Sallie Mae Student Loans Review

*Last updated May 25, 2022.

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Sallie Mae® has developed a wide range of private education loans and other education-related services to help make students' dreams of higher education a reality.

Lowest rates shown include the auto debit discount.

Why Get a Student Loan from Sallie Mae?

Students and families can invest in their education with private education loans designed to responsibly bridge the gap between personal resources and federal student aid.

Private education loans:

Plan for College is a one-stop resource offering free tools, calculators, and information to help students and families put a plan in place to pay for college.

  • Plan for College resources on SallieMae.com
  • Scholarship Search Tool by Sallie Mae

Sallie Mae is committed to serving their borrowers so they can successfully pay their loans and build their credit.

  • 100% U.S. based loan originations and loan servicing representatives
  • Financial literacy resources
  • 24/7 account self-service available online and by phone
  • Team dedicated to helping our borrowers in the military
 
  SM_Blue_Alt
 Loans Student
Rates (APR) 1.87%-12.85%1
Loan Types Variable & Fixed
Terms 10-15 years2
Degrees Undergrad
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What Are the Benefits of a Sallie Mae's Smart Option Student Loan?

Sallie Mae has some of the most competitive interest rates for student loans (as of May 25, 2022). Variable rates for the Smart Option Student Loan for undergraduates start from 1.87% APR to 11.97% APR.1 Lowest rates shown include the auto debit discount.

In terms of repayment, Sallie Mae's Smart Option Student Loan has a rather unique offering that may appeal to students who are concerned with landing full-time employment right after finishing school. Students who maintain their Sallie Mae loans in good standing can request to make 12 monthly interest-only payments instead of full principal and interest payments after they finish school.3

Qualifying Smart Option Student Loan customers may request the Graduated Repayment Period during the six billing periods before and the 12 billing periods immediately after the loan first enters principal and interest repayment3. However, it’s important to note that this option will not extend the loan term. That means later monthly payments will be higher, as the total loan cost will increase.

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Who Is Eligible For Sallie Mae Student Loans?

Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan® for Undergraduate Students:

  • Students enrolled, accepted for enrollment, or previously enrolled at an eligible degree-granting institution within the last 365 days4
  • Students attending school full-time, half-time, or less than half-time, or taking prerequisite classes
  • Students attending summer classes or continuing education classes at a degree-granting school
  • Students who still need funds after maximizing grants, scholarships, and federal student loans

What are the Rates and Fees for a Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan?

Student borrowers may select from fixed or variable interest rates.

  • Smart Option Student Loans for undergraduate students have variable rates that start from 1.87% APR to 11.97% APR1 and fixed rates that range from 3.75% APR - 12.85% APR.1 Lowest rates shown include the auto debit discount.

Note: All rates as of May 25, 2022.

The Smart Option Student Loan for undergraduate students has a 10-153 year repayment term that will vary based on cumulative amount of borrower's loans that are serviced by Sallie Mae. Student borrowers may select from interest-only or $25 fixed monthly payments3 while still in school, or they may defer payments until six months after graduation.1

Qualifying Smart Option Student Loan customers can request to make interest-only payments for a period of 12 months after finishing school.3

There is no penalty for early payment.5

Does Sallie Mae Offer Discounts for Student Loans?

Yes, Borrowers who enroll in and make monthly payments by auto payment can receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction.1


Should You Apply for a Student Loan from Sallie Mae?

If you’re looking for a lender with a strong history in the student loan space, you can’t get much better than Sallie Mae. With competitive interest rates and multiple repayment options, student loans from Sallie Mae are definitely worth your consideration.

If you'd like to learn more, go to Sallie Mae or click below.

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  Student
Variable Rate (APR) 1.87% - 11.97%1
Fixed Rates (APR) 3.75% - 12.85%1
Application Fee
Origination Fee
Disbursement Fee
Pre-Payment Fee 5

Autopay Discount

 (0.25)1
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Sallie Mae Student Loans Disclosures

1 Lowest rates shown include the auto debit discount.  Smart Option Student Loans for undergraduate students have variable rates that start from 1.87% APR to 11.97% APR and fixed rates that range from 3.75% APR to 12.85% APR. Interest is charged starting when funds are sent to the school. With the Fixed and Deferred Repayment Options, the interest rate is higher than with the Interest Repayment Option and Unpaid Interest is added to the loan’s Current Principal at the end of the grace/separation period. Payments may be required during the grace/separation period depending on the repayment option selected. Variable rates may increase over the life of the loan. Advertised variable rates reflect the starting range of rates and may vary outside of that range over the life of the loan. Advertised APRs assume a $10,000 loan to a borrower who attends school for 4 years and has no prior Sallie Mae loans. The borrower or cosigner must enroll in auto debit through Sallie Mae to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction benefit. This benefit applies only during active repayment for as long as the Current Amount Due or Designated Amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. It may be suspended during forbearance or deferment.

2 Examples of typical costs for a $10,000 Smart Option Student Loan with the most common fixed rate, fixed repayment option, 6-month separation period, and two disbursements: For a borrower with no prior loans and a 4-year in-school period, it works out to a 9.09% fixed APR, 51 payments of $25.00, 119 payments of $165.12 and one payment of $120.52, for a Total Loan Cost of $21,044.80. For a borrower with $20,000 in prior loans and a 2-year in-school period, it works out to a 9.47% fixed APR, 27 payments of $25.00, 179 payments of $119.57 and one payment of $55.39 for a total loan cost of $22,133.42. Loans that are subject to a $50 minimum principal and interest payment amount may receive a loan term that is less than 10 years.

With GRP, you can make interest-only payments instead of full principal and interest payments for the first 12 months of your repayment period or the first 12 months after your GRP request is granted, whichever is later. At the time of your GRP request, your loan must be current. A borrower may request GRP only during the six billing periods immediately preceding and the twelve billing periods immediately after the loan would normally begin requiring full principal and interest payments. GRP does not extend the loan term. If you're approved for GRP, the Current Amount Due that you have to pay each month after it ends will be higher than it otherwise would have been without GRP, and your total loan cost will increase.

No more than 365 days can pass from the loan period end date to the first disbursement of the loan. At the end of the request, the student must be enrolled, intending to enroll or have graduated. The student must have been enrolled during the prior enrollment period for which the loan is requested and must not have withdrawn with no intention of re-enrolling, as verified by the school.

5  Although we do not charge a penalty or fee if you prepay your loan, any prepayment will be applied as outlined in your promissory note—first to Unpaid Fees and costs, then to Unpaid Interest, and then to Current Principal.

Nitro is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan and Sallie Mae Parent Loan customers.

Information advertised valid as of May 25, 2022.

Sallie Mae, the Sallie Mae logo and other Sallie Mae names and logos are service marks or registered service marks of Sallie Mae Bank.

SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries, including Sallie Mae Bank, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.


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Nitro College is not a lender and makes no representations or warranties about your eligibility for a particular loan or financial aid. The rates and terms listed for each lender are estimates and will change depending on your credit profile and other information you provide to lenders. Lenders are solely responsible for any and all credit decisions, loan approval and rates, terms and other costs of the loan offered and may vary based upon the lender you select. Nitro College receives compensation from lenders that appear on this site.