Nelnet Logo
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LAST UPDATED: November 10th, 2021
Founded in 1978 and headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, Nelnet deals with student loans and educational financial services. The company's goals are to help students find lower monthly payment options and to guide borrowers through the entire process of taking out a student loan. Nelnet has served more than 5 million borrowers and provides over $1.2 million in scholarships each year.

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The Good

  • Consolidation program
  • Multiple ways to make payments
  • Well established
  • Available 24/7

Consolidation Program

Nelnet offers loan consolidation through the U.S Department of Education. Loan consolidation is meant for graduates, those who have left school temporarily, or those who are taking classes part-time. Borrowers can easily apply for this program at or by mail. If approved, there is no consolidation fee and borrowers can conveniently combine all student loans into one affordable monthly payment. Additionally, borrowers who choose to consolidate can potentially access flexible repayment plans that they wouldn't otherwise have access to. Nelnet conveniently lets borrowers switch from variable to fixed rates if they so choose. Additionally, borrowers have the option to sign up for income-driven repayment plans.

Multiple Ways To Make Payments

Nelnet is unique in that it offers multiple ways for borrowers to make payments. Borrowers can choose to use the company's mobile app, pay online, send a payment by mail, pay by phone, pay online, or sign up for auto debit. There is a $6 fee to pay by phone.

Well Established

Nelnet was started in 1978 and has a positive reputation in the student loan service industry.

Available 24/7

Nelnet representatives are available around the clock. Customers are encouraged to contact Nelnet at any time if the have questions or concerns. Borrowers can reach the company by email, mail, or phone.

The Bad

  • Consolidation program lacks transparency
  • Lawsuits
  • Loan eligibility

Consolidation Program Lacks Transparency

While Nelnet's website provides a lot of information about federal student loan services, the site lacks transparency in regards to loan consolidation. For example, the Nelnet website does not provide any information about fees, interest rates, term lengths, state eligibility, cosigners, loan amounts, or required documents.


Nelnet has been involved in a few lawsuits, one of which was settled for $1.2 million after the company was accused of illegally recording calls.

Loan Eligibility

Not all loan types are eligible for Nelnet's programs. For example, direct payment PLUS loans are not eligible for pay-as-you-earn or income-based payment plans and private loans are not eligible for Nelnet's direct loan consolidation program.

The Bottom Line

Nelnet is a student loan company that provides educational financial services. The company offers several ways for borrowers to make payments and its customer service program is available 24/7. However, Nelnet's website lacks transparency in some areas and not all loan types are eligible for the company's programs.
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7 Reviews

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Autumn Lewiston, ID

After graduating college my student loans were serviced by Nelnet. My experience with them was always great. They could answer questions over the phone, help with PSLF questions, and go over the different types of student debt re-payment options. I would recommend Nelnet to others in the future as a good student loan service company.

2 years ago

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Darien Wygant Casselberry, FL

I would caution anyone trying to pay your own way through college to use anyone else, anyone. Nelnet requires Floridan students to pay half of your total balance before they 'take a credit risk' and buy your entire debt from the school and require payment to them. This isn't credit, this isn't a student loan help organization. This is a loan shark, who are happy to terminate agreements without contact via phone, text, personal email, or school email. The first communication you receive is a reciept (so far, so good?), then a reminder for the first payment. All good stuff. Then a second reminder for the second payment (out of 4 payments, this one is the halfway point, and so therefore critically important). In my case, the first payment went through fine, and the card was a little lower than the amount. Where a typical company, bank, organization, or Human being would reach out, email, call you, call the other person listed as a trustee on the agreement, or call the school, Nelnet does not feel the need to waste a moment, and terminates the agreement. This would normally be okay(ish) - lawful at least - but in my case, dumped $1000+ debt on me, payment required by my school immediately in order to not be immediately deleted from all classes. If you happen to be in the midst of graduation applications, please note that you can not graduate if you have any debt on the account, so if your deadline falls squarely in the week you'll be scrambling to sell anything you have to make that payment, you will be barred from graduating. Not that this review will serve any purpose now, at least some prospective student doing a little research before signing a contract may see this review and at least take the proper percautions. No one will let you know before you sign the terms and consequences so eloquently, if I do say so myself. Don't forget to follow up with them afterward, as they will take their time in refunding what you already paid them to your school, as is the case now. Good luck.

4 years ago

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Joe Los Angeles, CA

For my very first student loan repayment, they day after my Auto Debit, my account displayed, "Past Due". So, I tried to contact them but they just kept replying like a robot with, "it takes 2-4 days to post". So I made a one time payment that I expected to pay for that month. It was updated today (3 days after the scheduled Auto Debit), and shows that they put my one time payment towards the next month's payment, which is not what I submitted for. When I contacted customer service, they again just kept replying, "it takes 2-4 days to post" and told me to call in to request to undo the payment and receive a refund. This issue also allowed me to realize that they put my entire first payment towards the interest only, none of it went towards the actual loan balance, that is not what is stated nor was described via the repayment plan, it clearly shows that the majority of it should go to the balance. Nowhere does it state that the first payment entirely goes towards interest.

5 years ago

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Hyrum Sandy, UT

Nelnet is not very easy to work with. But that's probably true for all the student loan companies. Their website is easy enough to use when it comes time to make payments, but it becomes trickier if you try to pay extra. The default is to "apply" it to the next payment, rather than going to principle.

6 years ago

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They have always been willing to help those who have had financial hardship.

6 years ago

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Debby Willis Dunn, NC

I have had no problems with getting my student loans

6 years ago

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MC Miami, FL

absurdly unprofessional inconsiderate rude and incompetent

5 years ago