Student loans

The right student loans for bright futures

Everyone deserves a chance at a brighter future. Apply for a student loan and get started on your journey.

Student loans built with you in mind

We provide you with a number of different paths to get you started on your educational journey. All you have to do is choose the right one for you.

Undergraduate student loans

Fixed rates: 
4.50% APRfootnote 1 – 15.49% APRfootnote 1

Variable rates:
6.37% APRfootnote 1 – 16.70% APRfootnote 1

For college students earning a bachelor's or associate's degree, or a certificate at a degree-granting school.

Lowest rates shown include the auto debit discount.

Career training student loans

Fixed rates: 
4.50% APRfootnote 2 – 15.69% APRfootnote 2

Variable rates:
6.37% APRfootnote 2 – 16.78% APRfootnote 2

For students taking professional training or certificate courses (such as culinary, aviation, technical, etc.).

Lowest rates shown include the auto debit discount.

For graduate students seeking loans for medical, dental, health professions, MBA, law, and master's/doctorate degree expenses.

Rates vary by loan.

Adding a cosigner may strengthen your student loan application

If you have little or no credit history, consider a cosigner. Last year, students were 3x more likely to be approved for a student loan with one!footnote 3

Last year, 87% of Sallie Mae undergraduate loans were cosignedfootnote 4 and it may help you get a better interest rate on your student loan.

The help you need now, and throughout the school year

Cover up to 100%
of school-certified costsfootnote 5
Multiple ways
to repay
ZERO origination fees
Make college your focus

Save time—apply for a student loan once to get money for the whole year so you can focus on studying. And if your plans change, no worries—interest on your loan won't be charged until the money is sent to your school.

Higher education comes with some college costs—bigger ones, like tuition and housing, and smaller ones, like books and a laptop. We can help you get the money you need for school.footnote 5

Take comfort, Get covered

Our multi-year advantage means you can get the money you need year after year. 97% of students who’ve been approved with a cosigner were approved again when they returned with a cosigner the following year.footnote 6 Plus, you’ll get the convenience of a faster student loan application and managing all your private student loans with one lender.

Need help? Our 100% U.S.-based customer service team is here for you. 

Paying back comes with benefits

Our multiple student loan repayment options on college loans give you more flexibility on how you can pay them back. Plus, you'll get free access to your FICO® score, which is updated quarterly online.footnote 7

Our loans for college students have no origination fees and provide competitive interest rates.

Plus, you get a 0.25 percentage point interest rate discount when you enroll in and make monthly student loan payments using auto debit.footnote 8

A student loan that gives you more

See how Sallie Mae compares to other lenders

Footnotes only apply to Sallie Mae loans

Benefit

Sallie Mae

Citizens

SoFi


Less-than-half-time enrollment eligibility
 


Interest-only payments for 12 months after grace period for qualifying undergraduate and graduate loan borrowersfootnote 9


Loan can be used for eligible professional training, trade school, and certificate programs


Cover up to 100% of the cost of attendance minus financial aidfootnote 5

 


Fixed and variable rate options
 


In-school or deferred repayment options for undergraduatefootnote 1 and graduatefootnote 10 loan borrowers

Some frequently asked questions about student loans

A student loan is money that’s loaned to you by a bank or other financial institution to help pay for your education. All loans need to be paid back. When you pay back loans for school, your repayment amount includes the full amount you borrowed, plus interest (the amount your lender charges you for borrowing the money).

There are school loans available for students in undergraduate, graduate, certificate, dental, medical, and health professions programs. Sallie Mae also offers student loans for graduates studying for the bar exam or relocating for medical and dental residencies. 

Private loans for college—offered by banks like Sallie Mae, credit unions, and other financial institutions—are based on your creditworthiness. This means your lender will check to see if you have a history of borrowing money and paying it back on time. Since many students haven't had time to build credit, applying for a private student loan with a cosigner—a parent, relative, or other adult with good credit—may increase your chances for approval and help get you a better rate.

For private student loans in general, you may be approved to borrow up to 100% of your school-certified costs for the entire year, if needed.

You should borrow only what you can afford to pay back later. Consider how much you may earn in your future career. Use a responsible borrowing approach. Use free money first and explore federal loans before considering private student loans. To help estimate your future income potential, you can visit the US Department of Labor at bls.gov.

You can fill out a student loan application right on the lender’s website. There’s no cost to apply. You’ll be asked to enter some basic personal and financial information, and choose the type of interest rate and repayment plan you want for your loan. If you’re applying with a cosigner, they’ll also need to provide their financial info. 

You can use student loan funds to cover any of your school costs included in your school's cost of attendance for the year, which might include the following for students attending school at least half time:

  • Tuition
  • Fees
  • Books
  • Housing
  • Meals
  • Travel to and from school
  • A laptop
  • Equipment, supplies, and tools

Repayment terms vary by lender. Because more interest gets added to your loan balance over time, you may be able to save money by paying off your loan sooner.

Use our Accrued Interest Calculator to see how much you can save by paying more towards your loan.

Yes, it may. Your lender will need to run a credit check to see if you qualify for the college loan, which may impact your credit score.

You may boost your chances of being approved by adding a cosigner (such as a parent, relative, or other responsible adult). Last year, 87% of Sallie Mae undergraduate loans were cosigned.footnote 4

A fixed rate is one that doesn’t change over the life of your loan, so your monthly payment stays the same. A variable interest rate can go up or down with the market, increasing or lowering your monthly payment as it does.

Illuminating your path to higher education

footnote 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.

footnote Undergraduate and Graduate School loans are for students at participating degree-granting schools. Career training student loans are for students at participating non-degree-granting schools. Smart Option Student Loan information is for undergraduates only. Graduate Certificate/Continuing Education coursework is not eligible for MBA, Medical, Dental, and Law School Loans. Students who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents must reside in the U.S., attend a participating school in the U.S., apply with a creditworthy cosigner (who must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident) and provide an unexpired government-issued photo ID to verify their identity. Applications are subject to a requested minimum loan amount of $1,000. Current credit and other eligibility criteria apply.

footnote 1. Advertised APRs for undergraduate students assume a $10,000 loan to a student who attends school for 4 years and has no prior Sallie Mae-serviced loans. Interest rates for variable rate loans may increase or decrease over the life of the loan based on changes to the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent.  Advertised variable rates are the starting range of rates and may vary outside of that range over the life of the loan. Interest is charged starting when funds are sent to the school. 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. To receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate discount, the borrower or cosigner must enroll in auto debit through Sallie Mae. The discount 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. It may be suspended during forbearance or deferment.

footnote 2. Advertised APRs for career training students assume a $10,000 loan to a student who attends school for 2 years and has no prior Sallie Mae-serviced loans. Interest rates for variable rate loans may increase or decrease over the life of the loan based on changes to the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent.  Advertised variable rates are the starting range of rates and may vary outside of that range over the life of the loan. Interest is charged starting when funds are sent to the school. 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. To receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate discount, the borrower or cosigner must enroll in auto debit through Sallie Mae. The discount 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. It may be suspended during forbearance or deferment.

footnote 3. Based on the percentage of borrowers who were approved for a Sallie Mae loan with a cosigner compared to the percentage of borrowers who were approved for a Sallie Mae loan without a cosigner from October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022.

footnote 4. Based on approved Sallie Mae loans to undergraduate students from October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022.

footnote 5. For applications submitted directly to Sallie Mae, loan amount cannot exceed the cost of attendance less financial aid received, as certified by the school. Applications submitted to Sallie Mae through a partner website may be subjected to a lower maximum loan request amount. Miscellaneous personal expenses (such as a laptop) may be included in the cost of attendance for students enrolled at least half-time.

footnote 6. Sallie Mae loans cover enrollment periods of up to 12 months. Students must apply for a new loan each school year. This approval percentage is based on students who were approved for a Sallie Mae undergraduate or graduate school loan in the 2020/21 school year and were approved for another Sallie Mae undergraduate or graduate loan when they returned with the same or new cosigner in 2021/22. It does not include the denied applications of students who were ultimately approved in 2021/22.

footnote 7. Borrowers and cosigners with an available FICO® Score and a Sallie Mae-serviced loan with a current balance greater than $0, may receive their score monthly after the first loan disbursement. The FICO® Score provided to you is the FICO® Score 8 based on TransUnion data. 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. 

footnote 8. The 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. It may be suspended during forbearance or deferment. 

footnote 9. GRP allows interest-only payments for the initial 12-month period of repayment when the loan would normally begin requiring full principal and interest payments or during the 12-month period after GRP request is granted, whichever is later. At the time of GRP request, the loan must be current. The borrower may request GRP only during the six billing periods immediately preceding and the twelve billing periods immediately after the loan would normally begin requiring full principal and interest payments. GRP does not extend the loan term. If approved for GRP, the Current Amount Due that is required to be paid each month after the GRP ends will be higher than it otherwise would have been without GRP, and the total loan cost will increase.

footnote 10. Advertised APRs for Graduate School Loan, MBA Loans, and Graduate School Loan for Health Professions assume a $10,000 loan with a 1-year in-school period. Interest rates for variable rate loans may increase or decrease over the life of the loan based on changes to the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent.  Advertised variable rates are the starting range of rates and may vary outside of that range over the life of the loan. Interest is charged starting when funds are sent to the school. 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. To receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate discount, the borrower or cosigner must enroll in auto debit through Sallie Mae. The discount 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. It may be suspended during forbearance or deferment.

footnote Sallie Mae loans are made by Sallie Mae Bank.

footnote Information advertised valid as of 1/25/2024. 

footnote 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.