The Sallie Mae Bank was initially launched as a Government-Sponsored-Enterprise in 1973, with the name The Student Loan Marketing Association (nicknamed “Sallie Mae”). In 2004 Sallie Mae was fully privatized. With over $12.97 billion in assets and over 30 million borrowers, it is the largest private student loan lender in the US. The Sallie Mae Bank has its headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware and has an A+ rating with the BBB.

How Does Sallie Mae Bank Work?

Sallie Mae Bank is no longer subsidized by the Government. Its loans are private loans and should not be confused with Federal Perkins Loans or the Federal Direct Loan Program. This means Sallie Mae loans don’t come with the entitlements and perks that federal loans offer, such as deferment, forbearance and flexible repayment plans.

Sallie Mae offers undergraduate student loans and graduate student loans with a range of repayment options and APRS. It also offers a Smart Option Student Loan for both undergraduate and graduate student loans that allows you to pick and choose the terms of your loan.

Sallie Mae also provides Medical Residency & Relocation loans, Dental Residency and Relocation Loan and Bar Study loans.

While in school, students can choose to defer all loan payments, pay just $25 a month or pay only the interest portion. Payments start just six months after graduating. Borrowers can use co-signer to either qualify for a loan or qualify for better rates.

What Are Sallie Mae's Rates?

Rates vary depending on whether you choose a variable rate, fixed rate or hybrid loan, the length of the term and your credit profile. 

For private student loans, you can similarly choose between having a variable or fixed APR.

  • Sallie Mae's variable rate APRs range from 3.25% to 10.22%.

  • Sallie Mae's fixed rate APRs range from 5.74% to % APR.

How Much Money Can I Borrow from Sallie Mae?

Sallie Mae's student loans start at $1000 and go up to the cost of attendance.

Which States Does Sallie Mae Operate In?

Sallie Mae operates in all 50 states.

What Is Sallie Mae’s Application Process Like?

Sallie Mae requires borrowers to complete an online application and to provide the following information:

  • Address and previous addresses.
  • SSN for the borrower and cosigner.
  • School information, such as your GPA and academic period of enrollment.
  • Loan amount requested and Employment information
  • Financial information that includes mortgage and rental payments.
  • Name and contact details for two personal contacts that don’t have to be co-signers.

 How Is Sallie Mae Better Than Other Lenders?

Sallie Mae offers loans with competitive rates to people with a wide range of credit scores. It doesn’t charge origination or prepayment penalty fees. It also provides flexible repayment methods, particularly if you use the Smart Option Student Loan.

Sallie Mae gives borrowers free access to their FICO score and rewards borrowers as well as a 2% cashback of monthly payments paid on time while in school. Once they have graduated, borrowers can request to make 12 interest-only payments instead of full principal and interest payments, if they are in good standing with their loans.

  • Loan Term (Years)
    5 - 15
  • Min Loan
  • Variable APR
    3.25% - 10.22%
  • Fixed APR
    5.74% - 11.85%
  • Cosigner Optional
  • Undergraduate Students
  • Graduate Students
  • Parents of Dependent
  • Grace Period / Deferred Interest
  • No Origination Fee
  • Student Loan Type
  • Funding Time Range (in days)
    7 - 14
  • Unemployment Protection
  • Up to Cost of Attendance
"The lowest rate is available only to the most qualified borrowers. Actual loan pricing is based on creditworthiness factors evaluated during the application process. Fixed interest rates and the deferred repayment option are only available to borrowers attending degree-granting institutions. Your actual interest rate will be based on creditworthiness as determined during the application process."
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