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What are my private student loan options?

Nelnet Student Loan Review

Nelnet is a partner lender from which we receive compensation. Edvisors® evaluates each lender we partner with and only recommend loan programs which we believe are a best fit for our audience.

What is Nelnet Student Loans?

Nelnet is a student loan lender that offers in-school student loans, along with refinancing. Nelnet has been around for over 40 years, so working with them means working with a trusted and experienced lender. And Nelnet offers competitive pricing with zero origination fees. Their loan options include:

  • Undergraduate student loans
  • Graduate student loans
  • Student loan refinancing 

Nelnet Student Loans

Nelnet student loans are private loan options that can be used when your federal, state, or institutional-based financial aid is not enough. Here is a little more information about each of the in-schools loans they offer.

Private Student Loans for Undergraduates

If you are an undergraduate student enrolled at least half-time, you may be eligible for a Nelnet private loan. Cosigners are strongly encouraged as most undergraduates lack the credit score and proof of income to qualify on their own.

Graduate Student Loans

Nelnet offers loans to graduate students who are enrolled in a number of disciplines. And they offer solutions to postgraduates and professional students, for all you future lawyers, doctors, nurses, radiologists, and more!

Graduate loan options are:

  • MBA Loans
  • Law Loans
  • Health Professions Loans

Nelnet Bank Student Loan Refinance

Nelnet Bank's student loan refinance product is available once you are finished with your degree program. And if you’ve already been in repayment for a number of years, but are unhappy with your interest rate or loan terms, refinancing is a great option. Eligibility requirements include being a US citizen (or having permanent residency status with a Social Security Number), being of legal age, and meeting minimum income and credit score requirements. You can also apply with a cosigner to help you qualify for a new refinance loan.

Nelnet Parent PLUS Loan Refinance

Nelnet offers parents the ability to transfer their Parent PLUS Loan(s) to the student. This is something that has continued to gain in popularity, but not all lenders offer this option. To qualify, the student (the child for whom the Parent PLUS Loan was obtained) needs to demonstrate strong credit history and proof of income. But cosigners, such as a spouse, can be used.

How Do I Apply for a Nelnet Student Loan?

You’ve come to the right place to apply for a Nelnet Student Loan. Start by entering your school on our website to see if your college or university matches the Nelnet list of schools. From there, click on “Apply Now” and you will be directed to begin the application form. And if you’re a student, we strongly suggest you apply with a cosigner to improve the odds of getting approved, as well as possibly qualifying for a lower interest rate.

How Do I Apply for a Nelnet Bank Student Loan Refinance?

We can help you with that as well. Start by answering a few basic questions on our website to see if Nelnet student loan refinance is an option for you. From there you will be redirected to being the application form. You have the option to apply on your own, or to use a cosigner to help you qualify for the best rates.

Nelnet Cosigner Release

Nelnet offers cosigner release which basically gives you the opportunity to let your mom, dad, grandparent or whomever helped you secure the loan, off the hook. To qualify, Nelnet needs to see that you can handle the debt and the payments on your own, without the safety net of a cosigner. This generally means the following:

  • Demonstrate U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
  • Have a track record of 24 on-time monthly payments
  • Meet minimum credit criteria and proof of income

Terms and conditions may vary, make sure to read the terms and conditions of your loan.

Pros and Cons if Nelnet Student Loans

Shopping for a private student loan means looking at both the advantages and potential shortcomings. Here are some critical pros and cons when it comes to Nelnet Student Loans.

Pros Cons
Variable and fixed interest rate options The better your credit history, the better your chances of qualifying for a low advertised rate. A cosigner may be needed.
Loan options for undergraduate and graduate/professional students No federal subsidy (meaning there is no government assistance in paying for the loan)
Flexible repayment choices, including interest-only while in school Ineligible for income-driven repayment plans
Experienced lender with a 40+ year history of service
Cosigner release is available if you meet the terms and conditions
Unemployment protection available during hardships There may be more deferment and forbearance options available in the federal student loan program
Nelnet also offers student loan refinancing Including federal student loans in a refinanced loan could mean sacrificing certain borrower benefits in the Direct Loan Program
Parent PLUS Loans can be transferred to the student through refinancing*

*Your child refinancing the loan would need to qualify for the refinance on their own or with a cosigner.

Nelnet Customer Service

According to Independent Service Ratings from Feefo, Nelnet boasts a customer satisfaction score of 4.6 out of 5. Nelnet has phone and email support, as well live chat agents available to assist you.

How Nelnet Gives Back

The Nelnet Foundation was formed in 2004 as a means of giving back to communities. The company is known for charitable contributions in the form of youth and educational oriented programs, as well as scholarships. Since its formation, Nelnet Foundation has given nearly $19 million to hundreds of organizations. Additionally, each year the foundation awards renewable scholarships, and through their Learn to Dream Scholarship, they have granted more than 5,000 awards to low-income students.

Nelnet Headquarters

Nelnet is headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska and they have approximately 6,600 employees.


What are my private student loan options?