The Potluck

Minnesota students to get $14 million through Navient settlement

By: - January 13, 2022 4:49 pm

Photo illustration by Getty Images

More than 400 Minnesotans who got student loans through Navient will see their debt canceled, and 4,325 will receive restitution payments from the company under a settlement reached Thursday with 39 states, the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office announced.

The coalition of attorneys general accused Navient, one of the nation’s largest student loan servicers, of steering borrowers into costly forbearances instead of flexible, income-based repayment plans.

Navient also allegedly made subprime private loans available to students at for-profit schools and colleges with low graduation rates — knowing many would likely default — to entice schools to use company for other, more profitable loans, according to the attorneys general.

“Navient put their own profits ahead of the interests of millions of families across our country who are struggling to repay student loans,” said Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison in a news release.

The $1.85 billion settlement requires Navient to cancel debts on subprime private student loans owed by approximately 66,000 people nationwide. The company will pay $95 million restitution to 350,000 borrowers affected by the forbearance steering practices — about $260 per borrower.

The deal also requires Navient to inform borrowers of income-driven repayment plan options before placing borrowers in optional forbearance. 

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Rilyn Eischens
Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens is a former data reporter for the Minnesota Reformer. Rilyn was born and raised in Minnesota and has worked in newsrooms in the Twin Cities, Iowa, Texas and most recently Virginia, where she covered education for The Staunton News Leader. She's an alumna of the Dow Jones News Fund data journalism program and the Minnesota Daily. When Rilyn isn't in the newsroom, she likes to read, add to her plant collection and try new recipes.