If Nelnet is your student loan servicer, it’s the company you pay student loan bills to. But it should also be the first company you contact when you have questions about student loans, especially if you’re struggling to afford the payments. Here’s how to work with Nelnet to get the support you’re entitled to.
how to contact nelnet
- Phone number: 888-486-4722
- Website: https://www.nelnet.com/welcome
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nelnet Twitter: https://twitter.com/nelnet
What Nelnet does
The government pays a group of companies, called servicers, to process payments from federal student loan borrowers. Each borrower is assigned a servicer before repayment begins.
As a servicer, Nelnet can help its customers sign up for federal programs that lower or postpone payments when necessary.
Nelnet helps borrowers lower or postpone student loan payments when necessary.
Nelnet also manages the government’s Total and Permanent Disability Discharge program. If you qualify to get your loans canceled through this program, you’ll submit your application to Nelnet.
How to get student loan help
As your servicer, Nelnet is required to work with you to ensure you can afford loan payments. If your bill is past due or you’re worried you can’t pay the next one, call Nelnet at 888-486-4722 and ask about your options.
Late payments on federal direct loans will start hurting your credit when you’re 90 days behind. At 270 days late, your student loans go into default, and the federal government could start withholding your pay or your tax refund to collect your debt.
Avoid default by temporarily postponing your bills through deferment or forbearance or by signing up for an income-driven repayment plan. These plans lower payments to a percentage of your earnings, and Nelnet will help you figure out which one you qualify for. You’ll apply on studentloans.gov and send the form to Nelnet for processing.
Late payments on federal direct loans will start negatively affecting your credit when you’re 90 days behind.
Some so-called student loan “debt-relief” companies may advertise or contact you claiming they can help get loans forgiven or consolidated. Avoid working with these companies and contact Nelnet instead. Debt-relief companies charge for services that Nelnet and the government provide for free.
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How to pay down loans faster
If you have money in your budget to spare — after saving for retirement and meeting other financial goals — consider contributing more than your minimum student loan payment each month. Making a larger dent in your balance also means saving money in interest.
When you sign up for auto debit, which automatically deducts monthly payments from your bank account, you’ll have the option to request that Nelnet apply extra to your loans each month. You can also make a payment online at any point in the month in addition to your monthly bill.
Another way to shorten your repayment term or pay less in interest over time is to refinance your student loans through a new, private company. You should first understand the benefits you could lose by refinancing federal loans, though, like the ability to get student loan forgiveness for working in public service jobs.
Think of Nelnet as your first line of defense when you’re paying off your loans. If the company isn’t doing its job to assist you, consider filing a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Borrowers with complex debt situations might also benefit from getting student loan help from a certified student loan counselor or a lawyer.