The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was designed to help ease stress caused by COVID-19 on everyone, including college students and those in the process of repaying their federally owned student loans. That doesn’t mean there’s no stress in navigating what it all means or where to go for help if you need it.
The U.S. Department of Education Office of Federal Student Aid provides answers to your questions about federal student loans on studentaid.gov and is your best resource. We answer a couple of questions here that we hope may help you.
Why am I not eligible for a 0% interest rate?
Your loans with Nelnet Bank are private student loans, so they are not eligible for the COVID-19 relief. The CARES Act provides temporary student loan relief for student loans held by the U.S. Department of Education. Private student loans aren’t subject to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
What If I’ve Been Furloughed, or I’ve Lost My Job?
First, if you have federally held student loans, there are temporary student loan relief programs – automatic administrative forbearance and 0% interest – applied to those loans from March 13, 2020 through September 30, 2021. Your federal loan payments are basically paused during this time, offering you relief on those loans while you get your bearings. For these federal loans, interest won’t accrue, and you won’t be required to make payments, until September 30, 2021. (Studentaid.gov provides all your answers to questions about this.)
The next step you take should be to contact your loan servicer for your federal student loans, and let them know you’ve lost your job. You’ll want to learn about different payment plans that may make it possible for you to stay current on your loans if you still are unemployed when the temporary forbearance is lifted. Contacting your loan servicer with questions or for help discussing your options is a good idea.
Nelnet Bank does not provide legal, investment, tax, or financial advice. This page and the information contained herein is for informational purposes only. This content is not meant to address the circumstances of any particular individual. Nothing contained in this article constitutes a recommendation or endorsement by Nelnet Bank. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consult with a qualified professional.