The Federal Government Sues Student Loans Servicer...

The Federal Government Sues Student Loans Servicer on the Eve of Inauguration, Which Could Get Interesting.

Photo by Anna Nowak from Cafe Credit via Flickr 

The federal government and Washington state allege that student loan servicer Navient has engaged in predatory business practices beyond its usual predatory business practices. Combining greed and ineptitude, the lawsuit argues, Navient misled consumers and cut corners to such a degree that the integrity of their system is called into question. The suit accuses Navient of telling customers to pay more than was required, discouraging the use of income-driven federal loan programs, and just putting the loans in the wrong goddamn places.

This would be a big story even without the conspicuous timing, but pursuing this action in the final hours of the Obama administration compounds the political elements at play. The lawsuit has been filed by the Consumer Protection Bureau, whose own existence is a serious partisan issue, and Navient dismisses the allegations as political theater. How this will play out under a Trump administration–and a Republican Congress–is uncertain.

For what it’s worth, Trump has laid out plans to ease student loans that are essentially just the REPAYE program of the Obama administration with some tweaked numbers, but would anyone be shocked if he abandoned this bit of populism too the moment he takes office? The confirmation hearings for Betsy DeVos could have clarified things, but since the hearings were so focused on bear attacks, we don’t have a clear answer.

Regardless, this is something to keep tabs on, because the implications could be significant, whether anything comes of it or not.


About Stewart Finnegan

In a perfect world, I'd be a professor who teaches poetry using episodes of mediocre sci-fi procedurals, but for now, I'm just a tutor who watches a lot of TV. I got my BA from Kalamazoo College in English with a focus on creative writing, and someday soon I'd like to go back to academia. Most of my formal teaching training was as a creative writing TA, but I've used those skills professionally more to tutor math and write data entry training materials. And though I'd like to focus my work on what I'm really passionate about (which is Netflix binges and outdated video games, mostly), it's the craft of teaching and writing that keeps me coming back. That's why I'm excited to be a part of High Faluter: I'm finding that academia doesn't just stay in academia. And if I can bring crappy midbrow entertainment into academia too, well, all the better. You can find me on Twitter: @StewartFinnegan