Customer Tips

Rafi D.

"I achieved success in paying off my student loans, which has proved to be a high credit rating. I also saved up my dollars and kept them invested in a bank account and made numerous payments with my SallieMae.com online account. I urge other students to use their online access...to make life less hectic and simpler."

- Rafi D., California

"Ever since high school, I knew I wanted to be an attorney. I was able to meet that career goal by attending a great college and law school. Without my education, I do not know where I would be working today. I have the Upromise MasterCard® and use it regularly like cash. I routinely earn over $20 a month from those purchases toward my Sallie Mae student loan debt. Upromise is a phenomenal vehicle that every student, graduate, or family member of a student or graduate should be using. It is a no-brainer. I have saved close to $1,900 with Upromise so far, and counting."

- Kevin P., Massachusetts

Michelle C.

"Make a payment plan and make a goal, and stick with it. If you break it, then re-define your plan/goal. It is important to have a goal so you can stay focused on paying your loan."

- Michelle C., Alabama

"I needed to find new employment. Sallie Mae worked with me; they explained the options I had available and helped me get back on track…You never know when your circumstances are going to change. But that’s when you need to reach out and ask for help and explain what is happening. It might be hard at first, but you’ll find people like Sallie Mae ready and willing to work with you. It’s up to you to take the first step."

- Christina B., Louisiana

"Pay more than the recommended minimum. Keep an eye on the interest rate and realize how much from each payment actually goes toward your principal balance. Then make a plan to pay an extra $20 toward your principal each payment. I originally had a plan to pay this loan off in two years. Once I got my severance check I dropped the difference owed and said goodbye to making payments. Pay off higher interest rates first, it will save you money. If you can make a bigger payment instead of getting Starbucks each morning, DO IT! You won't regret it."

- Sarah D., Missouri

Christopher L.

"Key tips are: Budget your money wisely. Do not spend your money on everything and anything you want. Prioritize on how much you want to use for yourself and how much you will send off to Sallie Mae or any other lender. Be patient and good things come to those who wait."

- Christopher L., Nevada

"The personal benefit my education provided me was the experience afforded to me as I tried to obtain my degree. I truly learned what hard work and sacrifice are. While all my friends were out having fun on weekends in college, I was working 10-hour shifts at a restaurant to try and make ends meet. Now, out of college, I have practiced that same lifestyle and have been able to pay off my college loans."

"I've been able to manage my college loan payments by saying "no" to myself. I didn't go on a honeymoon when I got married, I found the cheapest apartment I could, and I live on a budget. It's not fun, but it's necessary. I would suggest that others who have college loans establish a budget early on and learn what truly is a necessity and what is not...I paid off $20,000 in student loans in four years. It can be done."

- Amy G., Pennsylvania

Samuel B.

"Make sure to pay your student loan on time. You have been given the gift of education and Sallie Mae will make your education dream possible. Be sure to keep your end of the bargain and pay your bill. If you do, you will have a great credit history. I am now purchasing my first home and have a great interest rate due to the credit history I built up paying my loan payments on time!"

- Samuel B., Oregon

"I have been trying to apply ‘extra’ money toward my minimum payments each month of my lowest bill. My goal is to have all of my Sallie Mae loans paid off in the next five years. I have paid $4,000 extra using the Upromise program, just through my normal use of the credit card."

- Melissa C., Connecticut

"It’s simple to use Upromise, and I don't have to do anything out of the ordinary. I shop at the same stores and online sites, except now I earn cash back simply for routing to the site through Upromise. I also take surveys with e-Rewards, which transfers my earnings to Upromise. I love to see that quarterly transfer from Upromise to my Sallie Mae loans! My advice to others is to make a budget. It's often surprising to see where your money actually goes each month. You might realize you can cut out that morning coffee run and instead use that money for loan payments."

- Laura V., California

Sarah

"Advice that I would give to new college grads is don't focus on the amount, even if you have to pay the minimum, just do it. It is better to just get started and work your way up to paying more later if you have to. Don't stress about the overall number; as long as you are paying on your loan it will dwindle eventually.”

- Sarah, Michigan

"I made all of my loan payments online. That method was especially helpful because it allowed me to view my account at any time, see payments that I had made, and helped me make sure that I was on track and up to date. It also reduces, reuses, and recycles, because you’re not receiving any paper statements. It feels unbelievable to know my loan is paid. I recently got engaged, and now we can save more for the wedding and buy a house. Education is something to be valued and respected. No matter what profession you may choose, a college education will broaden your horizons, make you a better person and, ultimately, help you to teach other people. That’s always a positive thing."

- Erica C., Pennsylvania