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FAQ: What steps should we take when borrowers have exceeded their annual or aggregate Stafford Loan limits?

September 1, 2011

As a service to you, Nelnet would like to share a current and recurring topic that we are noticing in calls to our School Service Center.

When viewing NSLDS, schools may see that some borrowers have exceeded annual or aggregate loan maximums. To resolve this, schools or borrowers need to work directly with the servicer of that borrower’s affected loan.

Why is it critical to work with servicers when aggregate limits are exceeded?

Federal regulations state that affected borrowers cannot receive Title IV aid until this overage is resolved. Basically, there are three options for resolution:

  • The borrower can authorize the school to adjust the excess loan amount or reallocate funds between a subsidized Stafford loan and an unsubsidized Stafford loan for which the borrower is eligible.
  • The borrower can repay in full the excess loan amount.
  • The borrower can sign an agreement acknowledging the debt and affirming his or her intention to repay the excess amount as part of the normal repayment process. This is called a REAFFIRMATION LETTER.*

* Please note: A consolidation can also be considered a satisfactory repayment arrangement and acts the same as a reaffirmation letter. If the loan(s) that caused the overage were included in a consolidation, no action is needed to resolve the overage. F or guidance on how to resolve the overage or to obtain the correct version of the Reaffirmation Letter, the school or borrower can contact the servicer directly.

 Schools can reach Nelnet’s School Service Center at 1.866.4NELNET (1.866.463.5638) or  Borrowers can reach Nelnet’s Borrower Customer Service at 1.888.486.4722, or , or

Anne Del Plato, Eastern Reginal Director (NY, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT)

16 Comments leave one →
  1. katherine permalink
    September 2, 2011 2:08 pm

    Is a co-signer necessary for a Nelnet loan?

    • September 2, 2011 2:36 pm

      Nelnet does not actually originate student loans. Work with the financial aid office of the school that you attend. Stafford loans do not requires a cosignor, however, PLUS loans may. The best best, again, is to work with your financial aid office. They can get you all set up. If this didn’t answer your question, please let me know and I can help you out more.


  2. January 5, 2012 9:39 am

    Just so you know, the number listed in this line: “Nelnet’s School Service Center at 1.866.4NELNET (1.866.486.5638)” is not correct. It actually takes you to some “live talk” sexy phone time number. This page, since it is still moderately active should be edited to change that number to 1.866.463.5638.

    • January 5, 2012 10:09 am

      Yikes! Thanks for letting us know that Joe. Although we want to provide customer service that goes “above and beyond” that is certainly a bit more of an experience than we wanted to offer. We will fix this ASAP. Thanks again, Jim

  3. denise permalink
    June 2, 2012 4:48 pm

    So I have been in a graduate program since january of this year and I just received a corrected SAR stating I received over the limit undergraduate loans. I looked and sure enough, I have received $14K too much. Not sure how that happened, but now I am concerened about my graduate loans. Will my disbursement that is scheduled for next week be stopped until I reaffirm my loan? Will my graduate loans be decreased this year?

    • June 2, 2012 5:29 pm


      I am not sure how that would happen either. Now that you are a graduate student your overall loan aggregate limit increases, however. If I were you, I would give the folks in the financial aid office at your school a call or stop by and visit with them. They have all the information from your SAR and they are also responsible for certifying your loans and disbursing them. They can also access NSLDS on the web and look at your entire loan history. (so can you!). See if they can help you out. If you run into a snag, let me know and we will try something different. The Financial Aid Office is your best bet, however.


  4. denise permalink
    June 3, 2012 10:05 am

    Thanks Jim. One more question, please. I called Nelnet and the lady told me that all I had to do was reaffirm my undergraduate loans because the graduate loans are a different set of loans. Do you know how long that process takes?

  5. July 14, 2012 5:22 pm

    Hello sir,

    I hope you’re still responding, I am so glad to have found this page. I have been surprised by this situation recently after being accepted to grad school. Above is an italicized notation that consolidation is a possible remedy for offending loans. My situation is that if you combine my original subsidized loan amounts (which were consolidated), with new loans I was allowed to borrow in pursuing a undergraduate post-bacc for grad school preparation, at least one school believes that the combined consolidated amounts and new subsidized loan amounts, put me over the aggregate subsidized loan limit for undergraduate work. My question is – is it appropriate to include the original consolidated loans in the calculation (how can one tell how much of the consolidated loan is remaining subsidized still unpaid?), is the consolidated loan effectively a payoff of the original subsidized loans? and if it is appropriate to include the consolidated loan in the calculation of aggregate subsidized loan amounts, does the consolidation of the original loans act as its own remedy?

    • July 18, 2012 10:15 am

      Hi there, even though the consolidation was a new loan, the original subsidized loan amounts that make up the consolidation loan still apply towards your aggregate subsidized loan limit. It is difficult to provide you a detailed explanation without seeing the loan amounts, but I hope this answers your question. I would suggest speaking to the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend for more details. Thanks, Jodi Miller, Nelnet Regional Director

  6. Clistha permalink
    August 1, 2012 1:55 pm

    I just recieved a call from the financial aid office at my school thati am over my limit by almost $9000. They said that they are going to have to return the loan money from my this quarter and last quarter, which has made a huge balance on my student account. Is the reaffirmation letter something I can use to cover this amount of loans that they are refunding? If so how does this work?

    • Clistha permalink
      August 1, 2012 1:57 pm

      Sorry I forgot to let you know these are undergrad loans. Thanks

  7. John Pays permalink
    August 24, 2012 9:48 pm

    I don’t know if you’re still checking this, but thought I’d add a quick question. Can you get a letter of reaffirmation for more than one year? I got one for this year but have one year left on my program after that, so I wondered if it’s possible to get a letter for more than one year. Thanks!

    • August 26, 2012 2:58 pm


      Let me check into this and get back to you. I will have folks send you and email to the address you included. I am thinking it has to be for one year at a time as it is monitored each award year….but I will double check.

      Thank you,

      • John Pays permalink
        September 1, 2012 5:29 pm

        Thanks for the response, Jim. I really appreciate it!


  8. Crystal permalink
    February 27, 2013 8:02 pm

    After turning in a reaffirmation letter, would I then be allowed to get more loans to finish off my degree. I have one more semester left this summer and I would need the aid.

    • March 13, 2013 3:01 pm

      Hi Crystal, Without knowing your exact situation, it is hard for me to say. I would suggest speaking to the financial aid office at your school. They can let you know your loan eligibility and suggest your options.

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