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FAQs

About Your Student Loan(s)

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

You may already have an FSA ID from when you applied for financial aid as a student; visit fsaid.ed.gov to find or create one.

Generally, loans in these programs have the same terms and conditions. There are a few differences, including available repayment plans, borrower benefits (for example, an 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 funds loans under the Direct Loan Program, and private lending institutions funded loans under the FFELP. There are still many FFELP loans in existence, but since July 2010, no new FFELP loans are being made.

To determine if your loan(s) is part of the Direct Loan Program or FFELP, you can:

  • Log in to the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at nslds.ed.gov
  • Log in to your Nelnet.com account and go to Loan Details to see your loan information
  • Review the promissory note you signed for your loan(s)

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 one by clicking 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. Each time you log in, select one image from the displayed images to help you recognize you are logging in to a secure Nelnet website, and then click Continue.
  5. Verify your contact information (and update as needed).
  6. Review terms and conditions.
  7. Select the checkbox that confirms you agree with the terms and conditions.
  8. 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:
    • Social Security number
    • Date of birth (mm/dd/yyyy)
  3. Click Request Username.
  4. If all the information matches details on file for your account, your username is displayed.

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

Enabling cookies allows you to use the Back button on your browser while 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, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Edge 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 your outstanding loan amount. Periods when your loan(s) is not in repayment due to school enrollment, a grace period, a deferment, or a forbearance 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.

To maintain borrower benefits and repayment incentives, you may be required to continue making monthly payments. For more information about qualifying for borrower benefits, repayment incentives, or loan forgiveness, contact us.

If you plan to pursue Public Service Loan Forgiveness, visit StudentAid.ed.gov/PublicService for information about periods when your loan(s) is not in repayment, qualifying payments, and how prepayments impact qualifying payments.

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. 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 loan(s).

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.

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 U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. 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 If you can’t make the payment(s) 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.

This is a six-month period of time after you’ve left school before you’re required to start making payments on your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans. For graduate and professional students with Grad PLUS loans, you have a similar six-month deferment period after leaving school before you begin repayment. For more information about grace and other stages in a student loan life cycle, see Stages of a Student Loan.

Although Parent 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 enrollment status. For more information about Parent PLUS Loans, including the option to postpone payments, see Stages of a Student Loan.

In general, to pay less interest over the life of your loan(s), you can make payments toward your student loan when they aren’t due (when you’re in school, in your grace period, or in a deferment period). You can also make extra payments or pay more than your regular monthly payment amount when you’re in repayment. All of these scenarios cause less interest to accrue overall. To learn more about how interest accrues and capitalizes, and how to minimize the interest you pay, see What Does It Mean That Interest Is Capitalized?.

Yes. While you aren’t required to make payments while you’re in school, you’ll save money on interest in the long run if you do. To learn more about how making payments while you are in school helps you pay less interest over the life of your loan, see What Does It Mean That Interest Is Capitalized?.

If you make a payment 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. 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: this excludes loans that are already in repayment status and consolidation loans.

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 billing statement. Nelnet sends a monthly billing statement about three weeks before each due date.

In your online account at Nelnet.com, you have 24/7 access that allows you 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.

An account number that starts with E is made up of loans owned by the U.S. Department of Education; an account number that stars with a D or J is made up of loans owned by other lenders.

Nelnet’s eCorrespondence messages are electronic versions of your monthly billing statements and other correspondence from us that show up in your online Nelnet.com account. If you choose eCorrespondence, almost all of your communications from Nelnet will be delivered in this manner, and you’ll access them 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 billing statements and other correspondence online.

If your personal email address is invalid or you remove it from your Nelnet account, we will be unable to send you notifications by email. However, we will still deliver messages 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 a late payment, you may be assessed a late fee (if applicable)* even if you didn't receive an email notification that your billing 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 does eCorrespondence help the environment — it helps 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 login. However, the system won’t know if a listed email address is invalid. If you aren’t receiving emailed notifications 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 are still responsible for making payments on time. If we receive late payments, a late fee (if applicable)* may be assessed even if you didn’t receive your statement. To help us keep you informed, please make sure you have a valid address on file at all times. You can verify your 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 Nelnet.com 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 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 loan(s) 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 loan(s), the primary borrower may add you as an authorized payer — a person the primary borrower designates who can view account details and make student loan payments on the primary borrower’s behalf. To learn how to add an authorized payer, see Authorized Payer.


Making Payments

Making a payment 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 advance only 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 Loan(s), 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 monthly payments made automatically.

Your Nelnet.com account allows you to make a one-time online payment even when your student loan payment is 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. A payment made online, over the phone, or through check/money order sent by you or your bill pay provider is posted effective on the date of receipt.

Note: A payment made online or 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.

For more information on how payments are allocated to your student loan(s), 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 be allocated in a different way than with the standard payment allocation method, as a one-time or recurring special payment instruction. Refer to the section Special Payment Instructions below for more information.


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.

Nelnet does not charge a service fee for using auto debit. In addition, you don't need to use stamps, envelopes, or a check, which saves you time and money.

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 loan(s) will not be considered past due. Auto debit payments are posted with an effective date of your scheduled debit date.

Yes, you will continue to receive monthly billing statements while you are signed up for auto debit.

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

Yes, you can request an auto debit amount greater than your regular monthly payment if you are on a Standard, Graduated, Extended, or Income-Sensitive (FFELP only) repayment plan. Payments will not auto debit for loans that are paid ahead while on an Income-Based, Income-Contingent, Pay As You Earn, or Revised Pay As You Earn repayment plan, or in a Reduced Payment Forbearance. Additionally, if all of your loans are in one of these repayment plans, only your regular monthly payment amount as noted on your monthly billing statement will be automatically deducted. You may make additional, one-time payments at any time by logging in to Nelnet.com or mailing payments to the address on your monthly billing statement.

It can take up to two business days after your scheduled debit for your payment to deduct from 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.

Auto debits will be made each month that your loans are in an active repayment status* as noted on your monthly billing statement, even if you have loans that are past due or if you have previously paid more than the minimum amount due (known as being paid ahead).

* Payments will not auto debit for loans that are paid ahead while on an Income-Based, Income-Contingent, Pay As You Earn, or Revised Pay As You Earn repayment plan, or in a Reduced Payment Forbearance. Additionally, if all of your loans are in one of these repayment plans, only your regular monthly payment amount as noted on your monthly billing statement will be automatically deducted. You may make additional, one-time payments at any time by logging in to Nelnet.com or mailing payments to the address on your monthly billing statement.

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 (on one or more occasions) 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, go here. 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 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 may 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 loan(s) is 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.

** Payments will not auto debit for loans that are paid ahead while on an Income-Based, Income-Contingent, Pay As You Earn, or Revised Pay As You Earn repayment plan, or in a Reduced Payment Forbearance. Additionally, if all of your loans are in one of these repayment plans, only your regular monthly payment amount as noted on your monthly billing statement will be automatically deducted. You may make additional, one-time payments at any time by logging in to Nelnet.com or mailing payments to the address on your monthly billing statement.


Repayment Plans

To explore options or make changes to your repayment plan, contact us, log in 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 loan at any time without penalty, regardless of repayment plan.

To learn more about the various repayment plans you may be eligible for, log in to your Nelnet.com account and click Repayment Options.

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

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 how quickly you pay down your principal balance. Interest accrues based on the principal balance of your loan(s). Lowering your monthly payment by choosing a repayment plan that offers a longer term will increase the amount of interest you accrue, costing you more money in the long run. For more information, see How Is Student Loan Interest Calculated?.

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

No. There is no charge for changing your repayment plan. Please note, if your loan(s) is on the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan and you wish to change your repayment 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 your Adjusted Gross Income information 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 we can review and process your repayment plan request.

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

Each of the four Income-Driven Repayment plans has unique qualifications for eligibility. The Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan, Pay As You Earn (PAYE) repayment plan, and Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) repayment plan are for Direct Loans only. The Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan is for both Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) and Direct Loans.

There may be other reasons you didn’t qualify; for example, if we did not receive all of the information needed to evaluate your eligibility. For more information about qualification requirements, see Repayment Plans You can also log in to your Nelnet.com account to find out if you're eligible.

Renewing your IDR Plan requires you to submit annual recertification of your income and family size. You can renew your IDR Plan by going to StudentLoans.gov/IDR and scrolling down to “Returning IDR Applicants” and then “Submit annual re-certification of my income.”

You may request that we recalculate your monthly payment amount on your IDR Plan by going to StudentLoans.gov/IDR, and scrolling down to “Returning IDR Applicants” and then “Recalculate my monthly payment.”

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, in most cases you will remain on your IDR Plan. Your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan (this is called capitalization), and your payment amount will be adjusted to the amount you would have paid on a Standard Plan at the time you entered the IDR Plan. This most likely will result in an increase to your monthly payment amount. The only IDR Plan that is different is REPAYE. If you are on REPAYE and don’t recertify your income, you’ll be removed from REPAYE and placed on the REPAYE 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 must apply for it, meet the qualifications, and make arrangements with the servicer of your loan(s). 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. While not required, you can continue making payments without penalty even if no payment is due, which will reduce your total cost of borrowing and save you money in the long run.

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. While not required, you can continue making payments without penalty even if no payment is due, which will reduce your total cost of borrowing and save you money in the long run.

To apply for forbearance and postpone your payments, log in to your Nelnet.com account and click Repayment Options.

To apply for the Reduced Payment Forbearance, log in to your Nelnet.com account and click Repayment Options.

Log in to your Nelnet.com account, and then click Repayment Options.

If you have any trouble making your payments, please contact us immediately to explore your options. We can help. Also, learn more about other Repayment Plans.

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 Repayment Options.

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 Repayment Options. 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 let you know and then process the deferment or forbearance once you have provided what we need.

Nelnet will review the application to ensure it is 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 loan(s) is not in repayment due to school enrollment, a grace period, a deferment, or a forbearance do not count toward your repayment term. See How Long Do I Have Before I Must Completely Repay My Loan(s)? for more information.

IMPORTANT: During a deferment (depending on the loan type) or forbearance, you are responsible for paying the interest that accrues on your loan. If accrued interest is not paid before the deferment or forbearance ends, or an Income-Driven Repayment Plan is not recertified timely, interest will be added to your outstanding principal balance, which will increase the overall amount you'll have to pay. To see how interest capitalization can affect your balance and the total amount of interest paid over the life of the loan, visit Nelnet.com/interest-capitalization.

To apply for a forbearance or deferment, log in to your Nelnet.com account, and then click Repayment Options.

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 Repayment Options to review additional options that may be available to you.


Loan Discharge, Forgiveness, and Cancellation

In certain situations, you can have your federal student loan(s) forgiven, canceled, or discharged. If this occurs, you will no longer be required to repay some or all of your loan(s). To explore these options, see Additional Loan Assistance and Repayment Plans. You can also contact us.

If you work in public service, you may qualify for forgiveness of your remaining Direct Loan balance after making 120 qualifying payments under a qualifying repayment plan while employed full time by a qualifying employer. For more information, see Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Certain types of student loans may be discharged if you qualify for the Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge Program. The loans that qualify are Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) Loans, Perkins Loans, and Direct Loans, and also the 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 Loan Program (FFEL) and Direct Loans. Portions of consolidation loans may 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 a Parent PLUS Loan) 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 consumer 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. 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.

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 allocated to your student loan(s), see How Payments are Allocated.

You have the option to request that your payments be allocated differently than with the standard payment allocation method, as a one-time or recurring special payment instruction. To request special payment instructions, contact 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 a one-time payment to an individual loan group and/or request that we not advance your due date by logging in to your Nelnet.com account and clicking 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 (past due), you may request to change your payment due date to any date 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 Plan (IBR), 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. The principal balance may include previously capitalized 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 (for example, for a 30-day month).

Example:

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

[(10,000 x .0575) ÷ 365.25] x 30 = 47.22780, or approximately $47.23 in monthly accrued interest.

Interest accumulates (accrues) based on your interest rate and the principal balance of your loan(s). 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 (IDR) Plan recertification date, or after a deferment or forbearance ends — the outstanding interest usually is added to the principal. This adding of the outstanding interest to the principal is known as capitalization.

After outstanding interest is capitalized, any future interest that accrues will be based on the interest rate and the new principal amount (previous principal balance plus capitalized interest). Therefore, capitalization increases the total cost of your loan.

You can minimize 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 you pay over the life of your loan, see Interest Capitalization.

If you are late on a payment(s) or your payment is returned, your lender has the discretion to charge you a fee.* Your lender may charge other fees related to collecting a defaulted loan. Below is a list of possible fees. If you have specific questions regarding fees, contact us.

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

  • Late fee: 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 fee: A payment returned due to non-sufficient funds may be reattempted a maximum of one time. A returned payment 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 a fee(s), it isn’t included in your current amount due. When you pay your current amount due (which includes outstanding interest and principal), your payment is applied first to fees (if applicable) and interest and then to the principal balance. This reduces the amount applied to your principal for that payment. Because your principal isn’t reduced as much as it would have been without the fee, 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 that is owed after some of your payment goes toward the fee.)

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


Payoff Information

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

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

You may find or request your payoff amount in several ways, detailed below. First, here is some information on how the payoff amount is determined.

The payoff amount includes the outstanding principal balance, any outstanding fees (if applicable),* outstanding interest, and the interest that will continue to accrue through the payoff date. 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. When you request a payoff amount from your Nelnet.com account you can select the date (a number of days between 1 and 30) on which you want to pay the loan in full. The payment amount is valid through the payoff date provided.
  • 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), the address to which you mail payments is different for each. You must send mailed payments separately to the post office addresses on the front of your billing statements to have them applied to your loans correctly. 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) 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 have the option to select an effective date as early as the following business day. Business days do not include weekends. To learn more about making payments, see Making Payments.

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

Within about 45 days after you have paid your loan(s) in full, we will mail a letter confirming the payoff to the address we have on file for you. You don’t need to make a special request for this letter. 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 loan(s) 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; refer to IRS Publication 970, “Tax Benefits for Education”; or use the “Student Loan Interest Deduction Worksheet” in your Form 1040 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 loan account, the amount of interest you paid is provided separately for each account. To determine the total amount of interest paid for all of your loans, add the amount you 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 loan(s) 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 loan 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, add the amount you paid for each account.

Nelnet provides the amount of interest you paid on your student loan(s) during the prior year because you may be able to deduct some or all of your paid interest from your income on your tax return. Deducting your paid interest could reduce the amount you owe in federal income tax.

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

To file your taxes, you are not required to include a copy of your IRS Form 1098-E. However, you do need the amount from the form to know how much paid interest to deduct. To access the form electronically, log in to your Nelnet.com account. Once you’re 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; refer to IRS Publication 970, “Tax Benefits for Education”; or use the “Student Loan Interest Deduction Worksheet” in your Form 1040 instructions.


Delinquent Loans

You are considered delinquent the day after your payment is due. For example, if your payment is 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 Repayment Options.

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 (a deferment or forbearance). Log in to your Nelnet.com account and click Repayment Options.

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 payment(s) is late, 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.

If you have a FFELP Loan and 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 guaranty agency (a state or nonprofit entity that administers the FFELP) is also notified of the delinquency and will also attempt to reach you by telephone and/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 details with the correct parties associated with your loan(s). In addition, 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 up to date. When an account reaches 90 days past due, it's reported as delinquent. Once your account has been reported to the consumer reporting agencies as 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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