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Last update: January 18, 2024

3 minutes read

Nelnet Bank: Private Student Loans Review

Explore our comprehensive Nelnet Bank's private student loans review, where we examine interest rates, repayment options, eligibility criteria, and additional benefits.

By Brian Flaherty, B.A. Economics

Edited by Rachel Lauren, B.A. in Business and Political Economy

NelNet Bank Review Snapshot

NelNet Bank logo

BEST FOR:

High-achieving students

Check rate

VARIABLE APR

6.27% - 16.03%¹

FIXED APR

4.49% - 15.07%¹

Thinking about getting a private student loan? Nelnet Bank might be what you need. They are fairly new to the student loan market and are heavily focused on making loans simple and easy for students. But is Nelnet Bank the best pick for you? We've looked into everything they offer to help you figure that out.

Our final verdict

Nelnet Bank stands out with great interest rates, an easy online application, and awesome customer service. Their commitment to financial education for students sets them apart from the competition.

    About NelNet Bank

    Nelnet Bank, emerging from the well-established Nelnet Inc., specializes in private student loans and has over four decades of experience. This institution distinguishes itself by focusing on enabling educational aspirations through informed financial planning.

    The bank’s standout features include competitive interest rates and a user-friendly online application process, underpinned by a strong commitment to financial education for its clients. Nelnet Bank offers a comprehensive range of loan products, catering to undergraduates, graduates, and those seeking refinancing solutions.

    Nelnet Bank's dedication to customer service is evident in their flexible repayment options and potential for co-signer release, alongside incentives like interest rate reductions for automatic payments.

    Beyond financial services, Nelnet Bank actively contributes to community development through initiatives like the Learn to Dream Scholarship and various community investment projects. This approach positions Nelnet Bank not only as a financial institution but also as a community-driven entity, focused on enriching the educational landscape and supporting broader community goals.

    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 $1,000 up to $125,000 (aggregate) for undergraduate students. They offer fixed rates from 4.49% to 15.07% or variable rates from 6.27% to 16.03% (including the autopay discount!).

    Borrowers can rest easy knowing that there are:

    • No application 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.

    • Grace period: 6 months

    NelNet Bank

    Best for: High-achieving students

    NelNet Bank

    Check My Rate
    VARIABLE APR

    6.27% - 16.03%¹

    FIXED APR

    4.49% - 15.07%¹

    LOAN AMOUNT

    $1,000 - $125,000

    TERMS LENGTH

    Multiple terms available

    MIN CREDIT SCORE

    640

    VARIABLE APR

    6.27% - 16.03%¹

    FIXED APR

    4.49% - 15.07%¹

    LOAN AMOUNT

    $1,000 - $125,000


    TERMS LENGTH

    Multiple terms available

    MIN CREDIT SCORE

    640

    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: When repayment starts, set up automated payments and cut .25% off your interest rate.

    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. Class load: You must be enrolled at least half time at an eligible college or university

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

    4. School attended: You must be enrolled at a Nelnet Bank-eligible school for the loan period in question

    5. Academic performance: You must meet Nelnet Bank’s satisfactory academic progress standards, which include maintaining a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher

    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

    6.27% - 16.03%¹

    Fixed APR

    4.49% - 15.07%¹

    Repayment Options
    • Grace period
    • Forbearance
    • Immediate repayment
    • In-school deferment
    Fees
    • No application fees
    • No prepayment penalties
    Discounts & Benefits
    Autopay discount: 0.25%
    Loan Details
    Loan amount: $1,000 - $125,000
    Term lengths: Multiple terms available

    NelNet Bank

    NelNet Bank

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    6.27% - 16.03%¹

    Fixed APR

    4.49% - 15.07%¹

    Repayment Options
    • Grace period
    • Forbearance
    • Immediate repayment
    • In-school deferment
    Fees
    • No application fees
    • No prepayment penalties
    Discounts & Benefits
    Autopay discount: 0.25%
    Loan Details
    Loan amount: $1,000 - $125,000
    Term lengths: Multiple terms available

    NelNet Bank

    NelNet Bank

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    6.27% - 16.03%¹

    Fixed APR

    4.49% - 15.07%¹

    Repayment Options
    • Grace period
    • Forbearance
    • Immediate repayment
    • In-school deferment
    Fees
    • No application fees
    • No prepayment penalties
    Discounts & Benefits
    Autopay discount: 0.25%
    Loan Details
    Loan amount: $1,000 - $125,000
    Term lengths: Multiple terms available

    College Ave

    College Ave

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    5.59% - 16.65%¹

    Fixed APR

    4.11% - 15.44%¹

    College Ave

    College Ave

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    5.59% - 16.65%¹

    Fixed APR

    4.11% - 15.44%¹

    College Ave

    College Ave

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    5.59% - 16.65%¹

    Fixed APR

    4.11% - 15.44%¹

    Sallie Mae

    Sallie Mae

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    6.37% - 16.70%¹

    Fixed APR

    4.50% - 15.49%¹

    Sallie Mae

    Sallie Mae

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    6.37% - 16.70%¹

    Fixed APR

    4.50% - 15.49%¹

    Sallie Mae

    Sallie Mae

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    6.37% - 16.70%¹

    Fixed APR

    4.50% - 15.49%¹

    Ready to get started?

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

    Customer service

    Customer support can be a make-or-break factor when evaluating a potential lender. Nelnet Bank prides itself on a customer-centric approach.

    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.

    For undergraduate students, Nelnet Bank offers loans starting from a minimum of $1,000 up to a maximum of $125,000. Graduate students have similar flexibility with minimum loans also starting at $1,000. However, the maximum loan limits vary based on the program: $175,000 for general graduate and doctorate programs, including MBA and graduate law degrees, and up to $500,000 for graduate health professions degrees.

    A cosigner is not always required for Nelnet Bank's student loans. However, if your application doesn't meet the minimum income and creditworthiness criteria, you'll need a cosigner. Including a cosigner can also help you qualify for lower interest rates.

    Final thoughts

    So, there you have it! We've unpacked everything you need to know about Nelnet Bank student loans.

    It's important to make well-informed decisions regarding your financial future. At TuitionHero, we're passionate about equipping students like you with tools for your financial journey. We offer services for private student loans, student loan refinancing, scholarships, FAFSA assistance, and even credit card offers. It's all about making your path to education as smooth as possible. Nelnet Bank's benefits sync well with our mission to give you choices that suit your needs.


    Author

    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.

    Editor

    Rachel Lauren avatar

    Rachel Lauren is the co-founder and COO of Debbie, a tech startup that offers an app to help people pay off their credit card debt for good through rewards and behavioral psychology. She was previously a venture capital investor at BDMI, as well as an equity research analyst at Credit Suisse.

    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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