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Nelnet Bank Student Loans Review 2023

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Borrower tip: Refinancing federal student loans into a private student loan can make you ineligible for certain types of protections, such as income-driven repayment plans, federal debt forgiveness programs and forbearance/deferment options through the Department of Education.

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Nelnet Bank Student Loans Review 2023

Nelnet Bank issues private student loans for undergraduate, graduate, MBA, law or advanced health profession degrees. The lender also refinances private and federal student loans, including transferring Parent Direct PLUS loans into a child’s name.

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Start by checking your interest rate on the lender’s website without affecting your credit. If you choose to continue your application, Nelnet Bank will request your permission to run a hard credit check*, which may affect your credit score.

Whether you apply for a private loan or a refinance loan, you can expect disbursement 10 to 14 days after selecting the loan, uploading documents and signing the final agreement. The lender also gives you a three-day window to cancel the loan after you have accepted it and the documents are approved.

  • Loan terms: Multiple options.
  • Application fee: $0.
  • Late payment fee: 5% of the payment amount or $25, whichever is less.
  • Returned payment fee: $20. You will be charged this amount instead of a late payment fee when both would apply during the same billing cycle.

  • Loan terms: Multiple options.
  • Application fee: $0.
  • Late fee: 5% of the payment amount or $25, whichever is less.
  • Returned payment fee: $20. You will be charged this amount instead of a late payment fee when both would apply during the same billing cycle.

Earn a 0.25 percentage point interest rate discount, called the auto debit discount, when you sign up for automatic payments from a bank account. You will lose the discount if three consecutive deductions are returned for insufficient funds or if you cancel autopay.

These are the requirements if you want a private student loan from Nelnet Bank:

  • You must be enrolled at an eligible school for the loan period.
  • You or your co-signer must be a U.S. citizen or have permanent residency status and a valid Social Security number.
  • You or your co-signer must be a credit worthy borrower or credit worthy co-signer to qualify. A co-signer isn’t required but may help you meet credit criteria or qualify for a better interest rate.

For Nelnet Bank student loan refinancing, you will need to have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher, plus:

  • You or a co-signer must be a U.S. citizen or have permanent residency status with a valid U.S. Social Security number.
  • You must be the legal age to enter into binding contracts where you live – or be age 18 or older if no state requirement exists.
  • You or your co-signer must meet Nelnet Bank’s annual income criteria. A co-signer is not required to apply but could help you get better terms.
  • You must be a credit worthy borrower or credit worthy co-signer.

Borrowers should also check that Nelnet Bank’s loan limits meet their needs. If you want to refinance, the minimum you can borrow is $5,000. Maximum loan amounts are $125,000 for undergraduate degrees, $175,000 for graduate, MBA or law degrees, and $500,000 for graduate health profession degrees.

The minimum private student loan is $1,000, and the maximum for undergraduate degrees is $125,000. You can borrow between $1,000 and $175,000 for graduate, MBA or law degrees and up to $500,000 for graduate health profession degrees.

Nelnet Bank is based in Utah and offers in-school loans and refinancing to borrowers nationwide.

Nelnet Bank is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau and not yet rated.

Nelnet Bank’s customer service representatives are available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday at 800-446-4190. You can also get help by email at [email protected] or complete an online form requesting an email or phone call.

What Are Some of Nelnet Bank’s Online Features?

Nelnet Bank is an online lender that provides convenient features for borrowers who prefer a digital loan process. You can receive a rate quote and complete your application online, including adding a co-signer.

You can also upload documents and accept loan terms online. The lender’s site offers a loan calculator to help you estimate monthly payments, plus a Scholarship Search tool.

If you need to start the deferment process, contact your student loan servicer or lender. You can request a deferment through your online account if you have a Nelnet Bank loan, or contact 800-446-4190 or [email protected]. Remember that deferred loans will continue to accrue interest.

In-school student loan borrowers can choose from immediate, interest-only or deferred principal and interest payment plans.

Contact Nelnet Bank to learn about discharge options.

  • People who want to refinance high-interest student loans.
  • People with at least $5,000 in loans to refinance or who plan to apply for at least $1,000 in private student loans.

Find the Best Student Loans for You

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Fixed APR
Variable APR
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Loan Term

Fixed interest rates range from 4.49% APR (with auto debit discount) to 14.82% APR (without auto debit discount). Your interest rate will depend on your (and if applicable, your cosigner’s) credit qualifications. The fixed interest rate will remain the same for the life of the loan.

Variable interest rates range from 5.96% APR (with auto debit discount) to 15.47% APR (without auto debit discount). Your interest rate will depend on your (and if applicable, your cosigner’s) credit qualifications. Variable rates may increase after consummation. Variable rates for Nelnet Bank Student Loans are calculated as the One-Month SOFR plus the applicable Margin percentage. Variable rates will be based on the highest One-Month SOFR as published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on the twenty-fifth day (or the next business day) of the immediately preceding calendar month. The variable rate may change on the first day of each month if the SOFR index changes. This may result in higher monthly payments. The current One-Month SOFR index is 4.99% as of June 1, 2023.

Lowest rates listed above include an interest rate reduction for eligible applications, enrollment in auto debit, and are available only to the most creditworthy applicants. Advertised variable rates reflect the starting range of rates and may increase over the life of the loan.

The lowest rate for each loan type requires automatically withdrawn (i.e., auto debit) payments, a five-year repayment term, and the borrower making immediate principal and interest payments. The lowest rate is available only to the most creditworthy applicants. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rate. The interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) may be higher depending upon (1) the credit history of the borrower and, if applicable, the cosigner, (2) the repayment option and loan term selected, (3) the loan type selected, and (4) the highest level of education attained. If approved, applicants will be notified of the rate qualified for within the stated range.

Checking your rate results in a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. If you continue with your application, Nelnet Bank will request your permission to obtain your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies. This is a hard credit pull and may affect your credit score.

Nelnet Bank offers various payment assistance programs to assist you if you are currently struggling to make payments. Contact us at [email protected] or 800.446.4190 to get more information.  

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, interest on all federally owned loans has been waived and all payments suspended, including for new originations, until the U.S. Department of Education is permitted to implement the debt relief program or the litigation is resolved. Payments will restart 60 days later. If the debt relief program has not been implemented and the litigation has not been resolved by June 30, 2023 – payments will resume 60 days after that. We will notify borrowers before payments restart. Visit StudentAid.gov/coronavirus for updates. If you refinance these loans, you will no longer qualify for this relief or other federally-held loan benefits. Carefully consider your options before refinancing federally-held loans.

A request for the co-signer to be released can be made by either the borrower or co-signer when each of the following conditions has been met:

The account must have been in full principal and interest repayment for at least 24 months.

  • Twenty-four consecutive, on-time principal and interest payments, or lump sum equivalent, must have been made.

    NOTE: A lump sum payment does not replace the requirement to have been in full principal and interest repayment for at least 24 months. Interest-only or fixed-pay payments while enrolled in school do not qualify towards the 24 consecutive on-time payments.

  • The loan must be current at the time of request.
  • The loan must not have been in deferment, flexible repayment, or other alternative payment assistance plan within the past 24 months.
  • The loan must not have been permanently modified from its original terms in the credit agreement.
  • The primary borrower must be a U.S. citizen or have permanent residency in the United States.
  • The primary borrower must meet the age of majority requirement in their permanent state of residency.
  • Requirements are subject to change.

If all of these conditions have been met, then an application for cosigner release may be submitted. The primary borrower is required to demonstrate they have the ability to assume sole responsibility for the loan(s) by providing proof of income, meeting debt-to-income requirements, and having a satisfactory credit history. (A credit report will be obtained during the review process).

Sarah Goldberg
Sarah Goldberg

Sarah is a seasoned financial market expert with a decade of experience. She's known for her analytical skills, attention to detail, and ability to communicate complex financial concepts. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Finance, is a licensed financial advisor, and enjoys reading and traveling in her free time.

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