student Loan Debt Forgiveness After Death
According to multiple sources, the U.S. has 44.7 million people buried in student loan debts. This number indicates that one in four Americans has a debt they need to repay, either a federal student loan or a private student loan. Some of these people owe student loan debts from Navient, a company that was part of Sallie Mae.
Sallie Mae also dealt with federal student loans and was one of the main student loan providers in the U.S. However, it split into two companies – Sallie Mae and Navient – in 2014. The latter holds many contracts on behalf of the government, banks, and other lenders. They handle federal and private student loans, which may or may not be forgiven if you suddenly die.
In most cases, at least with federal student loans, your debt is discharged if you die. You don’t have to worry that your loans will be passed on to your family or your estate. Your debt will be fully forgiven, not owed or owned by anyone. This also applies to parent PLUS loans. Private student loans and co-signed student loans are a little different.
When Death Cannot Forgive Your Student Loans
So, what happens to Navient student loans when you die? It depends on the type of student loan you have. If yours is a federal student loan, you are qualified for federal student loan forgiveness programs. This applies if you have been paying off your debt every month. The government itself writes off your debt upon your death.
The case is different with private student loans and co-signed student loans that Navient holds. These loans are subject to the rules of the company that provided the direct loan. According to Navient’s website, many private loans can be forgiven if the primary borrower dies. The family only needs to provide documentation.
In the case of private student loans where multiple parties are involved, there is the possibility that the other party’s obligation may be released if they die. However, the surviving borrower will still be responsible for repaying the loan. Documentation is also necessary for the loan discharge of the borrower who died.
This is what Navient says on its website. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case all the time. The company has a history of controversy around chasing loan debts of deceased borrowers. It has thousands of complaints, including abusive interest charges and repayment methods that are unnecessarily difficult.
Is Navient Student Loan Discharge Possible?
What happens to Navient student loans when you die is that your family member or co-signer will likely have to take the repayment burden if you have private loans. If you have federal loans, though, your debts will be forgiven.
If you’re unsure, the best choice is to contact them directly to know your options and determine the possibility of your student loans being written off if you die.