Payments during service
Have student loan questions?
- Call us at (855) 284-4879
- Send Us an Email
- Fax 800-848-1949
Automated phone support available 24/7
Specialized military customer service reps are available Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., ET
After supplying your account information, select the service member option
Borrowers living abroad: Call 001-888-272-5543 (toll-free) or 001-317-570-7397
Members of the U.S. Armed Forces: What you need to know about your federal student loan benefits
Payments during service
Options for making student loan payments
One-time online payments: Pay your bill 2–4 days before the due date so your payment is credited as being on time. You can also use “QuickPay” to make your minimum monthly loan payment for all loans at one time. After you log in to your account, the QuickPay button is on the “My Loans” and “Make Payment” screens.
Automatic payments: Sign up for automatic debit payments to help keep your loan in good standing. Log in to your account to set up this service. You may also be able to put your loan information at your fingertips by signing up for online billing and Payment Reminder by Email.
Pay by mail: Use the address on your coupon or statement. If you do not have access to this documentation, please forward your payment to the following address: Sallie Mae, Inc., P.O. Box 9533, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773-9533 (include your loan number and any special instructions on a separate piece of paper).
Cosigners can mail payments to Sallie Mae, Inc., PO Box 9555, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773-9555. (To ensure accurate processing, include a note with your payment requesting the payment be applied to only those loans you have cosigned. Please also indicate the primary borrower's account number on the memo line of your check to further ensure accurate processing.)
Options for managing your student loan payments
If you are serving on active duty in the military and cannot make your full payments, you may be eligible for some special deferment options. A deferment is an entitlement that allows you to postpone payments for a period of time. For eligible federal loans, you’re not responsible for interest that accrues during the deferment. Also, if you are serving in a hostile area that qualifies you for special pay, you do not have to pay interest on Direct Loans made on or after October 1, 2008, for up to 60 months. During deferment, your account is considered current and in good standing; it is not considered delinquent and there is no impact on your credit score.
Interest-Rate Reduction (FFELP and private student loans): In addition to deferral of payment, you may also qualify for a 6% interest rate and no fee assessment under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. If your existing interest rate is less than 6%, it will not change. Also, if you are serving in a hostile area that qualifies you for special pay, you do not have to pay interest on Direct Loans made on or after October 1, 2008, for up to 60 months.
Military Service Deferment (FFELP): You can qualify for a deferment during your active duty if you, the borrower, are:
- Serving on active duty in the military service of the United States during a war or other military operation or national emergency; or
- Performing qualifying National Guard duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency.
This deferment can be processed based on a verbal request from you, your family, or another reliable source. Documentation is not required for the initial year of Military Service Deferment, but is required after the initial one-year period. Documentation can include:
- A copy of your military orders; or
- A written statement from your commanding or personnel officer certifying that you're serving on active duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency, or performing qualifying National Guard duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency.
NOTE: Training or attendance at a service school is not considered active duty for this deferment. Also, if your service includes October 1, 2007, or begins on or after that date, the deferment includes an additional 180-day period following the demobilization date for your service.
Post-Active Duty Student Deferment (FFELP): If you, the borrower, were enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school at the time of, or within six months prior to, being called or ordered to active duty, you may be eligible for a Post-Active Duty Student Deferment.
Armed Forces Deferment (HEAL): This deferment is available to members of the Armed Forces with Health Education Assistance Loan (HEAL) Program loans for up to three years.
Deferments and forbearance during military mobilization
Military service deferment for FFELP loans: This deferment is available to Stafford, PLUS, and consolidation loan borrowers for all periods that include October 1, 2007, or begin on or after that date, during which a borrower is serving on active duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency, or performing qualifying National Guard duty.
Sallie Mae private student loans deferment: If you have loans in an in-school or grace period status, or an in-school deferment, you may have your repayment status extended for up to three years during your active duty service if you are:
- A member of the National Guard or Ready Reserves called to active duty for more than 30 days; or
- An active member of the Armed Forces who is reassigned to another duty station for more than 30 days.
Loans that are in repayment may be eligible for up to 12 months of forbearance.
Forbearance for FFELP, HEAL, and Sallie Mae private student loans: If you don't qualify for a deferment, forbearance can temporarily stop or reduce your payments due to financial difficulty. You are responsible for the interest that accrues during forbearance; if it’s not paid during the forbearance period, it will be capitalized (added to your principal balance) and you may incur a fee. Forbearance is usually granted for periods of 6–12 months at a time, depending on the loan program. During forbearance, your account is considered current and in good standing; it is not considered delinquent and there is no impact on your credit score.
If you are considering forbearance, please contact a CollegeServ representative at 855-284-4879; there may be better options for you.