You can help your undergraduate or graduate student pay for college either by cosigning a Smart Option Student Loan® or taking out a Sallie Mae Parent LoanSM 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® Sallie Mae Parent LoanSM

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 interest rate

2.87% – 9.91% APR 4.37% APR – 10.74% APR

Fixed interest rate

5.74% – 11.85% 5.74% – 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 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 10 years of monthly principal and interest payments
  • Monthly principal and interest payments for 10 years, 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

Cosigner release available

Yes No

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

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

Smart Option Student 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.

Sallie Mae Parent Loan: This information is for borrowers with students attending degree-granting institutions only. The student is not eligible to be a borrower or cosigner and must be attending or have attended a participating school during an eligible prior enrollment period, or be enrolled in an eligible study abroad program. The borrower, cosigner, and student must be U.S. citizens or 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 to Sallie Mae. Applications are subject to a requested minimum loan amount of $1,000. Current credit and other eligibility criteria apply.

Sallie Mae reserves the right to approve a lower loan amount than the school certified amount. Some requested amounts may require multiple loans.

Interest rates for Fixed and Deferred Repayment Options are higher than interest rates for the Interest Repayment Option. You’ll be charged interest while you’re 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.

APRs for the Principal and Interest Repayment Option are higher than APRs for the Interest Repayment Option. Variable rates may increase over the life of the loan. Advertised APRs assume a $10,000 loan to a borrower (on behalf of a freshman student) with no other Sallie Mae loans.

This repayment example is based on a typical loan to a freshman borrower who chooses a variable rate and the Fixed Repayment Option for a $10,000 loan, with two disbursements, and a 7.77% variable APR. It works out to 51 payments of $25.00, 119 payments of $147.30 and one payment of $116.61, for a Total Loan Cost of $18,920.31. Variable rates may increase over the life of the loan.

This repayment example is based on a typical loan to a borrower (on behalf of a freshman student) who chooses a variable rate and the Interest Repayment Option for a $10,000 loan, with two disbursements, and a 8.61% variable APR. It works out to 4 payments of $35.94, 44 payments of $71.88, 119 payments of $125.09 and one payment of $94.79, for a Total Loan Cost of $18,286.98. Variable rates may increase over the life of the loan.

Only the borrower may apply for cosigner release. Borrowers who meet the age of majority in their state may apply for cosigner release by providing proof of graduation (or completion of certification program), income, and U.S. citizenship or permanent residency (if your status has changed since you applied). In the last 12 months, the borrower must be current on all Sallie Mae serviced loans (including no hardship forbearances or modified repayment programs) and have paid ahead or made 12 on-time principal and interest payments on each loan requested for release. When the cosigner release application is processed, the borrower must demonstrate the ability to assume full responsibility of the loan(s) individually, and pass a credit review that demonstrates a satisfactory credit history including but not limited to no: open bankruptcy, open foreclosure, student loan(s) in default or 90 day delinquencies in the last 24 months. Requirements are subject to change.

Available for loans made to students attending a degree-granting institution. Graduated Repayment Period (GRP) allows interest-only payments for the initial 12-month period of repayment when the loan would normally begin requiring full principal and interest payments (which typically begins six months after graduation) or during the 12-month period after GRP request is granted, whichever is later. At the time of GRP request, the loan must be current and the borrower must have graduated with no interruption in enrollment and not be more than 30 days delinquent on any student loan. The borrower may request GRP only during the two billing periods immediately preceding and the two billing periods immediately after the loan would normally begin requiring full principal and interest payments. GRP does not extend the loan term. If approved for GRP, the Current Amount Due that is required to be paid each month after the GRP will be higher than it otherwise would have been without GRP, and the Total Loan Cost will increase.

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

Information advertised valid as of 12/27/2016.

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.