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Get Ready to Repay

Ready to Repay
Last updated December 1, 2021

Federal student loan repayment will begin after January 31, 2022, when the COVID-19 emergency relief measures end. We want to help you get prepared, share answers to frequently asked questions, and provide the support you need so you can achieve repayment success.

Ready to Repay Checklist

Ready to Repay Timeline

Timeline of Federal Action on Payment Pause

Ready to Repay Checklist

Ready to Repay

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

  1. laptop iconStep 1: Make sure you can access your account

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

  2. checkmark iconStep 2: Bring your contact information up-to-date

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

  3. dollar sign iconStep 3: Check your payment amount and expected due date

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

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

    Also take note of your first due date (which will be no sooner than February 1, 2022), so you can adjust your monthly budget to start making student loan payments on time.

  4. clock iconStep 4: Take action if you won't be able to afford your payments

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

  5. eye iconStep 5: Watch for notices from us

    Nelnet and the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) have started sending communications to help get you prepared for repayment. Read these notices carefully, as they have important tips about what to expect.

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

    If you haven’t already, you must confirm that you want to remain in auto debit for your payments to be made using that method. If you do not elect to stay enrolled in auto debit by January 17, 2022, your auto debit will be cancelled, you’ll lose the .25% reduction on your interest rate, and you’ll need to make other payment arrangements when the COVID-19 payment pause ends. Log in to your account, and you’ll be prompted to confirm enrollment in auto debit.

Ready to Repay Timeline

Ready to Repay

What should you expect over the next few months? Here’s an at-a-glance view of what lies ahead.

4 timeline overview cards:

First: Review Your Account


Second: End of Payment Pause & 0% Interest

January 31, 2022

Third: Receive Billing Statement

3 weeks before due date

Finally: Make a Payment

February 1 or later

FAQs on Entering Repayment

Ready to Repay

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

Review these Q&As to get ready to repay!

Making Payments

Auto Debit

Interest Capitalization

Repayment Options

Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Plans

In-School and Grace Period Status

Other Questions

Timeline of Federal Action on Payment Pause

Ready to Repay

Here is a summary of the actions taken by the federal government to provide and periodically extend the payment pause during the COVID-19 emergency.

  • On March 20, 2020, the office of Federal Student Aid began providing the following temporary relief on ED-owned federal student loans: suspension of loan payments, stopped collections on defaulted loans, and a 0% interest rate.
  • On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) became law, providing for the above relief measures on ED-owned federal student loans through September 30, 2020.
  • On August 8, 2020, the COVID-19 emergency relief measures were extended through December 31, 2020.
  • On December 4, 2020, the COVID-19 emergency relief measures were extended through January 31, 2021.
  • On January 20, 2021, the COVID-19 emergency relief measures were extended through September 30, 2021.
  • On August 6, 2021, the COVID-19 emergency relief measures were extended until January 31, 2022.

Commercial Student Loan Borrowers Needing Relief Due to COVID-19

Borrowers With Accounts Starting With D or J:

Accounts that start with a D or a J include commercial student loans owned by a bank, credit union, or other lender and are not eligible for relief offered under the CARES Act. However, these other options are available. You can:

  • Call us to find out if your lender(s) offers an option to postpone your payments with a forbearance due to COVID-19.
  • After January 31, 2022, commercial student loan lenders will not be offering additional forbearance time due to COVID-19. However, you can call us at that time to find out if you are eligible for other repayment options like the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan, other repayment plans, or deferment or forbearance.
  • Review other options such as an Economic Hardship or an Unemployment Deferment as you may qualify for an interest subsidy with a deferment but not a forbearance.
  • Log in to your account and select Payments, then Repayment Options to start.

FAQs for commercial student loan borrowers

Additional Coronavirus Information

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

If You're Impacted

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

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

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

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

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