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First, your school will need to certify your Smart Option Student Loan®

  • A certification request is sent to your school after your loan is approved. All schools have different processes for certification—some certify daily, weekly, biweekly, etc.
  • Most schools only certify 30 days before the enrollment period begins, even though you may have applied months in advance.
  • Usually no actions are required from you or your cosigner during this time. We’ll keep you posted so you always know where we are in the process.

Here’s how funds are sent to your school

When certification is received, and after the right to cancel period has expired, your student loan is ready to be disbursed.

  • A disbursement is funds that are sent to your school. Loan funds may be divided into multiple disbursements (usually one per semester).
  • If you chose a repayment option that requires in-school payments, your monthly payments will begin as soon as your funds are disbursed.

What to do with a student loan refund

Occasionally student loan refunds are issued to students if there are funds left over after college costs have been paid. Keep in mind, these funds are still part of your loan and you will need to pay them back. Here are a couple ways to manage your refund:

Return the funds to us
This helps reduce your total student loan cost.

Use the money for education expenses
Purchase the books, technology, and other education expenses.

How Multi-Year Advantage can benefit you

It means you can get the money you need, year after year, to finish college—returning students with a cosigner have a 95% loan approval rate.

With our Multi-Year Advantage you can:

  • Cover up to 100% of school-certified costs every year
  • Save time with a faster loan application
  • Manage your private loans more easily with just one lender

Redeem your Chegg® study benefit

Your Smart Option Student Loan® comes with a FREE study benefit which includes:

  • 4 months of Textbook Solutions and Expert Q&A through Chegg Study®,
  • One 60 minute session of live chat tutoring through Chegg® Tutors,
  • and 4 months of proofreading and citation help with EasyBib® Plus.

Once your funds disburse you will receive an email from Sallie Mae with your redemption code.

You must apply for a new loan each school year. This approval percentage is based on students with a Sallie Mae undergraduate loan in the 2017/18 school year who were approved when they returned in 2018/19. It does not include the denied applications of students who were ultimately approved in 2018/19.

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.

This promotional benefit is provided at no cost to borrowers with new loans that first disburse prior to 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. Chegg Tutors offers One Free session of up to 60 minutes. A session will be considered redeemed if it has a minimum duration of thirty (30) minutes. Any minutes not used within the same session will expire upon conclusion of the session. No cash value. Terms and Conditions apply. Please visit for complete details. This offer expires one year after issuance.

Based on a comparison of approval rates for Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loans for undergraduate students who applied with a cosigner versus without a cosigner during a rolling 12-month period from October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019.