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Despite Criticism, Education Dept. Extends Loan Contract With Navient


The Chronicle of Higher Education. June 18, 2014.

The U.S. Education Department has extended its contract with Navient, a student-loan servicer and collection agency that was formerly a division of Sallie Mae, despite allegations it has overcharged borrowers, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Navient’s work for the federal government was worth $106-million last year, and its contract would have expired this month. Sallie Mae, which in April was divided into two companies, Navient and Sallie Mae Bank, agreed last month to pay $97-million to settle claims that it had overcharged members of the armed services. Groups including the AFL-CIO and various student organizations had petitioned Education Secretary Arne Duncan to let Navient’s contract expire.

Navient collects payments on federal loans from about six million borrowers, the third most of the 11 companies that service federal student loans.