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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.

When savings, scholarships, and federal aid aren’t enough, get the money you need to help pay for graduate school. The “option” in the Smart Option Student Loan name means you can choose the type of interest rate and repayment option that work best for you.

Choose a variable or fixed interest rate

Variable interest rate:   
2.62% - 7.62% APR*

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Benefit
Your starting interest rate may be less than a fixed interest rate, which could result in a lower total student loan cost.

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

Fixed interest rate:   
5.74% - 8.56% APR*

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

Considerations
You may pay more for your total loan cost because a fixed interest rate is usually higher than a starting variable interest rate.


If you’re highly qualified, you may receive a lower interest rate than with a Federal PLUS Loan for Graduates.

Compare graduate student loan options

Pay it back now or later

Deferred repayment option

In school In grace After school No payments Principal & interest

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

With this graduate student loan repayment option, you'll likely pay more for your total student loan cost, since the interest rate may be higher and unpaid interest will continue to 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, and you can save an average of more than 9%*** on your total graduate student loan cost when compared to our deferred repayment option.*

While your total loan cost will 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 interest rate will be 0.50 percentage points lower than with the deferred repayment option* and you can save an average of more than 10%*** on your total graduate student loan cost, compared to our deferred repayment option.

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


* Interest rates for Fixed and Deferred Repayment Options 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 loan's Current Principal. Variable rates may increase over the life of the loan. Advertised APRs assume a $10,000 loan to a freshman or first-year graduate, as applicable, with no other Sallie Mae loans. Graduate student pricing for this loan is limited to students enrolling in a Masters/Doctorate level degree program. Graduate Certificate/Continuing Education course work is not eligible.

** This repayment example is based on a typical loan to a first-year graduate borrower who chooses a variable rate and the Fixed Repayment Option for a $10,000 loan, with two disbursements and a 6.52% APR. It works out to 27 payments of $25.00, 59 payments of $210.61 and one payment of $196.73, for a Total Loan Cost of $13,297.72. Variable rates may increase over the life of the loan.

*** Savings based on a typical loan to a first-year graduate student.

Benefit from these 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 scheduled monthly payments by auto debit.

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

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

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

Request to make 12 monthly interest-only payments after you graduate.

How others can help you make graduate school happen

A cosigner may help you qualify

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

Consider a cosigner

Parents can choose how to help you

Your parent or a creditworthy individual can help you pay for college by cosigning your Smart Option Student Loan or taking out a Sallie Mae Parent LoanSM.

Learn about the Sallie Mae Parent Loan


Questions? Need help applying?

Call us at 877-279-7172

Encouraging Responsible Borrowing
Sallie Mae has helped more than 34 million Americans pay for college since 1972. We encourage students and families to supplement their savings by exploring grants, scholarships, and federal and state student loans, and to consider the anticipated monthly payments on their total student loan debt and their expected future earnings before considering a private education loan.

This information is for borrowers attending 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.

Explore federal loans and compare to ensure you understand the terms and features. Smart Option Student Loans that have variable rates can go up over the life of the loan. Federal student loans are required by law to provide a range of flexible repayment options, including, but not limited to, income-based repayment and income-contingent repayment plans / Graduated Repayment and Extended Repayment plans, and loan forgiveness and deferment benefits, which other student loans are not required to provide. Federal loans generally have origination fees, but are available to students regardless of income.

Either the borrower or cosigner (not both) 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 is successfully deducted from the designated bank account each month and is suspended during forbearances and certain deferments.

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

Borrowers and cosigners may receive their FICO® Score quarterly after the first disbursement of their loan. FICO® Scores are delivered only to borrowers and cosigners who have an available score, are based on data from TransUnion, and may be different from other credit scores. 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.

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

Information advertised valid as of 10/25/2016.

WE RESERVE 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.