February 01, 2021

Warren Statement on Department of Education's Decision to Collect $22.3 Million from Student Loan Giant Navient After Years of Predatory Behavior

Navient has evaded financial accountability for over a decade

Washington, DC - Today, United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) released the following statement applauding the Department of Education's recent decision to collect the approximately $22.3 million that student loan servicer Navient (formerly Sallie Mae) owes to taxpayers after massively overcharging the federal government in a years-long scandal. The decision follows a January 29, 2020 letter Senator Warren sent calling on former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to recoup $22.3 million owed by the student loan giant. 

"Navient spent over a decade boosting its profits by cheating students and taxpayers and evading accountability, and after years of pushing the Department of Education to end this cycle of corruption, I'm glad that Navient will finally be held accountable for their predatory behavior," said Senator Warren. "Paying the $22 million it owes taxpayers is a good first step, but now, we need to fire Navient to prevent this corrupt student loan giant from cheating and scamming students and taxpayers ever again."

Senator Warren is one of the nation's leading voices calling for student debt cancellation and an end to predatory practices that hurt borrowers. She has long fought to hold Navient accountable for its corrupt servicing practices.

  • In May 2015, she called on the Department of Education to explain why it had not yet completed its investigation into Navient's violations of servicemembers' rights.
  • In August 2015, she released a report identifying numerous problems with the Department of Education's review of student loan servicers' compliance with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), following Navient's $100 million fine for violating SCRA.
  • In March 2016, she and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) again raised concerns about the Department of Education's flawed review of student loan servicers' compliance with SCRA.
  • In May 2016, she wrote to the Department of Education's Office of Federal Student Aid raising concerns about Naivent's dramatic increase in lobbying expenditures in light of the fact that the company still owed the Department of Education over $20 million.
  • In August 2017, Senator Warren led a bill, now law, with Republican Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, that strengthens performance-based accountability of federal student loan servicers through greater competition and stronger oversight.
  • In November 2017, she raised concerns about Navient's acquisition of Earnest, an education finance company and private loan lender.
  • In November 2018, she released a previously undisclosed audit providing evidence of Navient's record of cheating student borrowers and driving them into debt.
  • In May 2019, she led a group of Senate colleagues sending a letter to the three largest federal student loan servicing companies, including Navient, regarding disturbing news received from the CFPB about the servicers' refusal to cooperate with the agency.
  • In October 2019, she and Senator Blumenthal urged the Education Department to not renew Navient's contract.
  • In January 2020, Senator Warren called on former Education Secretary DeVos to collect the $22.3 million that student loan servicer Navient Corporation owes the U.S. Department of Education.

More on her oversight of Secretary DeVos's Education Department can be found here.