Bob Ferguson

Photo: Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson

OLYMPIA - As a result of a lawsuit filed by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, student loan servicer Navient has been ordered provide nearly $45 million in debt relief, restitution and costs to Washingtonians. Ferguson's lawsuit asserted that Navient, which was the nation’s largest student loan servicer at the time, engaged in numerous unfair and deceptive practices harming Washington student loan borrowers.

Washington and Illinois were the first two states to file a lawsuit against Navient. 

The student loan giant has been ordered to:

  • Extend more than $35 million in debt relief, erasing the remaining debt of more than 1,400 Washingtonians who took out certain private student loans between 2002 and 2014 — an average of about $25,000 per person;
  • Pay $2.3 million in restitution to approximately 8,900 Washington borrowers enrolled in forbearance for an extended period of time between 2009 and 2017; and
  • Pay $7 million to Washington to cover costs from the complex, multiyear investigation and litigation, along with future enforcement of the state’s Consumer Protection Act.

According to Ferguson's Office, Washingtonians do not need to take any action to receive these benefits. Borrowers receiving private loan debt cancellation will receive a notice from Navient, and they will receive refunds of any payments made on those loans that were made after June 30, 2021.

The Attorney General’s settlement administrator will send a postcard to Washingtonians who are eligible for a restitution payment in the next several months. Federal student loan borrowers who may be eligible for a restitution payment are encouraged to update their contact information in their account or create an account if they do not already have one.

Borrowers who will receive restitution or debt relief span all generations: Navient’s harmful conduct impacted everyone from students who enrolled in colleges and universities immediately after high school to mid-career students who dropped out after enrolling in a for-profit school in the early 2000s.

“Higher education should not equal a lifelong debt sentence — and student loan corporations do not have the right to deceive Washingtonians in order to maximize their profits,” Ferguson said. “We are holding the country’s largest student loan servicer accountable, achieving hard-fought corporate reforms, and helping repair the damage they did to Washington borrowers. We will continue fighting to prevent the financial abuse of Washington students overburdened with debt.”