Nelnet seeks to expand servicing business beyond student loans


Nelnet is looking to expand its loan servicing expertise outside the student loan industry.

The Lincoln-based financial company on Monday announced plans for its Nelnet Loan Servicing division to offer servicing to other business and consumer loan classes.

“Nelnet provides a tested and scalable servicing partner for loan originators that are looking to grow,” Jeff Noordhoek, chief executive officer of Nelnet, said in a news release. “We have developed an expertise in serving complex, highly regulated assets. We believe we can leverage this expertise to serve new asset classes.”

The company said the innovation brought about by technologies used in the financial sector means loan companies are looking for a servicing partner that can maintain a consistent customer service experience and also has stability and financial strength, and it believes it fits the bill.

Nelnet, which has been in the student loan business since its inception, has branched out to other businesses over the past decade or so, including real estate investment and telecommunications.

It used to originate loans but switched to focusing on servicing them when the federal government eliminated the Federal Family Education Loan Program in 2010. Earlier this year, Nelnet completed its $150 million purchase of Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, making it the largest servicer of federal student loans.

Nelnet said in its news release that it currently provides servicing for over $455 billion in loans for 16.2 million borrowers, and its loan servicing business, which is the largest of its business units, processed more than 41 million payments last year.

Noordhoek said in the release that the company has already had interest from loan originators and investors and will be announcing new loan servicing agreements soon.