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Competitive interest rates



No origination fee



3 repayment options


The Smart Option Student Loan® for Undergraduate Students

For degree-granting institutions

Whether your college journey is just starting or underway, you need funds to make it happen. The Smart Option Student Loan offers a flexible way to bridge the funding gap between federal loans and the cost of your education.

  • Variable interest rates that start from 4.62% APR to 11.47% APR
    Fixed interest rates that range from 5.74% APR to 11.85% APR
  • Choose from multiple repayment options, including no payments while in school
  • Pay no origination fee
  • Pay your loan off early with no penalty
  • Borrow up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance

Parents, explore your loan options

If you want to help your student pay for college, you could take out a Sallie Mae® Parent Loan in your name. Explore how this loan is different than a Smart Option Student Loan and choose which is right for you.

Compare the loans

Need a specialized graduate loan?

Learn about our graduate loans, which also offer competitive rates and multiple repayment options.

Sallie Mae MBA Loan

Sallie Mae Medical School Loan

Sallie Mae Dental School Loan

Sallie Mae Health Professions Graduate Loan

Sallie Mae Graduate School Loan

Sallie Mae Law School Loan

Applying online for an undergraduate student loan is easy – it only takes about 15 minutes to apply and get a credit result.

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Borrow responsibly
We encourage students and families to start with savings, grants, scholarships, and federal student loans to pay for college. Students and families should evaluate all anticipated monthly loan payments, and how much the student expects to earn in the future, before considering a private student loan.

Smart Option Student Loan information is for undergraduate borrowers attending degree-granting institutions only. You must be attending a participating school located in the U.S. or have attended one during an eligible prior enrollment period. You must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident or a Non-U.S. citizen borrower with a creditworthy cosigner (who must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident) and required U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) documentation. 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. Current credit and other eligibility criteria apply.

Interest rates for Fixed and Deferred Repayment Options are higher than interest rates for the Interest Repayment Option. You’re charged interest and your selected repayment option applies starting at disbursement, while in school and during your 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 variable rates reflect the starting range of rates and may vary outside of that range over the life of the loan. Advertised APRs assume a $10,000 Loan to a freshman with no other Sallie Mae loans.

Although we do not charge you a penalty or fee if you prepay your loan, any prepayment will be applied as provided in your promissory note: First to Unpaid Fees and costs, then to Unpaid Interest, and then to Current Principal.

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

Information advertised valid as of 1/10/2019.


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