The COVID-19 pandemic triggered increased rates of depression, especially among college students. Due to social distancing guidelines, loneliness has been suspected as a prominent factor in depression during the pandemic. Research is needed to identify possible mechanisms through which loneliness conveys risk for pandemic-era depression. Two potential mechanisms are boredom and repetitive negative thinking (RNT). This study examined cross-sectional associations between depression, loneliness, boredom, and RNT in a sample of college students (N =199) in April 2020 immediately following campus closure. Results showed a serial indirect effect of loneliness on depression through boredom then RNT. Moreover, specific indirect effects of loneliness on depression were found through boredom and RNT, individually. These data align with cognitive-behavioral theory and identify boredom and RNT as possible mechanisms of the association between loneliness and depression in college students. As such, boredom and RNT might be suitable treatment targets for depression during the COVID-19 pandemic.