Last week, JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced to shareholders that it planned to unload its student loan holdings. Now, it appears the company has found a home for the $6.9 billion portfolio of student debt.
Navient announced in a press release that it has reached an agreement to purchase JPMorgan’s portfolio. The deal is expected to close in stages during the second quarter of 2017.
What student loans are included in the deal?
According to the statement from Navient, about $3.7 billion of the portfolio is comprised of federally guaranteed student loans. The remaining $3.2 billion in student loan debt is comprised of private loans. JPMorgan stopped originating student loans in 2013.
“We welcome our new customers, and we commit to delivering best-in-class support to ensure a seamless transition,” said Navient CEO Jack Remondi in the press release. “Leveraging our 43-year track record of helping borrowers succeed, we will provide ongoing assistance to help our new customers continue to successfully manage their education loans.”
If JPMorgan previously serviced your student loans, it’s possible your debt will be transferred to Navient in the coming months. If that’s the case, don’t panic — your loan term and interest rate will remain the same.
What to do if your student loan servicer changes
When your debt moves to a new servicer, you technically don’t have to do anything; your old and new servicer will work together and make sure things are transferred smoothly. However, you should pay attention and make sure your payment information and loan data isn’t lost in the shuffle.
1. Confirm your servicer
First, confirm who your student loan servicer is. If you have JPMorgan loans, watch for information about the switch in the coming months.
2. Read your student loan notifications
Your loan servicer should send you a letter ahead of time to let you know about the change. Open and read all notifications so you understand what’s happening and when the transition will occur.
If you have moved recently, double-check your current account and update your contact information if necessary.
3. Create a new account
If your loan servicer is JPMorgan, you should receive a letter from Navient welcoming you. Instructions for creating a new Navient account should be included.
Set up the account as soon as possible and check to make sure everything looks correct. Your loan terms will not change, so your interest rate and repayment period should be the same.
4. Verify your payment information
See when your next bill is due and ensure that your payment information has been correctly moved to your new servicer. If you were previously enrolled in autopay, make sure that information was correctly transferred, too. You don’t want to miss a payment because of your servicer’s mistake.
What if you don’t want Navient as a loan servicer?
New Navient customers may be disappointed to hear that the company is currently facing a lawsuit from the CFPB and a class-action lawsuit. Though you can’t prevent your student loans from moving to Navient, you don’t have to keep them there.
If you’re unwilling to work with Navient, you can attempt to refinance your student loans with a different lender.
When you refinance, you can potentially secure a lower interest rate and smaller monthly payment. This helps you manage your cash flow and save money over time. However, keep in mind that refinancing doesn’t always save you money.
Switching student loan servicers shouldn’t be the only reason you refinance, but choosing a lender you’re more comfortable with is a nice perk. Learn more about what to consider before refinancing.
Could Navient end up with more student loans?
With federal student loan defaults on the rise, it’s possible that Navient could end up with more student loans in its portfolio. Companies like JPMorgan have been looking for ways to unload their student loan debt in recent years to limit losses and liabilities. If Navient continues to buy loans, it could end up with an even bigger share of the market than it already has.
Though it’s not uncommon for student loans to move to a new servicer, it can be inconvenient for borrowers. To ensure you’re always informed of modifications to your debt, keep your contact info updated and log in to your account regularly. With due diligence, you can stay on top of your loans and keep up with any changes.
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