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Lowest rates shown include the auto debit discount. Only the most creditworthy applicants who choose the interest repayment option may receive the lowest rate.

For degree-granting institutions

When federal loans aren’t enough to finance your education, choose a responsible private loan.
The undergraduate Smart Option Student Loan offers you:

  • Competitive variable rates that start from 1.25% APR to 9.44% APR
    Competitive fixed rates from 4.74% APR to 11.85% APR also available

    Lowest rates shown include the auto debit discount.
  • A choice of repayment options, including no payments while in school
  • No origination fee
  • No penalty for paying your loan off early
  • Pay for all your school-certified expenses like tuition, fees, books, housing, meals, travel, and even a laptop.

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

Get started


Parents: Looking for a loan for your college student?

Learn about the differences between the Smart Option Student Loan and the Sallie Mae Parent Loan, which lets you give the gift of college to your student by taking out a loan in your name.

See how they compare

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.

This information is for undergraduate students attending participating degree-granting schools. Borrowers must be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents if the school is located outside of the United States. Non-U.S. citizen borrowers who reside in the U.S. are eligible with a creditworthy cosigner (who must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident) and are required to provide an unexpired government-issued photo ID to verify identity. Applications are subject to a requested minimum loan amount of $1,000. Current credit and other eligibility criteria apply.

This promotional benefit is provided at no cost to borrowers with loans that first disburse between July 1, 2018 and April 30, 2021. Borrowers who reside in, attend school in, or borrow for a student attending school in Maine are not eligible for this benefit. No cash value. Terms and Conditions apply. Please visit chegg.com/studystarter/termsandconditions for complete details. This offer expires one year after issuance.

Interest is charged starting at disbursement, during school and the separation/grace period, and until the loan is paid in full. With the Fixed and Deferred Repayment Options, the interest rate is higher than with the Interest Repayment Option and Unpaid Interest is added to the loan’s Current Principal at the end of the grace/separation period. Payments may be required during the grace/separation period depending on the repayment option selected. 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. Borrower or cosigner must enroll in auto debit through Sallie Mae to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction benefit. This benefit applies only during active repayment for as long as the Current Amount Due or Designated Amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month and may be suspended during periods of forbearance or deferment, if available for the loan.

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.

Loan amount cannot exceed the cost of attendance less financial aid received as certified by the school. Sallie Mae reserves the right to approve a lower loan amount than the school-certified amount. Miscellaneous personal expenses (such as a laptop) may be included in the cost of attendance for students enrolled at least half time.

Information advertised valid as of 5/26/2020.

SALLIE MAE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS, SERVICES, AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. CHECK SALLIEMAE.COM FOR THE MOST UP-TO-DATE PRODUCT INFORMATION.

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