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Helping Borrowers Through the Storm

November 29, 2012

Nelnet has been deeply saddened by the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. In addition to taking care of our valued associates and school customers who work on the East Coast, we’ve wanted to make it as easy as possible for Nelnet borrowers to manage their student loan accounts while they recover.

That’s why, as allowed by FSA, we are proactively applying a Natural Disaster Forbearance to the accounts of delinquent borrowers who live in the areas declared to be disaster areas by FEMA. These forbearances will allow the borrowers to postpone their payments for 30 days while they handle recovery efforts for themselves and/or their family and friends. We should be done applying the forbearances to all applicable accounts by early in the week of December 3. These customers can also request additional Natural Disaster Forbearance time if they need it.

In addition, we have offered the Natural Disaster Forbearance for up to 90 days to any borrowers who may have been affected by the storm. The borrowers, who have accounts that are not delinquent, live in the disaster areas (according to FEMA), as well as 13 other states on the East Coast where borrowers could have been affected by the storm. These borrowers simply have to let Nelnet know that they wish to take advantage of this forbearance, and we’ll get the approval processes started for them!

Here’s how we let our customers know they could potentially postpone their payments while they recover:

  • Message on home page, seen by all Nelnet borrowers
  • Message on Nelnet statements that run in November
  • Message on Web page where borrowers sign in to their online account
  • Confirmation letter and email: When we proactively apply 30 days of Natural Disaster Forbearance to delinquent borrowers’ accounts because they live in an affected area, we send a confirmation letter, electronic notification to their online account, and/or an email blast to their personal email inbox letting them know how their account status has changed and what their additional options are.
  • Email blasts offering the forbearance to those who could potentially take advantage of it:
    • Borrowers who live in an affected area but are not behind on payments; some of these borrowers make automatic payments
    • Borrowers in their grace period who would have a payment due before January 28, 2013

During this difficult time, we look forward to assisting you, your students, and all of our borrowers with any recovery efforts that we can. Please don’t hesitate to let us know how we can help.

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