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Competitive interest rates

3 repayment options

No origination fee

For Degree-Granting Institutions For Degree-Granting Institutions


The Sallie Mae® Smart Option Student Loan®

Your loan. Your choice.

With the Smart Option Student Loan, you can get a loan that works for you. It offers three repayment options, variable or fixed interest rates, and a suite of other choices, so you can customize your borrowing experience.

The Smart Option Student Loan offers these benefits:

  • Competitive variable interest rates and no origination fees1 - Get variable interest rates that range from 2.87% APR to 9.91% APR.
  • Lower your interest rate2 - Receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction while enrolled to make scheduled monthly payments by automatic debit.
  • Get the money you need - Borrow up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance.3

Quarterly FICO® Credit Scores are available online for free

You can view your quarterly FICO® Score by logging into your Sallie Mae® account. You'll also receive access to the key factor(s) affecting your score and educational content to help you understand why viewing your FICO® Score is important. This free benefit is available to both borrowers and cosigners.4

Apply with a cosigner

If a parent or other creditworthy individual cosigns the loan, it may help give you a better chance of approval.

Cosigner release available

You may apply to release your cosigner from the loan after you graduate, make 12 on-time principal and interest payments and meet certain credit requirements.5

Learn more


Applying is easy—it only takes about 15 minutes to apply and get a credit result.

Get Started 

We also offer fixed interest rates from 5.74% APR – 11.85% APR.1 Learn more

Choose from 3 repayment options1

Deferred Repayment Option

Defer payments until six months after school, or pay as much as you want while in school, for maximum flexibility.

Fixed Repayment Option

Pay just $25 a month6 while in school and for six months after school.

Interest Repayment Option

Make monthly interest payments while in school and for six months after school.

You'll choose your repayment option during the application process.

Available to U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens

Non-U.S. citizen students, including DACA students, are eligible to apply with a creditworthy cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with required U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) documentation.



Encouraging Responsible Borrowing

Sallie Mae has helped more than 34 million Americans pay for college since 1972. We encourage students and families to supplement their savings by exploring grants, scholarships, and federal and state student loans, and to consider the anticipated monthly payments on their total student loan debt and their expected future earnings before considering a private education loan.

This information is for borrowers attending degree-granting institutions only. You must be attending or have attended a participating school located in the U.S. during an eligible prior enrollment period. You must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident or a Non-U.S. citizen borrower applying with a creditworthy cosigner (who must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident) and required U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) documentation. Non-U.S. citizen students, including DACA students, will need to submit proper documentation to prove citizenship/identity; this can include an unexpired foreign passport, an unexpired student visa, an alien registration card, or an employment authorization document. All documentation must be unexpired at the time of the application, government-issued, and include a photograph. U.S. citizens and permanent residents enrolled in eligible study abroad programs or who are attending or have attended schools located outside the U.S. are also eligible. Applications are subject to a requested minimum loan amount of $1,000.

1 Interest rates for the Deferred Repayment Option are higher than interest rates for the Fixed and Interest Repayment Option. You’re charged interest starting at disbursement, while in school and during your six-month separation or grace period. When you enter principal and interest repayment, Unpaid Interest will be added to your loan’s Current Principal. Variable rates may increase over the life of the loan. Advertised APRs assume a $10,000 loan to a freshman with no other Sallie Mae loans.

2 Either the borrower or cosigner (not both) must enroll in auto debit through Sallie Mae. The rate reduction benefit applies only during active repayment for as long as the Current Amount Due is successfully deducted from the designated bank account each month and is suspended during forbearances and certain deferments.

3 Sallie Mae reserves the right to approve a lower loan amount than the school-certified amount.

4 Borrowers and cosigners may receive their FICO® Score quarterly after the first disbursement of their loan. FICO® Scores are delivered only to borrowers and cosigners who have an available score, are based on data from TransUnion, and may be different from other credit scores. This benefit may change or end in the future. FICO® is a registered trademark of the Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and other countries.

5 Only the borrower may apply for cosigner release. Borrowers who meet the age of majority in their state may apply for cosigner release by providing proof of graduation (or completion of certification program), income, and U.S. citizenship or permanent residency (if your status has changed since you applied). In the last 12 months, the borrower must be current on all Sallie Mae serviced loans (including no hardship forbearances or modified repayment programs) and have paid ahead or made 12 on-time principal and interest payments on each loan requested for release. When the cosigner release application is processed, the borrower must demonstrate the ability to assume full responsibility of the loan(s) individually, and pass a credit review that demonstrates a satisfactory credit history including but not limited to no: open bankruptcy, open foreclosure, student loan(s) in default or 90 day delinquencies in the last 24 months. Requirements are subject to change.

6 This repayment example is based on a typical loan to a freshman borrower who chooses a variable rate and the Fixed Repayment Option for a $10,000 loan, with two disbursements, and a 7.77% variable APR. It works out to 51 payments of $25.00, 119 payments of $147.30 and one payment of $116.61, for a Total Loan Cost of $18,920.31. Variable rates may increase over the life of the loan.

Information advertised valid as of .


Smart Option Student Loans are made by Sallie Mae Bank or a lender partner.