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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.

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When savings, scholarships, and federal aid aren't enough, get the money you need to help pay for your undergraduate education. 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:   
3.00% - 10.01% APR*


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

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

Fixed interest rate:   
5.74% - 11.85% APR*

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

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

Pay it back now or later

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 loan cost, since the interest rate may be higher and 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, and you can save an average of 12%*** on your total undergraduate 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 interest every month you're in school and in grace. Your interest rate will be 1 percentage point lower than with our deferred repayment option* and you can save an average of 25%*** on your total student loan cost, compared to our deferred repayment option.

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

How repayment options affect your loan

* 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 with no other Sallie Mae loans.

** This repayment example is based on a typical loan to a borrower who chooses a variable rate and the Fixed Repayment Option for a $10,000 loan, with two disbursements, and a 7.89% variable APR. It works out to 51 payments of $25.00, 119 payments of $148.74 and one payment of $117.05, for a Total Loan Cost of $19,092.11. Variable rates may increase over the life of the loan.

*** Savings based on a typical loan to a freshman.

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 undergraduate 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 college 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 loan.

Consider a cosigner

Parents can choose how to help you

Parents have options—learn about the differences between our Smart Option Student Loan and the Federal PLUS Loan for Parents.

Compare loan options for parents

Questions? Need help applying?

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.

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.

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 3/27/2017.