The Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan®

Terms and Conditions


  • Variable interest rates — 2.25% APR to 9.37% APR1
  • Fixed interest rates — 5.74% APR to 11.85% APR1
  • No origination fees and no prepayment penalty
  • Pay now or later — defer your payments until after school or choose an in-school repayment option that fits your needs1
  • Auto Debit Savings — 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction for automatic debit enrollment3
  • Smart Reward® — 2% cash back on scheduled payments made on time while in school with the Interest or Fixed Repayment Options4
  • Graduated Repayment Period5 — Budget flexibility for graduating students
  • Tuition Insurance Benefit — Covers up to $5,000 of tuition lost due to a covered medical withdrawal.6 Available at no cost to you with loans that first disburse July 1 through October 31, 2014.
  • Borrow up to 100% of your school-certified cost of attendance (minimum $1,000)8
  • Applying with a creditworthy cosigner may help you qualify and/or receive a lower interest rate
  • You can apply to release your cosigner after you graduate and make 12 consecutive on-time principal and interest payments9
  • Can be used if you have a balance to pay off before registering for the new semester


  • It only takes about 15 minutes to apply and get a credit result
  • 24/7 online account management
  • Loan forgiveness in the event of a student’s death or permanent and total disability7
  • Sallie Mae offers a wide array of banking products for students and their families
  • Visit for college planning tools and resources
  • Have questions? Get help deciding which loan is right for you at (877) 279-7172
Encouraging Responsible Borrowing

Sallie Mae has helped more than 30 million Americans pay for college since 1972. We encourage students and families to supplement their savings by exploring grants, scholarships, 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.

Explore federal loans and compare to ensure you understand the terms and features. Smart Option Student Loans that have variable rates can go up after consummation. 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, 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.


This information is for borrowers attending degree-granting institutions only. Credit criteria and eligibility requirements apply.

1 Interest rates for the Fixed and Deferred Repayment Options are higher than for loans with the Interest Repayment Option. Variable rates may increase after consummation. Interest is charged while you are in school and during the 6 month separation period. Any interest that remains unpaid when you enter full repayment will be added to your loan balance.

2 This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms available to a freshman borrower who elects the fixed repayment option and has a $10,000.00 loan with two disbursements and a 7.21% variable APR: 51 payments of $25, 119 payments of $140.28 and one payment of $114.17, for a total paid of $18,082.49.

3 The rate reduction benefit applies only if the recurring payment is successfully deducted from the designated account and is suspended during forbearances and certain deferments. For multi-party loans, only one party may enroll in auto debit.

4 Primary borrower can earn a reward into his or her active Upromise account of 2% of the scheduled loan payment amount for each on-time payment during the in-school and separation periods. Loan payments must remain current to be eligible for the reward. The Smart Reward Benefit and Upromise membership are subject to the terms and conditions of the Upromise service, as may be amended from time to time. Terms and conditions apply to the Upromise service. Participating companies, contribution levels and terms and conditions are subject to change at any time without notice. Go to to learn more. Upromise accounts are not FDIC insured, carry no bank guarantee and may lose value.

5 Available for loans that first disburse on or after July 1, 2013 to finance academic periods that begin on or after July 1, 2013 at a degree-granting institution. Graduated Repayment Period (GRP) requires interest payments for the initial 12 month period of repayment when you would normally begin making full principal and interest payments (which typically begins six months after graduation) or during the 12 month period after your request is granted, whichever is later. At the time you request GRP, you must have graduated with no interruption in enrollment, be current on payments, and not be more than 30 days late on payments on any student loan. You may request GRP only during the two billing cycles immediately preceding and the two billing cycles immediately after your loan would normally begin requiring full principal and interest payments. GRP does not extend the term of the loan. If you are approved for GRP, your principal and interest payments will be higher than if GRP did not apply, and your total loan cost will increase.

6 The Tuition Insurance Benefit is tuition refund insurance that covers up to $2500 per semester ($5000 total per policy) and is available with loans that first disburse between 7/1/14 and 10/31/14. Borrowers are automatically enrolled at the first loan disbursement. Benefit must be activated within four months of first disbursement to receive twelve months of coverage. To process the benefit, your information will be shared with Sallie Mae Insurance Services®, their underwriters, and their providers. If the loan is cancelled, coverage terminates. Individuals may be enrolled in only one Tuition Insurance Benefit at a time. Benefit is offered through Sallie Mae Insurance Services, a service of Next Generation Insurance Group, LLC, a licensed insurance producer. For insurance licensing information, go to Coverage is underwritten by Markel Insurance Company, Deerfield, IL; Administrative Office: Glen Allen, VA.

7 If a student borrower dies or becomes permanently and totally disabled, Sallie Mae will waive all remaining payments on the loan. Loan forgiveness is not available to borrowers residing in Alaska or Montana.

8 As certified by your school and confirmed by Sallie Mae, less other financial aid received. Sallie Mae reserves the right to approve a lower loan amount than what the school has certified. Requested amounts exceeding $99,999 may require multiple loans.

9 Only the borrower may apply for cosigner release. The borrower must provide proof of successful completion of school, be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, be current and have made 12 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest immediately before applying, and pass a credit check including income verification when the release request is processed.

Information advertised valid as of 3/25/2014.


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

The Sallie Mae logo, Sallie Mae, Sallie Mae Bank, Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan, Sallie Mae Insurance Services and Smart Reward are registered service marks of Sallie Mae, Inc.

Upromise and the Upromise logo are registered service marks of Upromise, Inc.