SYRACUST, N.Y. (WSYR) — When it was time for Kathy Longest’s son, Hayden, to go to college they did what most families do, take out student loans.
Their student loans were originally through a company called Sallie Mae, but one of their federal loans was eventually transferred to Navient, one of Sallie Mae’s offshoot companies, a transfer Longest was never made aware of.
“We got no answers, but in order to keep his credit good we had to pay these, but we had no idea what they were for. Until this day we still don’t know what they’re for,” she said.
More recently, Longest received notice from Navient that their loan was being reassigned to another loan servicer called Aidvantage in August 2021.
So when she learned of Navient’s $1.85 billion dollar settlement with 39 states that would forgive student loans, she had some questions.
Well, the answers to her questions are quite complicated. Only certain loans through Navient actually qualify for forgiveness and the criteria are extensive.
To qualify for forgiveness here are just a few of the requirements your loan must meet:
- Student loan must have been dispersed between 2002 and 2014
- Student loan must have been behind on payments for at least seven monthly billing cycles prior to June 31, 2021
- Qualifying borrowers must have attended certain for-profit educational institutions
The settlement also included about $95 million in restitution for around 350,000 federal loan borrowers. When this is divided up across all 39 states, each borrower would receive about a $260 payment if they meet certain requirements such as having a loan in forbearance.
“But the thing is what’s 200 and something dollars going to do?” Longest said.
Especially when her son is still thousands of dollars in debt over ten years later.
“It’s heartbreaking to watch them you know struggle to make a life… it’s just not fair,” she said.
However, if you do meet the criteria for a payment you’ll be notified directly by Navient or the State’s Department of Education, so make sure to keep a close eye on your mail and e-mail. Plus, double-check that your contact information on your Navient profile and on Studentaid.gov is up to date so you’re sure to receive the notice.
For more information on whether you qualify, click here.