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Private student loans are credit-based products that require credit guidelines such as a credit history, verifiable income, etc., to qualify.

So many students will need a qualified co-signer such as a parent or another in order to qualify for this loan.

Private Student Loans

about private student loans

Private Student Loans Can Make up the Difference between total cost of school and any financial aid that the student may receive. You can get extra funds to pay for tuition, books, housing, computer and other education expenses.

Loan Amounts: up to 100% of the certified cost of education 2
Payments Begin: fixed monthly payments of $25 while in school 1
Savings: you could save 1000's over the life of your loan 1
Benefits: 0.25% rate reduction incentives available 4
Disbursement: sent after loan-certification from your school

For Information Below:

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Private Student Loans:

Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan SM

Save Money - Build Good Credit

The innovative Smart Option Student Loan helps student save money, build good credit, and pay off their student loan debt faster.

You will make small, fixed payments of just $25 a month while in school.

  • That could save more than $6,000 1 as compared to a traditional 15-year payment deferred private student loan.

  • In addition, applying with a creditworthy cosigner could help you get a lower rate.

  • It's an ideal solution for funding up to 100% of your total cost of attendance 2 if you still need money for college.


Use after all other options

The Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan is an ideal solution for students who still need funds after they have maximized grants, scholarships and federal loans.

With this school-certified loan, student can borrow up to the full cost of their education, less other aid received l


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  • Low $25 fixed payments while in school and for 6 months after graduation

  • Competitive rates for degree-granting institutions 3  L + 3.5% (3.85% APR) to L + 10.875% (10.48% APR)

  • No originations fees for degree-granting institutions 3

  • Earn a 0.25% interest rate reduction for making payments via automatic debit 4

  • Earn a 2% Smart Reward SM for making scheduled payments on-time 5

  • Apply with a creditworthy cosigner and you may receive a lower interest rate

  • Borrowers may apply for cosigner release after successful completion of their education 6


  • No prepayment penalty

  • Easy online application—20 minutes is all you should need

  • 24/7 online account management

Loan Terms:

  • $1,000 minimum loan amount

  • Monthly $25 payments are required while in school. Principal and interest payments begin after a six-month separation period.


  • You must attend an eligible school to qualify for the Smart Option Student Loan; however, this loan does cover a variety of programs from undergraduate to graduate degrees.

Upromise by Sallie Mae ® rewards program

  • With Upromise by Sallie Mae you can earn rewards to help pay down your student loan from everyday shopping—like eating out, filling your gas tank, and more! Look for information on how to join Upromise when you are applying for your Smart Option Student Loan
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Smart Option Loan Legal Information

1 $25/month fixed payment repayment option is available for new loan applications initiated on or after June 28, 2010, and is subject to change.  The savings example uses approximated numbers, is for informational purposes only and is an example of loan terms available through the Smart Option Student Loan. Savings is based on the following assumptions: A Smart Option Student Loan made to a freshman borrower at a degree granting institution of $10,000 with two disbursements and a 10.05% APR [Interest rate of LIBOR + 10.375% (LIBOR of 0. 375% as of 11/26/2010) and no origination fee or disbursement fee]. APR may increase after consummation. Repayment consists of 51 fixed $25/month payments (in-school period of 45 months plus separation period of 6 months), followed by 119 principal and interest payments of $179.79 per month and one payment of $115.65 for total payments of $22,786 (finance charge of $12,786). Compare against a traditional 15-year private student loan for $10,000 where payments are deferred during school and grace periods, an estimated APR of 9.97% and repayment consisting of 179 principal and interest payments of $162.11 per month and one payment of $41.83 (following a 45-month in-school period and 6-month grace period, after which accrued interest is capitalized) for total payments of $29,060 (finance charge of $19,060). 

2 Borrow up to the cost of attendance (minimum $1,000) 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.

3 Market leading rates based on a May 7, 2010 review of competitor rates and APRs. Rates and fees shown are available for borrowers attending degree-granting institutions with the fixed repayment option only. The rates for borrowers attending non- degree granting institutions with the fixed pay repayment option will range from L + 8.50% to L + 12.50% (8.82% APR to 13.88% APR) (LIBOR of 0.375% as of 11/26/2010) and the origination or disbursement fees will range from 0% to 5%.  The APR and interest rate on your loan will be a variable rate and will change based on changes in the one-month LIBOR rate. Your interest rate and monthly payment will increase if the one-month LIBOR rate increases.

4 Benefit for enrolling in monthly recurring automatic debit payments is available for as long as monthly payment is successfully deducted from the designated bank account. Benefit is suspended during periods of forbearance and certain deferments.

5 The 2% reward benefit is available on the Smart Option Student Loan during the borrower's initial in-school and separation period only. If the borrower leaves school but returns later, the reward will not be available for any subsequent in-school period. The primary borrower must be of the age of majority in his or her state of residence (typically 18 years old) and must enroll in Upromise at the time he or she applies for the loan or already be a Upromise member at the time of loan application. If the primary borrower is already a Upromise member at the time of loan application, the borrower must indicate that when applying for the loan and provide the requested information to confirm enrollment. To be eligible to receive the 2% reward, the borrower may not have had two consecutive scheduled payments past due on the loan for which the benefit is available. If the borrower has two consecutive scheduled payments past due, he or she will no longer be eligible for the reward on that loan. If all conditions are met, the primary borrower will earn 2% of the scheduled payment in Upromise rewards into his or her Upromise account for each payment made by the scheduled due date. The 2% reward will be based only on the scheduled payment amount due and cannot be earned on payments that exceed the scheduled payment amount. The 2% reward benefit is subject to the terms and conditions of the Upromise service (as may be amended from time-to-time), including without limitation, restrictions on conversion, transfer and redemption of rewards, reward denomination, including whether and under what circumstances the rewards have independent cash value, and terms relating to fees and/or the forfeiture of rewards. Benefit available on eligible loans first disbursed on or after June 1, 2010.

6 To qualify for cosigner release, borrower must have successfully completed school, made 12 consecutive on-time principal and interest payments, meet age of majority requirements, be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and meet the underwriting requirements when the release request is processed.  Account must remain current until the request for cosigner release is processed.
You must attend an eligible school and be enrolled in an eligible program. U.S. citizens enrolled in eligible study abroad programs or studying at medical schools outside the United States are also eligible. International students are eligible with a creditworthy cosigner (who must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident) and appropriate U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service documentation.

You must meet current credit and other eligibility criteria
Terms and conditions apply to the Upromise service. Participating company, contribution levels and terms and conditions are subject to change at any time without notice. Go to to learn more.
Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loans are made by Sallie Mae Bank®. The Student Loan Network is compensated for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.

Borrower benefit information valid as of November 26, 2010.


The Sallie Mae logo, Sallie Mae, Sallie Mae Bank®, Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan and Dream. Invest. Succeed. are registered service marks of Sallie Mae, Inc. Smart Rewards is a service mark of Sallie Mae, Inc. Upromise is a registered service mark of Upromise, Inc. SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries, including Sallie Mae, Inc. and Upromise, Inc., are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America. Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loans are made by Sallie Mae Bank or a Sallie Mae lender partner. © 2010 by Sallie Mae, Inc. All rights reserved.



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