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You can help your undergraduate student pay for college either by cosigning a Smart Option Student Loan® or taking out a Sallie Mae® Parent Loan in your name. Both offer options for how you repay the loan, no origination fee, and can cover up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance at a degree-granting institution.

  Smart Option Student Loan® for Undergraduate Students Sallie Mae Parent Loan

Your role

You cosign the loan and share the responsibility of paying it back with your student You take the loan out in your own name and are responsible for paying it back

Primary borrower

Student Any creditworthy adult (parent, guardian, spouse, relative, or friend)

Variable rate*

3.37% APR – 10.75% APR 5.62% APR – 12.24% APR

Fixed rate*

4.74% APR – 11.35% APR 5.49% APR – 12.87% APR

Options for paying back the loan

  • No scheduled payments in school
  • $25 fixed monthly payments in school
  • Monthly interest payments in school; the interest rate will typically be 1 percentage point lower than with the deferred repayment option
  • Monthly interest payments while a student is in school for up to 48 months, followed by monthly principal and interest payments for the remaining life of the loan
  • Monthly principal and interest payments through the life of the loan including while a student is enrolled in school

Principal and interest repayment term

5 – 15 years of principal & interest payments 10 years of principal & interest payments

Graduated Repayment Period available

Yes No

More features

Learn more about the Smart Option Student Loan for Undergraduate Students Learn more about the Sallie Mae Parent Loan

*Lowest rates shown include the auto debit discount

Ready to apply

Smart Option Student Loan for Undergraduate Students

For bachelor’s and associate’s degrees or a certificate at a degree-granting school.

Apply for this loan

Sallie Mae Parent Loan

For your student’s bachelor’s, associate’s, or graduate degree, or a certificate at a degree-granting school.

Apply for this loan


Questions on which is the right loan for you?

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.

Smart Option 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.

Sallie Mae Parent Loan: This information is for borrowers with students attending participating degree-granting schools located in the U.S. The student is not eligible to be a borrower or cosigner. The borrower, cosigner and student must be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents. The school may refund loan funds directly to the student, and if that occurs, borrower and cosigner (if applicable) would still be responsible for repaying that amount. Applications are subject to a requested minimum loan amount of $1,000. Current credit and other eligibility criteria apply.

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.

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, during your separation/grace period, and until the loan is paid in full. The repayment option that is selected will apply during the in-school and separation/grace periods. 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 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.

APRs for the Principal and Interest Repayment Option may be higher than APRs for the Interest Repayment Option. 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. APRs assume a $10,000 loan to a person borrowing for a freshman student.

  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.

This repayment example is based on a typical Parent Loan made to a borrower (on behalf of a freshman student) who chooses a fixed rate and the Principal and Interest Repayment Option for a $10,000 loan, with two disbursements, and a 9.50% fixed APR. It works out to 4 payments of $64.95, 115 payments of $131.25 and one payment of $94.39, for a Total Loan Cost of $15,447.94.

Available for loans used to pay qualified higher education expenses at a degree-granting institution. Graduated Repayment Period (GRP) allows interest-only payments for 12 billing periods after principal and interest repayment begins. At the time of GRP request, the loan must be current (not past due). Customers may request GRP during the six billing periods before and the 12 billing periods immediately after the loan first enters principal and interest repayment. GRP does not extend the loan term. GRP increases the Total Loan Cost and monthly payments after the GRP will be higher than they would have been without it.

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. This benefit may be suspended during periods of forbearance or deferment, if available for the loan.

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

Information advertised valid as of 8/2/2019.

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.