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.
What is NelNet?
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.
Is NelNet your loan servicer, or a scam?
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.
How and when to contact NelNet
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.