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For undergraduate students at degree-granting institutions

With college costs growing fast, it’s time to borrow smarter. The Smart Option Student Loan offers multiple repayment options and competitive interest rates to help you pay for college expenses not covered by scholarships and federal loans.

Competitive interest rates

  • Starting variable interest rates: 4.25% APR to 11.10% APR
  • Competitive fixed interest rates: 5.74% APR to 11.85% APR

Repayment term: 5 – 15 years of principal and interest payments

Repayment options

Three repayment options: Pay monthly interest or $25 per month while in school or defer payments until after you graduate. Choose the repayment option that fits your needs.

Special features/benefits

  • No origination fee and no prepayment penalty
  • Auto debit savings: 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction for automatic debit enrollment
  • Study help at your fingertips, Study StarterSM: Students can set themselves up for success and less stress with free access to a complete package: 4 months of Textbook Solutions and Expert Q&A through Chegg Study®, 30 minutes of live online tutoring through Chegg® Tutors, and 4 months of proofreading and citation help with EasyBib® Plus.
  • Access to quarterly FICO® Credit Scores for both borrowers and cosigners
  • Graduated Repayment Period: Request to make 12 monthly interest-only payments after you finish school
  • Death and disability loan forgiveness
  • Cover an existing balance for an enrollment period within the past 365 days
  • Borrow up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance
  • 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

Enrollment eligibility

Available to students enrolled full-time, half-time, and less than half-time.

It only takes about 15 minutes to apply online and get a credit result.

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.

Explore federal loans and compare to ensure you understand the terms and features. Smart Option Student Loans that have variable rates can go up over the life of the loan. Federal student loans are required by law to provide a range of flexible repayment options, including, but not limited to, income-based repayment and income-contingent repayment plans, and loan forgiveness and deferment benefits, which other student loans are not required to provide. Federal loans generally have origination fees, but are available to students regardless of income.

This 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.

  This repayment example is based on a typical loan to a borrower who chooses a variable rate and the Fixed Repayment Option for a $10,000 loan, with two disbursements, and a 8.99% variable APR. It works out to 51 payments of $25.00, 119 payments of $163.59 and one payment of $120.50, for a Total Loan Cost of $20,862.71. Variable rates may increase over the life of 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.

Borrower or cosigner 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 or Designated Amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month, and may therefore be suspended during a forbearance or deferment period.

This promotional benefit is provided at no cost to borrowers with loans that first disburse between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019. 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.

Borrowers and cosigners who have an available FICO® Score and a Sallie Mae loan with a current balance greater than $0, may receive their score quarterly after the first disbursement of their loan. The FICO® Score provided to you is the FICO® Score 8 based on TransUnion data, and is the same score that Sallie Mae uses, along with other information, to manage your account. FICO® Scores and associated educational content are provided solely for your own non-commercial personal review, use and benefit. 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.

Available for loans used to pay qualified higher education expenses at a degree-granting institution. Graduated Repayment Period (GRP) allows interest-only payments for 12 billing periods after principal and interest repayment begins. At the time of GRP request, the loan must be current (not past due). Customers may request GRP during the six billing periods before and the 12 billing periods immediately after the loan first enters principal and interest repayment. GRP does not extend the loan term. GRP increases the Total Loan Cost and monthly payments after the GRP will be higher than they would have been without it.

If a student dies or becomes permanently and totally disabled, Sallie Mae will waive all remaining payments on the loan.

If requesting a loan for a prior enrollment period, less than 365 days can pass from the end of the prior enrollment period to the time of the loan's first disbursement. At the time of the request, the student must be enrolled, intending to enroll, or have graduated. The student must have been enrolled during the prior enrollment period for which the loan is requested and must not have withdrawn with no intention of re-enrolling, as verified by the school.

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

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.

SALLIE MAE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS, SERVICES, AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

Information advertised valid as of 9/25/2018.

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

The Sallie Mae partner referred is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Sallie Mae Loan customers.