Leveling up your professional skills?
You’re covered.

With a Smart Option Student Loan® for Career Training, you can apply just once and get the money you need to pay for a full year of professional training or trade school costs. Cover everything from tuition to books to travel—even equipment, supplies, and tools for your courses.2 

There’s no origination fee or prepayment penalty,3 and you can repay the way that works best for you.

Make the grade with
4 months of free Chegg Study®4

With our loan, you’ll also get study tools from Chegg that you can access 24/7 to help you succeed in your classes—for free.

Expert help with homework questions
Personalized writing feedback, including proofreading and grammar checks
Step-by-step help solving tough math problems

 

Questions about applying for a career training loan?

Find the type of interest rate that’s
best for you

Your interest rate is the amount you’re charged for borrowing money. It’s based on factors like your borrowing/repayment history, how long you’ve had credit, and your amount of debt.

With a Smart Option Student Loan, you can choose an interest rate type that’s variable or fixed.

Variable Rates
2.62% - 13.40% APR1

Lowest rates shown include the auto debit discount.

How it works

Your interest rate may go up or down as the loan’s index changes.

For more information about the index of your loan, refer to your promissory note. Changes in the financial markets may cause the index to rise or fall.

This might be right for you if
You’re ok with more uncertainty in exchange for a potentially lower total loan cost than with a fixed rate.

Keep in mind
Your payments may vary over time. If you’re looking for a predictable monthly payment, a variable rate might not be for you.

Lowest rates shown include the auto debit discount.

How it works

Your interest rate may go up or down as the loan’s index changes.

For more information about the index of your loan, refer to your promissory note. Changes in the financial markets may cause the index to rise or fall.

This might be right for you if
You’re ok with more uncertainty in exchange for a potentially lower total loan cost than with a fixed rate.

Keep in mind
Your payments may vary over time. If you’re looking for a predictable monthly payment, a variable rate might not be for you.

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Fixed Rates
3.75% - 14.08% APR1

Lowest rates shown include the auto debit discount.

How it works
Your interest rate does not change over time.

This might be right for you if
You want a predictable monthly payment to make budgeting easier.

Keep in mind
You may pay more for your loan because a fixed rate may be higher than a starting variable interest rate.

Lowest rates shown include the auto debit discount.

How it works
Your interest rate does not change over time.

This might be right for you if
You want a predictable monthly payment to make budgeting easier.

Keep in mind
You may pay more for your loan because a fixed rate may be higher than a starting variable interest rate.

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What are your repayment options?

You can start paying back your loan while you’re in school to save money or wait until you’re finished. You can also choose to pay off your loan early to reduce the total loan cost—there are no penalties for early repayment.3

Pay more during school, save more

How the interest repayment option works:

You pay your monthly interest while in school and during your 6-month grace period to lower your loan cost.1

Your grace period is the amount of time after you’re no longer enrolled in school and before principal and interest payments begin.

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This may be right for you if

You want to reduce your interest rate as much as possible and can afford to pay more each month.

Keep in mind
Your career training student loan payments will likely be larger while you’re in school and in your grace period than with our fixed or deferred options.

Pay some during school, save some

How the fixed repayment option works:

You pay $25 a month5 while in school and during your 6-month grace period to lower your loan cost.1

Your grace period is the amount of time after you’re no longer enrolled in school and before principal and interest payments begin.

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This may be right for you if

You want to reduce your total loan cost and can afford to pay $255 every month.

Keep in mind 
Your interest rate will be less than with our deferred option, but the unpaid interest will be added to your principal amount at the end of your grace period.

Pay everything after you finish school

How the deferred repayment option works:

You don’t make your first payment until both your time at school and 6-month grace period have ended.1

Your grace period is the amount of time after you’re no longer enrolled in school and before principal and interest payments begin.

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This may be right for you if

You want to have as much money available to you while you’re in school.

Keep in mind 
You’re likely to pay more for the total cost of the loan compared to the other repayment options and the unpaid interest will be added to your principal amount at the end of your grace period.

How a cosigner can help
you get the money you need for school

Since most students have little or no credit history, they were nearly 4X more likely to be approved with a cosigner last year!6 A cosigner is usually a parent, relative, or other responsible adult, and it may help you get a better interest rate.

How to apply

It’s easy, just follow these steps:

  • Tell us about yourself

    We’ll need some basic information from you (and your cosigner if you’re applying with one) like your name, address, and date of birth, along with some details about your school.

  • Choose your loan option(s)

    After you’re approved, pick the repayment option and interest rate type that work best for your budget.

  • Sign & accept

    Be sure to review all loan documents so you understand your responsibilities. Once you’ve decided to borrow from us, just e-sign, accept loan terms, and provide any other requested information. We'll work with your school to take care of the rest. That's it!

Career training girl with computer

FAQs on student loans

Private student loans are credit-based, which means we will check your credit when you submit your application. Last year, students were nearly 4X more likely to be approved with a cosigner.6 A cosigner is an adult with good credit, usually a parent, who shares responsibility with you for paying back the loan.

You can apply just once a year with a single credit check and funds are sent for each term directly to your school. You can cancel future disbursements as needed with no penalty. No interest is charged until money is sent to your school, so you can relax, knowing you've got the funds when you need them.

It takes about 10 minutes to apply and get a credit decision. After you’re approved, you choose your loan rate type and repayment options, accept your loan disclosure, e-sign and provide any other requested information, and the loan is certified by your school. We send (disburse) the funds directly to the school. The process takes 10 business days or less from application to disbursement.

Whether you study online or on campus, you can borrow to cover the costs at a participating institution, even if you're not a full- or half-time student. The loan's flexibility makes it a good choice for many situations:

  • Attending school full-time, half-time, or less than half-time
  • Online or on-campus classes
  • Winter or summer classes
  • Study abroad
  • Professional certification courses
  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident enrolled in a school in a foreign country
  • Students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents, including DACA students, residing in and attending school in the U.S. (with a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident)

With the Smart Option Student Loan, you can select from three repayment options. While in school, you can choose to make monthly interest payments or fixed $25 payments,5—or you can choose to defer payments until after school.1 The repayment option you choose applies during school and for six months after you leave school (your grace period). After that, you begin to make principal and interest payments.

When you apply, we look at your history of borrowing money and paying it back on time. Lenders want to know how responsible you are with credit before approving your student loan application.

Many college-bound high school students haven’t had time to build up their own credit. That’s why they apply with a cosigner, a creditworthy adult who shares the responsibility of the student loan.

You and your cosigner will want to have your school information, amount needed (remember, you can use it to pay for school-certified expenses for the entire year) as well as your cosigner’s financial and employment information. Providing your social security number is optional. You or your cosigner may start the application, however, should your cosigner not be with you, we can send along an email with a link to their section of the application so they can fill it in later.

Get in touch!

Need assistance? We’re here to help. 

Not sure if this is the right student loan for you?

Learn about the different student loans we offer.


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.

 Sallie Mae loans are subject to credit approval, identity verification, signed loan documents, and school certification. This loan is available to students at participating schools and is not intended for students pursuing a graduate degree. Student or cosigner must meet the age of majority in their state of residence. Students who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents must reside in the U.S., attend 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. Requested loan amount must be at least $1,000. 

1.  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. 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 borrower who attends school for 2 years and has no prior Sallie Mae loans.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.

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

3. 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.

4. This promotional benefit is provided at no cost to borrowers with undergraduate or graduate loans with a first disbursement between May 1, 2021 and April 30, 2024. Borrowers who reside in, attend school in, or borrow for a student attending school in Maine are not eligible for this benefit. Chegg Study® offers expert Q&A where students can submit up to 20 questions per month. No cash value. Terms and Conditions apply. Please visit http://www.chegg.com/legal/smtermsandconditions for complete details. This offer expires one year after issuance.

5. Examples of typical costs for a $10,000 Smart Option Student Loan with the most common fixed rate, fixed repayment option, 6-month separation period, and two disbursements: For a borrower with no prior loans and a 2-year in-school period, it works out to a 10.02% fixed APR, 27 payments of $25.00, 119 payments of $153.59 and one payment of $108.14, for a Total Loan Cost of $19,060.35. For a borrower with $10,000 in prior loans and a 1-year in-school period, it works out to a 10.19% fixed APR, 15 payments of $25.00, 179 payments of $117.46 and one payment of $46.27 for a total loan cost of $21,446.61. Loans that are subject to a $50 minimum principal and interest payment amount may receive a loan term that is less than 10 years.

6. Based on a comparison of approval rates for Smart Option Student Loan for Career Training borrowers who applied with a cosigner versus without a cosigner from May 1, 2020 through April 30, 2021.

Sallie Mae loans are made by Sallie Mae Bank.

Information advertised valid as of 7/25/2022.

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.