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FAQs

About Your Student Loan(s)

It’s possible Nelnet owns your student loan. However, we also act as a student loan servicer – in other words, we provide loan customer service on behalf of many other lenders. Get details on all of your student loans with Nelnet and other customer service providers online through the U.S. Department of Education's National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at nslds.ed.gov. You will need to create a FSA ID to have access to Federal Student Aid’s online systems.

Log in to your Nelnet.com account and go to Loan Details to see your loan information. If your account number begins with the letter E, it is an FDLP loan. If the account number begins with the letter D or J, it is a FFELP loan.

Generally, loans in these programs have the same terms and conditions. There are a few differences, including the loans’ repayment plans, borrower benefits (for example, interest rate reduction for making on-time payments), loan forgiveness programs, and interest rates. The primary difference between the two loan programs is that the U.S. Department of Education originates loans under the FDLP, and private lending institutions originate loans under the FFELP.


Your Nelnet.com Account

Your Nelnet.com account is a secure section of the Nelnet website where you can view your account and loan details, make payments, ask to lower or postpone your payments, sign up for auto debit, and more. To access your account, log in with your username and password. If you haven’t created your online account, you can create an account from the Register button at Nelnet.com.

Enter the username and password you selected when you registered. If you have not selected a username or password, register on the site.

  1. Visit Nelnet.com and click Register.
  2. To create your account, enter your Social Security number, date of birth, and email address.
  3. Create a username and password based on the rules listed on the page. Retype your password to confirm it, and click Continue.
  4. Select one image from the displayed images to help you recognize you are logging in to a secure Nelnet website each time you log in, and then click Continue.
  5. Verify your contact information (update as needed).
  6. Review terms and conditions.
  7. If you agree with the terms and conditions, select this checkbox: By checking this box, you accept these terms & conditions and consent to receive communications to your mobile device.
  8. Then click Continue.

Things to remember:

Username Requirements:

  • 6 - 20 characters
  • No special characters (!,@,#,$,&,*, etc.)
  • It must begin with a letter
  • Can’t contain any form of the word "password" or "Nelnet
  • Can't contain a space

Password Requirements:

  • 8–15 characters
  • At least one uppercase letter
  • At least one lowercase letter
  • At least one number or one of these six characters: !, @, #, $, &, *
  • Can’t contain your username or any form of the words “password” or “Nelnet.”

  1. Go to Nelnet.com and then click Forgot Username.
  2. Validate your identity by entering your:
    1. Social Security number
    2. Date of birth (mm/dd/yyyy)
  3. Click Request Username.
  4. If all the information matches what is on file for your account, your username will be displayed.

Go to Nelnet.com, enter your username, and click to Log In.

  1. On the Password page, click Forgot Password.
  2. Validate your identity by entering your:
    1. Social Security number
    2. Date of birth (mm/dd/yyyy)
  3. Click Continue
  4. If all the information matches details on file for your account, your password is emailed to the email address shown.
  5. Follow the steps in the email to change your password.

Enabling cookies allows you to use the Back button on the Nelnet website. It also allows Nelnet to recognize your personal computer as a trusted computer.

Instructions for setting up cookies on Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer are provided below. Keep in mind, browser versions vary, so these instructions might not be the exact steps you need to take to enable cookies for your personal computer and browser setup. If we haven’t provided accurate guidance for your personal browser, please refer to the information you can access from the Help icon on your browser menu bar.

How to accept cookies:

Google Chrome
  1. Open your Internet browser.
  2. Click the Chrome menu icon at top right.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Near the bottom of the page, click Advanced.
  5. In the Privacy and Security section, click Content Settings.
  6. Click Cookies
  7. Enable or disable cookies:
    • To enable cookies, turn on Allow Sites to Save and Read Cookie Data (recommended).
    • To disable cookies, turn on Block Third-Party Cookies.
Firefox
  1. Open your Internet browser.
  2. Click the menu button at top right.
  3. Select Options.
  4. Select Privacy & Security.
  5. Go to the Cookies & Site Data section.
  6. In the History section, after Firefox Will…, click the dropdown menu and choose Use Custom Settings for History.
  7. In the Cookies and Site Data section, turn on (click the radio button) Accept Cookies and Site data from Websites; turn it off (click radio button again) to disable cookies.
  8. To choose how long cookies are allowed to be stored, go to Keep Until… and click the dropdown menu:
    • Select Until They Expire if you want all cookies to be removed when they reach their expiration dates, which are set by the sites that sent the cookies.
    • Select Keep Until I Close Firefox if you want cookies stored on your computer to be removed when Firefox is closed.
Internet Explorer
  1. Open your Internet browser.
  2. Select Tools from the menu bar.
  3. Select Internet Options.
  4. Click on the Privacy tab.
  5. Ensure settings are set to medium-high or lower.
  6. Click OK
Microsoft Edge
  1. Open your Internet browser.
  2. Click the menu button at top right.
  3. Select Settings from the menu (scroll down to the bottom of the list).
  4. Select View Advanced Settings, and then scroll down to the Cookies section.
  5. Choose one of the following to turn cookies on or off:
    • Block all cookies
    • Block only third-party cookies
    • Don't block cookies

  1. Log in to your Nelnet.com account, and then click on your name at the top of the screen.
  2. Select Contact Information in the dropdown menu.
  3. Update your contact information, and then click Save Changes

  1. Yes — log in to your Nelnet.com account, and then click on your name at the top of the screen.
  2. Select the Update Security Image option.
  3. Select a new image, and then enter your password to confirm the change.
  4. Click Save Changes.

Student Loan Repayment

The term of a student loan (the amount of time you have to repay it in full) is based on the type of loan and repayment plan you choose. In some cases, the loan term is based on the loan amount. Periods when your loan is not in repayment because of deferment, forbearance, school enrollment, or grace period do not count toward your repayment term. Log in to your Nelnet.com account to view your repayment schedule, repayment plan, and other student loan information, or contact us. To explore loan options that may be available to you, see Repayment Plans.

Nelnet sends monthly billing statements for each account about three weeks before your due date, either in a paper statement sent to your physical mailing address or in an electronic update to your Nelnet.com account (based on your preference). While you are in school, in your loan's grace period, in a deferment, or in forbearance, you might not receive a monthly statement.

You can log in to your Nelnet.com account to verify upcoming payment due dates and payment amounts. In your online account, you have 24/7 access to all kinds of important, helpful information about your loans.

If your monthly payment is too high, you have several options to reduce it – sometimes even to as low as $0 a month, depending on your income and family size. To explore options or make changes that could help you avoid default, contact us by phone or email, log in to your Nelnet.com account, or see Repayment Plans. You also can visit the U.S. Department of Education's website at StudentAid.ed.gov to review other options, such as consolidation.

If you have trouble making your payments at all – even if you’re already behind – remember we're here to help you find a solution that works for you.

You might be eligible for discharge if you’ve experienced a disability, death, or bankruptcy (in rare cases). Some lenders offer loan forgiveness to teachers and public service employees. To explore these options, contact us or see Additional Loan Assistance.

Nelnet is grateful to those who serve or have served our country, and we recognize the sacrifices you have made. As a member of the U.S. military, you’re entitled to special benefits provided by the Department of Education and the Department of Defense. To learn more about these benefits, see Resources for Servicemembers.

To bring your account up to date, you have the option to make a payment anytime, anywhere. See How to Make a Payment for more information. If you can’t make the payments to bring your account up to date, Nelnet may be able to grant you a loan forbearance to cover the delinquency. Interest may continue to accrue during a forbearance, and may be capitalized at the end of the forbearance period. Log in to your Nelnet.com account and select Repayment Options to explore your options.

For information about grace and other stages in a student loan life cycle, see Stages of a Student Loan.

Although federal PLUS Loans don’t have a grace period, borrowers with PLUS Loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, might be eligible to postpone payments while the parent or student is in school and up to six months after graduation or when they drop below half-time status. For more information about federal PLUS Loans, including the option to postpone payments, see Stages of a Student Loan.

In general, to pay less interest, you can make payments toward your student loans before they’re due. For example, you can save money on interest by making a payment even when payments aren’t due (such as when you’re in school, in your grace period, or in deferment). To learn more about how this helps you pay less interest, see Interest Capitalization.

You also can save on interest by making extra payments on your loans or by paying more than your regular monthly payment amount. All of these scenarios cause less interest to add up overall.

Yes, you aren’t required to make payments while you’re in school, but if you do, you’ll save money on interest in the long run. To learn more about how making payments while you are in school helps you pay less interest, see Interest Capitalization.

If you make payments within 120 days after the date your school disbursed your loan funds (the disbursement date), your payment is first applied to the original principal balance of that disbursement – the total amount of your loan(s). This reduces the amount of your loan(s). For more information about payments made within 120 days of disbursement, see How Are Payments Allocated? Please note, loans already in repayment and consolidation loans usually don’t work this way.

If you’re enrolled at least half time at an eligible school and aren’t currently required to make payments, Nelnet won’t send you a monthly statement. When you are officially in repayment, Nelnet sends monthly billing statements about three weeks before your due date.

In your online account at Nelnet.com, you have 24/7 access to:

  • Update your demographic information to make sure you receive all of Nelnet’s important messages about your account
  • Sign up for Nelnet eCorrespondence
  • View your account summary
  • Make a payment

For information about the benefit of making payments while in deferment or forbearance, see What Does it Mean that Interest is Capitalized?


Statements and Correspondence

For information about how to read your statement, see Statement Overview.

You may have more than one student loan account with Nelnet (account numbers start with D, J, or E). If you do, we send monthly billing statements for each account about three weeks before a payment is due. For more information about the way payments work, see How Payments Work.

Nelnet’s eCorrespondence messages are electronic versions of your monthly statements and other correspondence from us that shows up in your online Nelnet.com account. If you’ve opted in to eCorrespondence, you can access your monthly statements and other correspondence by logging in to your account.

After you have logged in to your Nelnet.com account, select the Documents menu.

When a new message is delivered to your Nelnet.com account, Nelnet sends an email to your email address on file. Every email includes a link to log in to your Nelnet.com account. After logging in with your username and password, select Documents so you can quickly and securely view your statements and other correspondence online.

If your personal email address is ever invalid or removed from your Nelnet account, no email notifications will be sent to you by email. However, messages still will be delivered to your Nelnet.com inbox. You still will be responsible for checking your account online and making your monthly payments on time. If we receive late payments, a late fee (if applicable)* may be charged even if you didn't receive an email notification that your statement was available. To help us keep you informed, please make sure a valid email address is on file at all times. You can verify your email address, due date, and your payment amount any time by logging in to your Nelnet.com account. At Nelnet.com, you also can sign up to receive text message alerts before, on, or after your due date.

If you would like to view or change your correspondence preference, log in to your Nelnet.com account. To [enroll in/cancel] eCorrespondence:

  1. Click your name in the upper right
  2. Select Manage Paperless
  3. Click [Opt In/Out]

If you choose to opt out of eCorrespondence, please remember you can opt back in at any time. Not only do eCorrespondence help the environment – they help you get your statements quickly, conveniently, and securely.

*The U.S. Department of Education does not assess late fees.

After you log in to your Nelnet.com account, select Contact Information. Update your email address, and then click Save Changes. If you have yet to add an email address to the contact information in your account, the system will prompt you to do so at log-in. However, the system won’t know if a listed email address is invalid. If you aren’t receiving statements and correspondence from us, you may want to make sure your email address is correct in your Nelnet.com account.

Yes. If for some reason your statement doesn't arrive as planned, you still are responsible for making payments on time. If we receive late payments, a late fee (if applicable)* may be charged even if you didn’t receive your statement. To help us keep you informed, please make sure you have a valid email address in your Nelnet.com account at all times. You can verify your email address, due date, and payment amount any time by logging in to your Nelnet.com account. In your account, you also can sign up to receive text message alerts before, on, or after your due date.

*The U.S. Department of Education does not assess late fees.

For more information on ways to pay, see How to Make a Payment.

Log in to your Nelnet.com account and select the Documents menu. When the statement is displayed on your browser window, click Print.

If you delete a message from your inbox, there is no way to restore it. For that reason, it’s important not to delete messages you might need later.


Authorized Payer Information

Your parent(s), co-signer, endorser, or other third parties can quickly and easily make payments by logging in to a free online authorized payer account at Nelnet.com. First, you need to set up the third party as an authorized payer. Remember that authorized payers have access to all your account details, including account number, due date, amount due (past and current), payment amount, payoff amount, accrued interest, account balance, interest rate, loan type, and payment history.

Follow these easy steps one time to set up an authorized payer:

  1. After you log in to Nelnet.com, click My Info and Preferences.
  2. Click the Payment Profiles tab, and then click the Add Authorized Payer button.
  3. Enter your authorized payer's name and email address, create a username for the person, and then click Save.
  4. Notify your authorized payer that his or her access has been set up.

If you would like to give copies of your Nelnet statements and correspondence to a third party, print or save the documents from your Nelnet.com account inbox and send them by email or post office mail.

Nelnet provides email notification of statements and correspondence in a Nelnet.com account only to primary student loan borrowers. Co-signers and endorsers receive correspondence from Nelnet via post office mail. If you are a co-signer/endorser on someone else’s loan(s) and you also have your own student loans serviced by Nelnet, you will receive statements and correspondence through your Nelnet.com account only for the account on which you are the primary borrower.

If you would like to make payments online for your co-signed/endorsed loans, the primary borrower may add you as an authorized payer – a person they designate who can view account details and make student loan payments on their behalf. To learn how to add an authorized payer, see Authorized Payer.


Making Payments

Making payments on your student loan(s) with Nelnet is easy. You have options to pay anytime, anywhere, so you can manage the account your way. For more information about ways to pay, see How to Make a Payment.

Just follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Nelnet.com account.
  2. Select Make a Payment.
  3. Enter the desired payment amount in the Payment Amount field.
    1. If you would like to direct your one-time payment (including partial payments) to specific loan groups, select Pay by Group and enter the amounts in the fields corresponding to the loan groups to which you would like the payment directed.
      1. You can direct your payment to an individual loan instead of directing to a loan group by contacting us.
      2. If you want to direct future online payments to an individual loan instead of directing to a loan group, you may request that your loans be ungrouped by contacting us.
    2. You have the option to request that one-time online payments not advance your due date more than one month. Depending on the payment amount you enter, the Do Not Advance My Due Date checkbox may appear. Select this option if you want your due date to only advance a single month even though you’ve paid more than the current amount due. If your account is already paid ahead, select this option to keep your due date from advancing further. Contact us if you want your regular monthly payment amount to be due the next month. For more information, see How Payments are Allocated.
    3. To maintain eligibility for borrower benefits and repayment incentives, you may be required to continue making monthly payments even if your current amount due is $0. For more information about prepayments and how they qualify toward benefits, repayment incentives, or loan forgiveness you may be eligible for, contact us.
      1. If you plan to pursue Public Service Loan Forgiveness for Direct Loans, visit StudentAid.ed.gov/PublicService for more information about prepayments and how a paid-ahead status impacts qualifying payments.
  4. Enter or select the desired Payment Date.
  5. Enter your checking or savings account information, and then click Proceed to Confirmation.
  6. On the Review page, verify that the information displayed is correct.
  7. Read the payment authorization at the bottom of the page, and then click Pay Now to submit your payment.

Yes. If you don’t want to re-enter your name, contact information, and bank information each time you make a payment, you have the option to save your payment profile.

Auto debit is a convenient, simple payment option that offers you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your student loan payments are being made accurately and on time every month. You only have to sign up once to have all of your payments made automatically.

Your Nelnet.com account allows you to make a one-time online payment even when your student loan payments are not due. Plus, you can direct your payment to specific loan groups. For more information on these, and other ways to pay, see How to Make a Payment.

Once payments are received, it can take up to two business days to post to your account. Payments made online, over the phone, and through checks/money orders sent by you or your bill pay provider are posted with an effective date of the date they are received.

Note: All payments made online and over the phone must be submitted by 4 p.m. (Eastern) on a business day to be effective the same day. If you submit a payment after 4 p.m. (Eastern) on a business day, you are given the option to select an effective date as early as the following business day. Business days do not include weekends.

It can take up to two business days to debit your bank account. Your bank may take additional time for processing before you are able to see the debit reflected in your checking or savings account.

For more information on how payments are allocated to your student loans, see How Payments are Allocated.

Co-signers receive their monthly billing statements from Nelnet via post office mail. Unless you direct your payments to an individual loan or loan group, when you mail your payments using the payment coupon attached to your monthly billing statement, they are allocated across only the individual loan or loan group(s) for which you have co-signed. If you want your payments to allocate differently, you can direct payments (including partial payments) to individual loans or groups as a one-time or recurring special payment instruction.

To view your payment history, log in to your Nelnet.com account and select History from the Payments menu.

Yes, you have the option to request that your payments are allocated in a different way than with the standard payment allocation method. You may choose a one-time payment or provide a recurring special-payment instruction. Refer to Special Payment Instructions below for more information.


Repayment Plans

To explore options or make changes to your repayment plan, contact us, login to your Nelnet.com account, or see Repayment Plans. You can also visit the U.S. Department of Education's website at StudentAid.ed.gov to reivew other options like consolidation.

You may prepay your loat at any time without penalty, regardless of repayment plan.

To learn more about the various repayment plans that may be available to you, log in to your Nelnet.com account and click Lower My Payments on the left.

To know which repayment plan options you may be eligible for, log in to your Nelnet.com account and click Lower My Payments.

You will receive notification via post office mail or email depending on the preference you selected in your Nelnet.com account.

In most cases, choosing a different repayment plan will change the amount of your monthly payment. The amount you repay each month determines the total interest accruing on your loan by the end of your loan term, and that determines how quickly you repay your obligation. For example, if you lower your monthly payment by choosing a repayment plan that offers a longer term, the amount of interest you pay over time will increase and so will the total amount you pay back over the life of the loan.

No. The type of repayment plan used to repay a student loan is not reported to the credit bureaus. Using a deferment or forbearance for your student loans will not adversely affect your credit history. Making a late payment or not making a payment at all could impact your credit history, so let us know immediately if you will have trouble making payments — we can help!

Your type of federal student loan may not be eligible for the IDR Plan you chose. Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) repayment plans are intended mostly for Direct Stafford Loans and Direct Consolidation Loans. In addition to Direct Stafford and Direct Consolidation loans, Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loans are also eligible for IDR. There may be other reasons you didn’t qualify, including whether you have Parent PLUS Loans or you were not be able to document enough income. For more information about qualification requirements, see Repayment Plans and log in to your Nelnet.com account to find out if you're eligible.

No. There is no charge for changing your repayment plan. Please note, if your loans are on the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan and you wish to change to a different repayment plan, or if you have Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) student loans and choose to exit the IBR Plan, federal regulations require you to make one scheduled payment on the Standard Repayment Plan or in a Reduced Payment Forbearance after exiting IBR before you may change plans.

Any unpaid interest that accrued while you were on the IBR Plan will be added to your principal balance (this process is called capitalization) when you exit the IBR Plan. For more information about interest capitalization and its effect on your loan balance, see Interest Capitalization.

When you apply online via your Nelnet.com account for an IDR Plan), you will be directed to log in to StudentLoans.gov, where you can submit your application to us. Through the online application, you have the option to securely transfer the Adjusted Gross Income amount from your federal tax form to your online application using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

Please note, if you elect to send alternative documentation of your income or indicate on your application that the adjusted gross income from your tax return doesn't reflect your current income, you must send supporting income documentation to the address or fax number below before your repayment plan request can be reviewed and processed.

Nelnet
P.O. Box 82565
Lincoln, NE 68501-2565
Fax: 866.545.9196

You can renew your IDR Plan by logging in to StudentLoans.gov and click Complete IBR/Pay As You Earn/ICR Repayment Plan Request, then go to Reason for Request and select this option: I am submitting annual documentation for the recalculation of my monthly payment amount under my current repayment plan.

You may request that we recalculate your monthly payment amount on your IDR Plan by logging in to StudentLoans.gov, click Complete IBR/Pay As You Earn/ICR Repayment Plan Request, and then go to Reason for Request and select this option: I am submitting annual documentation for the recalculation of my monthly payment amount under my current repayment plan.

The four IDR Plans – Income-Based Repayment (IBR), Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR), Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Repayment, and Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) – were designed so your payment will reflect your income as it changes over time. For that reason, it’s necessary to provide us with your current income information annually.

If you choose not to provide us with your current income information each year, or we determine your current income makes you ineligible for a reduced payment amount, you will remain on your IDR Plan, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan (this is called recapitalization), and your payment amount will be adjusted to ensure your student loans will be paid off by the end of your remaining loan term. This most likely would result in an increase to your monthly payment amount. If you are on REPAYE and don’t recertify your income, you’ll be removed from REPAYE and placed on an alternative repayment plan.

Yes, you can. To learn more about loan consolidation, see What Is Loan Consolidation.


Deferment and Forbearance

A deferment is an authorized temporary suspension of repayment that can be granted under certain circumstances. To get a deferment, you need to apply for it, meet the qualifications, and make arrangements with the servicer of your loans. Depending on your loan type, interest may continue to accrue during a deferment, and any unpaid interest will be capitalized (added to your principal balance) at the end of the deferment.

If you are willing but unable to make payments and don’t qualify for a deferment, you can request forbearance. Forbearance allows payments to stop temporarily or decrease in amount for a specific length of time. Your lender may grant forbearance of principal, interest, or both. With forbearance, you are always responsible for repayment of accrued interest charges. Any unpaid interest will capitalize (or be added to your principal balance) at the end of the forbearance period. However, while not required to make payments, you can choose to make interest-only payments during the forbearance.

To apply for forbearance and postpone your payments, log in to your Nelnet.com account and click Postpone My Payments (Deferment/Forbearance) on the left.

To apply for the Reduced Payment Forbearance, log in to your Nelnet.com account and click Lower My Payments.

Log in to your Nelnet.com account, and then click Postpone My Payments (Deferment/Forbearance) on the left.

If you have any trouble making your payments, please contact us immediately to explore your options. We can help. Learn more about Additional Loan Assistance.

To learn more about deferments and forbearances, click here

To apply for a deferment or forbearance, log in to your Nelnet.com account, and then click Postpone My Payments (Deferment/Forbearance) on the left.

It typically takes about three business days from the day we receive your application. To potentially reduce this time, apply online: log in to Nelnet.com and click Postpone My Payments (Deferment/Forbearance) on the left. Many deferments and forbearances requested online are processed within 24 hours. If we need additional information from you to fully process your application, we'll request the information and then process the deferment or forbearance at that time.

Nelnet will review the application to ensure it’s complete and we've received all required supporting documentation. We will notify you by post office mail when we’ve processed your deferment or forbearance.

Periods when your loans are not in repayment due to deferment, forbearance, school enrollment, or grace period do not count toward your repayment term. See How long do I get to repay my loan(s) for more information.

IMPORTANT:: When you use deferment and forbearance options, you might increase your student loan’s principal balance because the interest that builds up may be added to the principal (capitalized) at the end of your deferment or forbearance. You can make interest-only payments during deferment or forbearance to avoid this.

To apply for a forbearance or deferment, log in to your Nelnet.com account, and then click Postpone My Payments (Deferment/Forbearance) on the left.

The maximum length of your deferment or forbearance depends on your situation, the type of deferment or forbearance you applied for, and the attributes of your loan.

If your situation hasn't changed and you require more repayment assistance, log in to your Nelnet.com account, and then click Postpone My Payments (Deferment/Forbearance) on the left to review additional options that may be available to you.


Additional Loan Assistance

The PSLF Program forgives the remaining balance on Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full time for a qualifying employer. It is the type of employment, not your specific job, that determines whether your employment qualifies. These types of jobs may qualify:

  • Government organizations at any level (federal, state, local, or tribal)
  • Not-for-profit organizations tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3)
  • Other not-for-profit organizations, if their primary purpose is to provide certain types of qualifying public services

For more information and to access the Employment Certification Form, visit Federal Student Aid webpage.

Certain types of student loans can be discharged if you qualify for the Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge Program. The loans that qualify include Federal Family Education Loans Program (FFELP) loans, Perkins Loans, Direct Loans, and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant service obligations. To apply and to get status information about your application, you can create an account at DisabilityDischarge.com or call 888.303.7818. For more information about the TPD process, visit StudentAid.ED.gov.

If you teach full time for five consecutive, complete academic years at certain schools and educational service agencies serving low-income families, the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program may forgive as much as $17,500 of your federal student loan principal and interest. Qualifying loans include subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) and Direct Stafford Loans. Portions of consolidated loans might qualify. Visit StudentAid.Ed.gov for more information and to see which schools and agencies qualify.

If you or your benefitting student (in the case of Parent PLUS Loans) should pass away before your student loan is paid in full, your family or representative can get the loan discharged by sending an original or certified copy of the death certificate to Nelnet. If a death certificate isn’t available, other documents are sometimes accepted on a case-by-case basis. These alternative documents include:

  • Verification from an official of a county clerk’s office stating the student/borrower is deceased and a death certificate could not be readily provided
  • Letter from a clergyman or funeral director
  • Confirmation of death from a credit reporting agency
  • Announcement of death from a local newspaper containing enough information to verify the announcement is referring to the student/borrower
  • Confirmation from the Social Security death registry

Any payments made on the loan after the confirmed date of death are returned to the estate before the payment or write-off is applied. It’s important to note that if Nelnet doesn’t receive acceptable documentation of death, the loan resumes servicing at the same delinquency level it was being serviced when Nelnet was notified of the death.

Student loans are rarely discharged in bankruptcy. If you are having trouble making your payments, remember Nelnet has many repayment plans to fit your budget and ways to postpone payments. Please contact us to learn more about these options. We are here to help.

Here are a few important things to know if you find yourself considering bankruptcy:

  • Once you’ve filed for or begin bankruptcy proceedings, your creditors are notified, including your student loan servicer, and an automatic stay begins.
  • The automatic stay prohibits creditors from continuing with collection efforts during your bankruptcy case.
  • If your student loans aren't discharged in your bankruptcy case, the student loan servicer will resume collection efforts once the case is over.
  • Even if you’re in a pending bankruptcy, interest will continue to accrue and the total amount you owe may increase. Please consult with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss your options.

Auto Debit

Auto debit automatically deducts your monthly payment from a checking or savings account you choose. Enrolling is easy. Just log in to your Nelnet.com account. You may also contact us by phone or email.

Auto debit is a convenient, simple payment option offering you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your student loan payments are being made accurately and on time.

There are no service fees for using auto debit. In addition, you don't need to use stamps, envelopes, or a check, which saves you time and money and preserves our natural resources.

Additionally, when you sign up for auto debit, you may be eligible for a 0.25% interest rate reduction* while your account is in an active repayment status.

*Your lender may modify or terminate its borrower benefit program at its discretion and without prior notice. Your failure to satisfy benefit eligibility requirements may result in the loss of the benefit.

The first debit date depends on many factors, including how close you are to your current statement due date, your loan status, and your repayment plan. You will be notified of your first debit date when you enroll online, or, if you sent in a paper authorization form, you will be notified in a letter.

If your debit date falls on a weekend or holiday, your payment will be automatically deducted the following business day, but your loans will not be considered past due.

Note: All payments made online and over the phone must be submitted by 4 p.m. (Eastern) on a business day to be effective the same day. If you submit a payment after 4 p.m. (Eastern) on a business day, you are given the option to select an effective date as early as the following business day. Business days do not include weekends.

Yes, you will continue to receive monthly billing statements while you are signed up for auto debit. Auto debit payments are posted with an effective date of your statement due date.

Generally, you are eligible to sign up for auto debit as long as your loans are in repayment or will enter repayment within the next 180 days. To determine your eligibility, log in to your Nelnet.com account.

Yes.* When signing up for auto debit, you can choose to have an additional amount above your regular monthly payment automatically debited. Doing so will allow you to pay off your student loan faster.

*If your loans are on an Income-Based Repayment (IBR), Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR), Income-Sensitive Repayment (ISR), Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Repayment, or Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) repayment plan, or low-pay forbearance, you may enroll in auto debit, but you are not eligible to have an additional amount automatically debited. However, you may make additional, one-time payments at any time.

Auto debit automatically deducts your monthly payment from your checking or savings account on the monthly date you choose while your student loans are in an active repayment status*, including when your account is past due or paid ahead (when you've paid more than the minimum due).

*Your monthly auto debit will not occur when loans are paid ahead while on an Income-Based Repayment (IBR), Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR), Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Repayment, or Revised Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (REPAYE) repayment plan, or reduced payment forbearance. If every one of your loans is in one of these repayment or forbearance plans, only the regular monthly payment amount noted on your monthly statement will be auto debited. However, you may make additional, one-time payments at any time.

You can cancel or make changes to auto debit at any time by logging in to your Nelnet.com account or by contacting us. A request to change or cancel auto debit can be honored for your next auto debit as long as we receive it at least three business days before the next scheduled auto debit date. Please allow adequate time for us to receive and process your request.

No. Automatic monthly payments may only be debited from a bank account for which you are the account holder. A third party can, however, quickly and easily make a one-time payment by logging in to their free online authorized payer account at Nelnet.com First, you need to set up the person as an authorized payer. For more information about setting up an authorized payer, see Authorized Payer above. Any authorized payer can also mail a payment, pay through their bank with its bill pay service, or make a payment over the phone.

Auto debit is able to debit a final payment even if the payoff amount is less than your regular monthly payment amount. It will automatically calculate and debit the last and final payment.

Automatic monthly payments are not deducted during deferment or forbearance. If the 0.25% auto debit interest rate reduction incentive or an on-time payment incentive is active on the account, it will become inactive during the deferment or forbearance period,* and may return to an active status once your deferment or forbearance ends, depending on your lender. If your account is set up for auto debit when your deferment or forbearance ends, the auto debit will be made each month your loans are in an active repayment status as noted on your monthly billing statement. Auto debit will deduct payments even if you have loans that are past due or paid ahead (when you’ve paid more than the minimum payment due).**

*If your loans are not owned by the U.S. Department of Education, your incentive may or may not remain active during your deferment or forbearance, depending on your lender’s policy.

**Your monthly auto debit will not occur when loans are paid ahead while on an Income-Based Repayment (IBR), Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR), Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Repayment, or Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) repayment plan, or reduced payment forbearance. If everyone of your loans are in one of these repayment or forbearance plans, only your regular monthly payment amount as noted on your monthly statement will be auto debited. However, you may make additional, one-time payments at any time.


Special Payment Instructions

You can provide one-time or recurring special payment instructions when:

  • You are making a payment greater than the current amount due and do not want to advance your due date more than one month.
  • You are making a payment (including partial payments) and would like to direct it to individual loans or loan groups.
  • You would like to allocate excess payments across all loan groups in repayment status, instead of targeting the loan(s) with the highest interest rate. This will keep the due dates for all loan groups aligned.
  • You want your payment (including partial payments) to be allocated differently than with the standard payment allocation method.

To learn how payments are applied to your student loans, see How Payments are Allocated.

You have the option to request that your payments be allocated differently than with the standard payment allocation method. You can request a one-time payment instruction or a recurring special payment instruction by contacting us:

  • Phone: 888.486.4722
    • Our call center is open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Eastern) Monday — Friday
  • Email: Help@Nelnet.net
  • Mail: P.O. Box 82561, Lincoln, NE 68501-2561
  • Write one-time or recurring special instructions on the payment coupon attached to your monthly billing statement before mailing your payment

Additionally, you may direct one-time payments to individual loan groups and/or request that we not advance your due date. To do this, log in to your Nelnet.com account and click Make a Payment. If you want to direct future online payments to an individual loan instead of directing to a loan group, you may request that your loans be ungrouped by calling us at the number above. For more information about making online payments, see How to Make a Payment.

Yes. If your account is not delinquent, you may request to change your payment due date to any dates between the 1st and 28th of the month. (The payment date cannot be the 29th, 30th, or 31st of the month.) To request a change to your payment due date, contact us.

No. For loans in repayment status, once a portion of a payment is allocated to a specific loan group, payments are applied to individual loans proportionally to fees first (if applicable),* then to interest, and then to principal. If you are on an Income-Based Repayment (IBR), Pay As You Earn (PAYE), or Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) repayment plan, payments are applied to interest, then to fees (if applicable),* and then to principal. For loans not in repayment status, payments are first allocated to outstanding interest and fees (if applicable).* For more information about how payments are applied to your student loans, see How Payments are Allocated.

*The U.S. Department of Education does not assess late or returned payment fees.


Interest and Fees

Federal student loans use a method of interest accrual known as "simple interest.” Simple interest is calculated only on the principal balance, not on previously accrued interest.

To calculate your daily interest accrual, use the following formula:
(Current Principal Balance x Interest Rate) ÷ 365.25

With this equation, your current principal balance is multiplied by the interest rate. Then that product is divided by 365.25 (the number of days in one year). The result then can be multiplied by a specific number of days to determine how much interest would accrue in a specific time frame.

Example:

  • Current principal balance: $10,000.00
  • Interest rate: 5.750%
  • Number of days of interest we need to calculate: 30

[(10,000 x .0575) ÷ 365.25] x 30 = 47.22780

Interest accumulates (accrues) based on the interest percentage and the principal balance of your loans. When interest remains unpaid at the end of certain periods — such as when your loan enters repayment, when you exit an Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan, when you miss your Income-Driven Repayment Plan recertification date, or after a deferment or forbearance ends – the accrued interest usually is added to the principal balance when the loan again has payments due (goes into repayment). This adding of the accrued interest to the principal is known as capitalization.

After your loan goes into repayment, any future accrued interest will be based on the new outstanding principal amount (previous principal balance plus capitalized interest). Therefore, capitalization increases the total cost of your loan.

You can avoid interest capitalization by making payments during any period when payments are not due.

To see how interest capitalization can affect your balance and the total amount of interest paid over the life of the loan, see Interest Capitalization.

Your lender determines if, and what kind of, fees* will be charged. A list of possible fees is listed below. If you have specific questions regarding fees, contact us.

* The U.S. Department of Education does not assess late or returned payment fees.

  • Late fees: Any payment not received within 15 or more days after the due date may incur a late fee of up to six cents for each late dollar as determined by your lender and described in the terms of your promissory note. Your late fee is calculated based on the unpaid portion of your regular monthly payment amount. You can find information about late fees in the account snapshot on your monthly billing statement.
  • Returned payment fees: Payments returned due to non-sufficient funds may be reattempted a maximum of one time. Returned payments may be assessed a $5 fee.

Miscellaneous fees: You may be charged certain reasonable costs incurred in collecting your loan. Costs can include, but are not limited to, attorney fees and court costs.

If you are charged fees, they aren’t included in your current amount due. If fees have been assessed to your account, when you pay your current amount due (your outstanding interest and principal due), your payment is first applied to fees and interest and then to the principal balance. This reduces the amount applied to your principal balance for that payment. Because your principal isn’t reduced as much as it usually is with each payment, this could increase the total cost of your loan by the end of your loan term. (Future interest will be calculated using the higher amount of principal you are left with when some of your payment goes to fees.)

You may reduce this extra cost by paying more than your current amount due to cover the amount of your outstanding fees. If any fees are charged to your account, we will include detailed information about the fees on your monthly billing statement.


Payoff Information

Your payoff amount includes your outstanding principal balance, any outstanding fees (if applicable),* accrued interest, and the interest that will accrue through the payoff date.

*The U.S. Department of Education does not assess late or returned payment fees.

The payoff figure includes the outstanding principal balance, any outstanding fees (if applicable),* accrued interest, and the interest that will accrue through the payoff date. When you request a payoff amount from your Nelnet.com account, you can select the date (a number of days between 1 and 30). The payment amount is valid through the payoff date provided. If a payoff payment is received after the payoff date, an additional amount may be needed to pay the loan(s) in full based on interest that accrues between the payoff date and the date the payment is received. You can find your final loan payoff amount:

  • Online: When you log in to your Nelnet.com account, select Make a Payment. Then select Payoff Quote to view the details of each loan group.
  • By Phone: Payoff information can be obtained 24 hours a day through Nelnet's automated phone system when you call 888.486.4722.
  • On Your Monthly Statement: Your payoff amount is shown on your monthly statement and is valid through the date indicated.

To get a payoff quote for an individual loan, contact us.

IMPORTANT: If you have both U.S. Department of Education-owned loans (account number starts with E) and loans owned by other lenders (account number starts with D or J), you must send mailed payments separately to the post office addresses on the fronts of your statements to have them applied to your correct loans. If you make your payment online, you can submit a single payment for all of your accounts.

All payments made online and by phone must be submitted by 4 p.m. (Eastern) to be effective that day. If you submit a payment after 4 p.m. (Eastern), you have the option to select an effective date as early as the following business day. Business days do not include weekend days. To learn more about making final loan payments, see How Payments Work.

If your final payment is not enough to pay your loans in full, the payment will be applied to your loans as they normally are, and you will continue to receive statements from Nelnet until you make payment(s) that pays the loans in full. To learn more about partial payments, see How My Payment is Allocated.

Within about 45 days after paying your loans in full, we will mail a letter confirming the payoff to the address we have on file for you. No special request for this letter is needed. You also can confirm your loan balance by logging in to your Nelnet.com account and clicking Loan Details.


Tax Information

To file your federal tax return, you will need the amount of interest you paid on your student loans during the prior year. You may be able to deduct some or all of your paid interest from your income, which could reduce the amount you owe in income tax. To determine how much of your paid interest may be deducted, we recommend that you contact your tax advisor or see IRS Publication 970, “Tax Benefits for Education” or use the “Student Loan Interest Deduction Worksheet” in your Form 1040 or 1040A instructions.

You can find the amount of interest you paid on your IRS Form 1098-E, on your monthly billing statement sent in January and/or February, through the automated telephone system, or by logging in to your Nelnet.com account. If you have more than one account, the amount of interest you paid will be provided separately for each account. To determine the total amount of interest paid for all of your loans, you will need to add your amount paid for each account.

To file your taxes, you don’t need IRS Form 1098-E. If you want a copy of your student loan interest paid information for your records, see below for more information on how you can find out how much interest you paid last year.

If you made any payment that was applied to interest on your student loans during the prior year, this information will be provided on your IRS Form 1098-E, on your monthly billing statement sent in January and/or February, through the automated telephone system, or by logging in to your Nelnet.com account. If you have more than one account, the amount of interest you paid will be provided separately for each account. To determine the total amount of interest paid for all of your loans, you will need to add your amount paid for each account.

Nelnet provides the amount of interest you paid on your student loans during the prior year because you may be able to deduct some or all of your paid interest from your income, which could reduce the amount you owe in income tax.

You may be able to deduct some or all of your paid interest from your income, which could reduce the amount you owe in income tax. To determine how much of your paid interest may be deducted, we recommend that you contact your tax advisor or see IRS Publication 970, “Tax Benefits for Education” or use the “Student Loan Interest Deduction Worksheet” in your Form 1040 or 1040A instructions.

To file your taxes, you don’t need IRS Form 1098-E, but it is accessible by logging into your Nelnet.com account. Once logged in, click Documents and select Tax Info.

To determine how much of your paid interest can be deducted, we recommend that you contact your tax advisor or see IRS Publication 970, “Tax Benefits for Education” or use the “Student Loan Interest Deduction Worksheet” in your Form 1040 or 1040A instructions.


Delinquent Loans

You are considered delinquent the day after your payment was due. For example, if your payment was due on May 15 and we don't receive your payment, you are considered delinquent as of May 16.

If you are having trouble making your monthly payments, we have options that can help. Log in to your Nelnet.com account and click Lower My Payments to request a different repayment plan or click Postpone My Payments to apply for a deferment or forbearance.

If you’re having trouble making payments or worried that making your payments could become difficult, contact Nelnet right away. We can help you take advantage of options that may be available to help you lower payments (a new repayment plan) or postpone your payments (deferments and forbearances). Log in to your Nelnet.com account and click Lower My Payments to request a different repayment plan or click Postpone My Payments to apply for a deferment or forbearance.

Regulations require us to contact you by phone and through mail until your account is up to date. If you’ve brought your account up to date and you’re still receiving messages from us saying your payments are behind, this is likely because the payment, deferment, or forbearance is still being processed. If you've recently made a payment or applied for a deferment or forbearance, please allow 7 to 10 days for mailing and processing. You can check the status of your account at Nelnet.com

When we have an incorrect address or phone number on file for you or your account is delinquent (you are behind on making payments), we are required by regulations to communicate with you to resolve the delinquency or get updated demographic information. Your guarantor is also notified of the delinquency and will attempt to reach you by telephone or mail.

You can conveniently update your address and phone information by logging in to your Nelnet.com account. Click My Info and Preferences, update your information on the Personal tab, and then click Save Changes.

When we talk with you, we want to ensure we have your most current information. In part, this is because we need to make certain we only discuss account detail with the correct parties associated with your loan(s). In the Borrower's Rights and Responsibilities section of the promissory note you signed for your loan, you promised to provide your servicer with your most current contact information to help us reach you with important account notifications.

When you completed your federal student loan application, you listed several personal references. When we don't have a valid telephone number or mailing address for your account, we will contact your listed references by mail or telephone to get correct information.

You can conveniently update your address and phone information by logging in to your Nelnet.com account. Click My Info and Preferences, update your information on the Personal tab, and then click Save Changes.


Credit Reporting

Nelnet reports credit information monthly to the four consumer reporting agencies (Innovis, Experian, Transunion, and Equifax). Until an account reaches 90 days past due, it's reported as being up to date. When an account reaches 90 days past due, it's reported as delinquent. Once your account has been reported to the credit bureaus as being delinquent, the information may remain on your credit history for as long as seven years.

Complete and return the Release of Authorization form.

You can conveniently download a mortgage credit reference online. Log in to your Nelnet.com account, and then select Loan Summary/Mortgage Verification from the Documents dropdown menu.

You can reach each consumer reporting agency by clicking the name below. You will be redirected to their website.

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888.486.4722