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Nelnet: What is Nelnet?

Nelnet is one of nine federal student loan servicers that works with the U.S. Department of Education to manage student loans.

Asset Brief is an independent publisher focused on helping you improve your financial decisions. Some of the products featured may be from our partners. This does not influence our reviews, which are based on many hours of research.

What is Nelnet? You may have received letters or emails from Nelnet and wondered who they are. Nelnet is a legitimate student loan servicer that works with the U.S. Department of Education to manage federal student loans.

What is Nelnet?

Nelnet is predominantly a student loan servicing organization that focuses on federal student loans. It is headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska.

It is one of the nine federal student loan servicers.

What is a federal student loan servicer? When you take out a federal loan from the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Education will assign you to one of the nine loan servicers, who are approved to work with them. Nelnet is one of these loan servicers.

How did you end up with Nelnet?

When you take out a federal student loan from the U.S. Department of Education, they will assign you a loan servicer when your loan amount is first paid out to your school.

What is a loan servicer?

A loan servicer is a company that manages the billing and other services on your federal student loan. There is no cost to you for using Nelnet.

Your loan servicer will, for example, send you federal loan bills, receive loan payments from you, and work with you on loan consolidation and repayment plans.

Is Nelnet the lender?

Nelnet is not the lender. The lender of your federal student loans is the U.S. Department of Education.

Do I choose to use Nelnet?

No, you do not choose who your loan servicer is. The U.S. Department of Education assigns you a loan servicer.

Sometimes the U.S. Department of Education will transfer loans from one servicer to another servicer. When this happens, you will be notified. Your loans are still owned by the U.S. Department of Education, but the company who will be sending you loan bills and collecting your loan payments will change.

How does Nelnet work with you?

Nelnet provides a range of services to students who have federal student loans from the U.S. Department of Education.

Set up your online account
Create an online account at Nelnet to access your loan information, make payments, review loan details, update your contact information, sign up for email correspondence, and more.

Get the mobile app
Check your balance, make payments, and send and receive messages through the Nelnet app, available in Google Play and the App Store.
Make automatic online payments
Set up auto payments from your bank account to Nelnet and you may receive a 0.25% interest rate deduction.
Give your parents or spouse access to your account
Provide your parents or spouse access to your loan account.
Sign up for income-driven repayment plans
You can sign up for an income-driven repayment plan. Nelnet offers five types of income-driven repayment plans. This may lower your monthly payments, which are based on your income, family size, loan balance, and type of federal student loan. After making 20-25 years of loan payments, your remaining loan balance may be forgiven.
Change repayment plan
You can change your repayment plan type. Nelnet offers several types of repayment plans which are based on length of time and income.
Make extra payments
You can choose to repay more than what your repayment plan states. This may reduce how much you pay later.
Postpone payments
If you are unable to make your monthly payment, you can contact Nelnet to request deferment or forbearance.
Sign up for loan forgiveness
Under certain circumstances, such as working in public service or working as a teacher in low-income schools, you may be able to have your loan forgiven.
Sign up for military benefits
Nelnet offers benefits to those in the military including deferments, interest caps, public service loan forgiveness, and more.

How to confirm Nelnet is your loan servicer

If you are not sure if Nelnet is your loan servicer, you can check this in two ways.

My Federal Student Aid

You can go to My Federal Student Aid, a U.S. Department of Education website, to see information about all of your federal loans, including who your loan servicer is.

Federal Student Aid Information Center

You can also call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC), a U.S. Department of Education center.

Federal Student Aid Information Center phone number:
1-800-433-3243

Sample Nelnet bill

If Nelnet is your loan servicer, you should receive bills that look like the one below.


Source: Nelnet

Is Nelnet legitimate?

Nelnet is a legitimate student loan servicer. It is one of nine federal student loan servicers, and is one of the largest student loan servicers, with $465 billion in loans serviced for 15.6 million borrowers as of December 2018. The company is publicly traded under the ticker NNI.

Nelnet received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Decades of experience in the student loan servicing industry

Nelnet has been in business since 1978 and has many decades of experience in the student loan servicing industry. The company is headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska and has approximately 6,200 employees.

Good performance according to the U.S. of Education

The U.S. Department of Education measures the performance of its loan servicers and based on this, decides on how many student loans to allocate to each servicer. Those that perform well receive higher allocations.

Nelnet has been allocated 9% of loans or approximately 1 in 10 loans, as of June 2019.

Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (NMLS) registered

Nelnet is registered with the NMLS and and has the NMLS ID 1508613. The NMLS is a record system for financial licensing and registration

Can I switch from Nelnet to a new student loan servicer?

The U.S. Department of Education may transfer loans from one servicer to another. When this occurs, you will be notified. However, you do not get to select your federal student loan servicer.

The only time you can change your student loan servicer if when you:

  1. Consolidate your loans
  2. Apply for public student loan forgiveness

Alternatively, you can refinance with a private lender. By doing this, you forfeit federal loan forgiveness programs and income-driven repayment plans. Instead of having your loan managed by the U.S. Department of Education and Nelnet, your loan will instead be managed by a private bank, online lender, or credit union.

How to make payments to Nelnet

You can make your student loan payments to Nelnet online, by phone, or by mail.

What if you can’t afford your payments to Nelnet

Nelnet offers several different repayment plans. If your circumstance make it difficult for you to repay under any of these plans, you can call Nelnet at 1-888-486-4722 to discuss alternatives.

How to contact Nelnet

There are several ways to contact Nelnet.

By telephone

Nelnet telephone number:
Toll-Free: 1-888-486-4722
International: 1-303-696-3625

Nelnet hours of operation:
Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m., Eastern Time

By mail

Nelnet address for payments:
The payment address differs based on the letter your account starts with. Log into your Nelnet account or call Nelnet to confirm your payment address.

You can also pay online or by phone.

Accounts beginning with "E" to:
U.S. Department of Education
P.O. Box 2837
Portland, OR 97208-2837

Accounts beginning with "D" to:
Nelnet
P.O. Box 2970
Omaha, NE 68103-2970

Accounts beginning with "J" to:
Nelnet
P.O. Box 2877
Omaha, NE 68103-2877

Nelnet address for general correspondence:
Do not send payments to this address.

Nelnet
P.O. Box 82561
Lincoln, NE 68501-2561

California Residents:
P.O. Box 82578
Lincoln, NE 68501-2578

Nelnet address for documents:

Documents related to deferment, forbearance, repayment plans, or enrollment status changes:
Nelnet
Attn: Enrollment Processing
P.O. Box 82565
Lincoln, NE 68501-2565

Documents related to loan discharge or forgiveness claims:
Nelnet
Attn: Claims
P.O. Box: 82505
Lincoln, NE 68501-2505

Documents related to bankruptcy claims:
Nelnet
Attn: Claims
P.O. Box: 82505
Lincoln, NE 68501-2505

By fax

Nelnet fax number:
Toll-Free: 1-877-402-5816

Online

Nelnet website: https://www.nelnet.com/

Nelnet login: https://www.nelnet.com/account/login

Nelnet social media:

Nelnet mobile apps:

Servicemembers

Nelnet phone number: 1-855-324-4027
Email: [email protected]

How to submit a complaint about Nelnet

If you are having problems with Nelnet, there are several ways to file a complaint.

Nelnet Ombudsman

You can file a complaint directly with the Nelnet Ombudsman by filling out and sending a formal request.

Nelnet phone: 1-888-486-4722

Nelnet email: [email protected]

Nelnet address:
Nelnet Guarantor Solutions
P.O. Box 82561
Lincoln, NE 68501-2561

U.S Department of Education Federal Student Aid Feedback System

You can file a complaint with Federal Student Aid at the U.S. Department of Education through their feedback system. File a complaint here.

Better Business Bureau (BBB)

You can also file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a private, non-profit organization that accredits and rates businesses. File a complaint here.

Complaints filed with the BBB are forwarded to Nelnet within two business days, and Nelnet will be asked to respond within 14 days. If Nelnet does not respond, the BBB will reach out to them again.

BBB complaints are generally closed within 30 business days.

U.S Department of Education Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group

As a last resort, you can contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group, a confidential resource to help resolve disputes about your federal student loans. File a complaint here.

The Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group can help you resolve problems with loan balances and payments, disbursements, overpayments, and more.

They provide an information checklist to help prepare for your conversation.

Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group address:
U.S. Department of Education
FSA Ombudsman Group
P.O. Box 1843
Monticello, KY 42633

Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group phone:
1-877-557-2575

Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group fax:
606-396-4821

FAQ

Is Nelnet federal or private?

Nelnet is a private company that is a federal student loan servicer. It is not a U.S. federal organization, but it does work with the U.S. Department of Education to manage student loans.

For example, Nelnet will send loan payment bills, receive loan payments, and work with you on loan consolidation and repayment plans.

Can Nelnet loans be forgiven?

Yes, Nelnet will forgive federal student loans depending on the circumstance. There are two loan forgiveness programs:

  1. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
  2. Teacher Loan Forgiveness

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

If you work for the government or a not-for-program organization, and have made 120 payments on your loans, you may be eligible to have your Direct Loans forgiven.

Direct Loans are loans made under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program and include:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans for Parents
  • Direct Grade PLUS Loans
  • Direct Consolidation Loans
  • Direct PLUS Consolidation Loans

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

Teachers who have taught for five full and consecutive academic years in low-income schools may be eligible to have up to $17,500 of their Direct Loan or FFELP program loans forgiven.

Is Nelnet and Sallie Mae the same?

No, Nelnet and Sallie Mae are not the same. The two are separate companies. Sallie Mae is a bank that originates private student loans and offers credit cards and savings accounts. Nelnet is a student loan servicer.

Federal student loan servicers

There are nine federal student loan servicers. Learn more about who they are, what they do, and how to contact them.