Good evening everyone. This is somewhat of a Budgets and Beer special report. No, I did not find a 25th beer in my case, but something even more exciting! The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (or the CFPB because I am not typing that long ass name all night) has filed a lawsuit against Navient. This is one of three, yes three, lawsuits recent filed against Navient. You might seriously need that 25th beer after you hear what those little turds did! Ok, sorry, I take that back. Finding a 25th bottle in your case of beer would be the coolest thing that has happened since the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, but I digress. If you are not sure who Navient is, they are one of the largest issuers of student loans in the United States. Approximately, one in every four loans issued to our nation’s students of higher education are handed to them by Navient. Navient was previously part of another larger and mean old lady named Sallie Mae, Inc. Sallie Mae is just the nickname for the Student Loan Marketing Association which sounds freaking horrible so I can understand why they gave it that stupid nickname. Any company that is “marketing” student loans sounds ridiculous and predatory. Miss Mae was pretty much the lender equivalent of that angry old elementary school teacher who seemed to hate everyone and enjoyed mentally and emotionally torturing children for no apparent reason.
Finally, Sallie Mae’s evil little spawn Navient has been called to justice. It would be far cooler if the justice was dished out by that blind lady swinging one of her cool scales into their faces but we will probably have to settle for some serious fines, sanctions and maybe an entire board room of executives thrown to the streets. Don’t let Lady Justice’s sword hit you in the butt on your way out. I am going to quote the CFPB here because I can not say it any better; “For years, Navient, formerly part of Sallie Mae, created obstacles to repayment by providing bad information, processing payments incorrectly, and failing to act when borrowers complained. Through shortcuts and deception, the company also illegally cheated many struggling borrowers out of their rights to lower repayments, which caused them to pay much more than they had to for their loans.”1 If you just had a profanity leaden response go through your head or like in my case out loud when you read that, you are not alone. That type of deception really grinds my gears.
Officially, Navient has been charged with the following infractions. 1) Failure to correctly apply or allocate borrower payments to their accounts. Holy crap! So you make your monthly payments and they never credit your account. My payment got lost in the mail you say…I freaking have electronic auto-pay you idiots. 2) Steers struggling borrowers toward paying more than they have to on loans. So here at Budgets and Beer we make a lot of fuss about paying down your debt as fast as reasonably possible however for a lot of people out there making the minimum payment is the only way to do that. To purposefully make those struggling borrowers pay MORE for their loans is just sick. Insert more choice words here if you would like. 3) Deceived private student loan borrowers about requirements to release their co-signer from the loan. Navient would secretly punish people who paid off more than their monthly balances by sending them notices that they have paid enough in advance that the next monthly installment was $0. If you chose to not make that payment it would reset your consecutive monthly on time payments counter back down to zero denying the co-signer to be released. Who comes up with this sneaky, slimy crap? 4) Obscured information consumers needed to maintain their lower payments. The federal government, in 2009, started an income driven repayment program which would allow you to have monthly payments you could afford with your new entry-level position’s salary. Good stuff right? Well, Navient would make the information to annually renew in this program so convoluted it would be difficult for the borrower to figure out how to re-apply. Or they would simply never remind you to re-apply thus spiking your monthly payments by gazillions of dollars when the application period elapsed. Such a sweet and caring organization. The last accusation is so shocking it hurts me to even type it 5) Harmed the credit of disabled borrowers, including severely injured veterans. I cannot even begin to go into how awful this is. Just chug the rest your beer, crack open a new one, thank a veteran, and we will move on.
I am going to say it again, what a bunch of little turds. It appears that at every step of a borrower’s attempts to become student debt free they actively threw obstacles and purposefully made it difficult for people with Navient loans to repay them. Prolonging the life of their loans to increase the interest payments made to Navient to raise money so they could decrease their operating costs. This seriously makes Mr. Budgets and Beer super angry because one of the biggest quests we take on here is to become debt free. Navient has obviously denied the allegations. Yea, we will believe them as far as we can throw a $146 billion dollar organization. And yes that is billion with a “B”. I have some other choice “B” word adjectives running through my mind for Navient. I personally have some student debt from Navient and keep a very keen eye on my balances. Luckily, I have not had any funny business with mine. If you or anyone you know have experienced problems with Navient or any lender here is the website to lodge a complaint (https://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/#student-loan). It is a government backed agency who hopefully can help you out. The CFPB has a pretty sweet website with more valuable advice for students, graduates and their families on how to do work on their student debt.
The beer of the blog this week is Magic Hat Brewing Company’s Fat Angel American Pale Ale. It is a light and refreshing pale ale that has nothing really special stand out, but that is the beautiful idea here. It is a quality and deliciously sessionable ale where on a sunny and warm spring day you would quickly find your 6-pack disappear. This is the type of beer that finding that miracle 25th beer in your case would be absolutely perfect! Cheers!
1 Much love for the sweet quote brought to you buy the CFPB