Navient improper processing of IBR - what can I do?

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2muchSchool
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 12:19 am

Navient improper processing of IBR - what can I do?

Post by 2muchSchool » Thu May 26, 2016 1:26 am

Hello.

I am new to this forum and extremely frustrated. This is about a Navient loan and IBR.

I have just graduated from medical school in November - yay me! - and have well over 200K in student loans. The irony is that Navient doesn't have ANY stake in my medical school loans, and I owe them a grand total of $1500 from a decade ago from undergrad. Because of licensing and credentialing delays, I am still not working. Husband was laid off several months before I graduated. I was hospitalized in 2015 and he had to take time off work - which is an ignored financial issue right now, but relates due to affecting annual income 2015. In February 2016 he still didn't have a job, so we decided to apply for IBR for when grace period ended on loans because our life savings was taking a hit from basics like groceries and basic utilities - I know how to live like a pauper and seriously stretched the bucks.

So I went to studentloans-dot-gov and applied for my IBR to be sent to my loan providers. All of them came back $0 payment = good. Navient still was processing, which I thought was weird. I used their online features and emailed to inquire and they said "it looks like it's about to be approved. You'll be notified when grace ends of the terms and your payments." Well, I got a letter saying my IBR was accepted, but they never notified me of the plan or payments - they said to await further instruction. No mail and no emails. A month goes by and they finally email me .... that I'm late on payments. What payments?

They had taken my IBR application, which was completed using 2015's taxes, which seriously wasn't much at all, and said we made money, so we owed them. I can barely put food on the table right now - literally scraps - and I called them and said we weren't working, how can they ask us to pay if we have nothing?! I was nice - I just didn't understand it. They said I must have filled out the form wrong and didn't say where our income had changed. I have the form. I pulled it up and examined it again. It is correct, and they are the only ones doing this of the 4 loan providers I have - everyone else says I owe nothing in payments until I renew my IBR. Everyone except Navient.

I emailed Navient what I filled out:
"....it shows that we had income in 2015, but I selected all options stating we had a *change in income* and we did not have any taxable income for 2016, and still do not at this time. (Please have someone look again and see section 4B of the form, questions 14 through 19.) The tax information was required by studentloans-dot-gov for the previous year, 2015, due to us already doing our taxes. But I still completed the form stating we have no current taxable income (Section 4B questions 18 and 19)." I had to repeat over and over again - "we have no taxable income" because the poor Navient rep told me that I needed to tell them that in writing in order to process the info...... wasn't that the purpose of the form I completed w/ studentloans-dot-gov???

I sent it to a Navient supervisor. I told her about the other loans and the issues. They came back with telling me that "you must return to studentloans-dot-gov and complete the form again and re-submit. Do not include recent taxes."
This makes no sense. At that point I was crying and angry.
To make matters more complicated, my husband was offered a job that very day. If I fill out that form again and say we have no income when he is now working - it's fraud. I won't do it.

What can I do??? I thought about reporting to the Better Business Bureau, but would that actually help? There is nothing to pay this with right now - we lived off of credit cards for over a month and had medicaid since Feb. Is there some legal action I can take against Navient for not using a government form properly? I cannot shake the feeling like they delayed deliberately so they could get money from me. I did everything early Feb - a government form and I did it properly, and wasn't about to lie and say I hadn't already done taxes, when I already did. (What was the point of waiting since the income was pitiful?) I shouldn't stress about 1.5K when I need to put money on the table and food in the bank.....(yeah, I know what I did there, but I actually said that to a friend on accident because of stress/exhaustion.) But I have hospitalization medical bills that are in collections, and now Navient..... any suggestions would be great. I can work with everything else, but Navient is the horror for me here.

Thank you for listening.

2muchSchool
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 12:19 am

Re: Navient improper processing of IBR - what can I do?

Post by 2muchSchool » Thu May 26, 2016 7:26 pm

Please, can anyone help?

mlipps
Posts: 895
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:35 am

Re: Navient improper processing of IBR - what can I do?

Post by mlipps » Thu May 26, 2016 9:26 pm

Sometimes this forum is a better source of info for these types of questions: fatwallet.com/forums/finance

xenial
Posts: 2623
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:36 am
Location: USA

Re: Navient improper processing of IBR - what can I do?

Post by xenial » Thu May 26, 2016 10:45 pm

2muchSchool, welcome to the Bogleheads forum and congratulations on your medical degree.

You have every reason to be angry about your treatment. The best place to complain about Navient is probably the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Navient has been in hot water for abusing borrowers before: CFPB Considers Suing Student Loan Giant Navient For Cheating Borrowers.

One observation --- Your "licensing and credentialing delays" strike me as a far more important issue than this relatively small debt. There are lots of physicians here, so if you need advice on that subject, you should ask questions.

Best of luck!

2muchSchool
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 12:19 am

Re: Navient improper processing of IBR - what can I do?

Post by 2muchSchool » Fri May 27, 2016 12:48 pm

xenial wrote:....You have every reason to be angry about your treatment. The best place to complain about Navient is probably the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Navient has been in hot water for abusing borrowers before....
.....
One observation --- Your "licensing and credentialing delays" strike me as a far more important issue than this relatively small debt. There are lots of physicians here, so if you need advice on that subject, you should ask questions.
Xenial, thank you for your concern. The licensing and credentialing have been what has taken me so long since graduation. Fortunately, those are wrapped up quite nicely now and I am on the job hunt. It merely took some time to sort out. I am a rules fanatic - I play by them; it doesn't look like Navient has the same concern. I will look into CFPB. I knew that Navient was under scrutiny before, but didn't think about where.

And to mlipps on his suggestion:
mlipps wrote:Sometimes this forum is a better source of info for these types of questions: fatwallet.com/forums/finance
I usually refrain from posting on any site that is so apparent in commercial advertising..... I appreciate the link. I will look at it, but I doubt that I will post anything at all on a site so full of coupons and ads.

Jeff P
Posts: 145
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:07 am

Re: Navient improper processing of IBR - what can I do?

Post by Jeff P » Fri May 27, 2016 1:47 pm

Husband's job offer:

I am not familiar with what you have to specifically report, but you may still be fine refiling as suggested without it being fraud. An offer isn't a job and a job might not count as income until he starts or maybe gets first paycheck. CHeck it out, you may still be able to follow the rules.

campy2010
Posts: 870
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:01 pm

Re: Navient improper processing of IBR - what can I do?

Post by campy2010 » Fri May 27, 2016 2:01 pm

First of all, your IBR payment is based on the prior years income tax returns. So if husband had no income in 2015 then saying income was $0 even though he now has a job isn't fraud. It's how the IBR program works.

If the Navient wants you to re-file the form then do it. Again, saying you have no income because husband has a job and hasn't received a paycheck yet isn't fraud. Don't worry about it.

If you can't afford the IBR payment, then the other option is to put your Navient loans on hardship deferral. Either way you need to keep making payments or your credit score is going to take a big hit. And student loan companies are the worst about removing black marks from your credit history.

The student loan ombudsman can be a resource if you're having trouble with a student loan company.

Like you alluded to in your post, don't stress so much about a $1500 loan. Either defer it or scrape together what must be a very small monthly payment. Not worth harming your credit history over such a small amount. Hope things are turning around for you.

2muchSchool
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 12:19 am

Re: Navient improper processing of IBR - what can I do?

Post by 2muchSchool » Fri May 27, 2016 6:04 pm

Thank you to everyone who responded. I have submitted a claim to the CFPB.

My husband had not only had that job offer, but accepted it that same day. We were desperate financially. He received his first 3wk paycheck last week. Navient told me that they would give me a forbearance for only one month. (Deferment is only a term used when in school.) They expect me to pay in June. We are just now getting our footing with that first paycheck and are thankful to have a family member as a landlord - we are late on rent, too.

Navient is being unreasonable and, as one of you stated, student loans can seriously mess up your credit rating if you let it get that far - therefore I can't just not pay, and, frankly, we don't have the means to right now.

2muchSchool
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 12:19 am

Re: Navient improper processing of IBR - what can I do?

Post by 2muchSchool » Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:12 pm

xenial's advice led me to file with the CFPB against Navient after my multiple attempts to get them to properly process my IBR application for financial hardship!

:arrow: :arrow: :arrow: A special public THANK YOU for this user: xenial!! :mrgreen:

Almost immediately after I filed the complaint with the CFPB I was notified by some Navient "consumer advocate" rep that she was processing my claim. Husband and I have been sick, so I finally contacted them last week. She fixed all the errors and stated "I don't know why they didn't see: you had no income on your application. The tax information shouldn't have mattered since you had no current source of income." She, of course, apologized that my multiple attempts to get this issue corrected weren't acknowledged and nothing was being done to help me. :oops:

No more worries about loans this year! OMG! So much relief that I am no longer getting harassed by them!

Now on to the continued job hunting in KY! :sharebeer

xenial
Posts: 2623
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:36 am
Location: USA

Re: Navient improper processing of IBR - what can I do?

Post by xenial » Tue Jun 14, 2016 5:38 pm

2muchSchool, I'm very happy things worked out for you.

Best of luck in your job hunt!

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