If you've gotten a letter or call from a company called NelNet related to your student loans, you might have wondered if the company was legit or if you were being scammed. While it's good to use caution with your financial info, rest easy on this one. NelNet is legit.
About 20% student loan payments funded through the U.S. Department of Education are serviced by NelNet. Here's what you need to know about NelNet and how to confirm that they're your provider.
NelNet is one of the leading loan servicers in the country. Short for National Education Loan Network, the company was founded in 1978 and today helps nearly seven million borrowers. It also recently acquired Great Lakes, another leading loan servicer.
As a loan servicer, its job is to manage your student loans, including taking your monthly payment, helping you choose the best repayment plan for your needs, process requests for deferment or forbearance, and help you understand what it takes to pay off your debt.
In addition to the information directly related to your loan, NelNet offers a website with personal finance resources and tips.
If you receive a letter, call or email from a company claiming to want to speak with you about your loans, or promising something related to your loans, don't jump to give them any of your personal information. There are many companies out there who harass borrowers into paying a fee for help. These are scams; you never have to pay for help with student loan debt management. Instead, you can work directly with loan servicer.
Not sure if NelNet is your loan servicer? You can confirm via the U.S. Department of Education's National Student Loan Data System, which is the central database for information about the type of loans you have, your balance and loan status. To access this information, you'll need your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID number.
Important note: Any company asking for your FSA ID is NOT legit. You use this ID to sign legal documents online. Don’t give out your ID to anyone—or they’ll be able to change your account without your permission.
Once you confirm that NelNet is your loan servicer, you can reach out to the company with specific questions about your situation.
To manage your monthly payments, seek help with forbearance or deference, or ask a question about your payoff, you should contact NelNet directly for the most up-to-date, personalized advice for your particular situation.
NelNet's customer service phone number, email and address are listed here. Contacting your loan servicer should always be your first step if you're struggling with your debt.
You can also create an account with NelNet to make accessing your loan information and monthly making payments easier.
Works with 275+ not-for-profit community lenders for higher approval chances
LendKey operates student loan programs for over 275 not-for-profit and community lenders across the country. By partnering with these lenders, LendKey is able to give consumers direct access to the best rates available from the most borrower friendly institutions. As the servicer of all loans obtained through its platform, you can rest easy knowing your personal information will be safe and that the best customer service team will be ready to answer your questions from application until your final payment.
Offers unemployment protection and career/coaching/networking
SoFi, which stands for “Social Finance,” was created by a group of Stanford business students who found themselves with a mountain of debt after graduation. They set out to change the student loan industry and help borrowers like themselves to get lower interest rates. SoFi has some of the lowest interest rates and, unlike the other lenders we reviewed, it has no maximum amount you can finance. However, Nevada residents can’t currently refinance with SoFi. Minimum loan balances are higher in Arizona, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania due to state laws. Additional state restrictions may apply.
For every loan they fund, they contribute to the education of a child in need
CommonBond was founded in 2011 by three MBA graduates from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School who wanted to help their peers escape from high-interest student loan debt. Its original focus was on grad students, but it has since expanded to cover undergrads as well.
Of all the companies we reviewed, CommonBond has some of the best customer service. The company prides itself on being easy to reach by email, phone, or live chat. It offers networking events, expert panels, insider newsletters, and even has a program help borrowers who lose their jobs to find new ones. CommonBond also makes you feel good about choosing to refinance with them by donating money to an education nonprofit for each loan they write.
Get a personalized review of your refinancing options with CommonBond today.
Earnest empowers people with the financial captial they need to live better lives.
Using technology, data, and design to build affordable products, Earnest's lending products are built for a new generation seeking to reach life's milestones. The company understands every applicant's unique financial story to offer the lowest possible rates and radically flexible loan options for living life.
Click here to apply with Earnest and to see how much you can save.
Operates in all 50 states; 2nd largest student loan refinancing lender
Laurel Road is a national online lender with customers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Many of our non-bank competitors are not able to lend in all 50 states.Laurel Road has grown to be the second largest player in the student loan refinancing space in large part because of our reputation as the go-to low rate provider.
Special offers for medical resident and fellow refinance products
Splash Financial is a leader in student loan refinancing with new rates as low as 3.25% fixed APR which can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loans. No application or origination fees and no prepayment penalties. Splash Financial is in all 50 states and is intensely focused on customer service. Splash Financial is also one of the few companies that offers a great medical resident and fellow refinance product. You can check your rate with Splash in just minutes.
Click here to see more of Splash's offerings and to see how you can save money.