Nelnet Bank Student Loan Refinance Review | Find the best loan for you


Nelnet Bank, founded in 2020 by Nelnet – one of the nation’s largest student loan servicers – is based in Utah and offers student loan refinancing. This product has moved from U-fi to Nelnet, and private student loans will make the same change in the coming months. Borrowers typically use Nelnet Bank to refinance private loans rather than federal student loans, depending on the lender.

When you refinance your student loans with Nelnet, you get features like:

  • No origination or refinancing request fees.
  • Discount of 0.25 percentage point on the interest rate for registering for automatic payment.
  • Forbearance in the event of difficulty in installments of two to three months up to 12 months over the duration of the loan.

Refinancing a student loan with Nelnet Bank has two main disadvantages:

  • Not everyone will qualify, and borrowers with federal loans will lose essential protections for them. These guarantees include eligibility for at least one income-tested repayment plan and an extension of coronavirus relief measures until January 31, 2022.
  • If you want to refinance yourself, you will need to earn at least $36,000 per year. If you’re using a co-signer, you’ll both need to earn at least $36,000 per year. A co-signer is not required to refinance, but could help you meet credit requirements or get a better interest rate.

Find the best student loan refinance lenders

Nelnet Bank allows you to refinance federal and private student loans. You can also refinance a Parent PLUS loan and have it transferred to you.

2. If you qualify, complete an online application. The application will only take a few minutes.

3. Evaluate loan offers. You will have the opportunity to review the offers and choose the one that suits you best.

4. Accept an offer and upload documents. Nelnet Bank will need your latest student loan or payment verification statement, and if you are employed, you must provide two recent pay stubs. Once the documents are approved and you agree to the terms of the loan, you will have three days to cancel the loan if you change your mind.

5. Pay off your original loan. Nelnet Bank will send funds to repay the refinanced loan after the three-day window, and you will receive a letter with information about the repayment of your new loan.

Nelnet Bank offers the choice of fixed or variable interest rates when refinancing student loans. The lender can check your annual percentage rate, or APR, using a gentle pull that won’t hurt your credit score. Variable APRs range from 1.80% to 6.52% and fixed APRs from 2.30% to 6.39%.

You can choose from five, seven, 10, 15 or 20 year financing terms and estimate a monthly payment using the lender’s online loan calculator. Loans with a term of 25 years are also available at a variable APR. Nelnet Bank does not charge administration, origination or prepayment fees.

If you fail to make part of a payment within 15 days of its due date, Nelnet charges a late fee of 5% or $25, whichever is less. The insufficient funds fee is $20 and will be charged in lieu of the late payment fee when both would be assessed during the same billing cycle.

If you are considering refinancing federal student loans, one caveat is that you will no longer be eligible for pandemic relief which has been extended through January 31, 2022. This includes a pause in payments, fees interest and debt collection efforts.


Get an interest rate reduction of 0.25 percentage points when you sign up for automatic payments from a bank account, known as Nelnet Bank’s automatic debit reduction. You will lose the discount if three consecutive deductions are returned for insufficient funds or if you cancel the automatic payment.

  • You or a co-signer must be a US citizen or have permanent resident status with a valid US Social Security number.
  • You must have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • You or your co-signer must be the age of majority where you live or at least 18 if no requirement exists.
  • You or your co-signer must have a credit score of 680 or higher.
  • You must earn at least $36,000 per year. If you have a co-signer, you must both earn at least $36,000 per year.
  • You don’t need a co-signer to apply, but having one could help you get better terms.

Borrowers should also check that Nelnet Bank loan limits meet their needs. The minimum you can borrow is $5,000, and these limits apply:

  • $125,000 for borrowers with an undergraduate degree.
  • $175,000 for borrowers with a graduate degree, doctorate, MBA, or law degree.
  • $500,000 for borrowers with a graduate degree in health professions.

You will need a minimum FICO score of 680 to refinance yourself. Alternatively, the borrower can have a minimum FICO score of 640 and a co-signer with a score of at least 680.

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

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

Nelnet Bank 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].


Nelnet Bank refinance offers immediate repayment only, which means you start making monthly payments right away.

Nelnet Bank can cancel a loan after the death of a primary borrower.

The lender also offers hardship tolerance in two- or three-month increments for up to 12 months in total over the life of the loan. Any unpaid interest will continue to accrue and will be added to your principal balance at the end of the forbearance. The repayment term of your loan will be extended by the same number of months as the forbearance.

You can apply online and see your rate in just minutes, according to Nelnet Bank. Once you’ve selected a loan, uploaded documents, and signed your final agreement, the lender will typically repay the original loan in 10-14 days.

In most cases, your first payment to Nelnet Bank will be due approximately 45 days after the new loan is funded. Nelnet Bank will send you an email so you can create an online refund account, and you will have 30 days to make the first payment.

Nelnet Bank allows you to apply online and receive a rate in minutes. You can also upload documents and agree to loan terms online. The lender’s site offers a loan calculator to help you estimate monthly payments, as well as a scholarship finder.

  • Consumers who have high interest loans and wish to refinance them.
  • Borrowers who earn at least $36,000 per year.
  • People who have at least $5,000 in loans to refinance.

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