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Updated on February 3, 2023
The path to student loan forgiveness can be confusing and overwhelming if Nelnet has your federal student loans. Nelnet handles a variety of federal loans, and the eligibility for loan forgiveness programs such as President Biden’s student debt relief plan, income-based repayment plan forgiveness, and the Income-Driven Repayment Waiver depends on the type of loan.
Ahead, learn how to get your Nelnet student loans forgiven.
What is the Nelnet student loan forgiveness program?
Nelnet does not have its own student loan forgiveness program. Instead, it helps administer different loan forgiveness programs that the U.S. Department of Education offers to federal student loan borrowers, including:
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program is for people who work full-time for the government, nonprofit organization, or other qualifying employers and make 120 qualifying payments under an approved repayment option. Read more about PSLF program requirements.
Income-Driven Repayment Plan Forgiveness for those who make monthly payments based on their family size and discretionary income for at least two decades under one of the four types of IDR plans. Read more about income-based repayment forgiveness.
The IDR Waiver gives credit towards IDR forgiveness for student loan payments and time spent in forbearance or deferment, regardless of the repayment plan used. Read more about the IDR account adjustment.
The Teacher Loan Forgiveness is available to educators who spend five consecutive academic years working in low-income elementary schools, secondary schools, or educational service agencies. Read more about student loan forgiveness programs for teachers.
Borrower Defense to Repayment, which cancels loans students borrowed to go to sham, predatory, mostly for-profit schools like ITT Tech, DeVry University, Corinthian Colleges, and so on. Check the borrower defense school list.
The Biden administration’s plan cancels up to $20 thousand in federal student loans for borrowers with Pell Grants and $10 thousand for everyone else who meets the income limits for student loan forgiveness. Read more about how to apply for student loan forgiveness.
Your eligibility for these forgiveness programs depends on the type of student loan you have with Nelnet.
Note: Nelnet is the student loan servicer responsible for managing the Total and Permanent Disability discharge program. A TPD loan discharge wipes out the remaining balance owed on Direct, Perkins, and FFEL Loans if you suffer a permanent mental or physical disability that prevents you from working full-time. Also, those with Parent PLUS Loans are eligible for TPD discharge if they have suffered a permanent disability but not if their child has become disabled.
Related: How to Get Parent PLUS Loans Forgiven
Will Nelnet student loans be forgiven?
Nelnet student loans will be forgiven under Biden’s plan if they qualify for the pandemic-related payment pause and meet the income requirements. Over 26 million people have applied for the program, and the Education Department has approved the forgiveness applications for 16 million borrowers, but legal challenges have blocked it from applying the relief to borrowers’ accounts.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments later this month and issue a ruling by this summer.
Nelnet services two types of student loans
Nelnet only services federal loans, but they come in two varieties:
Ed-owned loans are directly owned by the Education Department and are usually Direct Loans. These loans are eligible for the Biden administration’s payment pause and interest rate freeze.
But privately-held loans are owned by private lenders or guaranty agencies and are backed by the federal government. These loans, usually Federal Family Education Loans and Federal Perkins Loans, haven’t been eligible for Covid-related forbearance and have required payments and accruing interest.
How do I know if my Nelnet loan is eligible for forgiveness?
To determine if your Nelnet loan is eligible for forgiveness, check the first letter of your Nelnet account number. If it starts with “E,” you have Ed-owned loans that typically meet the eligibility requirements for many of the forgiveness programs you’ve seen in newspaper headlines.
But if your account starts with “D” or “J,” those don’t qualify for the $10-$20k forgiveness plan and must be consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan to qualify for the other forgiveness opportunities.
How to apply for loan forgiveness
To get your Nelnet student loan debt forgiven, follow these steps:
Determine eligibility. Make sure your Nelnet loans are owned by the Education Department and determine if you qualify for any loan forgiveness programs. If you have privately-held loans, you can apply for loan consolidation on the Federal Student Aid website, StudentAid.gov.
Choose a forgiveness program. Decide which loan forgiveness program you want to apply for, such as income-driven repayment plan forgiveness or the PSLF program. If you work in public service, send a PSLF Form to MOHELA for processing. Your eligible loans will be transferred from Nelnet to MOHELA.
Complete the application. Fill out the proper application form and provide supporting documentation. You can get those forms from Nelnet or on StudentAid.gov.
Submit the application. Submit the completed application and supporting documents to your loan servicer.
Wait for a decision. The Education Department will review your application and tell you about its decision.
There are forgiveness options for Parent PLUS Loans. The right one for you depends on the type of loan you have, your career, and your loan balance.
Need help deciding the best path for your Nelnet loans? Book a call with me, and we’ll review your loans and develop the right forgiveness program for you.