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Nelnet Closed for Memorial Day

May 22, 2015
Photo credit: David Curtis, flickr

Photo credit: David Curtis, flickr

Nelnet will have modified hours Monday, May 25 as we observe Memorial Day.

For borrowers:

The borrower contact center will be closed midnight, May 25 through midnight, May 26 (Central).

For schools:

The School Service Center will be closed all of Memorial Day, including their regular hours of 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Central).

We hope you join us this Memorial Day in honoring those who sacrificed their lives while serving in our nation’s armed forces.

Educating Today’s Children for Tomorrow’s Success

May 21, 2015

Education is the backbone of everything we do – both inside and outside of the company. Whether we are in a classroom, with TeamMates on a playground, or providing academic scholarships, Nelnet aims to build a more educated and fiscally responsible world.

Programs such as TeamMates and Junior Achievement enhance the well-being and knowledge of both associates and students. “I know I’ve made a difference when I see my mentee waiting in the office for me to get there,” says Manager Chad Stutzman. “He’s genuinely excited to see me, and that keeps me going every week.”

JuniorAchievement_Lincoln

Photo credit: Junior Achievement

As the Junior Achievement website explains, we all benefit when children grow up to be capable, educated citizens, active community members, responsible employees, and future leaders. By spending just one hour a week in a school, our associates provide career education, guidance, and all-around encouragement to today’s youth. Stutzman has seen first-hand the impact a mentor can have on a child. “One of my mentees went from failing all of his classes to passing 75% of them. I don’t believe that would have happened without a positive influence in his life,” he says.

In January, TeamMates mentor and Nelnet associate Deb Campos was honored as a member of the 24 or More Club of 2013-2014 for meeting with her mentee for three years or more and having made a tremendous impact on her life. “My mentor is a good listener and is very talented,” wrote Campos’ mentee, Jana. “She taught me it’s okay to make mistakes and that I should never give up.”

Beyond educating students in the classroom, we also support higher education goals with up to 24 scholarships per year, including the Nelnet Honors Scholarship of up to $20,000 and the Nelnet Cares Scholarship worth $1,500.

Because strong children are a result of strong communities, Nelnet associates also provide monetary donations to organizations such as United Way. The Nelnet Foundation contributes a one-to-one match on associate donations to non-profit organizations, and three-to-one when associates donate to schools. Just last year, our company raised over $560,000 for United Way to help promote school readiness, youth success, and adult self-sufficiency, and the Foundation supplied $277,000 in matched donations to 102 organizations.

By encouraging associates at all levels to invest in the community with volunteer time and their hard-earned dollars, we help those around us succeed – both now and in the future.

 

Chrissy Rydl, Associate Corporate Communications Writer, Nelnet

Chrissy Rydl, Associate Corporate Communications Writer, Nelnet

Income-Driven Repayment FAQs

May 21, 2015

Income-driven repayment (IDR) plans are a great choice for borrowers who would like to make their student loan debt more manageable by reducing their monthly payment amount. Here are some questions we frequently receive from schools about IDR.

Q: We hear from borrowers that there has been an inconsistent approach to the income-driven plans. What exactly is the process you use to determine a borrower’s monthly payment when considering their income? How is a monthly pay stub used in calculating income?

A: There are two ways for borrowers to apply for an income-driven repayment plan. Our initial request is for the borrower to submit one of their two most recent tax returns.

In the event that the tax return does not reflect their current income, a borrower can submit a paystub reflecting their taxable gross income, which we multiply by 12, 24, 26, or 52 based on the frequency of pay during the year. The submitted paystub must either show the frequency of pay or the borrower must write the frequency of pay on it.Please note that this method requires the Alternative Documentation of Income (ADOI) form.

Example: A paystub is sent with a bi-weekly pay frequency. We take the federal taxable gross income and multiply it by 26 (since there are 26 pay periods a year). So if the federal taxable gross income on the pay stub is $1408.90, we multiply that by 26 and use the $36,631.40 as the adjusted gross income (AGI) to calculate the IDR. If the borrower’s spouse has income, we would repeat the same process and add the two incomes together.

Q: Will you accept a $0 income tax return?

A:  If a borrower has no income, they can check the correct boxes on the application and send in acceptable income documents, and we will process the application.

tax

 

Q: Students have tried to provide $0 tax return for an income-driven plan and have been told by certain servicers that this documentation is “not acceptable.” What is needed or deemed acceptable when a borrower is declaring zero income? Many students are saying servicers are still asking for a paystub since they are now working, while other students have a different story.

A: This is dependent on what the borrower states their income is while on the phone or what their documentation states. Along with the application, borrowers will be asked to provide income information. This may be either their AGI or alternative documentation of income.

The borrower can document their income using AGI if:

  • They have filed a federal income tax return in the past two years and
  • The income on their most recent federal income tax return is not significantly different from their current income

So, if a student was unemployed or had a low AGI on their most recently filed tax return and now is working at a job where they make $60,000 a year, they should provide paystubs. But if the borrower calls in and does not disclose their current income, the rep will advise them to send in their tax return. Ideally, the 1040 is the best form of income a borrower can submit, but if their income now is significantly different (either higher or lower) than their most recent filed tax return, we would ask for alternative documentation of income.

If a borrower does not have taxable income or only receives untaxed income, they need to select the box on the application that states they are certifying that they do not have any taxable income.

Have more questions? Feel free to contact your Regional Director or the School Service Center (866.463.5638).

 

Lou Murray, Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Lou Murray, Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Latest from FSA: 2015-2016 Interest Rates

May 20, 2015

FSA has released the interest rates for Direct Loans first disbursed between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016.

Federal Direct Student Loans 2015-2016 Interest Rates
Effective for Loans First Disbursed on or after July 1, 2015 and
prior to July 1, 2016
Loan Type Borrower Type Index Add-On Fixed
Interest
Rate
10-Year
Treasury
Note
Direct
Subsidized
Loans
Undergraduate
Students
2.237% 2.05% 4.29%
Direct
Unsubsidized
Loans
Undergraduate
Students
2.237% 2.05% 4.29%
Direct
Unsubsidized
Loans
Graduate/Professional
Students
2.237% 3.60% 5.84%
Direct PLUS
Loans
Parents of Dependent
Undergraduate
Students and
Graduate/Professional
Students
2.237% 4.60% 6.84%

For more information, please see the original Electronic Announcement: http://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/051515DLInterestRates1516.html.

Kristin Tobias, Communications Coordinator, Nelnet

Kristin Tobias, Communications Coordinator, Nelnet

Nelnet Attends Student Loan Ombudsman Caucus Meeting

May 20, 2015

On May 12 and 13, 2015, Customer Interaction Center Manager Alyssa Cisneros and Regional Director Lou Murray participated in the Student Loan Ombudsman Caucus Meeting in Boston.

The meeting’s theme was “Strengthening the Ombudsman Network.” Representatives from FSA, NASFAA, Title IV servicers, guarantors, lenders, and borrower rights groups met with the goal of creating a new energy. Multiple industry partners and peers worked together by contributing their skills, subject matter knowledge, and perspectives aimed at protecting student loan borrowers.

While there were many discussions about borrower complaints and concerns, the focus was on how we can do more as an industry to track and resolve these issues. Nelnet is grateful to have been involved in the Student Loan Ombudsman Caucus Meeting, and we look forward to seeing the impact of the group’s efforts.

Lou Murray, Nelnet Regional Director, Joyce DeMoss, FSA Ombudsman, and Alyssa Cisneros, Customer Interaction Center Manager, at the Student Loan Ombudsman Caucus Meeting

Lou Murray, Nelnet Regional Director, Joyce DeMoss, FSA Ombudsman, and Alyssa Cisneros, Customer Interaction Center Manager, at the Student Loan Ombudsman Caucus Meeting

 

Lou Murray, Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Lou Murray, Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Latest from FSA: How to Qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness

May 19, 2015

Photo credit: ED Homeroom Blog

 

Under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, borrowers may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance of their Direct Loans after making 120 qualifying payments on while employed full time by certain public service employers. The Department of Education recently published a reminder that outlines who qualifies for PSLF, covering points such as:

  • Qualifying employment
  • Qualifying employment status
  • Qualifying loans
  • Qualifying repayment plans
  • Making qualifying payments

Click here to read the full article and share with your students.

 

Kristin Tobias, Communications Coordinator, Nelnet

Kristin Tobias, Communications Coordinator, Nelnet

 

The Nelnet Story

May 19, 2015

At Nelnet, our mission is to build a more educated and fiscally responsible world. How are we working to achieve this? Check out the Nelnet Story below.