Nelnet Bank Reviews: Student Loan Refinancing and Private Student Loans

Nelnet Bank refinancing is an option for borrowers who need a co-signer or who might need flexibility on payments in the future. It will also soon offer private student loans.

Anna HelhoskiJun 30, 2021
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Student loan ratings

Nelnet Bank
  • Student loan refinancing

The bottom line: Nelnet Bank offers student loan refinancing and private student loans. Its student loan refinancing is best for borrowers who may need wiggle room on payments, or those who didn’t graduate. Its private student loan is best for borrowers who want lengthy forbearance options.

Student loan refinancing review

Nelnet Bank Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Nelnet Bank's website

Nelnet Bank Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Check Rate

on Nelnet Bank's website

Fixed APR

2.55 - 6.31%

Variable APR

1.95 - 5.69%

Min. Credit Score

680

Pros

  • Offers longer-than-average forbearance length of 24 months.
  • You can see if you'll qualify and what rate you'll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • Below-average customer support compared with other lenders.
  • Loans aren’t available in Vermont.

Best for borrowers who may need wiggle room on payments, or those who didn't graduate.

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 24 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

  • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: Yes.

  • Loan terms: 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years. 25-year terms available for variable-rate loans. 20 and 25-year terms require $25,000 minimum.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 - $225,000.

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

  • Application or origination fee: No.

  • Prepayment penalty: No.

  • Late fees: Yes; a fee equal to 5% of the late payment or $10, whichever is less, applies after a payment is 15 days late.

Compare Nelnet’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 will offer you, apply on its website.

Financial

  • Minimum credit score: 680.

  • 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.

Other

  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

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

  • Must have graduated: No.

  • Must have attended a school authorized to receive federal aid: No.

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

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 for up to 12 months throughout 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: Did not disclose.

repayment preferences:

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

  • Allows biweekly payments via autopay: No.

  • Loan servicer: Nelnet Bank.

  • In-house customer service team: Yes.

  • 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: Funds are typically disbursed for payoff 48 hours after initiation date.

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.

How does this loan compare?

Nelnet Bank Student Loan Refinance
Citizens Student Loan Refinance
Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Check RateCheck RateCheck Rate
Fixed APR

2.55 - 6.31%

Fixed APR

2.39 - 9.15%

Fixed APR

2.50 - 6.00%

Variable APR

1.95 - 5.69%

Variable APR

2.24 - 8.90%

Variable APR

1.89 - 5.90%

Min. Credit Score

680

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Min. Credit Score

660

Frequently asked questions