Welcome to Nelnet
Nelnet welcomes borrowers from Great Lakes Educational Loan Services!
Did you know that Great Lakes and Nelnet have been part of the same company since 2018? We share a commitment to exceptional customer service with a goal of helping every borrower successfully manage their student loans. We do this by working with you to find the right repayment plan, or program options for your situation. While we understand you didn’t request this loan transfer and this kind of change can be challenging, we encourage you to reach out to us with questions or comments about your transfer experience. We are here to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Here’s a summary of how the transfer process works.
- You’ll receive a notice from Great Lakes approximately two weeks before your loan is transferred. This notice will outline what to expect throughout the process and include the transfer date.
- You’ll receive a welcome email or letter from Nelnet once your loans are loaded onto the Nelnet system. This notice will let you know your transfer is complete, and contain important information such as how to contact us, where to go to create an online account, and simple steps to set up automatic payments.
Please wait to create your Nelnet.com account until after you’ve received your welcome notice. If you try to set up an online account too early, you’ll receive an error message.
We’ve put together some commonly asked questions and answers about loan transfers Important Information on How We Service Your Loans provides more details on the relationship and transition between Great Lakes and Nelnet, how Nelnet groups loans within your account, the time frames Nelnet uses in payment processing, how to upload documentation, and more.
Through the spring of 2023, Great Lakes will transfer its portfolio of federal student loans to Nelnet and will no longer be a student loan servicer. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has authorized this transfer and has posted a notice about it at StudentAid.gov/greatlakes. Your loan was not sold. ED will continue to own your loan; however, Nelnet will manage your loan and assist you on ED’s behalf as your federal student loan servicer. This change will not impact the existing terms, conditions, interest rate, or available repayment plans of your federal student loan.
Things to Do
Although payments are currently paused, we encourage you to do the things on this list. We want to make sure we can get ahold of you if needed and to see that you’re set up for success.
- After you’ve received your welcome notice, create your online account at Nelnet.com.
- Once you have an account, log in, select your name from the menu, and choose Contact Information to verify that the information we have on file for you is correct.
- If you were in repayment and used Auto Pay to make automatic payments at Great Lakes, your bank account information transferred to us. Because it’s been a while since payments were due, check to make sure your information is current by logging in, selecting the Payments menu, and choosing Auto Debit. (See Q&A Will my automatic payment information be transferred to Nelnet?)
- If you were in school, in your grace period, or in a deferment or forbearance, including the COVID-19 forbearance, and were still choosing to make automatic payments through Auto Pay with Great Lakes, those payments stopped on your transfer date. If you want to make a payment, choose Make a Payment on the Payments card once you’ve logged in to Nelnet.com.
- If you use bill pay, contact your financial institution to arrange for them to pay Nelnet now instead of Great Lakes. (See Q&A Will my bill pay service information transfer to Nelnet?)
- If you pay by mail, make sure to use Nelnet’s address when repayment begins.
Nelnet’s contact information is as follows:
Nelnet Servicing, LLC NMLS ID# 1508613
To find out when Nelnet advisors are available by phone, visit Nelnet.com/contact.
U.S. Department of Education
P.O. Box 2837
Portland, OR 97208-2837
General Correspondence and Qualified Written Requests:
P.O. Box 82561
Lincoln, NE 68501-2561
P.O. Box 82578
Lincoln, NE 68501-2578
Nelnet is a student loan servicer (like Great Lakes) that was chosen by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to service federal student loans. We keep borrowers up-to-date with information about their loans and help them manage the loan repayment process. We are borrowers’ primary point of contact for repaying their loans.
A student loan servicer provides you with the tools and resources you need from the point your first loan amount is disbursed (delivered) by your school, to the point that the balance on your loan(s) is paid in full, discharged, or forgiven. A servicer’s role includes:
- Keeping you up-to-date with information about your student loan(s).
- Helping you find the best repayment plan for your budget.
- Processing payments.
- Helping you understand the various repayment relief options if you’re unable to make payments.
Keep in mind a servicer never charges to provide assistance with your student loans. There are companies that will offer to help you manage your debt for a fee – we offer the same services for free! Contact Nelnet for help instead. Learn to avoid student aid scams at StudentAid.gov/scams.
Nelnet will send you a welcome notice shortly after your federal student loan(s) has been transferred. If you have questions once you’ve received your welcome notice, give us a call.
Generally, we’ll be able to answer questions about your account(s) once you’ve received your welcome notice from Nelnet.
If your loan(s) hasn’t transferred to us, we’re not able to answer loan-specific questions, but we’re happy to help answer any general transfer questions. Until you receive the welcome communication from Nelnet, contact Great Lakes at (800) 236-4300 for loan-specific information.
If you had multiple loans with Great Lakes, all of them will transfer to Nelnet.
It's possible you have other student loans serviced by another servicer. You can find out which loans Nelnet services by creating an account on our website and logging in to view your Account Summary. To view all of your federal loans, including those with other servicers, visit StudentAid.gov. Your account in StudentAid.gov should be updated to reflect your updated servicer information within 7 to 10 business days after your loans finish transferring to Nelnet.
Yes. Nelnet will assign a new federal student loan account number to you once it loads your loan(s) onto its system. Nelnet will inform you of your new account number in the welcome communication it sends to you.
Yes. Follow the instructions Nelnet provides in its welcome communication to sign up at Nelnet.com. Under Great Lakes, you’ve had a user ID, PIN, and password; with Nelnet, you’ll establish a username and password.
Once you receive your welcome communication from Nelnet and you’ve created your Nelnet.com account, you can log in at any time to view your loan details and check your status.
Yes, they did. If you need to make changes to your communication preferences with us, log in to your Nelnet.com account, choose your name from the menu, and select Manage Paperless.
Yes, your loan history will transfer. If you need a history of the payments you made to Great Lakes, Nelnet can help. Just give us a call at 888.486.4722 and we can either email or mail the information to you within a few business days.
Once you make a payment, you can view your Nelnet payment history on Nelnet.com. Simply log in or create an account on Nelnet.com. There, you can find your payment history in the Payments menu.
LOAN TERMS AND BENEFITS
Yes. You will not be required to make payments and your interest rate will be 0% as long as the COVID-19 payment pause remains in effect.
No, the transfer will not change your repayment plan. Once the transfer is complete, you will make your payments to Nelnet.
No, your eligibility will not be affected. Any deferment, forbearance, discharge, or forgiveness options you were eligible for will not change, and your loan status (such as in-school, repayment, or deferment) will transfer with your loan(s).
No action is necessary. Any form/application already processed or pending to be processed (for example, an Income-Driven Repayment Plan request) will be forwarded to Nelnet once the transfer is complete. After the transfer, please immediately begin using Nelnet’s contact information for correspondence.
Great Lakes will forward any payments made to them, to Nelnet, for at least 120 days after your transfer date. We’ll apply your payment and credit it to your loan(s) effective the date of the payment. It may take a few weeks for payments to process, but a payment will not be considered past due under these circumstances. We appreciate your patience during this time.
If you plan to send Nelnet a payment by mail, use the payment address listed in the Contact Us section. You can also explore other ways to submit a payment to Nelnet.
Here’s what happens if you had automatic payments set up with Great Lakes:
- If you don’t have payments due because you’re in the COVID-19 forbearance, your automatic payment enrollment transferred to Nelnet and payments are paused, just as they were with Great Lakes. You can make one-time payments now or adjust your automatic payments by logging in to Nelnet.com, selecting the Payments menu, and choosing either Pay Now or Auto Debit. When the COVID-19 forbearance ends, your automatic payments will start with Nelnet. You’ll receive a billing statement before your automatic payment is withdrawn.
- If you don’t have payments due because you’re in school, in grace, in a deferment, or in a non-COVID-19 forbearance, those automatic payments ended on the day your loan(s) transferred to Nelnet. You can make one-time payments by logging in to Nelnet.com, selecting the Payments menu, and choosing Pay Now. When you exit your in school, in grace, deferment or forbearance status and payments are then required, you’ll be able to set up automatic payments.
- If you have payments due because you opted out of the COVID-19 forbearance, your automatic payment enrollment transferred to Nelnet and automatic payments will continue uninterrupted. You can manage or stop your automatic payments by logging in to Nelnet.com, selecting the Payments menu, and choosing Auto Debit.
No, it will not. If you were using a bill pay service with your financial institution prior to the transfer, and you want to continue making payments to Nelnet using a bill pay service, please update the payee to reflect your new Nelnet account number and the payment address shown below.
U.S. Department of Education
P.O. Box 2837
Portland, OR 97208-2837
If you don’t make these updates, the bank or bill paying service will send your payments to the wrong servicer, and there will be a delay in your account being credited.
Sometimes, borrowers want to send more money than is due (an excess payment) and want to specify how it is applied. At Nelnet, this is called special payment instructions. Here is an overview on how to request these instructions at Nelnet.
One-Time Special Payment Instruction
Log in to your Nelnet.com account, select Make a Payment, and then select Groups. At this point, you can enter payment amounts to apply to each of your loan groups. Then simply confirm your payment to submit it.
Recurring Special Payment Instructions
Log in to your Nelnet.com account and select Special Payment Instructions from the Payments drop-down menu. At this point, you can select a recurring special payment instruction to apply to future payments.
Visit our website’s general FAQ page and refer to the section entitled Special Payment Instructions for more details.
IN SCHOOL OR IN GRACE PERIOD
As a currently enrolled student, you will not be required to make payments until the end of your grace period, after you’ve dropped below half-time enrollment. At that time, Nelnet will reach out to help you prepare to begin repayment on your student loan(s).
After the transfer, Nelnet will contact you with assistance to get you ready for repayment. Once your loan(s) enters a repayment status, we encourage you to sign up for auto debit with Nelnet.
CREDIT AND TAX REPORTING
Great Lakes will report your account(s) as closed due to transfer. Nelnet will then open a new account(s) with the same total balance for each loan you have, and report your student loans to the four nationwide consumer reporting agencies (that is, Equifax, TransUnion, Experian, and Innovis). Within 90 days of the transfer, these changes will be reflected on your credit report and Nelnet will continue to report on your federal student loans.
Credit Karma is a third-party source for credit reporting. Nelnet reports to the four nationwide consumer reporting agencies (that is, Equifax, TransUnion, Experian, and Innovis). Then Credit Karma accesses your credit reports and compiles a credit score, making it available to you. Thus, you want to make sure that all information reported to the consumer reporting agencies is up-to-date so that the data Credit Karma accesses and compiles your score from is accurate.
Nelnet can review and answer questions about any reporting we have submitted on your federal student loans. We can also review your balance information to verify that it aligns with the balance you had with Great Lakes. We can’t provide feedback on your credit score, however.
Your payment history while your loan was at Great Lakes will remain distinct from your payment history once your loan has transferred to Nelnet. If you have questions about your payments before the transfer, Nelnet will connect you with Great Lakes’ representatives to provide answers.
The IRS Form 1098-E is your annual student loan interest statement. It includes the amount of student loan interest you’ve paid on your student loan(s) in the past year. You usually receive your 1098-E in late January of the following year.
Nelnet will send you a 1098-E for the interest you paid to us after the transfer. Great Lakes should send you a 1098-E for the interest you paid while they serviced your loan(s). If you add the totals together, you can determine the total interest you paid for the year. Make sure to seek tax advice from a professional if you need assistance.