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.
Great Lakes has transferred its entire portfolio of federal student loans to Nelnet and is no longer a student loan servicer. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) 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 status, terms, conditions, interest rate, or available repayment plans of your federal student loan.
In 2022 or earlier in 2023, you should have already received a notice from Great Lakes regarding the transfer of your loans. The important information contained in that notice is also located in the Things to Do section, directly below. You should have also received a welcome notice from Nelnet shortly thereafter, letting you know that the transfer was completed, along with important information such as how to contact us, where to go to create an online account, and more.
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. We hope this is a useful guide for you to use while learning more about Nelnet.
Things to Do
Congress passed a law preventing further extensions of the payment pause. Student loan interest resumed on Sept. 1, 2023, and payments will be due starting in October. We encourage you to do the things on this list, so that you’re set up for success.
- Register for online access by creating an online account at Nelnet.com. Please note that you should not be using your Great Lakes account log in information for this account.
- Once you have an account, log in, and enter the pass code. Nelnet has two-factor authentication, which means that after you log in with your username and password, you’ll get a pass code sent to the contact information that we have on file. You’ll then enter the code as another layer of security to access your account.
- Automatic Payments:
- If you were in Auto Pay with Great Lakes, but were not making automatic payments because payments were not due, your bank account information transferred to us and automatic payments will resume when payments become due. 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 Manage Automatic Payments. (See Q&A Will my automatic payment information be transferred to Nelnet?)
- If you were in Auto Pay with Great Lakes, and were continuing to make automatic payments even though payments were not due, your bank account information did not transfer to us, those payments stopped upon your transfer to Nelnet. Making automatic payments when payments aren’t due is not currently available, although we hope to add it in the future. You can continue to make one-time payments by logging in, selecting the Payments menu, and choosing Make a Payment. We encourage you to enroll in automatic payments with Nelnet, and they’ll begin when payments are due.
- If you aren’t enrolled in automatic payments at all, consider signing up when payments are due. Benefits include a maintenance-free payment method with the potential to earn a 0.25% interest rate reduction while your loans are in an active repayment status.
- 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 by selecting My Loans. 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 My Profile 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.
LOAN TERMS AND BENEFITS
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.
Your previous payment history from Great Lakes is now available. To view, log in to your Nelnet.com account and select Inbox from the Documents menu. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to sign up for electronic correspondence to activate your Inbox, which will also allow you to view billing statements and alerts online.
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.
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 Make a Payment or Manage Automatic Payments. 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 Make a Payment. 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 Manage Automatic Payments.
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 Pay by Group. 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.
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.