How to Get or Refinance Maine Student Loans

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Refinance rates with Laurel Road start at 1.89%.

Checking your rates won’t affect your score.

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Attending college in Maine can get pricey pretty fast. According to The Institute for College Access & Success, the state’s Class of 2018 borrowers left school with the country’s eighth-highest average student debt ($32,676).

Whether you need help paying for college without going deep into debt, have a goal to pay off student loans faster or are struggling to make payments on the Maine student loans you already have, these resources can help.

For current students: How to get Maine student loans

For borrowers no longer in school: How to refinance Maine student loans

How to get Maine student loans

As you’re working on your plan to pay for college, start with funds that don’t require you to borrow. Grants and scholarships are smart sources of money for college, and college savings should be also drawn on before resorting to Maine student loans.

Still, over half of the state’s 2018 college graduates (61%) left school with student debt, and you might find yourself needing to borrow at some point, too.

Maine student loans: Class of 2018
Average debt at graduation$32,676
Percent of students that graduate with debt61%
National ranking for amount of debt8
Source: The Institute for College Access & Success

The three main borrowing options are:

1. Maine student loans
2. Federal student loans in Maine
3. Private student loans in Maine

Which Maine student loans you choose can have a big impact on your debt costs and repayment options, so choose wisely. Here’s an overview of the specific Maine student loans available in each category.

Maine student loans

Maine is one state that offers several of its own student loan options. These loans can not only pay for college, but they can also put borrowers ahead in repayment — that’s thanks to benefits like lower student loan rates, no-interest loans and even student loan forgiveness or repayment assistance.

These loans are offered through the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME), and they require students to submit both the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a separate application specific to the loan.

These Maine student loans could provide a smart way to get the college funds you need while paying less. Here’s an overview, with the rates and terms as of the 2020-2021 school year:

LoanFor…Details
The Maine LoanUndergraduate and graduate students who are Maine residents and meet credit and income requirements● Loan limits are $1,000 up to the full cost of attendance (minus other aid), with no annual or aggregate loan limits
● The Maine Loan’s fixed interest rates range from 4.49% to 5.99%, depending on the selected repayment plan (can be lowered with 0.25% interest rate reduction for autopay)
The Maine Medical LoanMaine residents and out-of-state medical students who meet credit requirements● Loan amounts of $1,000 up to the full cost of attendance (minus other aid), with no annual or aggregate loan limits
● Interest rates ranging from 4.49% to 5.99%, depending on the selected repayment plan (can be lowered with 0.25% interest rate reduction for autopay)
● Option to defer while in school and up to 4 years during residency or internship
Educators for Maine ProgramMaine students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in child care and education● Borrowers can qualify for forgiveness with completion of eligible work at a Maine child care center or school
● Requirements for these merit-based loans include submitting an essay, full-time enrollment (for undergraduates) and a GPA of 3.0 or higher
● Provides loans of $2,000 to $4,000 a year, with a fixed interest rate of 5%
Maine Dental Education Loan ProgramMaine residents pursuing a career in dentistry● Eligible for forgiveness through full-time primary dental care in underserved areas of Maine
● Loan funds up to $25,000 a year (up to $100,000 total)
Maine Health Professions Loan ProgramMaine residents pursuing medical, dental or veterinary education● Need-based loans
● Loan amounts up to $25,000 a year (limited to $100,000 total)
● Zero interest in repayment when working 20 hours or more in underserved areas of Maine (otherwise, interest rates of 3% to 8% will apply)
The Maine Medical Education Foundation LoanMedical students who are Maine residents● Amounts from $2,000 up to the full cost of education
● No interest accrued while in school (at least half-time enrollment)
● Fixed rates of 1% to 5% during residency (depending on year), with a 5% interest rate in repayment
● 10-year loan terms with the option to defer for up to five years post-graduation
Maine Veterinary Medicine Loan ProgramMaine residents pursuing a veterinary career● Need-based loans
● Eligible for forgiveness with qualifying work in an area of Maine with a high need for veterinary medicine
● Without forgiveness, the student loan interest rate is 5% with a 10-year repayment period
● Loan amounts of up to $25,000 a year (limited at $100,000 over four years)

Federal student loans in Maine

Filing your FAFSA is important for Maine student loans, and it’s also required to get federal student loans. Once you file the FAFSA, you’ll be notified by your Maine college of the student aid and loans extended to you.

It’s wise to limit borrowing as much as possible and to compare different state and federal student loans to find the option that offers your best deal.

Borrowers should also be aware that federal student loans provide important benefits they may not get with state student loans — these include:

  • Access to income-driven repayment plans
  • Federal student loan forgiveness programs
  • Ability to pause payments through forbearance or deferment (though some private lenders offer economic hardship forbearance as well)

Among federal student loans, direct subsidized loans provide the best deal compared to the other options, thanks to an interest subsidy that pays all interest while you’re in school or the loans are otherwise deferred. Direct unsubsidized loans will be your next best option, thanks to lower interest rates and loan fees.

Federal student loanWho can use it?Interest Rate (2020-2021)One-time loan feeInterest paid for you during defermentAnnual loan limit
SubsidizedUndergraduate students with a demonstrated financial need2.75%1.059%YesUp to $5,500 per school year
UnsubsidizedUndergraduate students2.75%1.059%NoUp to $7,500 per school year for dependent students
Up to $12,500 per school year for independent students
Unsubsidized (for graduate students)Students working toward a graduate or professional degree4.30%1.059%NoUp to $20,500 per school year
PLUSGraduate students and parents of undergraduate students5.30%4.236%NoCost of attendance, after all other student aid is applied
All information current as of July 21, 2020. Source: Federal Student Aid

Private student loans in Maine

A final educational borrowing option is private student loans, which are offered by banks, credit unions and online lenders.

Private student loans usually can’t beat the affordability and benefits provided by federal and Maine student loans. You’ll also need a good credit score and a solid financial situation — or a cosigner who meets that criteria — to get approved for most private student loans in Maine.

Even so, private student loans can make sense for some situations when federal loans or other options fall short. But to make these private loans work for you, you’ll need to shop around and compare terms and rates to find the best private student loans for you.

Here are some private student loan features to compare:

  • Rates, fees and other costs: Watch out for annual percentage rates (APRs) and interest rates, and don’t overlook the difference between variable and fixed rates. You can even collect custom quotes to get a more accurate picture of which lender can offer your best deal.
  • Loan terms and repayment plans: Watch for loan terms that match your student debt goals, whether that’s five years or 25 years. Check each lender’s in-school deferment options, which can range from full deferment to immediate full repayment, with several options in between.
  • Borrower protections: Private student loans won’t offer the same robust borrower protections you’d get with federal student loans, but many lenders do provide benefits like hardship forbearance or unemployment protection.

Once you’ve identified the top features you’re looking for in a private student loan, it’s time to compare offers. A smart place to start your search for Maine student loans is with The Loan for ME resource from FAME, which lists several local private lenders that offer certified education loans.

Here are some private student loans worth taking a look at:

Bath Savings● Borrow at least $1,500
● Variable interest rates starting between 3.00% and 6.75%, with origination fees of 2% to 6% (rates current as of July 21, 2020)
● Range of repayment options such as full deferment, interest-only payments or full immediate repayment
CPort Credit Union● Loan balances from $2,000 up to the lower of the full attendance cost minus aid or $40,000 per year
● Variable interest rates starting between 3.77% to 6.77%, plus an origination fee of 2% to 6% (rates current as of July 21, 2020)
Infinity Federal Credit Union● Loan balances from $1,500 up to $40,000 per year (loan cannot exceed attendance costs minus aid)
● Variable interest rates starting between 3.25% and 7.25% (rates current as of July 21, 2020)
● No origination fee
University Credit Union● Loan balances from $1,500 up to $40,000 per year
● No origination fee
College Ave Student Loans● Loan balances from $1,000 up to 100% of the cost of attendance
● Fixed and variable interest rates ranging from 3.24% (fixed) and 3.34% (variable), based on current offers
● Terms of five, 8, 10 or 15 years, with a range of repayment and deferment options
CommonBond● Loan options for undergraduate, graduate and professional students
● Terms of five, 10 or 15 years, with a range of repayment and deferment options

How to refinance Maine student loans

If you already have Maine student loans to repay, you might be interested in consolidating or refinancing them into a single loan to simplify your debt:

  • A direct consolidation loan can be used to consolidate federal student loans, replacing them with one loan with a weighted average rate of the previous debt. You can estimate your rate with our weighted average interest rate calculator.
  • Student loan refinancing issues a new private loan to replace your previous student loans. The new student loan can have new terms, including a different (ideally, lower) interest rate.

Combining loans through a direct consolidation loan is fairly simple, but refinancing with a private lender can be worth considering, too.

Before resorting to consolidation or refinancing…
See if you’re eligible for student loan repayment assistance programs from Maine’s government or your employer. New Maine residents could also score a loan payment reimbursement via the Opportunity Maine Tax Credit.

First, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of refinancing student loans to be sure it’s a good move for you. To qualify, you’ll need good credit and other solid financials (or a cosigner who does).

You should also note that refinancing with a private lender will also mean you’ll lose federal student loan benefits, such as access to different repayment plans or the option to pursue federal student loan forgiveness.

On the upside, refinancing Maine student loans can help you switch to a new lender, lower your student loan interest rate or pay less toward your student debt. Our student loan refinancing calculator (try it, below) can give you a preview of your potential savings. If you have a stable financial situation — one where you don’t think you’ll need to access federal loan benefits like forbearance or income-driven repayment — and are looking for an opportunity to lower your student debt costs, refinancing could be a smart move.

Student Loan Refinancing Calculator

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Finding a Maine student loan refinance lender

All of this requires finding your best student loan refinancing lender, of course, so figure out what you want in a refinance loan and research your options. One option is choosing a Maine student loan refinance lender certified by FAME.

Here are some Maine student loan refinance lenders, including some nationally available options, to get you started (all rates are current as of July 21, 2020):

Bath Savings● Fixed interest rates between 4.75% and 9.00% (rates current as of July 21, 2020)
● Origination fee of 2% to 6%
● Option to add a qualified co-applicant to get a better rate and lower fee
Maine Savings Federal Credit Union● Variable interest rates starting between 3.50% to 8.25%, with the option to enroll in autopay for a 0.25% rate discount (rates current as of July 21, 2020)
● Origination fee of 2% to 6%
Seaboard Federal Credit Union● Fixed interest rates between 5.00% and 9.00% and variable interest rates starting between 3.75% and 7.50% (rates current as of July 21, 2020)
● No origination fee
University Credit Union● Fixed interest rates between 5.25% and 9.25% and variable interest rates starting between 3.25% and 7.25% (rates current as of July 21, 2020)
● No origination fee
● Must be a credit union member
Earnest● New student loan lengths of five to 20 years
● APRs start at 2.98% (fixed) and 1.99% (variable), including a 0.25% rate discount for autopay enrollment
● No origination fee
Laurel Road● Choose a loan term of five, seven, 10, 15 or 20 years
● Rates start at 2.50% (fixed) and 1.89% (variable), including a 0.25% rate discount for autopay enrollment
● No origination fees

Note: Student Loan Hero has independently collected the above information related to student loan interest rates and terms. The financial institutions mentioned have neither provided nor reviewed the information shared in this article.

Andrew Pentis contributed to this report.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 9 lenders of 2021!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
1.89% – 6.15%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Splash

1.99% – 5.64%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

1.99% – 6.84%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit CommonBond

1.91% – 5.25%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Lendkey

2.25% – 6.53%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

1.89% – 5.90%6Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Laurel Road

2.39% – 6.01%Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Elfi

2.15% – 4.42%7Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit PenFed

2.00% – 5.63%8Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Nelnet Bank

Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.

Splash Financial Disclosures

Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount

The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.

To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of May 1, 2021.


2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application..

Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.49% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.34% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of October 26, 2020, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.

Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.

The information provided on this page is updated as of 10/26/2020. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.

© 2020 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.


3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. ‍All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.


4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

LendKey Disclosures

Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it  endorse,  any educational institution.

Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of  5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.

As of 02/17/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.91% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.95% APR – 7.63% Fixed APR with AutoPay.


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 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%.

KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
 


7 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.


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.