Navient and Sallie Mae are two student loan servicers that are often confused as one. Although Sallie Mae launched Navient, the two companies function as distinct and separate entities. Sallie Mae focuses on private student loans, while Navient services federal student loans as well as private loans.
Since the two companies are focused on different types of student loans, it is important to find out more about Navient and Sallie Mae and which company services your debt.
The connection between Sallie Mae and Navient
What does Sallie Mae do?
What does Navient do?
How the transition from Sallie Mae to Navient affects borrowers
Finding your student loan servicer
The bottom line: Sallie Mae vs. Navient
For years, Sallie Mae, one of the most well-known student loan companies, also managed federal student loans. Then, in 2010, the government passed new legislation that ended the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), with the Education Department expanding its direct lending as a replacement. These changes caused Sallie Mae to change its business model.
In 2014, Sallie Mae announced the launch of an offshoot company called Navient. Sallie Mae split its business into two separate, publicly traded entities. Sallie Mae would handle the disbursement and management of private loans, and Navient, formerly a part of Sallie Mae, would become a new loan management and servicing company for federal loans as well as private loans.
If you’re going to school, federal loans are typically the first place you turn for help with paying your tuition and expenses. But if you exhaust federal loan options or are looking for different repayment terms, private loans can be a helpful option to fill in the gap and help you pay for your education.
Sallie Mae is a student loan company that has been providing loans for over 40 years. The company offers private undergraduate, graduate and career training loans to qualified individuals. Eligible borrowers can receive loans to cover up to 100% of their educational costs.
Navient, which operates independently from Sallie Mae, focuses on the enhancement of its customers’ financial success. In addition to servicing federal student loans, Navient is known for consumer lending and business processing solutions. It also offers private student loan servicing.
With Navient, people with federal loans have access to federal benefits like income-driven repayment plans, deferment or forbearance. Qualifying individuals can sign up for income-driven repayment plans such as Income-Based Repayment (IBR), Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR), Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) plans. If you lose your job or go through a financial hardship, you can defer your payments or put them into forbearance, which allows you to postpone your payments without racking up late fees or entering into collection.
Some people had both Sallie Mae and Navient as their servicers for the same loans. If you took out federal student loans prior to 2014, you may have originally taken them out from Sallie Mae.
But as of October 13, 2014, Sallie Mae shifted all federal loans to Navient. That switch did not affect borrowers’ loan terms or repayment options, but it still confused some customers who missed the original memo.
It’s not an uncommon practice for your loan servicer to change in the middle of your repayment term. If you miss the notification about the change, you could log into your account one day to find your debt missing. But don’t get excited — that doesn’t mean your loans went away. They just went to a new company.
If you’re not sure who your loan servicer is or if you can’t figure out if it’s Sallie Mae or Navient, you have a couple of options to track down your student loan servicer:
- Check the National Student Loan Data System. One of the best resources to check is the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). This database tracks your federal student loans and stores all of your information in one place, so you can access it whenever you need.
To find your loans, click on “Financial Aid Review.” The site will ask you to log in with your username or Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. Users without an account can simply create one to gain access to their loan information. Once you log into the system, it will break down what types of loans you have, what your loan balance is and who your loan servicer is for each one.
- Check your credit report. If you have private loans or your loans are not showing up on NSLDS, you can also find your servicer by checking your credit report. You can get a free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com, which will list all your debts and the banks and companies that service the loans.
If you find out that your loans are with Navient, Sallie’s Mae’s offshoot company, you can manage your loans, make payments and apply for repayment options directly on the Navient website. This will require you to register for an account using personal information, including your Social Security Number, email address and phone number.
Knowing your servicer is essential in handling your student loan debt. Sallie Mae and Navient are frequently confused with one another, but they are separate and distinct companies, so it’s important to know which company you are working with before making payments.
For more information about managing your loans and paying them off faster, check out our guide to paying off student loans.
Kristina Byas contributed to this report.
Need a student loan?Here are our top student loan lenders of 2021!
|1.04% – 11.98%1||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|1.13% – 11.23%*,2||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|3.80% – 9.36%3||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|1.05% – 11.44%4||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|1.22% – 11.66%5||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|1.68% – 11.98%6||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|1.24% – 11.99%7||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers. |
1 Important Disclosures for College Ave.
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
Rates shown are for the College Ave Undergraduate Loan product and include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
Information advertised valid as of 4/22/2021. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Lowest advertised rates require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.
2 Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. If you choose to complete an application, we will conduct a hard credit pull, which may affect your credit score. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.
4 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
UNDERGRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.23% to 11.26% annual percentage rate (“APR”) (with autopay), variable rates from 1.22% to 11.66% APR (with autopay). GRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.13% to 11.37% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.12% to 11.73% APR (with autopay). MBA AND LAW SCHOOL LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.30% to 11.52% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.29% to 11.89% APR (with autopay). PARENT LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.60% to 10.76% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.22% to 11.16% APR (with autopay). For variable rate loans, the variable interest rate is derived from the one-month LIBOR rate plus a margin and your APR may increase after origination if the LIBOR increases. Changes in the one-month LIBOR rate may cause your monthly payment to increase or decrease. Interest rates for variable rate loans are capped at 13.95%, unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law. Lowest rates are reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. If approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, the repayment option you select, the term and amount of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. Information current as of 4/1/2021. Enrolling in autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. SoFi Lending Corp., licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. NMLS #1121636 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org).
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
Undergraduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 1.68% – 11.98% (1.68% – 11.07% APR)Fixed interest rates range from 4.24% – 12.40% (4.24% – 11.43% APR).
Graduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 1.91% – 11.63% (1.91% – 11.33% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.64% – 11.93% (4.64% – 11.61% APR).
Business/Law Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 1.91% – 10.19% (1.91% – 9.47% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.38% – 10.44% (4.38% – 9.72% APR).
Medical/Dental Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 1.91% – 8.99% (1.91% – 8.69% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.28% – 9.24% (4.28% – 8.94% APR).
Parent Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 2.49% – 8.33% (2.49% – 8.33% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.94% – 8.58% (4.94% – 8.58% APR).
Bar Study Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 4.46% – 9.60% (4.46% – 9.54% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 7.39% – 12.94% (7.40% – 12.83% APR).
Medical Residency Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.55% – 7.05% (3.55% – 6.78% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 6.99% – 10.49% (6.98% – 10.09% APR).
Variable Rate Disclosure: Variable Rates are based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of May 10, 2021, the one-month LIBOR rate is 0.11%. Variable interest rates will fluctuate over the term of the loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. The maximum variable rate is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%.
Fixed Rate Disclosure: Fixed rate ranges are based on applicable terms, level of degree, and presence of a co-signer.
Lowest Rate Disclosure: Lowest rates require a 5-year repayment term, immediate repayment, a graduate degree (where applicable), and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer. Borrowers should carefully review federal benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are considering possible loan forgiveness options, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision on our website including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.
Eligibility Criteria: Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or eligible non-citizen with a creditworthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-signer. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer is required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. Citizens Bank private student loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/Promissory Note, verification of application information, and if applicable, self-certification form, school certification of the loan amount, and student’s enrollment at a Citizens Bank participating school.
Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
7 Important Disclosures for Discover.
Lowest APRs shown for Discover Student Loans are available for the most creditworthy applicants for undergraduate loans, and include an interest-only repayment discount and a 0.25% interest rate reduction while enrolled in automatic payments.