Rankings: The 100 Best Cities to Work in Tech

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best cities for IT jobs

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The majors that college students choose can have a big impact on their earnings, both after graduation and throughout their careers.

One of the highest-paying college majors is computer science. 2018 graduates with this degree are projected to earn starting salaries averaging over $66,000 a year, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Selecting a major is not the only major decision facing computer science and technology students. Leading up to graduation, they’ll need to start looking for their first jobs out of college. And they’ll need to consider the cities in which they’ll live. After all, location can affect how much they earn in their position and how far that pay will go.

Our new rankings look at data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to find the cities in each major U.S. region that offer the best pay to computer and information technology (IT) professionals.

Key findings

  • Local pay matters, but so does cost of living. To rank well, cities had to offer some of the highest pay across eight IT professions after cost of living was taken into account. Cities that ranked higher are those where educated tech workers earn high pay relative to their living expenses.
  • The South offers the best deal to tech professionals. Of the top 20 cities in our rankings, 17 are in southern states. And nearly half of the top 100 cities for tech professionals can be found in the South.
  • Tech professionals command wages well above average. For the lowest-paying occupation we surveyed, web developers, the median annual pay was $67,990 a year — nearly twice the national median pay of $37,690 for all occupations. The highest-paying tech professionals are computer network architects, who earn a median of $104,650 a year.

Top 5 cities for tech professionals in each region

Our rankings were designed to identify the cities in each U.S. region that offer the best financial situations to tech professionals. To do so, we used data from the BLS to compare pay in different cities for eight IT jobs that require a college education, adjusted for the local cost of living.

Here are the eight tech occupations we surveyed, along with the best region to find such a job, according to our study results:

Tech occupationBest region
Computer systems analystMidwest
Information security analystWest
Computer programmerSouth
Software systems developerSouth
Web developerSouth
Database administratorMidwest
Computer network administratorSouth
Computer network architectNortheast

The top-ranking cities had some of the highest salaries for the jobs considered, relative to local prices and living expenses. In other words, college-educated tech professionals should consider living in these top cities if they want to earn the most and see their paycheck go the furthest.

Our study revealed that the South is a standout region for tech jobs. It’s home to 47 cities that were ranked among the top 100 on our list. Here’s the number of cities in each region that made it into the top 100:

  • South: 47
  • Midwest: 24
  • West: 18
  • Northeast: 11

As mentioned, the South is a clear standout for tech professionals. In fact, the top five cities in this region are also the best in the nation overall.

While the region tends to offer lower living costs to residents, tech workers can still expect incomes that are relatively high. Several cities in the Midwest offer a similarly favorable scenario to tech professionals.

Here’s a closer look at the best metropolitan areas for tech professionals in each U.S. region.

Top 5 cities for tech professionals in the South

1. Hinesville, Georgia

Georgia was ranked as one of the best states to live in if you have student debt. And one factor that works in favor of Hinesville residents is local costs, which are nearly 10% lower than the national average cost of living. Yet tech workers here earn some of the highest pay in the nation, relative to local prices.

Local computer systems analysts make $92,000 a year while software systems developers earn $107,430 on average. Both salaries are more than double the average annual wage in Hinesville of $42,660, as reported by the BLS.

2. Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte is one of the best cities in the nation to earn a living as a software systems developer or computer network architects. Annual wages for these jobs average $112,320 and $112,840, respectively, in Charlotte — well over double the local average wage of $50,150.

Even better, local prices are below the national average by 6.5%. So these high incomes will go further in Charlotte.

3. Hattiesburg, Mississippi

The main factor that put Hattiesburg at the top of this list is its low cost of living, which is around 18% below the national average.

Yet while local prices are low, tech professionals still earn a great income here. A typical worker makes $37,500 a year in Hattiesburg, but tech professionals make more than twice that amount.

In particular, computer systems analysts earn relatively high pay in this area, earning $78,780 on average. So do computer network administrators, with earnings that average $80,810 a year.

4. New Bern, North Carolina

Like the cities listed above, New Bern has a low cost of living, with expenses that are nearly 16% lower than the national average.

Still, New Bern continues the trend here of top cities where costs are low and some local tech professionals earn about double the local average income. While a typical worker here earns $42,490 a year, computer systems analysts average $83,430 and computer network administrators make $76,600.

5. California, Maryland

Unlike the other top cities in the South, California’s living costs are about on par with the national average. But the city has higher wages, with an average of $70,860, and offers similarly high salaries to local tech professionals.

Web developers are particularly well paid here, earning $90,610 a year on average. Computer systems analysts also come out ahead in this Maryland city, with the local average wage for this occupation at $98,580.

Top 5 cities for tech professionals in the Midwest

1. St. Louis

The cost of living in St. Louis is about 9% less than the national average, which can make it an affordable place for tech graduates to live and work.

This is especially true for the city’s top-paying tech jobs. Database administrators earn $95,320 a year here, on average. Computer systems analysts average $90,780. Such incomes are substantially higher than the average $49,180 annual wage for St. Louis workers.

2. Monroe, Michigan

Relative to local costs, Monroe offers one of the highest average salaries for local computer systems analysts in the nation. At $99,710, the occupation pays more than twice the local average pay of $43,900 a year.

Computer network administrators won’t command the same high pay, averaging $75,220 a year. But the cost of living in Monroe is 6% below the national average. So even those in this position can stretch their income.

3. Columbus, Ohio

Columbus residents pay 7% less to cover their basic costs than the national average, and locals earn a decent $50,020 on average. This sets most locals up for a decent living in this Ohio city.

The situation is better for tech workers. Columbus offers some of the best pay for database administrators ($97,280). And computer network architects also do well, averaging $105,560 in annual income.

4. Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids is the best city in the nation to earn a living as a web developer. Local web developers earn $86,120 a year, on average. Considering that Cedar Rapids has a cost of living that’s 10.7% below the national average, web developers who live here may see their incomes go further.

Software systems developers can also earn a decent living here. They make $93,570 on average. That’s easily twice the average wage ($48,410 a year) in Cedar Rapids.

5. Jackson, Michigan

The cost of living in Jackson is 10.4% less than the national average. That helps tech professionals get the most out of their salaries.

Jackson’s average salary of $97,560 for computer systems analysts is the best in the nation for this occupation when adjusted for local living costs. Software systems developers also command high pay here, averaging $100,920. Both types of tech jobs pay close to double the local average salary of $49,890.

Top 5 cities for tech professionals in the West

1. Seattle

Unlike top cities in other regions, Seattle doesn’t offer low living costs. In fact, living here is 10.5% more expensive than the national average. But it might pay to live in a more expensive city.

The Seattle area is a major tech hub and home to Microsoft and Amazon headquarters. Professionals in this industry are paid well. Computer programmers average $129,470 a year, while web developers make $92,280 on average. By comparison, the average wage in this city is $63,120.

2. San Francisco

Next is San Francisco, another huge player in the tech industry thanks to its proximity to Silicon Valley. With local costs nearly 25% above the national average, it’s also one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S.

Despite that, tech professionals will have plenty of job opportunities and chances to earn high incomes here. Software systems developers earn $134,000 a year on average, and web developers make $104,400. Both are far above the average local wage of $69,700 for San Francisco.

3. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Another city that tech professionals could consider is Colorado Springs. The city’s cost of living is about on par with the national average, and the average local wage is $50,050 a year.

Here, a software systems developer earns more than twice that at an average $114,980 a year. Computer systems analysts in Colorado Springs earn $96,410 annually.

4. Kennewick, Washington

Technology majors can head to Kennewick to earn a great living, particularly if they’re interested in being an information security analyst or a computer systems analyst. For the former, the average salary is $109,500 in Kennewick, while local computer systems analysts average $91,810 a year.

These salaries far exceed the city’s average wage of $53,470. And thanks to slightly lower local costs, tech professionals will get a little more bang for their buck.

5. Sacramento, California

Sacramento locals face a cost of living just 2% above the national average. IT professionals in this city earn more than enough to make up for this.

Computer network architects earn $121,550 on average, and information security analysts make $113,750 a year. By comparison, the average wage for Sacramento is less than half that: $55,010.

Top 5 cities for tech professionals in the Northeast

1. Providence, Rhode Island

A typical worker in Providence earns $52,220 on average and pays prices on par with the national average.

Tech professionals earn even more here. Computer network architects and computer systems analysts, in particular, can earn a decent living in Providence, with typical salaries of $117,760 and $95,780, respectively.

2. Hartford, Connecticut

Tech graduates may want to consider finding their next job in Hartford. Computer network architects here typically earn $120,800 a year, and database administrators earn $99,970 a year.

These salaries are well above the local average wage of $60,040, while local costs of living are just 1.5% above the national average. Bottom line: Tech professionals can easily make ends meet while working and living in Hartford.

3. Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania

Next is Bloomsburg, where local workers earn, on average, $46,250 a year. Top tech jobs in this city pay more than twice this average.

Computer systems analysts make $97,990 a year, while computer programmers earn $103,080 annually. Additionally, Bloomsburg has living expenses that are 6.7% less than the national average.

4. Trenton, New Jersey

Trenton isn’t a cheap place to live — it’s 11.3% pricier than the national average. Despite this, it’s a top city for tech professionals who want to land a high-paying job.

A local database administrator earns $107,630 a year. A computer network architect earns even more, with annual earnings at $124,630. Compare that to the average salary in Trenton: $62,980.

5. Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Software systems developers can look to Pittsfield to find optimal pay and living conditions. Local prices are 3.8% below the national average, yet workers in this occupation earn $106,270 a year.

Computer systems analysts can also make a good living here, with an average annual pay of $79,190. By comparison, the average local wage is $49,650 a year.

Top 100 U.S. cities for tech jobs

Below is a list of every city that finished in the top 100 of our rankings. The table also lists: the top tech occupation for each city, its average salary, the cost of living for that city, and the occupation’s salary adjusted for cost of living (real income).

RankCityTop local tech jobTop tech job salaryCost of living, compared to national averageReal income (salary adjusted for cost of living)
1Hinesville, Ga.Computer systems analyst$92,0009.7% below$101,883
2Charlotte, N.C.Software systems developer$112,3206.5% below$120,128
3Hattiesburg, Miss.Computer systems analyst$78,78017.9% below$95,956
4New Bern, N.C.Computer programmer$104,40014.6% below$122,248
5California, Md.Web developer$90,6100.3% above$90,339
6St. LouisDatabase administrator$95,3209.2% below$104,978
7Winston-Salem, N.C.Computer network architect$117,48011.0% below$132,000
8Raleigh, N.C.Database administrator$102,4304.1% below$106,809
9Rocky Mount, N.C.Database administrator$86,27016.1% below$102,825
10Staunton-Waynesboro, Va.Software systems developer$112,40015.2% below$132,547
11Huntsville, Ala.Computer systems analyst$89,47010.6% below$100,078
12Brunswick, Ga.Software systems developer$98,78014.4% below$115,397
13Monroe, Mich.Computer systems analyst$99,7106.0% below$106,074
14Birmingham, Ala.Database administrator$90,91011.2% below$102,376
15AtlantaComputer network architect$114,1003.7% below$118,484
16DallasComputer network architect$117,8000.2% above$117,565
17Columbus, Ga.Database administrator$100,06010.7% below$112,049
18Durham, N.C.Computer network architect$110,0704.8% below$115,620
19Austin, TexasComputer network architect$122,5300% (same as average)$122,530
20SeattleComputer programmer$129,47010.5% above$117,167
21Decatur, Ala.Computer systems analyst$88,28015.7% below$104,721
22Columbus, OhioDatabase administrator$97,2807% below$104,602
23Rome, Ga.Computer programmer$105,91018.9% below$130,592
24Providence, R.I.Computer network architect$117,7600.3% below$118,114
25Lynchburg, Va.Information security analyst$112,13010.2% below$124,866
26Cedar Rapids, IowaWeb developer$86,12010.7% below$96,439
27HoustonSoftware systems developer$110,8301.6% above$109,085
28Hartford, Conn.Computer network architect$120,8001.5% above$119,015
29Greensboro, N.C.Computer network architect$111,54010.2% below$124,209
30Jackson, Mich.Computer systems analyst$97,56010.4% below$108,884
31Gainesville, Ga.Computer systems analyst$94,21011.5% below$106,452
32Burlington, N.C.Computer network administrator$101,84010.6% below$113,915
33San AntonioComputer network architect$118,5105.6% below$125,540
34Winchester, Va.Computer network architect$121,2508.0% below$131,793
35Bloomsburg, Pa.Computer systems analyst$97,9906.7% below$105,027
36Springfield, OhioDatabase administrator$86,08012.1% below$97,929
37Richmond, Va.Computer systems analyst$94,5403.9% below$98,377
38San FranciscoWeb developer$104,40024.7% above$83,721
39Salisbury, Md.Software systems developer$113,19010.7% below$126,753
40Akron, OhioSoftware systems developer$100,37010.0% below$111,522
41Peoria, Ill.Database administrator$92,2409.2% below$101,586
42CincinnatiComputer systems analyst$84,35010.4% below$94,141
43Colorado Springs, Colo.Software systems developer$114,9800.4% below$115,442
44Kennewick, Wash.Information security analyst$109,5002.9% below$112,770
45Trenton, N.J.Database administrator$107,63011.3% above$96,703
46BaltimoreInformation security analyst$115,1707.2% above$107,435
47Sacramento, Calif.Computer network architect$121,5502.0% above$119,167
48Texarkana, TexasComputer systems analyst$83,83012.4% below$95,696
49Portland, Ore.Computer network architect$118,7901.7% above$116,804
50Montgomery, Ala.Information security analyst$95,18010.9% below$106,824
51Brownsville, TexasComputer programmer$100,83016.2% below$120,322
52San Jose, Calif.Computer network architect$146,94027.1% above$115,610
53DetroitComputer network architect$111,0504.1% below$115,798
54Valdosta, Ga.Software systems developer$96,22019.1% below$118,937
55Dayton, OhioComputer systems analyst$86,79010.0% below$96,433
56Springfield, Ill.Computer systems analyst$94,1709.0% below$103,484
57MinneapolisSoftware systems developer$114,8202.3% above$112,239
58DenverSoftware systems developer$115,1306.0% above$108,613
59PhoenixComputer systems analyst$90,6502.9% below$93,357
60Battle Creek, Mich.Computer programmer$107,6209.4% below$118,786
61Beaumont, TexasSoftware systems developer$102,31010.2% below$113,931
62Kingsport, Tenn.Computer systems analyst$86,70014.9% below$101,880
63Warner Robins, Ga.Software systems developer$103,80011.5% below$117,288
64Omaha, Neb.Database administrator$88,3706.6% below$94,615
65Auburn, Ala.Computer programmer$94,46015.4% below$111,655
66Chattanooga, Tenn.Database administrator$87,71010.7% below$98,219
67ChicagoComputer network architect$113,9503.8% above$109,778
68Sierra Vista, Ariz.Computer systems analyst$89,45010.4% below$99,833
69Fresno, Calif.Computer network architect$123,3803.7% below$128,120
70Bloomington, Ill.Computer systems analyst$87,9106.2% below$93,721
71Salem, Ore.Database administrator$89,2604.1% below$93,076
72Las VegasComputer network architect$108,1702.2% below$110,603
73Idaho Falls, IdahoSoftware systems developer$114,51010.2% below$127,517
74Pittsfield, Mass.Software systems developer$106,2703.8% below$110,468
75BostonWeb developer$84,33011.1% above$75,905
76Reading, Pa.Computer systems analyst$89,9903.8% below$93,545
77Washington, D.C.Software systems developer$122,63019.1% above$102,964
78Macon, Ga.Software systems developer$99,96013.8% below$115,963
79Rochester, Minn.Database administrator$92,6006.1% below$98,616
80Kansas City, Mo.Software systems developer$98,5606.3% below$105,187
81Sioux City, IowaComputer systems analyst$85,07011.1% below$95,692
82Nashville, Tenn.Database administrator$87,3905.6% below$92,574
83Springfield, Mass.Computer systems analyst$88,2802.6% below$90,637
84Salt Lake CityDatabase administrator$97,3300.6% below$97,918
85Appleton, Wis.Information security analyst$113,6408.1% below$123,656
86Davenport, IowaComputer network architect$113,8409.8% below$126,208
87Atlantic City, N.J.Computer network architect$116,3103.5% above$112,377
88Santa Barbara, Calif.Computer network architect$126,7409.5% above$115,744
89Charlottesville, Va.Computer systems analyst$94,2502.1% below$96,272
90Ogden, UtahDatabase administrator$95,2904.9% below$100,200
91PhiladelphiaComputer systems analyst$95,1005.9% above$89,802
92Albuquerque, N.M.Computer network architect$112,2603.7% below$116,573
93Cumberland, Md.Software systems developer$99,24011.9% below$112,645
94Midland, TexasComputer programmer$101,5300.8% above$100,724
95Bridgeport, Conn.Computer network architect$123,55020.10% above$102,873
96Memphis, Tenn.Computer network architect$108,5309.0% below$119,264
97Cape Girardeau, Mo.Computer network administrator$80,53017.3% below$97,376
98Blacksburg, Va.Database administrator$87,92011.5% below$99,345
99Longview, TexasComputer programmer$100,6509.1% below$110,726
100Lawrence, Kan.Computer programmer$120,8107.3% below$130,324

Methodology: This study used annual median wages (calculated as hourly mean wage multiplied by 2,080 hours) in 350 U.S. metropolitan areas, per Occupational Employment Statistics reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for eight different computer and IT occupations: computer network architects, computer programmers, computer systems analysts, database administrators, information security analysts, computer network administrators, software systems developers, and web developers. All wage data is for May 2017 and was released in March 2018.

The wages in a metropolitan area were normalized for the regional price parity (RPP), a measure of local costs of living reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, to compare real incomes between cities and occupations more accurately. RPPs were estimated for 2016 and released in May 2018.

We compared and scored RPP-adjusted incomes for each occupation, across all cities surveyed. Lastly, the city’s scores for each occupation were aggregated and averaged to generate the total rankings listed here.

Please note that U.S. cities were excluded from this list for which an RPP number was missing, or if they didn’t have median annual wages reported for at least two of the eight occupations considered here.

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5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: 1. Fixed rates from 2.99% APR to 6.99% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.25% APR to 6.53% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.25% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 0.12% plus 2.38% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. See eligibility details. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the interest savings are applied to the principal loan balance, which may help pay the loan down faster. Enrolling in autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score.Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

6 Important Disclosures for PenFed.

PenFed Disclosures

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 2.89%-4.78% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.15%-4.42% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.

7 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

All credit products are subject to credit approval.

Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.

As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.

  1. Checking your rate with Laurel Road only requires a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
  2. Savings vary based on rate and term of your existing and refinanced loan(s). Refinancing to a longer term may lower your monthly payments, but may also increase the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Refinancing to a shorter term may increase your monthly payments, but may lower the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Review your loan documentation for total cost of your refinanced loan.
  3. After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship. During any period of forbearance interest will continue to accrue. At the end of the forbearance period, any unpaid accrued interest will be capitalized and be added to the remaining principle amount of the loan.
  4. Automatic Payment (“AutoPay”) Discount: if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically from a bank account, the interest rate will decrease by 0.25% and will increase back if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically from the borrower’s bank account. The 0.25% AutoPay discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the discount is applied to the principal to help pay the loan down faster.

Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.

Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.

Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.

Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.


This information is current as of January 4, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.

8 Important Disclosures for Nelnet.

Nelnet Disclosures

Credit Score

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.

Auto Debit

Interest rate reduction of .25% for automatically withdrawn payments from any designated bank account (“auto debit discount”). Auto debit discount applies when full payments (including both principal and interest) are automatically drafted from a bank account. The auto debit discount will continue to apply during periods of approved forbearance or deferment if the auto debit discount was in effect at the time of receiving the forbearance or deferment. Auto debit discount will remain on the account unless (1) the automatic deduction of payments is canceled or (2) there are three consecutive automatic deductions returned for insufficient funds at any time during the term of the loan.

Cosigner Release

Request for the cosigner to be released can be made by the borrower after 24 consecutive, on-time payments (not later than 15 days after the due date) of principal and interest have been made. Borrowers in deferment or forbearance must make 24 consecutive, on-time payments after re-entering repayment to qualify for the release. The borrower must be current on their payments at the time of the cosigner release request and show the ability to assume full responsibility of the loan(s) by meeting certain credit criteria on their own at the time of the request, including, but not limited to, being a U.S. citizen or having permanent residency in the United States, being the age of majority in their permanent state of residency, providing sufficient proof of income, and having no student loans in default.

Hardship Protection

Hardship forbearance allows you to temporarily suspend payments on your loan(s) while you are experiencing financial hardship. It is offered in increments of two or three months, with a maximum of 12 months available, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. If your loan(s) are in good standing at the time of your request, you will be eligible for forbearance in increments of two monthly payments. If, at the time of your initial request, your loan(s) are considered past-due, you will be eligible for forbearance in increments of three monthly payments. Future increments of forbearance, up to a life-time maximum of 12 months, may be requested upon the completion of making a certain number of principal and interest payments. During the two- or three-month forbearance period, you will not be required to make payments; however, any unpaid interest will continue to accrue and will be capitalized (added) onto your principal balance at the end of the forbearance period. You may continue making payments in any amount without penalty during the forbearance period. Your loan repayment term will be extended by the number of months in the forbearance period.

Loan Eligibility

Refinance Loan Eligibility: You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security number, and be the legal age to enter into binding contracts in your permanent state/territory of residency, or be at least 17 years of age and apply with a cosigner who is at least the age of majority in their state/territory. Non-residents can apply with an eligible cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security number. The student loans you refinance must be in their grace or repayment period, and you can no longer be enrolled in school on a half-time or more basis. You must have at least $5,000 in student loans to refinance. You, or your eligible cosigner, must have an annual income of at least $36,000. Approval subject to credit review. Other credit criteria may apply.

Refinance Loan Limits:

  • Minimum loan amount: $5,000
  • Maximum student loan limits:
    • $125,000 for borrowers with an undergraduate degree.
    • $175,000 for borrowers with a graduate or doctorate degree.
    • $175,000 for borrowers with an MBA or graduate law degree.
    • $500,000 for borrowers with a graduate health professions degree.

Loan Refinancing Risks: Federal student loans include benefits that may not be offered with private student loans. Carefully review any potential benefits that may be lost by refinancing federal and private education loans, such as the loss of any remaining grace periods. To learn more about what to take into consideration when refinancing federal student loans with private education loans, click here

Interest Rates

Selecting ‘Get Started’ 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.

Refinance Loan

Fixed interest rates range from 2.99% APR (with auto debit discount) to 6.25% APR (without auto debit discount). Your interest rate will depend on your (and if applicable, your cosigner’s) credit qualifications. The fixed interest rate will remain the same for the life of the loan.

Variable interest rates range from 2.00% APR (with auto debit discount) to 5.63% APR (without auto debit discount). Your interest rate will depend on your (and if applicable, your cosigner’s) credit qualifications. Variable rates may increase after consummation. The variable interest rate is equal to the One-Month London Interbank Offered Rate (“One-Month LIBOR”) plus a margin. The One-Month LIBOR in effect for each monthly period (from the first day of the month through and including the last day of the same month) will be the highest One-Month LIBOR published in The Wall Street Journal “Money Rates” table on the twenty-fifth (25th) day (or if such day is not a business day, the next business day thereafter) of the month immediately preceding such calendar month. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for a variable interest rate loan will change monthly on the first day of each month if the One-Month LIBOR index changes. This may result in higher monthly payments. The current One-Month LIBOR index is 0.15% as of 5/4/2021.

The lowest interest rate for each loan type requires automatically withdrawn (“auto debit”) payments, a five-year repayment term, and the borrower making immediate principal and interest payments. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rate. The interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) may be higher depending upon (1) the credit history of the borrower and, if applicable, the cosigner, (2) the repayment option and loan term selected, (3) the loan type selected, and (4) the highest level of education attained. If approved, applicants will be notified of the rate qualified for within the stated range.

*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. **Your actual savings may vary based on interest rates, outstanding balances, remaining repayment terms, and other factors.