Ask Terry Questions Unable to contact Nelnet to pay my student loans or request a deferment

Unable to contact Nelnet to pay my student loans or request a deferment

By Terry Savage on November 01, 2023 | College Savings / Student Loans

I am divorced and have to share a student loan account with my ex-husband, so I pay on the loans I am responsible by phone to Nelnet. I recently lost my job and now need to ask for a deferment on my payments. For 2 months, I have not been able to contact Nelnet. They are so overwhelmed they are not answering their phones or email. I tried mailing in my payment with a letter and they still credited the wrong loans on the account. How do I talk to someone at Nelnet? Thank you!

Terry Says

I am told by student loan expert Rae Kaplan that you need to call very early in the morning or late at night (they are open until 9 pm eastern) to increase your chances of getting someone to answer.

She also suggests that you apply online right now for either forbearance or an income-based repayment plan. The place to start that process is by logging at, where they track all your loans. You can apply for an income-based repayment plan there.

There is a special “on-ramp” period for the next few months, so missing a payment won’t really ding your credit for a while. So don’t panic if you can’t get through now, but you must do it by calling them.

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