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Our free college planning resources may help you find more ways to pay for college. Your school's financial aid office may also be able to help.

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When savings, scholarships, and federal aid aren't enough, get the money you need to help pay for your certificate or trade school education. The "option" in Smart Option Student Loan means you can choose the repayment option that works best for you.

Get a variable interest rate

Variable interest rate:   
5.50% - 12.62% APR*

A variable interest rate can rise or fall as the market index changes, so your loan payments may vary over time.

Choose how you'd like to pay it back

Interest repayment option

In school In grace After school Pay interest monthly Principal & interest

Pay interest every month you’re in school and in grace (six months after leaving school) and you can lower your total student loan cost more than with our fixed repayment option.*

Your loan payments will likely be larger while you’re in school and in grace than with our fixed repayment option.

Fixed repayment option

In school In grace After school $25 a month** Principal & interest

Pay $25 every month** while you're in school and in grace for a budget-friendly way to help lower your total loan cost.*

Your total loan cost will be higher than with the interest repayment option, since the interest rate may be higher and unpaid interest will continue to be added to your loan at the end of your grace period.


* Interest rates for the Fixed Repayment Option are higher than interest rates for the Interest Repayment Option. You’re charged interest starting at disbursement, while in school and during your six-month separation or grace period. When you enter principal and interest repayment, Unpaid Interest will be added to your Current Principal. Variable rates may increase over the life of the loan. Advertised APRs assume a $10,000 loan to a borrower whose planned term for enrollment is approximately one academic year with no other Sallie Mae loans.

** This repayment example is based on a typical loan to a borrower (planning to be enrolled for approximately one academic year), who chooses a variable rate and the Fixed Repayment Option for a $10,000 loan, with two disbursements, and a 12.62% variable APR. It works out to 15 payments of $25.00, 119 payments of $163.47 and one payment of $93.40, for a Total Loan Cost of $19,921.33. Variable rates may increase over the life of the loan.

Benefit from these Career Training Smart Option Student Loan features

Lower your total student loan cost—get a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction when you enroll in and make monthly payments by auto debit.

Pay no origination fee or penalty for paying off your student loan before its due date.

Borrow from $1,000 up to 100% of your school-certified cost of attendance.

Track your credit health with quarterly FICO® Credit Scores available online for free to you and your cosigner.

A cosigner may help you qualify

You may have a better chance of approval if a parent, relative, or other creditworthy individual cosigns for your student loan.

Consider a cosigner

College was the flame I needed to get my life cooking. I attended culinary school to follow my dream, my passion, my heart.


Kayla C., customer

Applying online is easy

is about all it takes to apply and get
a credit result.

of customers would recommend our online loan application process.

Source: Sallie Mae online loan application surveys, July 2016 – June 2017.


Questions? Need help applying?

Call us at 877-279-7172

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 borrowers attending non-degree-granting institutions only. You must be attending or have attended a participating school located in the U.S. 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.

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.

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

Borrowers and cosigners who have an available FICO® Score, 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.

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

Information advertised valid as of 10/25/2017.

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.