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Get Ready to Repay

Ready to Repay
Last updated April 11, 2022

This page provides a summary of the relief measures available to borrowers during the ongoing federal student loan payment pause, as well as actions you can take to get ready before repayment resumes.

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On April 6, 2022, President Biden extended the student loan payment pause through August 31, 2022, for ED-owned loans (that is, Nelnet accounts starting with “E”). This gives borrowers additional time to prepare for the return to repayment.

Nelnet will continue to monitor announcements pertaining to federal student loans related to the COVID-19 emergency. We’ll update this page as developments arise.

You can log in to your Nelnet.com account at any time to see your loan status. You can also visit ED’s office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) COVID-19 information page at StudentAid.gov/coronavirus. We encourage you to check FSA’s page regularly as it includes details about relief to federal student loan borrowers, including those who have defaulted on their loans.

What Are the Approved Relief Measures?

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Here is a quick rundown of the benefits to borrowers on ED-owned federal student loans (that is, Nelnet accounts starting with “E”) under the COVID-19 emergency.

  • Student loan payments are paused until after August 31, 2022; you are not required to make payments through that date. Your account has been updated to reflect the latest extension.

  • Your interest rate remains at 0% from March 13, 2020, through August 31, 2022.

  • If you wish to make payments, you can do so anytime during the payment pause.

  • Months during which payments are paused and/or not due count toward Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) forgiveness and Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) as long as you meet all other qualifications. For more information, review the COVID-19 IDR and Public Service Loan Forgiveness pages on FSA’s website. We also encourage you to learn more about the limited PSLF waiver.

Additional Important Information

Here are some things to keep in mind during this payment pause. Some of these will apply to all borrowers, and some will apply to borrowers in particular circumstances.

  • IDR recertifications are now due no earlier than March 1, 2023. IDR Plan annual recertification due dates occurring before March 1, 2023, are all now being pushed out by one year. For example, if your IDR recertification was due on October 1, 2022, the new recertification date is October 1, 2023.
  • If you wish to make payments to reduce your loan’s balance, you can do so anytime during the COVID-19 payment pause. Log in to your account to make a payment.
  • You can get a refund for any payment, including those through auto debit, you make during the payment pause (which started March 13, 2020). To request a refund, please contact us.
  • If you want to opt out of the COVID-19 payment pause to take advantage of the 0% interest period, please contact us. By opting out, payments will be due every month going forward. You'll receive either online or paper billing statements, depending on your communication preference you have selected on your account. No interest will accrue through August 31, 2022. If your account becomes 30 or more days past due, FSA requires that we reapply the administrative forbearance (payment pause).
  • If you are on auto debit, the COVID-19 payment pause stopped your auto debit payments. If you want to continue making payments during the payment pause, you can log in to your account to make an online payment.

    You can also continue your auto debit payments by contacting us to opt out of the payment pause.

    Before the end of this payment pause, we'll reach out to tell you how much your scheduled monthly payment through auto debit will be after the payment pause ends.

  • The COVID-19 payment pause is a non-capitalizing forbearance. For most borrowers, because of the relief measures under the COVID-19 emergency, unpaid interest will not capitalize (that is, be added to your principal balance) during the payment pause and through February 28, 2023, six months after the payment pause is scheduled to end. Your interest will capitalize only if you consolidate your federal student loans. Nelnet will reverse any interest capitalization that has an effective date of March 13, 2020, to February 28, 2023.

How Can I Prepare for Repayment?

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While it may seem a bit daunting to think about making payments after such a long period of time, please know that Nelnet is here to help you every step of the way. We want your repayment experience to be as smooth as possible, so we’ve outlined the following actions you can take now so you’ll be in good shape to manage your student loans.

  1. Step 1: Make sure you can access your Nelnet.com account

    If you haven’t logged in recently, give it a go. If you don’t remember your username or password, we have tips for accessing your account.

  2. Step 2: Bring your contact information up-to-date

    If you’ve moved or changed your email address or phone number since March 2020, update your contact information on your account. Log in to your Nelnet.com account, choose your name from the menu, and then select Contact Information to confirm your address, email address, and phone number are correct. If your name has changed, please give us a call.

  3. Step 3: Check your payment amount and expected due date

    If you were already in repayment before the COVID-19 payment pause took effect, log in to your Nelnet.com account and get reacquainted with your prior monthly payment amount, which you’ll find in the Repayment Planning section on your dashboard. This will help you plan for the amount you’ll pay once repayment begins.

    If you weren’t in repayment before the COVID-19 payment pause took effect (for example, you were in a grace period that has since ended), the Repayment Planning section on your dashboard will display an estimated amount you’ll pay each month once the pause ends.

    Also take note of your first due date (which will be after August 31, 2022), so you can adjust your monthly budget to start making student loan payments on time.

  4. Step 4: Take action if you won’t be able to afford your payments

    Are you concerned that when repayment begins, you won’t be able to manage your payments? If so, now is the time to act. While you’re on the dashboard, select “Update My Situation” in the “Has Your Situation Changed?” section from the menu. There, we’ll help guide you to a solution suited to your needs at this time.

  5. Step 5: Watch for notices from us

    Nelnet and FSA have started sending communications to help get you prepared for repayment. Read these notices carefully, as they have important tips about what to expect.

    As the end of the payment pause grows nearer, we will send you a billing statement about three weeks before your due date. If you previously had a bill pay service set up with your bank, you may have to set that back up again. Refer to “I previously made monthly payments using a bill pay service. How do I continue using that payment method when repayment starts?” in the FAQs below.

    If you haven’t already, you must confirm that you want to remain in auto debit for your payments to be made using that method. If you do not elect to stay enrolled in auto debit by August 8, 2022, your auto debit will be cancelled, you’ll lose the 0.25% reduction on your interest rate, and you’ll need to make other payment arrangements when the COVID-19 payment pause ends. Log in to your Nelnet.com account, and you’ll be prompted to confirm enrollment in auto debit.

FAQs - Preparing for Repayment

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Here are some questions and answers you may be wondering about as the COVID-19 payment pause winds down.

Review these Q&As to get ready to repay!

Making Payments

Auto Debit

Interest Capitalization

Repayment Options

Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Plans

In-School and Grace Period Status

Other Questions


Commercial Student Loan Borrowers Needing Relief Due to COVID-19

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 the federal relief measures that apply to ED-owned loans. However, these other options are available. You can:

  • Call us to find out if your lender(s) offers an option to postpone your payments with a forbearance due to COVID-19.
  • 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 Nelnet.com account and select Payments, then Repayment Options to start.

Nelnet’s goal is to provide you with the best service possible. We're in this together. We're here if you need us.

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