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Daphné Vanessa

Shamil Rodriguez



Stay Up to Date With The Latest and Not-So-Greatest News About Student Loans and More.

About This Episode

Startnews is a new segment where Daphné Vanessa (@daphnevanessa) and Shamil Rodriguez (@shamilrodriguez) discuss the latest news coverage on student loans and higher education.

The links to each article discussed in the article can be found below so you can take a deep dive for yourself.



  • Navient transitioning student loan borrower accounts over to Maximus;
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness lawsuit settlement; and 
  • the possibility that free community college will be taken out of the current budget package being negotiated by Congress.

Enjoying the show? Leave us a rating and review. Every comment helps! Drop in your IG handle so we can thank you personally!


Resources from this Episode:

The Student Loan Podcast Intro (00:00): Welcome to the student loan podcast.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:03): Here, you'll find practical advice on tackling student loan debt, paying down your higher education expenses,

Daphné Vanessa (00:10): Inspiring stories about paying off student loans, where your host Daphne, Vanessa

Shamil Rodriguez (00:16): Rodriguez,

Daphné Vanessa (00:19): Please rate review and subscribe to the student loan podcasts by visiting the student loan podcast on apple podcasts or wherever you find your podcasts.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:29): This is not professional advice. And we speak from our own personal views and opinions.

Daphné Vanessa (00:35): The student loan podcast is brought to you by start new, where you can serve your community and get rewarded with tuition and student loan payments to check out if start new is on your campus, visit start new.com.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:50): Welcome everyone to another episode of the student loan podcast. Today, we are actually going to be bringing back start news because we're going to discuss some of the more recent news that have been coming out about financing education, student loans, and just discussing so that you have the latest and greatest information on what's going on and how that might impact you and your student loans. So without further ado, let's go ahead and get started. How's that sound definitely

Daphné Vanessa (01:17): Sounds like a plan.

Shamil Rodriguez (01:18): All right. So first things first, we're actually gonna be discussing Navient, which a lot of you may have carrying your and servicing your student loans. They're actually transferring their loans to another servicer called Maximus. So we've had a couple of episodes before and I'll link those actually in the show notes for what you should do to prepare yourself for when the transfer actually occurs at the end of this year, in the beginning of the new year, but definitely any thoughts on what things people might want to keep in mind. We'll bring it up on this episode. Now, when the transfer begins from Navia to Maximus,

Daphné Vanessa (01:56): That's a really good point, right. Is talking about, well, how do you prepare for your student loan, servicer and Navea, and has so many borrowers, especially on the federal side with accounts, how do all of those people prepare for this transfer? So similar to other servicer transfers that we've spoken about this year and last for the servicers that are transferring, you want to take control of your information. So step one would be one finding out am I scoped into one of the servicers that are changing, for example it, and if so, how and what is the process of requesting my data? And by when, so you can either find that out with public information, or you can find that out by sending a specific written note to your student loan servicer. And why is this important? This is important because when terms are migrated to the subsequent servicer, they aren't always the same.

Daphné Vanessa (03:02): And I have a personal story about this back when I had a student loan with what was it called again? I think it was ACS. It converted to something to a servicer called Heartland ECSI and in the process, they incorrectly migrated the frequency of one of my student loans from being quarterly to saying that it was monthly. And so they did that and they also had improperly migrated the into the compounding interest frequency and amount percentage. So, because I downloaded my information before I was able to send that to Heartland ECSI, as soon as I saw that there was an error and they updated my account to properly refer, reflect the frequency. And so that made a material difference in that student loan getting paid off because had the accidental frequency been migrated, maybe I would have still been paying that off. Who knows?

Shamil Rodriguez (04:06): I think that's a really good point because that often that that happens even when there isn't a transfer of you're a loan servicer, right? You want to make sure that you're keeping track of what your balances and whether you're checking it quarterly or annually, or let's just think about it. Let's maybe when is your birthday as a day or the new year, or, you know, when the school year ends or begins, you know, just use some, some period of time during the year to assess your payments, making sure that your, your balance is going downward in the right direction. Right. But definitely, I think you made a great point there copying your data and that's an episode that we'll link to that, that actually Adam Minsky shares some details on what to do when that transfer actually occurs. And at that time we didn't know who it was going to go to.

Shamil Rodriguez (04:52): But now that we know that it's Maximus now, even though the department of education is promising that the account log in information and automatic payment status will be unaffected. Don't just take their word for it. Seriously. Like Daphne said, download your data. Now, save it on your computer, back it, up on the cloud on a physical hard drive, print it out and put it in a file, whatever it needs to do to basically serve as your own servicer for the time that you've had Navi in servicing your loan. And I think that feels like spot on advice because what's going to happen is that eventually you won't be able to defer to Navient to help you get things squared away. And so you're gonna have to depend on yourself to do that. And the best thing to do that is to reach out to them now, download all the data you can to the website or call them and have them email and fax things to you if needed, but just figure out a way to do that so that you can protect yourself in the long run. Right?

Daphné Vanessa (05:46): Absolutely. That's exactly. W like that's my biggest piece of feedback, right? Because from there everything else that Adam suggested in that episode follows, so really having your information is step one, critical step one, and then keeping awareness on communications to make sure that, you know, when there is a migration, if any action is required on your part as the borrower, they're required to notify you right. In writing. So I would want to make sure that I'm aware of what that is, is any action required? You know, how am I going to renew my income driven repayment plan, for example how does the migration affect any sort of renewal? Those are all legitimate questions and you should pay attention to communications from both servicers, both your former and future servicer to see if any action is required on your part as the borrower.

Shamil Rodriguez (06:47): We're all said well said and, and make sure that as you're doing that making sure that your, your payment information is up to date. I know you've mentioned that affordability, but I just wanna make sure that don't assume that your new servicer is going to have your bank account information, even though they're saying that none of that will be impacted assume that it will be impacted and so that you cover yourself in the end. Okay. so now moving on to the next topic next is public service loan forgiveness. There was a lawsuit that actually was recently settled this month with the American Federation of teachers. And this one was actually for teachers that were looking to fight, right fight for the, the, the, the difficulty that teachers were facing and getting the forgiveness that they should receive through the PSLF program.

Shamil Rodriguez (07:36): Now, luckily we've had a great recent episode on recent, assuming luckily we had a great episode with Betsy Mayer where she actually goes over. PSLF and then the episode with Adam Minsky, again also goes over the PSLF program as well. So there have been some really big changes that have gone on to that. And Daffy, maybe we should link up some, some articles that just re summarize some of those changes that are happening to the PSLF program through the department of education, really targeting that program to make sure that more people that should be getting their loans forgiven are receiving that forgiveness that they should be eligible for. So just keep that in mind that through this settlement that actually occurred what they did is there's actually going to be a reconsideration. This is, I found very, very, very, very, very interesting. There's going to be reconsideration for a borrower if they were denied their PSLF application. So now based on their requests, if you got denied, you can actually ask that your application be reconsidered. And I think that's going to be a huge, a huge win for borrowers that were rejected beforehand. What do you think badly?

Daphné Vanessa (08:51): No, that's a huge win for borrowers that it's a change because a lot of people have struggled. And when I say a lot, it's not a specific number, but if you do look at the data, the amount of successful PSL left applicants to actually get the funding is really low. So to allow that rebuttal process, if you will, is such a blessing, and that's probably on the good news side for borrowers.

Shamil Rodriguez (09:21): Absolutely. Yeah. I feel like some things had knowing future payments are coming out in January. And some of these other changes you know, a lot of things that you need to be aware of. Another part of the settlement was actually I thought this was really interesting just thinking about it from like the FSA perspective, right? The just thinking about how, like, you know, federal student aid and, and just some other protection agencies that are out there they're actually gonna provide detailed communication to borrowers about why they were denied and how soon they can be eligible. And I think that's really just served a really great point to see how the shift is occurring and sort of the who's responsibility is to help guide borrowers. So it's not just shifting it completely from one side to the other, but it's at least making the the PSLF program, right? The, the administrators of that program more responsible and making sure that borrowers are aware of, of how far they are and if they're rejected, why that's not the case. So just giving more guidance, what do you think Daphne?

Daphné Vanessa (10:25): Absolutely. There has been sort of this, it's not my job mentality for a while, and I'm so happy that there's a little bit of accountability now on the information communication side, because really, if people aren't aware of section 3.6 0.5, 442, that says that you're supposed to skip jumping hop before getting PSLF, how are they going to know to jump, skip, and hop? And so I think putting some of the responsibility on the actual administration of an execution of the forgiveness program is more holistic instead of just like doing a completely 1980s mergers and acquisitions. Oh, that's your bed, it's your fault? You know, like things have to, I think as we become a society that's more empathetic that sees things more holistically. We can turn away from agreements and terms that are gotcha.

Shamil Rodriguez (11:34): Well said, and I think this whole, like, like you said, like this whole like gotcha moment, or if we don't bring it up and the borrower does a notice and, you know, we're all in the clear because it was their fault. They should've known better. Like it's just unfortunate, cause that's not the way it should work. And I think this is like an acknowledgement of, of the way that the relationship between the government and the borrowers and the servicer that's being you know, dedicated to this specific operation of PSLF PSLF I think it's really important to see that that shift and, and there's some other changes as well, just to go on the same vein. Speaking about how just loan servicers are being required to live up to a higher standard for how they're interacting and actually servicing the clients, which are borrowers, student loan, borrowers.

Shamil Rodriguez (12:23): And so from now on you know, student loan borrowers, or excuse me, servicers were all going to be a little bit more closely monitored by the federal student aid by FSA. So that's gonna really help because they're, they're having more enforcement abilities and they're going to be holding loan services accountable and making sure that they're, they're following state and federal servicing laws regulations. And I think that's a really big, important part because you don't want to just get advice from your friend who's from another state or a family member who's from another state. Cause you don't know if that law may apply to where you live and you know, you don't want to miss out on something that could benefit you because maybe your state has a regulation that helps you, but it doesn't help somebody else that you might know. And so I think it's going to be really cool to see how this plays out long longterm, because ultimately this is going to help people either receive more loan forgiveness, or just make people have more clarity about their student loans, like how they're going to actually be paying them off.

Shamil Rodriguez (13:23): Your servicers should be helping you serve not just the federal government and helping collect the payments for your busy student loans, but they should be serving you as the client who is actually making these payments so that you're in a better financial position to make decisions about your student loans. What do you think Daphne?

Daphné Vanessa (13:41): It all speaks to me, right? I mean, this is my, I dunno, not space, but I've been preaching some of this before it was popular. So I'm really happy personally, that we're getting to a place where there's more transparency. We're getting to a place where there's more accountability. We're getting to a place where people are understanding that we're all people and that people contribute to this world to make it productive and efficient and continuously improving. And it is so wonderful when you hear about large entities like the government taking that into account. So that's all.

Shamil Rodriguez (14:25): Okay. No, just keep in mind if you're listening to this right now, if you have any complaints about your servicer, right? You can contact the CFPB. We'll put a link in the show notes. So the consumer financial protection bureau or, or the federal student aid OMS buds men's group, once again, you don't have to worry about spawn that we'll put it in the show notes, but we just want you to know that there are programs out there for you to submit complaints about your servicer. If something is going wrong with your student.

Daphné Vanessa (14:55): And if you don't hear from those groups, the student borrower protection center is like an whole, a whole outfit. Think of what was that? What was that show with? What's what's that show? Remind me. It's like in DC, Olivia was the main characters name, scandal

Shamil Rodriguez (15:16): Scandal. Oh my gosh. Scandal reference on this podcast.

Daphné Vanessa (15:22): They are like scandal for student loan borrowers.

Shamil Rodriguez (15:27): Oh my gosh. I was wondering where you were going.

Daphné Vanessa (15:30): All the people who are fans of scandal will understand, but they'll go out there and they will advocate for the right thing. And they know what's going on in the back end because you know, certain people in that group used to be in the government. So they know the inner workings of the government and they're still fighting for borrowers, which is beautiful. So I think we should also plug in the student borrower protection center and who knows maybe one day we'll have them on the student loan podcasts.

Shamil Rodriguez (16:02): That's true. That's true. We can do to try to bring on the best guests that are living and breathing this topic every single day and are out there trying to fight for student loan, borrower rights. And so we'll continue to do that. So yeah, stay tuned. We'll probably have them on. All right. So last topic that wants to discuss on today's start news student loan news update episode is actually related to something before you take out your student loan, whether or not school should be free. And that comes because unfortunately based on some reports by the wall street journal and the New York times and other outlets as well, that free community college as promised by the, by the administration is likely going to be cut from the budget package. Now this may be out of date by the time you're listening to this episode. But if it's not, at least you're are aware of what that might be now Daphne curtains from wrong, but, you know, through the campaign and up until the president Biden went election that was really a big part of his promise to transform accessibility to education.

Daphné Vanessa (17:10): It was in his plan. He touted his wife. Who's a community college professor and really just emphasized how he was going to save the community college system, because the truth is that community college is a fantastic way for people to achieve affordable education. It's a great pipeline. People who are successful in community college have better outcomes in four year colleges when they transfer. I mean it's, and I mean, I don't want to steal your thunder since you were actually on the board of a community college. But just the data shows that there are significant benefits from encouraging a population to take a pit stop in community college before going to a four-year college and see what happens. And that is something that is getting potentially negotiated out. Now, the truth is that plans are plans, right? And in order to pass anything that is bi-partisan, you need to make concessions so that most people understand the sad part is that it was such an active part of Biden's campaigning. That it's interesting that that's being taken up. That's all. Yeah,

Shamil Rodriguez (18:27): No. And I think what's been interesting is to see how some of these groups that we actually had on the podcast are fighting to make sure that the expansion of Pell grants for low income families are actually still being protected versus free community college. I think it's, it's, it's a terrible choice to be stuck to make, right. You're trying to figure out how to protect one versus eliminating another. And unfortunately, Daphne had mentioned to get some of these bills through Congress, you're going to have to make concessions to make sure that everything fits the numbers or matches the numbers. I'm just really hopeful that, that we can really emphasize and maybe on a state level, right there, there needs to be continued push through the country to allow for people to attend community college for free especially because it serves as this great equalizer in terms of eliminating a barrier that would prevent some people from being able to go on and pursuing a career that they otherwise would not have been able to do if they you know, couldn't afford it. And so I think that hopefully this is not the last that we'll hear a free community college. But I understand that this is a reality of the world that we live in, then not everything that's promised on the campaign trail makes us way through Congress and, and ultimately signed into law.

Daphné Vanessa (19:53): That's true. That's the gist, that's the reality. But I'd love to hear from the audience, what you think some ideas are for making school and college affordable, and whether you think the community college piece should still be free. So please engage with us, either email us, or follow us on any one of our social channels, but we would love to hear from you just what's your feedback on how we should be approaching this student loan and education cost crisis

Shamil Rodriguez (20:29): Very well said. All right, Daphne, if there's anything else from you, this really wraps it up for our episode today of our start news student loan news update. If there's anything else that we may have missed, you can actually visit the SU loan podcast.com. And we've got a new button on the side that allows for, to leave a voice note for us directly so that we can actually see what questions you're having. And we can actually hopefully incorporate those into future episodes.

Daphné Vanessa (20:56): Yes. Leave us a voice note, please. We love, we love voice notes. And of course, if you have something nice to say, we can help you write a review for us. There is a little tab also on the podcast webpage that shows you how to write a review for the student loan podcasts. If you're loving it, if you have feedback on, you know, how it's impacted you and how you've used this to go to college and save some money, we would love to hear that. So please share with us.

Shamil Rodriguez (21:28): Absolutely. Absolutely. So for more information on today's episode, visit the student loan podcast.com forward slash episode 52. That's the suitor loan podcast.com for slash episode 52.

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