Sallie Mae Student Loan Review

Founded in 1972, Sallie Mae or SLM (Student Loan Marketing) Corporation is a publicly-traded banking corporation that specializes in private student loans. It offers competitively priced loans to undergraduate, graduate and career training students with a fixed or variable interest rate.

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Last Updated: 7/28/2022
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Sallie Mae student loans offer 100% tuition coverage without an origination fee or prepayment penalty. While your APR can be anywhere between 1.37% and 13.83%, you can secure the best rate possible for your program of study and creditworthiness. Sallie Mae’s flexible payment options can help you get a repayment plan that works for your budget. MoneyGeek’s Sallie Mae student loan review can help you uncover whether this is the lender you need to cover your education.

At a Glance: Sallie Mae Student Loans


  • Sallie Mae

    • 3.50%–13.83%Fixed APR Range
    • 1.37%–11.76%Variable APR Range
    • $1,000 minimum, no maximumLoan Amounts
    • Six monthsGrace Period
    • Allowed but not requiredCo-signer

    on Sallie Mae Website

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MoneyGeek Breakdown: Sallie Mae Student Loan Details and Requirements

Sallie Mae Details

  • Fixed APR

    3.50%–13.83%

    • Undergraduate students: 3.50%–12.60%
    • Career training students: 6.62%–13.83%
    • Graduate students: Rates vary by loan
  • Variable APR

    1.13%-11.52%

    • Undergraduate students: 1.37%–11.48%
    • Career training students: 4.37%–11.76%
    • Graduates: Rates vary by loan
  • Loan Types

    Undergraduate, Graduate and Career Training

  • Loan Amounts

    $1,000 up to the cost of attendance minus financial aid

  • Repayment Terms

    10 to 15 years (some loans may have a term of less than 10 years)

  • Grace Period

    Six months

  • Co-signer

    Optional

  • Time to Receive Funds

    Up to 10 days

  • Late Fees

    5% of the past due amount, up to a maximum of $25

  • Prepayment Penalty Fees

    None

  • Perks

    • Automatic payment discount of 0.25% on APR
    • 100% tuition funding available
    • Long repayment terms
  • Mobile Application

    Yes

Sallie Mae Student Loan Application Requirements

According to Sallie Mae, the following is essential when applying for a student loan. However, depending on your specific situation, the lender may require more documentation.

1

Permanent address (if you've been there less than a year, you must include your previous address)

2

Social Security number of borrower and co-signer

3

Information about the school, such as enrollment status, course of study and degree

4

Academic year and enrollment period

5

Financial information (e.g., bank accounts, monthly mortgage or rent payments)

6

Employment details (e.g., company name and gross income)

7

Requested loan amount and other financial aid

8

Be a part-time, half-time or full-time student

9

Must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or visa holder studying in the country or abroad

10

Students who are non-citizens or permanent residents (including DACA students) need a creditworthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident as co-signer

11

Information of two personal contacts (other than the co-signer)

Is Sallie Mae Right for You?

The best student loan is a matter of personal preference and financial need. MoneyGeek’s Sallie Mae student loan review enables you to review its conditions, rates, fees and features and compare them against other lenders before deciding which is ideal for your situation.

Type of Student Sallie Mae Is Perfect For

Student loans from Sallie Mae are an excellent choice for students to finance the entire cost of an undergraduate, graduate, or career training program. Loans are available independent of your enrollment status, which may be full-time, half-time or less than half-time. Sallie Mae also works for parents who require help financing their child's education.

Sallie Mae allows you to postpone your student loan payments until six months after graduation, which is ideal for those entering the workforce who need time to budget for the payments. High-amount borrowers also like the lender's loan terms, which can be as long as 15 years. Students who cannot qualify for a loan on their own or because they are an international student benefit from Sallie Mae loans because of the allowed co-signer option.

Furthermore, the minimum loan amount is $1,000, so anyone with even the most basic financial need can benefit from a Sallie Mae student loan. The lender also allows for early loan payoff without a penalty, which is pleasing to students who want that choice.

Who Should Not Choose Sallie Mae

MoneyGeek's Sallie Mae student loan review reveals that funds disburse in about 10 days. If you need money quickly for school expenses, Sallie Mae may not be the right choice. Plus, some institutions only certify a student loan 30 days before the enrollment session begins. Those who do not have at least 30 days before the enrollment period may have to look elsewhere for a student loan or inquire about the school's policies to learn when the loan can be certified.

Also, Sallie Mae loans typically have a term of 10 to 15 years — anyone looking for a shorter-term student loan should look at other lenders. The lender also imposes a late payment fee, making it unsuitable for people who are doubtful of their ability to pay on time.

How to Apply for a Sallie Mae Student Loan

To apply for a student loan through Sallie Mae, you must complete an application, which can take a few minutes. MoneyGeek details the steps involved in applying for a Sallie Mae student loan.

1

Prequalify

Sallie Mae does not provide loan prequalification. It checks your and the co-signer’s credit score to determine whether or not you qualify for a loan.

2

Fill Out Application Form

In addition to your personal information, address and financial information, the loan application requires information about your school and enrollment status. You can expect to include the following information:

  • Details like address and phone number
  • Social Security number
  • Information about the school (e.g., enrollment status, course of study and degree)
  • Loan amount
  • Financial details
  • Citizenship details
  • Employment information
3

Wait for Approval

Following the submission of a fully completed application form, you are subject to approval, which should take no more than 10 minutes.

4

Review Loan Agreement

Following your approval, you need to select the loan's APR type and repayment option. Review the terms and conditions of the loan before signing any paperwork.

5

Sign Loan Agreement

You must accept and sign your loan disclosure agreement after reading and understanding the terms and conditions. The lender then contacts your school to verify your enrollment and certify your eligibility.

6

Receive or Direct Funds

If your certification is obtained and the term for exercising your right to cancel elapses, Sallie Mae disburses your student loan. You must contact the lender to learn more about the right to cancel period.

7

Make Payments

Sallie Mae provides three different ways for borrowers to pay back their student loans. Each has a different impact on the total cost of a student loan.

  • Deferred repayment: With this option, you start paying the principal and interest six months after your enrollment ends or you graduate.
  • Fixed repayment: You pay $25 a month while in school and during the grace period. Then, you start paying off the principal and interest on your loan.
  • Interest repayment: This option entails making monthly interest payments while enrolled in school and throughout the grace period and then paying the principal and interest after school.

What to Do if You Are Rejected From Sallie Mae

If you apply for a Sallie Mae student loan and are rejected, you must determine why. There are several possible explanations, including a low credit score, lack of credit history, insufficient income and employment history.

Before applying for a student loan with another lender, ask Sallie Mae about any modifications that may make your application approved. For example, if your credit score is too low to qualify on your own, see if you can find a co-signer who knows and trusts you well and is willing to sign the application. Your co-signer can be a parent, friend, relative or guardian.

Additionally, you can speak with your school's financial aid counselors to determine your alternatives. They may know of other financial aid options you can pursue.

Frequently Asked Questions About Student Loans

MoneyGeek's Sallie Mae student loan review might help you decide if the lender is right for you. We answered some frequently asked questions concerning Sallie Mae student loans below.

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