Nelnet Student Loan Forgiveness: How to Qualify and Apply

Student loans can be a significant financial burden for many higher-education individuals. Nelnet, a leading student loan servicer in the United States, assists borrowers in managing their loans. As student loan forgiveness programs gain popularity, this article aims to provide an overview of Nelnet student loan forgiveness and guide borrowers on qualifying and applying for these programs.

What is Student Loan Forgiveness?

Student loan forgiveness is a program that allows borrowers to have a portion or all of their student loans forgiven, relieving them from the obligation of repaying the remaining balance. These programs are typically available to borrowers who meet specific criteria, such as working in certain professions or demonstrating financial need.

The Need for Student Loan Forgiveness

The rising cost of education has led to an increase in student loan debt nationwide. Many borrowers need help repaying their loans due to financial hardships or limited job opportunities. Student loan forgiveness programs, including those offered by Nelnet, address this issue by providing borrowers with a pathway to reduce or eliminate their debt burdens, enabling them to achieve financial stability and pursue their goals.

Types of Nelnet Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

  1. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF): This program targets individuals in public service or nonprofit organizations. After making 120 qualifying payments, borrowers may be eligible to have the remaining balance of their loans forgiven.
  2. Teacher Loan Forgiveness: Teachers who work in low-income schools or educational service agencies for at least five consecutive years may qualify for loan forgiveness of up to $17,500 on their Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans.
  3. Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Forgiveness: Borrowers enrolled in income-driven repayment plans like Income-Based Repayment (IBR), Pay As You Earn (PAYE), or Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) may be eligible for forgiveness of the remaining loan balance after a certain number of payments.
  4. Closed School Discharge: If a borrower’s school closes while enrolled or shortly after their withdrawal, they may be eligible for a discharge of their federal student loans.
  5. Total and Permanent Disability Discharge: Individuals with a total and permanent disability can apply for loan forgiveness through a streamlined process.

How to Check Nelnet Loan Eligibility

Nelnet Student Loan Forgiveness

To determine if your Nelnet loan is eligible for forgiveness, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the Forgiveness Programs: Familiarize yourself with the different student loan forgiveness programs Nelnet offers, such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), Teacher Loan Forgiveness, or Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Forgiveness.
  2. Review Program Eligibility Criteria: Visit the Nelnet website or the official websites of the forgiveness programs to understand the eligibility criteria for each program. These requirements can vary based on your profession, loan type, repayment plan, and the number of qualifying payments made.
  3. Check Loan Type: Verify that your loan is eligible for forgiveness. While federal student loans are typically eligible, private student loans are not. Since Nelnet primarily services federal student loans, there is a higher likelihood that your loan is eligible.
  4. Assess Employment Qualifications: Some forgiveness programs require borrowers to work in specific fields or industries. For example, PSLF is available to borrowers working full-time in qualifying public service jobs, while Teacher Loan Forgiveness targets educators in low-income schools. Ensure you meet the employment criteria for your interest in the forgiveness program.
  5. Analyze Repayment Plan Eligibility: For forgiveness through income-driven repayment plans like IBR, PAYE, or REPAYE, you must be enrolled in the appropriate plan. Each plan has specific requirements, including income thresholds and payment durations.
  6. Contact Nelnet or Program Administrators: If you are still determining your eligibility or have specific questions about your Nelnet loan, contact Nelnet’s customer service or reach out to the administrators of the forgiveness program. They can provide personalized guidance and clarification regarding your loan and circumstances.

How to Apply for Nelnet Loan Forgiveness

To apply for Nelnet loan forgiveness, follow these steps:

  1. Determine Eligibility: Review the eligibility criteria for the specific Nelnet loan forgiveness program you are interested in. Ensure you meet all the requirements, such as working in a qualifying profession or meeting specific repayment criteria.
  2. Gather Required Documentation: Collect all the necessary documentation for your forgiveness application. This may include employment certification forms, income verification documents, loan statements, and other supporting materials specified by the forgiveness program.
  3. Complete the Application: Access the application form through either the Nelnet website or the official website of the forgiveness program. Fill out the application accurately and provide all the requested information. Double-check for any errors or missing details before submitting.
  4. Submit the Application: Once you have completed the application, submit it through the designated online portal or by mail, following the provided instructions. If applying through Nelnet’s website, ensure you have created an online account and follow the application submission process accordingly.
  5. Track Application Progress: Record your application submission and note any confirmation or reference numbers provided. Maintain regular communication with Nelnet or the forgiveness program administrators to track the progress of your application and address any queries or concerns.
  6. Provide Additional Information if Required: In some cases, additional information or documentation may be requested to support your forgiveness application. Respond promptly to requests and submit the required materials within the given timeframe.
  7. Await Approval and Notification: The processing time for forgiveness applications can vary. Be patient while your application is being reviewed. You may receive updates on the status of your application through email, mail, or your online account. Stay vigilant for any requests for further action or documentation.
  8. Follow Post-Approval Instructions: If your Nelnet loan forgiveness application is approved, carefully read and follow any instructions provided. This may include signing new agreements, updating your repayment plan, or fulfilling post-forgiveness obligations.
Nelnet loan forgiveness application

It’s important to note that Nelnet offers services for various forgiveness programs, each with its own application process and requirements. Therefore, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific forgiveness program you are applying for and follow the instructions provided by Nelnet and the program administrators to ensure a smooth application process.

Benefits and Considerations of Nelnet Student Loan Forgiveness


  1. Reduced Financial Burden: Forgiving a portion or all of the loan balance significantly reduces the financial burden on borrowers, freeing up funds for other essential expenses.
  2. Loan Repayment Acceleration: For borrowers on income-driven repayment plans, forgiveness can help accelerate the repayment process, allowing them to become debt-free sooner.
  3. Career Flexibility: Student loan forgiveness programs often target specific professions, such as public service or teaching. This encourages individuals to pursue careers that benefit society while providing a pathway to debt relief.
  4. Improved Credit Score: Successfully completing a student loan forgiveness program can positively impact a borrower’s credit score, as it demonstrates responsible financial management.

Potential Drawbacks and Considerations:

  1. Tax Implications: Loan forgiveness may be considered taxable income, potentially leading to a higher tax liability for borrowers. It is crucial to consult with a tax professional to understand the potential tax implications.
  2. Program Requirements: Each forgiveness program has specific requirements, such as minimum service periods or types of employment. Borrowers must carefully review and understand these requirements to ensure eligibility and successful program participation.
  3. Limited Availability: Some forgiveness programs have limited funding or may be subject to changes in legislation. It is important to stay informed about any updates or modifications to ensure continued eligibility.

How Nelnet Can Help with Student Loan Forgiveness

Nelnet offers comprehensive resources and support to borrowers seeking student loan forgiveness. Their knowledgeable customer service team can assist borrowers in understanding the eligibility requirements, application process, and necessary documentation for various forgiveness programs. Additionally, Nelnet provides online tools and educational materials to help borrowers navigate the complexities of student loan forgiveness.


Nelnet student loan forgiveness provides a valuable opportunity for borrowers to alleviate their student loan burdens and achieve financial freedom. By exploring the different forgiveness programs available and understanding the eligibility criteria, borrowers can take steps toward reducing or eliminating their student loan debt. However, it is crucial to consider both these programs’ benefits and potential drawbacks and seek professional guidance when needed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I qualify for Nelnet student loan forgiveness if I have private student loans?

  • No, Nelnet student loan forgiveness programs are typically available for federal student loans only. Private student loans are not eligible for most forgiveness programs.

How long does it take to get approval for Nelnet student loan forgiveness?

  • The processing time for Nelnet student loan forgiveness varies depending on the specific forgiveness program and the completeness of the application. Submitting an application well in advance and promptly following any required documentation is recommended.

Will Nelnet student loan forgiveness impact my credit score?

  • Nelnet student loan forgiveness, once successfully completed, can have a positive impact on your credit score. It demonstrates responsible repayment and can help improve your creditworthiness.

Are there any repayment obligations after Nelnet student loan forgiveness?

  • Once your loans are forgiven through Nelnet student loan forgiveness, you are no longer required to make payments on the forgiven amount. However, learning about any post-forgiveness obligations specific to the forgiveness program you qualify for is important.

Where can I get more information about Nelnet student loan forgiveness?

  • For more information about Nelnet student loan forgiveness programs, eligibility criteria, and application processes, visit the official Nelnet website or contact their customer service directly.

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