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Last update: December 30, 2023

6 minutes read

Nelnet: Student Loan Refinance Review

Explore Nelnet Bank's student loan refinancing options in our comprehensive review. Learn about eligibility, application process, rates, and how refinancing can benefit you. Get insights on Parent PLUS loan refinancing, cosigner requirements, and more.

By Yerain Abreu, M.S.

Edited by Brian Flaherty, B.A. Economics

Nelnet Bank Review Snapshot

Nelnet Bank logo

BEST FOR:

Borrowers with stable jobs and good credit

Check rate

VARIABLE APR

7.58% - 14.48%¹

FIXED APR

5.34% - 10.79%¹

In this detailed review, we dive into Nelnet Bank's refinancing options, shedding light on the process from pre-qualification all the way to loan disbursement.

We'll explore key factors such as the eligibility criteria, application process, interest rates, and unique features like refinancing Parent PLUS loans and the potential benefits of having a cosigner. In this review, we aim to provide you with the information needed to make an educated decision about your financial future.

Our final verdict

Nelnet Bank offers a notable student loan refinancing service, catering to both federal and private loan holders, including those with Parent PLUS loans. It stands out for its competitive rates, high loan limits, and flexible eligibility criteria. However, potential borrowers should carefully consider the loss of federal loan benefits and specific credit requirements. Nelnet's approach extends beyond financing, focusing on customer education and community involvement, making it a comprehensive choice for managing educational debts.

    About Nelnet Bank

    Nelnet Bank, established over 40 years ago, has cemented its position as a leader in the financial industry, primarily focusing on education financing. At its core, Nelnet's mission revolves around empowering families and individuals to achieve their educational aspirations through sound financial knowledge and accessible education solutions. This mission is driven by the belief that higher education paves the most reliable path to success, both for individuals and the nation.

    What sets Nelnet Bank apart is its commitment to offering more than just loan services. It emphasizes providing a holistic approach to financial management, combining innovative banking solutions with educational resources. This approach is tailored to assist customers in navigating the complex landscape of educational financing. The bank's values, including a relentless pursuit of innovation, ethical service, and simplicity in banking, guide its operations. This value-driven approach ensures that customers receive not only financial products but also a partner in their educational journey.

    Nelnet's dedication to community involvement further distinguishes it. Through various initiatives like the Learn to Dream Scholarship and local community investments, Nelnet Bank demonstrates a genuine commitment to supporting education beyond its financial products. This community-first mindset, combined with decades of financial expertise, positions Nelnet Bank as a unique entity in the banking sector, dedicated to helping customers dream big and achieve more in their educational and financial pursuits.

    TuitionHero tip

    Remember to borrow wisely and always explore federal loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study options before taking out a private student loan. Our user-friendly platform lets you explore and compare college financing options personalized to your unique situation.

    Undergraduate loan details

    Nelnet Bank provides loans that range from $5,000 up to $500,000 (aggregate) for undergraduate students. They offer fixed rates from 5.34% to 10.79% or variable rates from 7.58% to 14.48% (including the autopay discount!).

    Borrowers can rest easy knowing that there are:

    • No application fees

    • No origination fees

    • No prepayment penalties

    Adding a cosigner to your loan, such as a friend or relative with strong credit, may also be an attractive option because you may likely get a lower rate and a higher chance of approval.

    Repayment options

    Nelnet Bank offers various hardship and other repayment options that provide borrowers with relief during times of financial stress. Some choices include deferring payments until after graduation, making interest-only payments while in school, or temporarily making partial payments.

      Nelnet Bank

      Best for: Borrowers with stable jobs and good credit

      Nelnet Bank

      Check My Rate
      VARIABLE APR

      7.58% - 14.48%¹

      FIXED APR

      5.34% - 10.79%¹

      LOAN AMOUNT

      $5,000 - $500,000

      TERMS LENGTH

      Multiple Term Options

      MIN CREDIT SCORE

      680

      VARIABLE APR

      7.58% - 14.48%¹

      FIXED APR

      5.34% - 10.79%¹

      LOAN AMOUNT

      $5,000 - $500,000


      TERMS LENGTH

      Multiple Term Options

      MIN CREDIT SCORE

      680

      WHAT WE LIKE

      • Apply from anywhere with fast online application

      • No application, origination fees

      • Get a quote without hurting your credit

      • Multiple flexible repayment options

      • Co-signer release after 24 on-time payments

      • 0.25% discount for auto-pay

      • No early payment penalty

      WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

      • The max student loan is $125,000

      • You must be enrolled at a Nelnet Bank-eligible school

      • Late fees of 5% of the payment that was not paid in full when due or $25.00

      • Autopay discount: Nelnet will knock 0.25% off of your interest rate when you enroll in auto debit.

      Eligibility

      Who can benefit from Nelnet Bank's loan options? Here are the core eligibility requirements for their private student loans:

      1. Age: You must be the legal age to enter into binding contracts in your state of residence, or be at least 17 years of age and apply with a cosigner who is at least the age of majority in their state/territory

      2. Location: You or your cosigner must be a U.S. citizen or have permanent residency status with a valid U.S. Social Security number

      3. School attended: You must have graduated with a Bachelor's degree or higher from a Nelnet Bank-eligible school

      TuitionHero tip

      If you're not eligible, try applying with a cosigner! Adding a cosigner to your loan application may help you get a lower interest rate and increase your chances of being approved.

      Compare Nelnet Bank to other lenders

      Unsure if Nelnet Bank is the right lender for you? Take a moment to check out some of their biggest competitors to see which lender works best for you.

      Our top pick

      Nelnet Bank

      Nelnet Bank

      Disclosures

      Variable APR

      7.58% - 14.48%¹

      Fixed APR

      5.34% - 10.79%¹

      Repayment Options
      • Forbearance
      • Military deferment
      • In-school deferment
      Fees
      • No application fees
      • No prepayment penalties
      • No origination fees
      Discounts & Benefits
      Autopay discount: 0.25%
      Loan Details
      Loan amount: $5,000 - $500,000
      Term lengths: Multiple Term Options

      Nelnet Bank

      Nelnet Bank

      Disclosures

      Variable APR

      7.58% - 14.48%¹

      Fixed APR

      5.34% - 10.79%¹

      Repayment Options
      • Forbearance
      • Military deferment
      • In-school deferment
      Fees
      • No application fees
      • No prepayment penalties
      • No origination fees
      Discounts & Benefits
      Autopay discount: 0.25%
      Loan Details
      Loan amount: $5,000 - $500,000
      Term lengths: Multiple Term Options

      Nelnet Bank

      Nelnet Bank

      Disclosures

      Variable APR

      7.58% - 14.48%¹

      Fixed APR

      5.34% - 10.79%¹

      Repayment Options
      • Forbearance
      • Military deferment
      • In-school deferment
      Fees
      • No application fees
      • No prepayment penalties
      • No origination fees
      Discounts & Benefits
      Autopay discount: 0.25%
      Loan Details
      Loan amount: $5,000 - $500,000
      Term lengths: Multiple Term Options

      Citizens

      Citizens

      Disclosures

      Variable APR

      7.05% - 12.40%*

      Fixed APR

      6.79% - 10.99%*

      Citizens

      Citizens

      Disclosures

      Variable APR

      7.05% - 12.40%*

      Fixed APR

      6.79% - 10.99%*

      Citizens

      Citizens

      Disclosures

      Variable APR

      7.05% - 12.40%*

      Fixed APR

      6.79% - 10.99%*

      CollegeAve

      CollegeAve

      Disclosures

      Variable APR

      5.99% - 11.99%¹

      Fixed APR

      5.99% - 11.99%¹

      CollegeAve

      CollegeAve

      Disclosures

      Variable APR

      5.99% - 11.99%¹

      Fixed APR

      5.99% - 11.99%¹

      CollegeAve

      CollegeAve

      Disclosures

      Variable APR

      5.99% - 11.99%¹

      Fixed APR

      5.99% - 11.99%¹

      Ready to get started?

      Compare student loan rates from all the top lenders with zero impact on your credit score.

      Customer service

      Nelnet has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (as of December 18, 2023).

      Nelnet Bank offers multiple ways to contact them.

      • Website: www.nelnet.com

      • Email: loans@nelnetbank.com

      • Phone: 800-446-4190

      • Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. CT

      Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

      Here are some of the most common questions we get asked about Nelnet Bank.

      Once pre-qualified with Nelnet Bank, borrowers select a loan offer and prepare to submit proof of income. If a cosigner is involved, their income proof may suffice. Following income verification, borrowers sign a credit agreement and formally accept the loan. Nelnet Bank then coordinates with the school to disburse the funds according to the school's instructions.

      Applying for a loan with Nelnet Bank is completely free.

      Refinancing a Parent PLUS loan with Nelnet Bank involves consolidating the Parent PLUS loan and other student loans into a new loan, potentially with a lower interest rate or monthly payment. The refinanced loan is transferred to the student's name, not the parent's.

      Nelnet Bank allows the refinancing of both federal and private student loans. However, refinancing federal student loans means losing certain federal benefits. Nelnet Bank also offers refinancing for Parent PLUS loans, transferring them to the student.

      It's advisable to check for better rates at any time, especially for those with good credit and stable jobs meeting Nelnet Bank's income criteria. Refinancing may be beneficial under these circumstances.

      Nelnet Bank's maximum refinancing limits are:

      • $125,000 for undergraduate degree holders.

      • $175,000 for graduate, doctorate, MBA, or law degree holders.

      • $500,000 for graduate health professions degree holders.

      • The minimum refinancing amount is $5,000.

      Eligibility for refinancing with Nelnet Bank includes:

      • U.S. citizenship or permanent residency with a valid Social Security number.

      • Graduation with a Bachelor's degree or higher.

      • Legal age requirements based on state/territory or being at least 18 years old.

      • Meeting Nelnet Bank's credit and annual income criteria.

      • A cosigner is not mandatory but can help meet credit requirements or qualify for better rates.

      Final thoughts

      Nelnet Bank emerges as a strong option for refinancing student loans, offering no application fees, high loan limits, and competitive interest rates for both federal and private loans, including Parent PLUS loans. However, borrowers should be mindful of losing federal loan benefits and meeting specific credit and income requirements. Overall, Nelnet's comprehensive approach, combined with its commitment to education financing and customer service excellence, positions it as a valuable choice for people looking to manage their educational debts more effectively.

      If you're considering refinancing your student loans, TuitionHero is here to help. In our guide to student loan refinancing, we explore and compare the essential characteristics, terms, and extra perks offered by the top student loan refinancing lenders in the market today.

      Sources


      Author

      Yerain Abreu avatar

      Yerain Abreu is a Content Strategist with over 7 years of experience. He earned a Master's degree in digital marketing from Zicklin School of Business. He focuses on college finance, a niche carved out of his journey through the complexities of academic finance. These firsthand experiences provide him with a unique perspective, enabling him to create content that's informative and relatable to students and their families grappling with the intricacies of college financing.

      Editor

      Brian Flaherty avatar

      Brian is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he earned a B.A. in Economics. After graduation, Brian spent four years working working at a wealth management firm advising high-net-worth investors and institutions. During his time there, he passed the rigorous Series 65 exam and rose to a high-level strategy position.

      At TuitionHero, we're not just passionate about our work - we take immense pride in it. Our dedicated team of writers diligently follows strict editorial standards, ensuring that every piece of content we publish is accurate, current, and highly valuable. We don't just strive for quality; we aim for excellence.

      At TuitionHero, we're not just passionate about our work—we take immense pride in it. Our dedicated team of writers diligently follows strict editorial standards, ensuring that every piece of content we publish is accurate, current, and highly valuable. We don't just strive for quality; we aim for excellence.


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