Sallie Mae student loans review April 2019 |
sallie mae student loans

Sallie Mae student loans review

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

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.

Sallie Mae personal loans

Compare Sallie Mae to top online student loan providers

Updated April 26th, 2019
Name Product Min. Credit Score Maximum Loan Amount APR
Good to excellent credit
Starting at 2.8%
Get prequalified offers from top student loan refinancing providers in one place.
3.39% to 6.69%
Lower your student debt costs with manageable payments, affordable rates and flexible terms.
2.5% to 7.89%
Get a tailored interest rate and repayment plan with no hidden fees.
Full balance of your qualified education loans
2.5% to 7.11%
A leader in student loan refinancing, SoFi can help you refinance your loans and pay them off sooner.
Starting at 3.75%
Save on your student loans with this market-leading newcomer.
3.01% to 8.61%
Refinance all types of student loans — including federal and parent PLUS loans.

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.

Frequently asked questions

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site