Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about anything? We’ve got your answers here.

Here are some common questions we get from our customers. If you don’t see your question answered, please reach out to us. We’re available Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Central.

Here are some common questions we get from our customers. If you don’t see your question answered, please reach out to us. We’re available Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Central.

Student Loan Refinance

Before You Apply

You can get your rate in as little as two minutes with just your basic contact info, loan amount, and Social Security number.

To finalize your loan, at a minimum you’ll need to provide:

  • 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
It’s always free to check and see if you qualify for a better rate. See Disclaimer If you have good credit and a stable job making at least $36,000 annually, you might want to consider refinancing.
In order to refinance your loans with Nelnet Bank, you need to have completed a Bachelor’s degree or higher.

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.

Refinancing saves you money by potentially lowering your interest rate and monthly payment. If you’re wondering exactly how much you’ll save, our refi loan calculator helps you estimate savings so you can determine whether it’s right for you.

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 report, which may affect your credit score. For more information about hard and soft credit inquiries, visit TransUnion.com.

Loan Eligibility

Eligibility requirements:

  • Citizenship
    You or your cosigner must be a U.S. citizen or have permanent residency status with a valid U.S. Social Security number.
  • Graduation
    You must have graduated with a Bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Legal Age
    You or your cosigner must be of the age of majority in your state/territory – or be age 18 or older if no state requirement exists.
  • Credit
    You or your cosigner must have a credit score of 680 or higher.
  • Income
    • If you are qualifying on your own, you must earn at least $36,000 in annual income.
    • If you have a cosigner, the cosigner must earn at least $36,000 in annual income.
  • Cosigner
    A cosigner isn’t required, but may help you meet credit or qualify for a better rate.

Maximum student loan limits:

  • $125,000 for borrowers with an undergraduate degree or higher
  • $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.

Application Process

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.
Your first payment with Nelnet Bank will be due about 45 days after your new loan has been funded. You’ll receive an email to set up an online repayment account and will have 30 days to make your first payment.

We recommend that you make the payment. It can take up to two to three weeks 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.

Private Student Loans

Before You Apply

You should make sure to exhaust lower-cost federal borrowing options before you turn to non-federal student loans like ours.
Short answer? It depends on the type of loan. Longer answer? Federal Direct Loan interest rates are determined each year by the U.S. Congress. Private loan interest rates are set by private lenders (like Nelnet Bank) using a financial index.
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.

Loan Eligibility

Eligibility Requirements:
  • You must be enrolled at a Nelnet Bank-eligible school for the loan period in question.
  • You or your cosigner must be a U.S. citizen or have permanent residency status and a valid Social Security number.
  • You or your cosigner must have a credit score of 680 or higher.
  • If you are qualifying on your own, you must earn at least $36,000 in annual income.
  • If you have a cosigner, the cosigner must earn at least $36,000 in annual income.
  • A cosigner isn’t required, but may help you meet credit or qualify for a better rate.
Undergraduate
  • Minimum loan amount: $1,000
  • Maximum loan amount: $125,000
Graduate
  • Minimum loan amount: $1,000
  • Maximum student loan limit:
    • Graduate and doctorate: $175,000
    • MBA or graduate law degree: $175,000
    • Graduate health professions degree: $500,000
A cosigner is a creditworthy person willing to assume responsibility for loan liabilities if the borrower fails to repay the loan. Applying with a cosigner may help you qualify for a loan and also lower your interest rate. Cosigners must be eligible U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
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.
  • Nelnet Bank borrowers may receive a lower interest rate on their loan for having a cosigner, which lowers their monthly payment and overall costs.
  • It can often be difficult for students and borrowers to meet credit and income requirements. A cosigner can help them get the loans they need.

Application Process

You can see a rate in as little as two minutes. Once you select a loan, upload documents, and sign your final agreement, you can typically have funds available in 10-14 days.
Yes, as long as your cosigner knows the school you’re attending and other basic information, they can start your student loan application for you. Then you’ll just need to go in and complete some additional information later. We’re making the loan application as quick and easy and possible so you can focus on getting the grades.
After your student loan 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 will quality for loan offers. After you’ve selected a loan and signed your credit agreement, a hard inquiry will be placed on your credit – this may impact your credit score.

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.

Your first payment with Nelnet Bank will be due about 45 days after your new loan has been funded. You’ll receive an email to set up an online repayment account and will have 30 days to make your first payment.

Repayment

There is no typical payment. It all depends on how much you borrow and which repayment option you choose.
Some of your repayment options include:
  • Immediate repayment (you'll be required to make full principal and interest payments as soon as the loan is disbursed).
  • Interest-only repayment (you’ll make interest-only payments while in school).
  • Defer principal and interest payments (you won’t be required to make any payments until after you separate from school).
  • Repayment terms of 5, 10, and 15 years.
You’ll need to contact your student loan servicer or private loan lender to start the deferment process – keep in mind that you’ll still accrue interest while your loans are deferred.
With Nelnet Bank, the fastest option is Immediate Repayment, since you’ll be making a higher payment each month, but paying less in interest over time.
A request for the cosigner to be released can be made by either the borrower or cosigner once conditions of the cosigner agreement have been met. Read the terms of the cosigner agreement here.

Help with Cosigners

Cosigner

A cosigner is a creditworthy person willing to assume responsibility for loan liabilities if the borrower fails to repay the loan. Applying with a cosigner may help you qualify for a loan and also lower your interest rate. Cosigners must be eligible U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
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.

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.

Nope.

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. Learn more about the auto debit discount and when it applies.
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. If a payment is returned, the fee is $20 and will be charged instead of a late payment fee when both would be assessed during the same billing cycle.
The loan offers you qualify for are determined by your credit information. We’ll present you with any offers you qualify for if you provide us with your basic income, request loan amount, and Social Security number.
Let’s get one thing right out of the way. It is free to apply for a loan with us.
No. None. Nada.
Nope.

Additional

About Nelnet Bank

We offer student loan refinancing for undergraduate, graduate, law degrees, and medical degrees. We also offer private student loans for graduate, undergraduate, MBA, law, or advanced health professions degrees.

For information, visit our Privacy Center.

Your Nelnet Bank loan is still considered a student loan and you may qualify for tax benefits. Please consult your tax advisor for more information. See Disclaimer

About Parent PLUS Loans

Refinancing a Parent PLUS loan combines your Parent PLUS loan (and any other loans the student has) into a brand-new loan – often, with a lower interest rate and/or monthly payment. The new refinanced loan will be in the student’s name, not 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, have graduated with a Bachelor’s degree or higher, 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. Their new loan may also have lower interest rates or monthly payments, so they may save money.