Sallie Mae is one of the biggest student loan providers out there, so it should come as no surprise that it services its own student loans. This means it handles all aspects of borrowing and repayments. But watch out for issues changing your repayment plan: Former borrowers complain about getting the runaround from customer service.
How do repayments work with Sallie Mae?
Sallie Mae offers multiple ways to pay off your loan, including through autopay, online and over the phone. If it’s your first time making a repayment, have your bank account and routing numbers on hand before you get started.
You can make an online repayment to Sallie Mae by logging in to your online account and adding your bank account information.
This option allows you to schedule repayments in advance and pay from multiple bank accounts, giving you more flexibility than auto debit. It’s also the simplest way to make extra repayments, even if you have auto debit.
You can manage your account through your phone or Apple Watch by downloading the Sallie Mae app on the App Store or Google Play.
Repaying through the mobile app works a lot like repaying online: All transactions go through the day they’re scheduled — though it might take between two and four days to show up on your bank account.
You can repay your Sallie Mae loan by calling 800-472-5543. It’s an automated system, so you can call at any time to make a repayment immediately or schedule one for the future.
You need to provide your bank account and routing numbers each time you call. And like with online and mobile repayments, it’s processed the same day it’s scheduled for.
You can send Sallie Mae student loan repayments as a check or money order to the following address:
Sallie Mae PO Box 8459 Philadelphia, PA 19101-8459
Cosigners have a separate payment address:
Sallie Mae PO Box 8377 Philadelphia, PA 19101-8377
Make it payable to Sallie Mae and include your remittance slip and loan number with your repayment. If you have special instructions, include those separately — Sallie Mae won’t process anything written on the check, money order or remittance slip.
Mail your repayment between seven and 10 business days before your due date to make sure it has enough time to be processed — otherwise you could be hit with a late fee.
You can add your Sallie Mae student loan repayments to any bill pay service you have with your bank or budgeting app. Make sure it includes your 16-digit loan group number and sends repayments to the following address:
Sallie Mae PO Box 8459 Philadelphia, PA 19101-8459
Sallie Mae recommends that you tell the bill pay service to mail your repayment at least seven to 10 business days before it’s due to ensure it’s processed in time.
Sallie Mae considers all repayments more than 15 days past due to be late. Being late can disqualify you from certain benefits like auto debit enrollment and can also hurt your credit score.
How do I pay off my loan early?
The simplest way to pay off your Sallie Mae student loans early is by logging in to your online account and making an additional repayment. You can also make extra repayments over the phone or by mail. If you don’t provide any instructions, your extra repayment applies to costs in the following order:
If you want Sallie Mae to process additional repayments differently, you can mail in written instructions on how you’d like them to be allocated on a separate piece of paper along with a check or money order. Make sure to include your loan number on both your payment and your payment instructions.
How do I log in to my Sallie Mae account?
Follow these steps to log in to your Sallie Mae account:
Go to the Sallie Mae website.
Click Log in at the top of the page.
Enter your username and password and click Log in to loans.
If you don’t remember your username or password, you can have it sent to your email by clicking either Forgot username? or Forgot password?
To retrieve your username, enter either your Social Security number or the 10-digit customer identification number on your billing statement. Write your birthdate and click Continue.
To retrieve your password, enter your username, birthdate and either the last four digits of your Social Security number or your customer identification number. Then click Continue.
How to contact Sallie Mae customer service
You can contact Sallie Mae customer service by phone or mail. While it has one number for all phone correspondence, it has several different addresses depending on the issue.
How to contact Sallie Mae by phone
You can get in touch with Sallie Mae’s customer service team by calling:
While you can make repayments at any time, Sallie Mae’s customer service team is only available during the following hours:
Monday through Thursday: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET
Friday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET
How to contact Sallie Mae by mail
Sallie Mae PO Box 3319 Wilmington, DE 19804-4319
Sallie Mae PO Box 3229 Wilmington, DE 19804-0229
Sallie Mae requests that you send any documents supporting your claim along with your letter.
How to contact Sallie Mae about a defaulted loan
Think you’re in danger of defaulting? Already have? Sallie Mae recommends that you reach out to its customer service line as soon as possible to discuss your options.
The company might be willing to work with you to come up with an adjusted repayment plan, especially if your financial situation has changed since you first took out your loan.
How to refinance your Sallie Mae student loans
You can refinance your Sallie Mae student loans by paying them off with another loan from a different lender. Refinancing can often get you more competitive rates and terms than your current loan. It’s also the only way to change up your servicer on private student loans.
Before you refinance, consider which servicer your new lender uses. You can start comparing rates and terms with the table below.
Being one of the biggest private student loan providers, Sallie Mae has relatively few complaints — especially compared to federal student loan servicers of a similar size.
Still, some borrowers aren’t happy with their experience. Over 1,750 customers have filed complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) as of February 2019. And while it gets an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), it scores a low 1 out of 5 stars based on 35 customer reviews.
Here are the two top complaints customers had about Sallie Mae servicing:
Trouble adjusting repayment plan
Several borrowers had issues adjusting their repayment plan to meet their budget. Part of the problem is that Sallie Mae technically only offers one standard full repayment plan, though it’s often willing to be flexible in special circumstances. Several borrowers complained that customer service gave them the runaround when they tried to negotiate their plan.
How to avoid it: Contact Sallie Mae as soon as you think you might have trouble making repayments. If Sallie Mae is inflexible, consider refinancing your student loans for a longer term or with a company that has more flexible repayment options.
Incorrect information on credit report
A few borrowers also said Sallie Mae sent the wrong information to the credit bureaus, hurting their credit score. Some noticed that Sallie Mae reported their account as in collection or late when it wasn’t — one was even completely paid off.
How to avoid it: Check your credit report regularly — you can get a free copy online from each of the three credit bureaus once a year. If you notice anything off, the quickest way to resolve the dispute is to reach out by phone.
Are Sallie Mae and Navient the same company?
They used to be. Sallie Mae was originally the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) — a government-sponsored company that offered federal student loans. It became fully private in 2004 and split into two companies in 2014: Navient Corporation and SLM Corporation.
For such a large student loan servicer, Sallie Mae’s customers seem to be relatively satisfied — at least compared to some federal loan servicers. But you might want to consider refinancing if you’re looking for flexible repayment options.
Read more about Sallie Mae as a student loan servicer with these answers to standard quesitons.
You can find the Sallie Mae deferment form by following these steps:
Go to the Sallie Mae website.
Click Manage your student loans.
Click Get help with special circumstances.
Scroll down and click How to request a deferment.
Click on In-School Deferment Request Form or Internship, Clerkship, Fellowship, or Residency Deferment Form, depending on the reason you’re requesting a deferment.
Sallie Mae doesn’t officially offer income-based repayment plans to its borrowers. However, if your financial situation has significantly changed since you originally applied, it might be willing to be flexible. Reach out to customer service to see if income-driven repayments are an option for you.
You can sign up for forbearance by reaching out to Sallie Mae’s customer service team. Sallie Mae offers up to 12 months of forbearance over the life of your loan in three-month increments. Unlike with federal student loans, you don’t have to apply or fill out any forms — the phone call is all you need to get started.
Since Sallie Mae is a private lender, you aren’t required to go through exit counseling before you start paying off your loans.
Yes, Sallie Mae offers cosigner release to creditworthy borrowers who’ve made at least a year of on-time repayments of principal and interest on their student loans. Find out if you qualify and how to apply with our guide to Sallie Mae cosigner release.
Anna Serio is a trusted lending expert and certified Commercial Loan Officer who's published more than 1,000 articles on Finder to help Americans strengthen their financial literacy. A former editor of a newspaper in Beirut, Anna writes about personal, student, business and car loans. Today, digital publications like Business Insider, CNBC and the Simple Dollar feature her professional commentary, and she earned an Expert Contributor in Finance badge from review site Best Company in 2020.
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