Navient: Like Sallie Mae, But Somehow Even Worse
As I mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago, the Mister and I recently paid off all of our major student loans. It took a couple of tries due to the amounts owed, but we did it, and we reveled in checking the site after the amounts cleared out bank: $0 owed. Then yesterday we noticed that Navient still automatically debited the Mister’s loan payment. He signed in and saw a negative balance on one of his loans for that amount, and also noticed that instead of a zero balance on his other loan, he has a positive balance of $.43. That’s right. Forty-three cents. When he called, they explained that since it takes two days to process, they keep charging that interest. So basically it’s an impossible task to pay off a loan early; every time you pay, there’s a two day lag where you’ll accrue interest.
The woman he spoke with said they would ‘write off’ the $.43 (how generous!), and would turn off the automatic debit for the other loans. First off – how can an auto debit still happen when you have a zero balance? That’s just … what? You don’t owe anything, so there shouldn’t be anything for them to take. Or if there are still a few cents, shouldn’t it just take that? Second – they said we’ll get the money back … in 30-45 days. Will they be sending us interest on that? My guess is no.
Given what the Mister experienced, I decided to sign in and make sure my loan showed a zero balance. Nope. I still owe $.83. What. The. Hell. I have no patience with student loan companies, so instead of calling I sent an email asking for explicit instructions as to how to pay off that eighty-three cents, as well as a letter showing the loan is paid in full, along with a guarantee in writing that they have cancelled the auto-debit on that account while maintaining the auto debit on the one loan we have left. I … do not have high hopes.
This is kind of amazing. Imagine if we didn’t have the extra money that they took from us for that auto-debit? What if that had overdrawn our bank account? Or if we hadn’t checked on the accounts to make sure they still showed a zero balance (which they actually did a week ago), and thus never sent a payment, and ended up getting penalties and credit dings for late payments? I mean, student loan companies are already the worst; it’s kind of amazing that they find new ways to screw with their ‘customers.’ Given this latest development, we’ve decided to hit the savings and just pay off the final small loan. It’s not worth it anymore. I’d rather have less of a cushion than have any part of me relying on Navient to do its job.