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Choose a fixed or variable interest rate

Interest is the cost you’re charged for borrowing money. When you pay back a loan, you pay it back with interest, so you end up paying back more than you borrowed.

Fixed interest rates stay the same for the life of the loan.

Benefit
Get predictable monthly payments with an interest rate that doesn’t change over time.

Consideration
Your total student loan cost may be higher because the interest rate may be higher than the starting variable interest rate.

Variable interest rates may go up or down due to an increase or decrease to the loan's index.

Benefit
Your interest rate may be less than a fixed interest rate, resulting in a lower total student loan cost.

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

James compares variable and fixed interest rates


Pay it back now or later

Our Smart Option Student Loan® for Undergraduate Students offers three repayment options. Each one will affect your total student loan cost differently.

Deferred repayment option

In school In grace After school No payments Principal & interest

Make no scheduled loan payments while you’re in school and in grace (six months after leaving school).

With this undergraduate student loan repayment option, you’ll likely pay more for your total student loan cost, since unpaid interest will be added to your principal amount at the end of your grace period.

Fixed repayment option

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

Pay $25 every month you’re in school and in grace,. Freshman students may save 14% on their total loan cost by choosing the fixed repayment option instead of the deferred repayment option.

While your total loan cost will likely be less than with our deferred repayment option, unpaid interest will be added to your principal amount at the end of your grace period.

Interest repayment option

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

Pay your interest every month you’re in school and in grace. Your undergraduate student loan interest rate will typically be 1 percentage point lower than with the deferred repayment option. Freshman students may save 29% on their total loan cost by choosing the interest repayment option instead of the deferred repayment option.

Your undergraduate student loan payments will likely be larger while you’re in school and in grace, but your total student loan cost will likely be lower than with the other repayment options.


Still have questions?

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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 undergraduate students attending participating degree-granting schools. Borrowers must be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents if the school is located outside of the United States. Non-U.S. citizen borrowers who reside in the U.S. are eligible with a creditworthy cosigner (who must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident) and are required to provide an unexpired government-issued photo ID to verify identity. Applications are subject to a requested minimum loan amount of $1,000. Current credit and other eligibility criteria apply.

Interest is charged starting at disbursement, during school and the separation/grace period, and until the loan is paid in full. 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 freshman with no other Sallie Mae loans.

  This repayment example is based on a typical Smart Option Student Loan made to a freshman borrower who chooses a fixed rate and the Fixed Repayment Option for a $10,000 loan, with two disbursements, and a 8.44% fixed APR. It works out to 51 payments of $25.00, 119 payments of $156.04 and one payment of $118.97, for a Total Loan Cost of $19,962.73.

Savings comparison assumes a freshman student with no other Sallie Mae loans receives a $10,000 Smart Option Student Loan with the most common fixed rate as of November 2018.

Based on a comparison of approval rates for Sallie Mae private student loans for students who applied with a cosigner versus without a cosigner during a rolling 12-month period from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018.

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.

Sallie Mae loans are made by Sallie Mae Bank or a lender partner.

Information advertised valid as of 11/25/2019.

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.