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Help Your Students Avoid Identity Theft

October 21, 2020

Identity thieves are out there, even in the midst of a pandemic. It’s an unfortunate truth, and identity theft victims suffer much more than someone who has $50 stolen from their car. Identity theft occurs when a person commits fraud by posing as someone else. And it can take anywhere from months to years to recover from it. The Nelnet Library offers a guide that explains the precautions to take to avoid identity theft.

Our guide offers a variety of tips designed to help student borrowers keep private information private. This printer-friendly PDF also offers details on checking annual credit reports to make sure that they are accurate. And for student borrowers who may already be victims, the guide offers steps to take to mitigate damage and resolve the situation.

Check out the Nelnet Library for this and other great financial literacy resources.

Nine Tips to Help Your Students Achieve Financial Wellness

October 20, 2020

Nelnet is out to help students maintain financial wellness – now, in the midst of global pandemic, and for the rest of their lives. Some of our best tips are included in a downloadable handout, which can be printed and shared with students.

The tips:

1. Know where your money goes

Be aware of how you are spending your money. A $5 cup of coffee five days a week costs you $100/month. Review some of the items you spend your money on to find areas where cutting back can move your savings account forward.

2. Develop a budget

Plan for your expenditures by developing a budget and live within your means based on your monthly income. Make adjustments to remain within your budget and don’t use a credit card to cover a shortfall or unnecessary purchases.

3. Include savings in your budget

Pay yourself first. Treat your savings account like any other monthly bill by making a monthly payment toward it.

4. Plan for major purchases

Adjust your budget accordingly to build savings for your next major purchase without using credit.

5. Save for emergencies

A good plan is to have a minimum of six months of salary available in your savings account. While this goal will take time to achieve, it is important to strive for it so you’re prepared for most unexpected emergencies.

6. Plan for retirement

Take advantage of interest and market upturns by saving for retirement early. Often your employer will help you save for retirement with a 401(k) plan. You can also benefit from pre-tax contributions using this method of retirement savings.

7. Get tax advice

If you have circumstances that create tax dilemmas (e.g., self-employed, own and/or lease property, etc.), make sure to seek tax advice from a professional for the best outcome.

8. Protect your credit

You have the right to pull a free credit report from each reporting bureau once per year by going online to AnnualCreditReport.com. Keep in mind that late payments will adversely impact your credit, as will a failure to pay. You should immediately report any credit issues or discrepancies to the reporting bureau. Use your credit wisely and ensure your reports are accurate.

9. Keep good financial records

Use online tools as well as paper copies of receipts to keep records of your pay stubs, banking information, taxes, insurance, and other documents important to your financial situation.

You can find this handout, along with a variety of helpful, downloadable resources for schools and borrowers, in our library. We hope these resources help you steer your students toward a lifetime of financial wellness.

Latest from FSA: COVID-19 Title IV Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Website Update

October 19, 2020

FSA recently announced that they posted a new FAQ to the Office of Postsecondary Education’s COVID-19 Title IV Frequently Asked Questions website. The new FAQ focuses on the provisions of the CARES Act related to Return of Title IV Funds

For more information on this update or the FAQ website, see FSA’s original post.

April is Financial Literacy Month

April 15, 2020

April is Financial Literacy Month, and it’s safe to say that this one is different than any that have preceded it. The COVID-19 Pandemic has presented many challenges that encompass many areas of our lives, including finances.

At Nelnet, we live to serve others, and part of that service is providing resources to help students, parents, and financial aid professionals with financial literacy. Nelnet’s Library contains a variety of helpful financial literacy resources, including:

While the pandemic presents challenges, Nelnet is here to serve and help where we can. If you have any questions, please reach out to our School Service Center.

Latest from FSA: Secretary DeVos Announces Emergency Cash Grants for College Students Impacted by Coronavirus Outbreak

April 14, 2020

In a press release last week, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that “more than $6 billion will be distributed immediately to colleges and universities to provide direct emergency cash grants to college students whose lives and educations have been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak. The funding is available through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump less than two weeks ago.”

More details on this funding, along with other coronavirus response details, are available in the press release.

Nelnet Working Closely with FSA on CARES Act Implementation.

April 2, 2020
tags:

Update from 4/1/20

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Nelnet is working with the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to suspend payments until 9/30/20 for Federal Direct Loan Program (FDLP) and Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) student loans held by ED. There’s nothing you or your student loan borrowers need to do at this time. Nelnet will notify all student loan borrowers of their suspended student loan payments within a few weeks.

Temporary Relief for Federally Held Student Loan Borrowers:

  • No payments for 6 months. Borrowers will not have to make payments on their federally held student loans for six months (through September 30, 2020).
  • No interest will accrue. The interest rate on federally held student loans was reduced to 0%, effective March 13, 2020 through September 30, 2020.
  • Your accounts will be updated soon. Nelnet will notify borrowers within a few weeks of their suspended student loan payments, the 0% interest rate, and the suspension of collection efforts.

Update from 3/25/20

No Disruption in Student Loan Servicing for Nelnet Borrowers Due to COVID-19

As the situation surrounding the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve and we see the impact of how it is disrupting so much of our daily lives, we want to assure you that we are here to support you and your students.

We do not anticipate any servicing interruptions at this time but are staying vigilant and will communicate if that changes. This includes our student loan servicing contact center and operations serving students and parents with student loans.

We are working closely with Federal Student Aid (FSA) to implement student loan repayment relief provisions. The situation is evolving quickly, and at this time the provisions include an interest rate waiver (0% interest) coupled with an automatically applied forbearance for anyone who is 31 days past due on their student loan payment. Additional information pertaining to COVID-19 and forbearance for students, borrowers, and parents can be found on FSA’s website.

Nelnet is also closely monitoring the latest developments and is taking proactive measures to ensure the health and safety of our associates and their communities so that we can continue to provide you with the high levels of support to which you are accustomed. Some of these measures include:

  • Implementing a model that allows nearly 100% of our associates to work from home.
  • Extra sanitizing of all common surfaces in our offices.
  • Implementing social distancing best practices for those associates whose jobs do not allow them to work from home.
  • Suspending all non-essential business travel. This includes travel to other offices, trainings, conferences, and customer visits.

Your continued partnership is greatly appreciated and we remain steadfast in our dedication to serving you as we all work through these challenging times. If you have any questions about our response and plan for COVID-19, reach out to the Nelnet School Service Center.

Have a Question? The SSC is Here to Help

February 13, 2020

Nelnet’s School Service Center (SSC) offers an easy way to receive quick answers to your financial aid questions from experts in the field. When you call or email the SSC, you will reach a member of our highly experienced team. Those that work in our SSC are well-versed in issues that school financial aid offices face and are prepared to answer your questions regarding:

  • Nelnet-serviced loans (General account information, loan and account adjustments, financial details, and default prevention)
  • FFEL and ED-owned loan policies, procedures, and updates
  • Nsight Plus
  • NSLDS
  • NelnetSchoolPortal.com
  • Direct Consolidation
  • Total and Permanent Disability
  • ISIR and SAR comment codes
  • Verification process
  • Discharge, and Forgiveness items
    • ID Theft/Fraud
    • Death
    • School Closure
    • Teacher Loan Forgiveness
    • Bankruptcy
  • Title IV process
  • Aggregate loan totals and reaffirmations
  • Third-party default prevention policies
  • General student assistance
  • And much more

In addition, the SSC provides expedited assistance to school representatives who call with a borrower on the line, helping to quickly resolve issues or questions you may have during a counseling session.

Write down the SSC’s contact information and keep it handy at your desk.

Phone: 866.463.5638

Email: SSC@Nelnet.net

Hours: Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

If you call the SSC after hours, you can leave a message and we will get back to you the next business day.

The SSC exists to provide you and your students with excellent customer service. Let them make your job easier!

February is Financial Aid Awareness Month!

February 12, 2020

February is Financial Aid Awareness Month, which means it’s time to celebrate.

How?

We recommend a few streamers, a bit of confetti, a piece of cake, and a generous helping of Nelnet’s Resource Library. Our library offers helpful resources that cover a wide range of financial aid topics.

A few popular resources in our library include:

  • Our Interest Rate Flyer covers Federal Direct Stafford and PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2019 and prior to July 1, 2020.
  • Our Getting Ready for Repayment infographic helps borrowers understand how to make payments, when payments are due, and other important loan details.
  • Our Servicer Contact Information Sheet allows borrowers to keep all of their important student loan information in one place, including servicer contact information, account numbers, loan amounts, and more.

For these resources, and many more, check out our Resource Library.

Happy Financial Aid Awareness Month!

Latest from FSA: FAFSA Winter Email Campaign

February 11, 2020

FSA recently announced a winter email campaign, designed to remind customers that the 2020-21 FAFSA form is available and needs to be completed soon for those going to school between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021. The email campaign began on Feb. 3, with emails sending to individuals who completed the 2019-20 FAFSA and have not yet submitted a 2020-21 FAFSA.

FSA’s announcement also notes that the campaign will run through early March.

For more information, including the actual email language that Financial Aid professionals can use in their own communications, check out FSA’s announcement.

New Year’s Resolutions from Nelnet

December 13, 2019

With 2019 drawing to a close, Nelnet’s School Services team is looking to 2020. No, that doesn’t mean we are binge-watching old Barbara Walters interviews. Instead, we’re focusing on our resolutions for the new year.

Here’s a quick look at what members of our team are striving for in 2020:

“Push the limits on what I think is within my scope!” – Justin Fischer, School Service Center Supervisor

“Adopt All Dogs” & “I’m going to live and promote a healthier life style!” (with dogs) – Judy Vuong, School Service Center Advisor

“I am going to task myself to exceed goals and find new challenges!” – Jim Kelsea, School Service Center Specialist

“I’m going to lean in to change and be open to ‘scary’ opportunities!” – Dawn Knight, National Manager

Whatever your resolutions may be for 2020, we wish you a happy holiday season and a prosperous new year.

Season’s greetings from the Nelnet School Services team!