As a student loan borrower, you’re usually paired up with a loan servicer acting as the middleman between you and your lender, ensuring you have the tools and resources needed to successfully repay your loans. Nelnet is one of the main loan servicers that helps borrowers manage their federal student debt.
If you have loans serviced by Nelnet, check out this Nelnet student loans review below to learn about all the ways it can help you conquer your college debt.
Nelnet student loans review
Nelnet is one of the top servicers for federal student loans, working with the U.S. Department of Education to help borrowers manage their repayment. Headquartered in Lincoln, Neb., Nelnet describes its mission as seeking to “create opportunities for people where they live, learn and work.”
In early 2018, Nelnet completed its acquisition of Great Lakes Educational Loan Services — both are among the nine companies that service federal student loans. If you have Nelnet student loans, the company should work with you in every stage of your loan cycle — while you’re in school, during your grace period and as you repay your loans.
Nelnet’s primary role is to help you establish a solid repayment plan so that you can satisfy your student loan obligation comfortably and without risk of default.
As a loan servicer, Nelnet can:
- Manage your student loan payments
- Help you lower your payments by changing your repayment plan, if needed
- Work with you if you need to apply for deferment or forbearance, which postpones your student loan payments
- Process other requests, such as for a Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) discharge of your loans, if you qualify
- Offer resources for getting financially fit
As a loan servicer, Nelnet provides support and customer service if you have any issues during repayment. It’s your go-to resource if you have questions about your student loans or if you’d like to make your payments more manageable.
Nelnet student loans repayment plans
In most cases, borrowers of federal student loans are automatically enrolled in the standard repayment plan after graduation, which comes with a 10-year repayment term. However, if the monthly payments under the plan are too high for your budget, you can work with Nelnet to pursue other repayment plans, such as:
- Graduated repayment plan: Monthly payments start low and increase every two years until the loan is paid off, which could be helpful if you expect your salary to climb over time.
- Extended repayment plan: Monthly payments become more manageable by stretching your loan repayment term to 25 years. You can opt to pay the same amount each month for the life of the loan or have your payments increase every two years. To qualify, you must owe more than $30,000 in direct loans or loans under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program.
- Income-sensitive repayment plan: This option is available only if you have FFEL loans. Adjusted annually, monthly payments will be based on your monthly gross income for up to five years. After that, you’ll be put into a standard or graduated repayment plan.
- Income-driven repayment plan: Adjusted annually, monthly payments will be based on your income and family size in order to keep your debt manageable.
Remember, however, if you extend your repayment term, you will pay more in interest over the life of the loan.
Choosing your Nelnet student loans repayment plan
You can pick from various repayment options, based on the types of loans you have. The Nelnet website provides a lot of information about each option, and representatives are available to answer any questions you may have.
Once you log into your account, Nelnet shows which repayment plans you might qualify for, as well as estimated monthly payment amounts for each option. If you’d like to switch to one of the suggested plans, Nelnet will transfer you to StudentLoans.gov to apply. You will receive a notification once you’re approved for your new repayment plan.
Making Nelnet student loan payments
In order to start making payments on your student loans, you need to set up an account with Nelnet. You’ll start by creating a username and password, as well as entering your Social Security number, date of birth and other personal details in order to retrieve your loans.
Once you have an account, you can make Nelnet student loan payments in a variety of ways:
- Auto-debit, which automatically deducts your monthly payment from your bank account (choosing this option may get you a 0.25% interest rate deduction, so it’s worth checking)
- Via Nelnet mobile app, available for iPhone and Android devices, lets you make payments on-the-go
- Online payment using your computer
- Snail mail (check the Nelnet site for appropriate addresses)
- Through your bank’s bill pay service
- Using Nelnet’s automated phone system
Note that Nelnet does not allow you to pay your student loans with a credit card.
Borrowers can also add an authorized payer to their account, so if your parents want to make payments towards your loans, they can.
A good way to keep tabs on your payments is through text message alerts. You can sign up for text alerts through Nelnet’s online system once you are logged in, with notifications available for your payment due date, current statement or any change in loan status.
To enroll, go to “Settings” and select “Manage Text Alerts” to choose your preferences.
Drawbacks of Nelnet student loans
The servicer has many happy customers, but this Nelnet student loans review would be incomplete without a caveat. After all, while your student loan servicer is supposed to be your friend, it may make mistakes. Some borrowers have experienced problems with payment applications, getting accurate information and other customer service-related issues.
As a result, it’s important to stay on top of your student loans so you can spot potential problems and get them addressed in a timely manner. And, be aware: If you’re ultimately dissatisfied with Nelnet, there are ways to switch to a different student loan servicer.
Nelnet student loans contact information
If you have any questions or concerns about your student loans, Nelnet makes it easy to stay in contact:
You can call the company Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern time
You can also send an email using this form.
For general correspondence, you can send letters to:
P.O. Box 82561
Lincoln, NE 68501-2561
If you are sending documents related to changing your payment plan, use this address:
Attn: Enrollment Processing
P.O. Box 82565
Lincoln, NE 68501-2565
Laura Gariepy contributed to this report.