Frequently Asked Questions
Have questions about anything? We’ve got your answers here.
Student Loan Refinance
Before You Apply
You can get your rate in two minutes with just your basic contact info, loan amount, and Social Security number.
To finalize your loan, you’ll need:
- Two pay stubs or other proof of income
- Your most recent statement for each of your current loans, stating your name, lender name, account number, and current balance
All of your federal and private student loans are eligible for refinance. Most borrowers refinance their higher interest rate private student loans. If you refinance federal student loans, you’ll lose federal loan benefits, such as income-driven repayment plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Many people choose to refinance their private student loans and keep their federal student loans to take advantage of the federal student loan benefits.
We can also refinance Parent PLUS loans and transfer them to the student.
Seeing your rate will not negatively impact your credit score. We use a “soft” credit pull to verify that you meet minimum criteria and to show you the rates you qualify for. After you’ve selected a rate, signed your credit agreement, and agree to accept the loan, a hard inquiry will be placed on your credit score. For more information about hard and soft credit inquiries, visit TransUnion.com.
- Minimum annual income of $36,000
- Minimum credit score of 680
- Bachelor’s degree or higher
- Be a U.S. citizen or have permanent residency status (or have a cosigner who meets this requirement)
Maximum student loan limits:
- $125,000 for borrowers with an undergraduate degree or below
- $175,000 for borrowers with a graduate, doctorate, MBA, or law degree
- $500,000 for borrowers with a graduate health professions degree
The minimum loan amount you can refinance is $5,000.
Cosigners are only required if your application doesn’t meet certain minimum income and creditworthiness requirements. Adding a cosigner may help you qualify for lower rates.
You can see a rate in as little as two minutes. Once you select a loan, upload documents, and sign your final agreement, we typically have your underlying loans paid off in 10-14 days.
We offer fixed and variable rate loans with terms from 5 to 25 years. Keep in mind that shorter repayment terms often mean lower interest rates and higher monthly payments, which will lower your overall cost of borrowing.
After you’ve received your prequalified offers, select the loan rate, term, and payment that works best for you. Have your proof of income statements, as well as your loan statements ready to upload. Once those documents are approved and you’ve accepted the loan, you’ll have a three-day window to cancel the loan. After that three-day window, your funds will be sent to your current lender(s) to pay off the loans you elected to refinance. Then you’ll receive a letter from us containing information on repaying your new loan.
- Income Verification: We validate your stated income.
- Underlying Loan Information: We validate loan eligibility, lender name, payoff address, and payoff amounts.
- Other documents as requested to support the information in your application.
We recommend that you make the payment. It can take up to a week for your payoff to be processed. If there’s any overpayment to your servicer, it will be credited back to your new account with us and go toward your loan’s principal.
Help with Cosigners
A cosigner is a creditworthy person willing to assume responsibility for your loan to either help you meet minimum loan requirements or qualify for a lower interest rate loan (or both). Cosigners must be eligible U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
Cosigners are generally only required if a borrower does not meet certain minimum requirements such as age, creditworthiness, employment, or income. If you’re requesting a student loan refinance and meet our credit criteria, you do not need a cosigner.
Your cosigner should be a trusted individual who has strong credit, a reliable annual income (at least $36,000 annually), and is a U.S. citizen or has permanent residency status.
Nelnet Bank borrowers who have a qualified cosigner with a higher credit score than their own may receive a lower interest rate on their loan, which lowers their monthly payment and overall costs.
After your application is submitted, we pull a soft credit report on you and your cosigner to determine creditworthiness. If you and your cosigner meet loan criteria, including income, credit score, and credit history, you’ll quality for loan offers. After you’ve selected a loan and signed your credit agreement, a hard inquiry will be made. For more information about hard and soft credit inquiries, visit TransUnion.com.
Qualified borrowers are eligible after they have made 24 consecutive, on-time payments of principal and interest within 15 days of their due date. When requesting cosigner release, borrowers must meet the latest credit underwriting eligibility requirements for an individual borrower. If the borrower is denied a cosigner release, he or she will be notified and may reapply for cosigner release at any time.
Rates, Fees, and Discounts
Let’s get one thing right out of the way. It is free to apply for a loan with us.
No. None. Nada.
You can receive a 0.25% interest rate discount by enrolling in auto debit when you enter repayment. If you cancel auto debit, the 0.25% interest rate reduction will be removed from your loan.
If payment is not made within 15 days of the due date, the late fee is 5% of the payment that was not paid in full when due or $25 – whichever is less.
The loan offers you qualify for are determined by your credit information. We’ll present you with an offer if you provide us with your basic income, requested loan amount, and Social Security number.
About Nelnet Bank
About Parent PLUS Loans
Refinancing a Parent PLUS loan combines this student loan (and other loans the borrower wishes to include) into a brand-new loan – often, with a lower interest rate and/or monthly payment. The new refinanced loan can be in either the student’s name or the parent’s.
Yes. Responsibility for a Parent PLUS loan transfers from the parent to the student when the student agrees to take responsibility for the loan and refinances the parent’s Parent PLUS loan into a new refinance loan in their own name.
Either a parent or benefitting student can refinance Parent PLUS loans. You'll need a valid U.S. Social Security number, be of the legal age of majority in your permanent state/territory of residency, have an annual income of at least $36,000, and meet our minimum credit standards. If you don’t meet these requirements, you’ll need a cosigner who does.
Parents who refinance their Parent PLUS loan may benefit from lower interest rates or monthly payments with a Nelnet Bank student loan refinance. For those students who may be making payments already and are willing to assume responsibility for a Parent PLUS loan taken out by a parent on their behalf, there are benefits. The new loan releases the parent from responsibility for the loan. Since the new loan can be in the student’s name, the student may receive credit benefits for making payments. Their new loan may also have lower interest rates or monthly payments, so they may save money.