Should I Just Defer My Navient Loans? – Katie


Dear Steve,

Hi Steve. So I just spent an hour calling at least 5-7 different numbers of Navient’s trying to find information about my newly defaulted private loans. Because they literally defaulted today, all I was told is to call back by Friday when they’re in the system.

My question for you is if I have the option to pay a $50 deferment payment for each loan to get them out of default should I take it? I just read your article from the Huffinton Post so it’s got me contemplating the best financial options for myself and if bankruptcy is a good option for me. I have over $50,000 in student loan debt (private + federal). I make a yearly income that falls below the poverty line so luckily I can sign up for an IBR plan for the federal loans.



Dear Katie,

As you noted, income based repayment plans are only for federal loans. And more importantly, they do have some serious consequences. They will explode your balances. Please read Why Income Based Student Loan Payments Can Be a Terrible Trap.

I completely understand the need to feel like you have to stop the immediate pain on these right now. I totally get it. I really do. But from an outsider point of view, what you need is a bigger strategy and plan of attack for your student loan debt, rather than just a reaction to default.

There are a number of questions to contemplate. For example, is your private student loan debt dischargeable in bankruptcy right away? Some is. You can learn more here.

Maybe you went to a school that misled students about success and graduation rates. If so, read this.

Have you talked to an experienced debt coach to evaluate your entire financial situation and come up with a long term strategy to address the situation? If not, click here.

When private loans have defaulted, it’s a good opportunity to settle them, if you know what to do. Click here for more info.

There are tools out there to use, like deferment or income plans but real tragedy can occur when the wrong tool is used for the wrong situation.

In a perfect world I’d love for you to take this opportunity to look into the future and not just react to the current news.

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This article by Steve Rhode first appeared on Get Out of Debt Guy and was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.