Nelnet Student Loan – Tips for Borrowers Dealing with Nelnet

Millions of students in the United States rely on student loans to help them pay for their higher education. Among the different loan servicers, Nelnet is one of the largest and most recognized. Understanding Nelnet and its role in managing student loans is important for borrowers seeking guidance and assistance with their loan repayment journey.

Nelnet Student Loan - Tips for Borrowers Dealing with Nelnet

What is Nelnet?

Nelnet, short for National Education Loan Network, was created in 1978 and has since become a well-known loan servicing organization. Nelnet began by servicing federal student loans and has now expanded to encompass private student loans and other education-related financial products.

What Type of Loan is Nelnet?

Nelnet is not a single type of loan, but rather a company that services a range of student loans, including federal and private loans, for lenders and loan holders. Nelnet is a federal student loan servicer who works for the United States Department of Education (ED), the government agency that issues student loans.

However, Nelnet primarily serves as a student loan servicer, not a lender. This means Nelnet handles student loan services on behalf of the lender or loan holder, simplifying billing, payment processing, and customer service.

Who is a Loan servicer

A loan servicer is in charge of providing customer service for loans made by ED to borrowers.

What does Nelnet do?

Nelnet, as a loan servicer, serves as an intermediary between borrowers and lenders, making student loan management easier. Nelnet performs the following key functions:

Loan Management

Nelnet is responsible for billing, payment processing, and borrower account management. They offer online platforms and customer support channels to help customers manage their loans efficiently.

Repayment Options

Nelnet provides a variety of repayment options to help borrowers with their financial conditions, including income-driven repayment plans, graded repayment plans, and basic repayment plans. They also help borrowers understand the many loan consolidation and refinancing options.

Customer Service

Nelnet values customer service and offers a variety of channels for borrowers to get help or information about their loans. This includes phone assistance online chat, and a comprehensive website with resources and FAQs

Loan Forgiveness and Assistance Programs

Nelnet administers programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and Teacher Loan Forgiveness, assisting eligible borrowers with loan forgiveness requirements and application processes.

Nelnet Federal Student Loans

Here are some types of federal loans Nelnet offers, they include:

Direct subsidized loans

These loans are accessible to undergraduates who have proven financial need. The federal government pays interest on subsidized loans while the borrower is enrolled at least half-time, as well as during the grace and deferment periods.

Direct unsubsidized loans

Unsubsidized loans are available to both undergraduate and graduate students, and the borrower is not required to demonstrate financial need. Unsubsidized loans accumulate interest from the time they are disbursed, and the borrower is responsible for paying it.

Direct PLUS Loans

Direct PLUS loans are offered to graduate or professional students, as well as parents of dependent undergraduate students. These loans need a credit check and may pay the cost of attendance less any other financial aid received. Interest accrues on PLUS loans from the time of disbursement.

Private Student Loans Serviced by Nelnet

Nelnet, a student loan servicer, primarily handles federal student loans. However, it also works with a variety of lenders to provide private student loans to individuals who may require additional financial support beyond what federal loans provide. The following lenders have previously worked with Nelnet to provide private student loans, they include:

Sallie Mae

Sallie Mae is a leading private student loan lender in the United States. They provide undergraduate, graduate, and parent loans to help students afford educational expenses not covered by federal aid.

College Ave Student Loans

College Ave Student Loans offers various repayment alternatives with reasonable interest rates. They provide undergraduate, graduate, parent, and refinance loans to individuals seeking financial aid for higher education.

Discover Student Loans

Discover Student Loans provides private loans with no fees and flexible repayment alternatives. Their loans are for undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs, as well as bar exam preparation and residency relocation expenditures for medical students.

Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank offers private student loans to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as loans for parents. they offer competitive interest rates and borrower benefits, such as interest rate reductions for automatic payments.

SunTrust, now Trust

SunTrust, currently part of Truist, provides private student loans to undergraduate and graduate students. Their loans have various repayment alternatives and incentives such as interest rate reductions for strong academic performance.


CommonBond is a lender noted for prioritizing social responsibility and community impact. They provide private student loans to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as refinancing options for customers wanting to consolidate their existing student loan debt.


Earnest offers private student loans and refinancing options. They provide flexible repayment options and evaluate loan applications using characteristics other than credit scores, such as earning potential and savings practices.


LendKey works with community banks and credit unions to provide private student loans and refinancing. Their loans often feature competitive rates and borrowers’ benefits, including interest rate reductions for automatic payments.

Challenges and Criticism

While Nelnet serves an important role in handling student loans for millions of borrowers, it has encountered criticism and issues in the past. Some typical concerns are:

Communication Issues

Some borrowers have claimed difficulty contacting Nelnet or obtaining inconsistent loan information.

Loan servicing errors

Borrowers have experienced loan service issues, such as misapplied payments or inaccurate billing, which has led to anger and confusion.

Program Complexity

Borrowers may find it difficult to understand the numerous repayment plans, forgiveness programs, and eligibility criteria, and Nelnet’s communication and support systems may not always handle this complexity.

Tips for Borrowers Dealing with Nelnet

Navigating student loans, especially those serviced by Nelnet, can be difficult. Here are a few tips for borrowers that deal with Nelnet:

Stay informed

Keep track of your loan status, repayment alternatives, and any changes to your account by reviewing your loan statements and Nelnet correspondence regularly.

Ask questions

Do not hesitate to contact Nelnet’s customer service staff if you have questions or concerns about your loans. To clear up any ambiguities, consult Nelnet’s online tools and FAQs.

Keep records

Maintain records of all loan-related contacts and transactions, including correspondence with Nelnet and payment paperwork.

Seek Assistance When Needed

If you’re having financial difficulties or struggling to manage your loans, look into loan deferment, forbearance, or alternate repayment plans.

Frequently asked question

How can I access my Nelnet account online?

To access your Nelnet account online, log on to their website with your login and password. From there, you can access your loan information, make payments, and change your account settings.

How can I access my Nelnet account online?

To access your Nelnet account online, log on to their website with your login and password. From there, you can view your loan details, make payments, and manage your account settings.

Can I make payments via Nelnet?

Yes, Nelnet provides different payment alternatives for borrowers, including online payments, automated withdrawals, and payments by mail. You can select the option that best suits you.

How long does it take for Nelnet to process payments?

Payments can take up to two business days to post to your account. Payment made online, over the phone, or by check/money order from you or your bill pay provider becomes effective on the day of receipt.

What happens if I can’t afford my monthly payments?

Nelnet provides assistance services including postponement, forbearance, and income-driven repayment plans to borrowers who are unable to make payments. Contact Nelnet to discuss your options and find a solution that suits your needs.

Will my Nelnet student loans be forgiven?

Nelnet handles a wide range of federal loans, and eligibility for loan forgiveness programs such as President Biden’s student debt reduction plan, income-based repayment plan forgiveness, and the Income-Driven Repayment Waiver is determined by the type of loan. Find out how this works from their website or a loan advisor.


Managing student loans, especially those serviced by Nelnet, need diligence, patience, and knowledge of available options. While Nelnet is an important mediator in handling student loan accounts, borrowers should be proactive in learning their rights, responsibilities, and repayment options. Borrowers can successfully navigate their student loan experience with Nelnet by being informed, asking questions, and seeking support as required.

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