Skip to Content

Important Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Last Updated 08/26/2020

Nelnet, along with the U.S. Department of Education (ED) Office of Federal Student Aid, is monitoring the coronavirus/COVID-19 emergency.

On March 20, 2020, the Secretary of Education directed the office of Federal Student Aid to provide the following relief on ED-owned federal student loans:

  • suspend loan payments
  • stop collections on defaulted loans
  • set interest rates to 0% for a period of 60 days

On March 27, 2020, Congress passed, and the president signed into law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which provides for the above relief measures through September 30, 2020.

On August 8, 2020, President Trump directed the Secretary to continue to suspend loan payments, stop collections, and waive interest on ED-held student loans until December 31, 2020.

You can log in to your account at any time to see your loan status. You can also visit Federal Student Aid’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page at The page includes information about relief to federal student loan borrowers, including those who have defaulted on their federal student loans. Please visit the page regularly for updates.

Are My Loans Eligible for Payment Relief Under the CARES Act?

The CARES Act applies only to federal student loans owned by ED. To see if your loans are eligible, find your account number by either looking at your billing statement or by logging in to your account and going to Loan Details.

  • Accounts that start with an E are owned by ED and are eligible for a suspension of payments.
  • Accounts that start with a D or a J are owned by a bank, credit union, or other lender and are not eligible. Other options may be available. (See Nelnet and Commercial Lenders Offer Assistance below for details.)

Temporary Relief for Your Student Loans Owned by ED

If you have qualifying student loans, you do not need to take any action to have benefits from the CARES Act applied. These benefits were applied automatically, effective March 13, 2020.

For Nelnet accounts beginning with an E:

  • No payments through the end of the year. You will not have to make payments on your student loans owned by ED through December 31, 2020.
  • No interest is accumulating. The interest rate on your student loans owned by ED was reduced to 0%, effective March 13, 2020, through December 31, 2020.
  • Your accounts have been updated. Nelnet notified all eligible borrowers of the suspension of student loan payments, the 0% interest rate, the suspension of collection efforts, and that payments can still be made during this time if you choose to do so. You can log in to your account at any time to check your loan status.
  • IDR recertifications are now due on or after March 31, 2021. Income-driven repayment (IDR) annual recertification due dates occurring between March 13, 2020, and March 31, 2021, are all now due no sooner than March 31, 2021. We will send notification of your new recertification due date before it is time to recertify.
    • Example 1: If your IDR recertification was due on May 15, 2020, the new recertification date is May 15, 2021.
    • Example 2: If your next IDR recertification was originally scheduled to occur on February 15, 2021, it is now scheduled for February 15, 2022.

Additional important information for loan holders whose accounts begin with an E:

  • If you wish to continue making payments, to save money in the long run, you can make payments anytime during the COVID-19-related administrative forbearance. Log in to your account to make a one-time payment. Any payments made during the period of 0% interest (March 13, 2020 through December 31, 2020) will be applied to principal once any unpaid interest that accrued prior to March 13 is paid.
  • If you are on auto debit, Nelnet will suspend it during the COVID-19-related forbearance. You can either make one-time payments or contact us to opt out of the payment suspension and resume auto debit.
  • Payments, including auto debit, made between March 13, 2020 and December 31, 2020, can be refunded. To request a refund, please contact us.
  • Months in forbearance count toward forgiveness. The number of months your loans remain in the COVID-19-related administrative forbearance WILL count toward IDR and Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) forgiveness provided all other qualifying factors are met, even though no payments are required through December 31, 2020.
  • The relief forbearance is a non-capitalizing forbearance. Exiting the COVID-19-related administrative forbearance will not cause outstanding interest to capitalize. However, if your loans were in a deferment or forbearance status before March 13, 2020 (when the COVID-19-related administrative forbearance began), your outstanding interest may capitalize after December 31, 2020. It depends on your individual situation. Please contact us so we can look at your specific circumstances.

FAQs for Nelnet borrowers whose accounts begin with an E:

Nelnet and Commercial Lenders Offer Assistance

Borrowers with accounts starting with D or J:

Accounts that start with a D or a J include commercial student loans owned by a bank, credit union, or other lender and are not eligible for relief offered under the CARES Act. Other options are available if you’re in a current repayment status. You can:

  • Request an administrative forbearance via or by calling us.
  • Review other options such as an Economic Hardship or an Unemployment Deferment as you may qualify for an interest subsidy with a deferment but not a forbearance.
  • Log in to your account and select Payments, then Repayment Options to start.

Commercial student loan borrowers who are 31+ days past due

In most cases, Nelnet will automatically apply a non-capitalizing disaster forbearance to your account, along with an administrative forbearance to cover payments up to 269 days past due. During this disaster forbearance, Nelnet will:

  • Suspend payments for 90 days or until September 30, 2020, whichever is earlier
  • Share the forbearance status with credit reporting agencies
  • Stop collections

Interest will continue to accrue at the rate shown in your promissory note during a discretionary forbearance, an administrative forbearance, and/or a disaster forbearance, but the interest during this relief period will not be capitalized to the outstanding principal balance at the end.

Commercial student loan borrowers who are 270+ days past due

Please call us for assistance at 888.486.4722 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Eastern) Monday – Friday. After you confirm an obligation to repay the debt on defaulted loans, Nelnet will place a capping, discretionary forbearance on your loans to reduce your delinquency to less than 270 days past due. Then you’ll be eligible for a non-capping administrative forbearance to cover past due payments (to bring your account current) along with a non-capitalizing disaster forbearance to suspend payments for an additional 90 days or until September 30, 2020, whichever is earlier.

FAQs for commercial student loan borrowers

Additional Coronavirus Information

The health and well-being of our associates and customers is very important to us. We’ve been taking proactive steps to protect our associates and communities and are prepared to serve our customers as the situation evolves with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

If You're Impacted

Our call centers are fully staffed by our associates who are working from the safety of their home. Any time you have questions you can call us. Please know that you can also access your accounts 24/7 on our website, mobile app, or automated voice response system to:

  • Check your account balance and loan status
  • Find out when your next payment is due
  • Get confirmation of a recent payment
  • Make a payment
  • Request a deferment or forbearance
  • Request a repayment plan change
  • Get your IRS Form 1098-E for the amount of student loan interest you paid last year
  • Update your contact information

You can find answers to other questions you may have in our FAQs.

It's our goal to provide the best service possible to you. We're in this together. We're here if you need us.

Access Your Account

Log In

Contact Us

Email Mail

Call Us at