Sallie Mae student loans review December 2018 | finder.com
sallie mae student loans

Sallie Mae student loans review

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Student loans that you decide how to pay back.

Sallie Mae was founded in 1973 as the Student Loan Marketing Association to support the Guaranteed Student Loan Program set forth in the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Today, Sallie Mae has helped more than 30 million Americans plan, pay and save for education through flexible private loans. No matter which Sallie Mae student loan you select, you can look forward to repayment flexibility.

What makes Sallie Mae student loans unique?

Sallie Mae provides a range of flexible loans to pay for undergraduate and graduate education. They’ve expanded their education-related funding to include K-12, dental and medical residency, and bar study loans.

Unlike many student loan providers in the market, you have some say in how you repay your loan through competitive fixed or variable rates. Loans also come with interest rate reductions with autopay, low fees, deferment and helpful tools to track your financial health.

What students loans does Sallie Mae offer?

Sallie Mae student loans are designed to provide funding when your savings, scholarships and federal student aid fall short. Your wide range of loan options includes:

  • Undergraduate student loans. Fund your two- or four-year degree or pay for a certificate program.
  • Career-training student loans. Pay for professional or technical training that doesn’t necessarily result in a degree.
  • Parent loans. Support your favorite students with their undergraduate or graduate studies.
  • Graduate and MBA student loans. Get a loan to pursue a master’s, doctorate or law degree with terms as long as 15 years and variable APRs starting at 4.37%.
  • Health professions graduate loans. Find options customized for nursing, pharmacy and graduate medical degrees.
  • Dental and medical school loans. Fund the costs of pursuing your dental or medical studies.
  • Medical and dental residency student loans. Pay for the fees that come with your residency — like exams, travel and moving costs.
  • Bar study loans for law students. Cover everyday expenses while you study for the bar.
  • K-12 loans. Get help with sending your tots or teens to private school.

You can typically borrow from $1,000 up to 100% of your school-certified cost up to $200,000 with repayment terms of up to 20 years.

About to finish medical school? Check out Sallie Mae’s residency relocation loans

Sallie Mae is one of a handful of student loan providers that offers financing for career-related expenses after you leave school. Its residency relocation loans for medical and dental students cover the cost of traveling, studying for and taking board exams, as well as interviews and moving costs associated with a residency.

Final year M.D., D.O., D.V.M., V.M.D., or D.P.M. students can apply for a medical residency relocation loan and D.D.S. or D.M.D. students can apply for a dental residency relocation loan. Already graduated? You can still qualify if you graduated in the past 12 months.

Variable rates from 5.03% to 11.33% APR for both types of loans and students can defer repayments for the first 36 months after graduation. You can apply for cosigner release after making only 12 on-time repayments in a row.

Compare Sallie Mae to top online student loan providers

Rates last updated December 15th, 2018
Name Product Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR Product Description
Earnest Student Loan Refinancing Variable Rate (w/ autopay)
650
None
2.46% to 6.97% (variable)
Get a tailored interest rate and repayment plan with no hidden fees.
Credible Student Loan Refinancing
Good to excellent credit
None
2.57%(As low as ) (variable)
Get prequalified offers from top student loan refinancing providers in one place.
Splash Financial Student Loan Refinancing
700
$300,000
3.75% (starting at) (variable)
Save on your student loans with this market-leading newcomer.
SoFi Student Loan Refinancing Variable Rate (with Autopay)
650
full balance of your qualified education loans
2.470% to 6.990% (variable)
A leader in student loan refinancing, SoFi can help you refinance your loans and pay them off sooner.
PenFed Student Loan Refinancing
700
$300,000
3.75%–7.03% (fixed)
Straightforward refinancing with competitive rates.
Purefy Student Loan Refinancing
620
$300,000
2.82% to 8.42% (variable)
Refinance all types of student loans — including federal and parent PLUS loans.
LendingTree Student Loans
Good to excellent credit
Varies by lender
3% (As low as) (fixed)
Compare multiple student loans and student loan refinancing options in one place.

Compare up to 4 providers

What are the benefits of Sallie Mae student loans?

You’ll find many benefits beyond competitive fixed and variable rates on loans to fund up to 100% of your education costs.

  • Autopay discount. Get a 0.25% interest rate reduction on your loan by signing up with monthly automatic payments.
  • Fixed or interest-only repayments while you study. While you’re in school and for six months after graduation, choose to pay either a fixed amount to avoid unnecessary interest or your accrued monthly interest only. Your full payments kick in only after your grace period expires.
  • Defer payments while in school. You can choose to defer payments altogether while in school and for six months after graduation.
  • No loan origination fee. Pay no origination fee if you fulfill your complete loan ahead of your repayment schedule.
  • Track your FICO score. You and any cosigner can track your FICO score online for free.

What to watch out for

A student loan from Sallie Mae could be just what you need to fill any funding gaps, but there are a few potential drawbacks.

  • Potentially high rates. Though it has a history of government loans, Sallie Mae was fully privatized in 2004. Because of this, their rates are higher than federal loans, especially if you have poor credit.
  • May require a cosigner. If your credit score is lacking, you may be required to have a cosigner — often for up to a year before any option to release them.
  • Limited customer service. For any of their loan options, support is available by phone Monday to Saturday during working hours only. Otherwise, you have the option of consulting an online FAQ.

Am I eligible for a Sallie Mae student loan?

Apply for a Sallie Mae student loan if:

  • You’re at least 18 years old
  • You’re a permanent resident of the US

What do I need to apply?

Though specific information required will vary by loan, what you’ll need to submit includes:

  • Your complete name, residential address and Social Security number.
  • Your enrollment status, course of study and degree.
  • The academic period of enrollment.
  • Your employer’s name and your income.
  • Financial information, such as rent payments and savings.
  • Details of two personal contacts other than your possible cosigner.

If the application includes a cosigner, you’ll need to submit similar information for them as well.

I got a Sallie Mae student loan. Now what?

Getting your loan is just the start. Keep on top of your payments to avoid unnecessary fees or penalties.

  • Consider in-school payments. Interest starts accruing from the very first month of your loan. Get a head start and lower the overall cost of your loan by making payments while you’re still in school.
  • Set up autopay. Avoid late payments with automatic deductions from your bank account. With Sallie Mae, autopay also makes you eligible for a discount on your overall interest rate.
  • Customer service. For loan-related assistance, call Sallie Mae at 1-877-279-7172.

Bottom line

Sallie Mae’s tailor-made student loans can suit most educational needs, especially if you have the credit score to qualify for a low interest rate. However, you may need to have a cosigner and will need to provide two extra references when you apply. With so many options, you’ll want to compare other potential lenders before you decide.

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