source: iStock

Consider two young people with student loans. The first owes $27,000 and the second owes $7,000. When it comes to repaying the money, who is likely to face the bigger challenge?

The person with the higher debt, right? Not so fast. One more bit of information is critical: whether or not they graduated.

Borrowers who did not graduate are nearly three times as likely to default compared to peers with a degree.

In fact, while 21 percent of all federal loan borrowers owe more than $40,000 they account for only 4 percent of defaults, whereas 36 percent borrowed less than…

Each year, the federal government issues nearly $100 billion in student loans. Many students use the proceeds to help pay for college tuition, fees, books and living expenses. The number of people enrolled in higher education has increased over the last two decades, and the cost of college has continued to climb at roughly twice the rate of inflation. As a result, total outstanding student loans have increased significantly.

For many, student loans help unlock the future by providing access to the many personal and financial benefits that result from a degree. …

Source: iStock

“I probably would have gone to a less expensive school or stayed in state or made different decisions.”

“I would pick a degree that actually paid decent money.”

“That decision [to not finish my degree] has crippled my job opportunities, and I’ve been regretting the decision.”

“The entire process is unbelievably and unnecessarily complicated.”

When I listen to calls and feedback from student loan borrowers, statements like these make it clear that the current student loan program isn’t working for everyone.

Making the system better for all is a goal shared by many across the spectrum, including consumer advocates, colleges…

Source: iStock

More than 44 million Americans currently have student loans. For the vast majority, this investment paid off and they are successfully managing their loans. For some, though, the educational experience and investment did not produce the desired outcomes. At Navient, our priority is to help each of our 12 million customers successfully manage their loans in a way that works for their individual circumstances.

Customer feedback — like that gathered through our own research or submitted through the U.S. Department of Education or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) — is important to guide our outreach — outreach that is…

Source: iStock

A college education remains the single most important factor in opening doors to opportunity. Today, a record number of Americans — 30 percent of the population — have earned a bachelor’s degree, and with good reason. A recent study by Georgetown University found 73 percent of jobs created after the Great Recession went to workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher. To earn this credential, roughly 6 out of 10 bachelor’s degree recipients financed some portion of their education with student loans. For most, it’s a valuable investment. …

The following has been adapted from prepared remarks, delivered by Jack Remondi, for a conference hosted by Skytop Strategies: “Gender Equality in the C-Suite & Boardroom — The Path to Value Creation.” This article also appears on LinkedIn.

I’m proud to share a story of opportunity and growth at one company: Navient. We launched just two years ago — in 2014 — following a spin-off transaction. With the separation, our board was split between the two entities, creating the opportunity for us to build a new board along with our new company.

As we launched, we recruited new board members…


A key theme in the news and in policy circles has been the challenges facing millennials, whether it is job prospects, wages, or student debt. However, a piece often overlooked in the conversation is the fact that one segment of the millennial population is faring far better than others: those with a college degree.

A recent study we conducted in collaboration with the research firm Ipsos found young adults with a college degree are more likely to have a job, earn higher wages, and own a home, even with student loans. …

Source: iStock

When it comes to student loans, a top issue under discussion is income-driven repayment programs (IDR), which tie a borrower’s monthly student loan payment to his or her income.

Under the Obama Administration, enrollment in these programs has increased dramatically, and today one in four borrowers is in an IDR plan. Despite this success, the proliferation of plan options and increasing complexity in the system has created barriers for borrowers who could benefit from these programs.

Last year, I laid out a game plan for smarter student loans, and simplifying repayment programs, including IDR, was one of those recommendations.

I recently wrote about the need to simplify IDR in a Washington Post Grade Point opinion piece. Head over there to read about some of the biggest roadblocks borrowers are facing and our recommendations for addressing them.

Source: Shutterstock

By Jack Remondi

Student debt is a hot-button issue this election season. Presidential candidates all agree action must be taken to ease the financial burden of the rising cost of college, but they have different ideas about what those actions should be. A fair and honest debate of ideas is the cornerstone of our democracy. Given the burdens placed on students and families to meet the high cost of college, during no other time in our history has this exchange been more important.

However, the debate is too often marked by inflammatory and false rhetoric about student debt.

Yet it’s important to understand student debt is the symptom, not the cause. And, when student loan…

The following is adapted from remarks prepared for a presentation at a hearing held by the Republican Policy Committee Millennial Task Force on College Completion, Flexibility, and Affordability for an Emerging Generation.

Navient CEO Jack Remondi testifies before the Republican Policy Committee Millennial Task Force on College Completion, Flexibility, and Affordability for an Emerging Generation.

April 12, 2016

Today, Navient helps more than 12 million borrowers successfully manage their student loan repayment. We use a data-driven approach to increase the likelihood that we reach at-risk borrowers, since we know that, nine out of 10 times when we reach a federal student loan borrower, we can help them avoid default. Our results speak for themselves. …

Jack Remondi

Jack Remondi is president and CEO of Navient, an asset management and business processing company that helps millions of people achieve financial success.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store