If you are currently looking towards getting student loans right now:
Please, please, PLEASE do not go through Navient/Sallie Mae for your student loans. I did because it’s what my mom recommended to me because it was easiest for her to get set up and approved for, and I as a naive 18-year old listened. I did some government loans, but since my parents were going through a divorce at the time and refused to cooperate in helping with my financial info/FAFSA/etc I just continued to do mostly Sallie Mae loans.
My 2 government loans are at 6.8% and 3.4% interest.
My 4 Sallie Mae loans all started at around 8% and have all risen between 9.5% and 10.5% interest.
The government’s student loans have been open in communication about how much I owe, how to plan to pay them off, how to defer payment if you need to or change payment amounts based on your income, etc etc.
Sallie Mae does not display any of this information clearly on their websites, or directs you to their hotline where you’ll sit on hold for a while and get transferred back and forth for a while while their reps are purposefully obtuse.
Their “automatic payment” system in place where you can put in your credit card # and auto pay your statement monthly only stays in place for a few months, where it will drop your card without notifying you then charge you overdue fees for ‘missing’ payments. (this happened to me while only paying off interest, though I’ve heard of this happening to others on their main balances.)
While paying over the phone once, the rep accidentally put the whole lump sum in 1 of my 4 loans instead of spreading it out like I told him to. They started harassing my family over the phone the very next day and I had to fight to have them drop the overdue charges from the account after I figured out what the problem was a few days later.
This turned out way longer than expected.. I know that financial stuff like this is scary when you’re first starting out but please just. learn from my mistakes and make sure that you check all other avenues like gov’t loans or fixed interest loans before signing your name away willy-nilly without worrying about interest like I did.