Nelnet Bank Reviews: Student Loan Refinancing

Nelnet Bank refinancing is an option for borrowers who need a co-signer or who might need flexibility on payments in the future.
Jan 20, 2022

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Student loan ratings

Nelnet Bank Student Loan Refinance
  • Student loan refinancing

The bottom line:

Nelnet Bank offers student loan refinancing. Its student loan refinancing is best for borrowers who may need wiggle room on payments.

Student loan refinancing review

Nelnet Bank Student Loan Refinance


 NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score
Fixed APR
Variable APR
Check rate

on Nelnet Bank's website


  • International students can apply with a co-signer who is a qualified U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

  • You can see if you'll qualify and what rate you'll get without a hard credit check.


  • Below-average customer support compared with other lenders.

  • Doesn't allow biweekly payments via autopay.

Best for borrowers who may need wiggle room on payments.

Full Review

Refinancing student loans through Nelnet Bank is a good option for borrowers who don't have strong enough credit to qualify independently but have a creditworthy co-signer. It's also a good fit for borrowers who might need flexibility on payments in the future.

Applicants with credit scores as low as 640 can be accepted if they apply with a co-signer who has a score of at least 680. It also offers longer-than-average forbearance periods, allowing borrowers to postpone payments for up to 12 months throughout their loan term.

Nelnet Bank at a glance

  • Generous forbearance policy.

  • Co-signer release option.

  • Longer-than-average forbearance periods.

How Nelnet Bank could improve

Nelnet Bank could improve by:

  • Assigning customers a dedicated student loan advisor.

  • Allowing biweekly payments via autopay.

Nelnet Bank student loan refinancing details

Interest rates, fees and terms
  • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: Yes.

  • Loan terms: Multiple loan terms available.

  • Loan amounts: Minimum loan amount: $5,000; Maximum student loan limits: $125,000 for borrowers with an undergraduate degree, $175,000 for borrowers with a graduate or doctorate degree, $175,000 for borrowers with an MBA or graduate law degree, $500,000 for borrowers with a graduate health professions degree.

  • Can transfer a parent loan to the child: Yes.

  • Application or origination fee: No.

  • Prepayment penalty: No.

  • Late fees: Yes; $25.

Compare Nelnet Bank's range of interest rates with other student loan refinance lenders. Your actual rate will depend on factors including your — or your co-signer’s — credit history and financial situation. To see what rate Nelnet Bank will offer you, apply on its website.



  • Minimum credit score: 640, with qualified co-signer.

  • Minimum income: $36,000.

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.

  • Typical income of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 45%.

  • Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: Yes; after seven years.


  • Citizenship: International students can apply with a co-signer who is a qualified U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

  • Location: Available in all U.S. states.

  • Must have graduated: Yes.

  • Must have attended a school authorized to receive federal aid: Yes.

  • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: Did not disclose.

Repayment options

Many lenders are offering relief related to COVID-19. Check this list of private loan relief options to see what this lender offers.

  • Academic deferment: Yes, borrowers can postpone payments if they return to school.

  • Military deferment: Yes, borrowers can postpone payments while serving in the military.

  • Forbearance: Yes, borrowers experiencing an economic hardship can postpone payments in increments of two or three months with a maximum of 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan.

  • Natural disaster forbearance: Borrowers can postpone payments if they're involved in a natural disaster.

  • Co-signer release available: Yes.

  • Death or disability discharge available: Yes.

  • Loan discharge if co-signer dies or becomes disabled: No.

Repayment preferences:

  • Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay: Yes.

  • Allows biweekly payments via autopay: No.

Customer service
  • Loan servicer: Firstmark Services.

  • In-house customer service team: No.

  • Process for escalating concerns: No. Complaints are handled by Nelnet's customer service team.

  • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: No.

  • Average time from approval to payoff: 3 days.

Before refinancing with Nelnet Bank

You can apply for a Nelnet Bank refinanced student loan on its website. Before deciding on a student loan refinance lender, compare multiple student loan refinance options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, compare lenders’ repayment options and the flexibility they offer borrowers who are struggling to make payments.

If you aren’t eligible to refinance with Nelnet Bank

If Nelnet Bank denies your refinance application, the lender will let you know why. Depending on the reason, you may want to consider other lenders or using a co-signer.

NerdWallet recommends prequalifying with multiple refinance lenders before you apply. This will let you know which lenders you may be eligible with, without affecting your credit.


Our survey of more than 29 banks, credit unions and online lenders offering student loans and student loan refinancing includes the top 10 lenders by market share and the top 10 lenders by online search volume, as well as lenders that serve specialty or nontraditional markets.

We consider 41 features and data points for each financial institution. Depending on the category, these include the availability of biweekly payments through autopay, minimum credit score and income requirement disclosures, availability to borrowers in all states, extended grace periods and in-house customer service.

The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

How does this loan compare?

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NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score


Min. credit score


Fixed APR


Fixed APR


Variable APR


Variable APR


Frequently asked questions