Mind the College Financing Gap: Consider a Responsible Private Education Loan to Cover Any Remaining College Costs This Year

Sallie Mae’s Smart Option Student Loan® Offers Competitive Pricing, Payment Flexibility, Quarterly FICO® Scores for Free, and Consumer Safeguards

Wednesday, August 19, 2015 9:26 am EDT



Public Company Information:

"With three daughters out of college and my youngest on her way back to campus later this month, I can tell you there are many expenses that pop up last minute"

NEWARK, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Students are getting ready to head back to school and, for some families, that means securing additional financing to meet college costs. After exploring grants, scholarships, and federal loans, a private education loan can be a responsible and affordable way to cover any gap in college financing. Available for students attending degree-granting schools, Sallie Mae’s Smart Option Student Loan offers families the opportunity to design a private education loan that meets their needs.

For the 2015-16 academic year, Smart Option Student Loans for undergraduates offer variable rates that range from 2.25 to 9.37 percent APR and fixed rates that range from 5.74 to 11.85 percent APR. Graduate students can qualify for variable rates of 2.25 to 7.27 percent APR or fixed rates of 5.74 to 8.56 percent APR. There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties.

“With three daughters out of college and my youngest on her way back to campus later this month, I can tell you there are many expenses that pop up last minute,” said Charlie Rocha, executive vice president, Sallie Mae. “The good news is there are options available, and our Smart Option Student Loan can be an affordable, flexible, and responsible way to cover those costs quickly and easily.”

In addition to no-cost access to quarterly FICO® Scores, Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loans offer these benefits:

  • Choice and Flexibility: Customers may select from three monthly repayment options: interest-only payments while in school; fixed monthly payments of $25 while in school; or payments deferred until after school. Undergraduate students who make interest-only payments while they are in school save an average of almost 25 percent on total loan costs compared to students who defer payments until after school. Also, all Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loans are certified by the school’s financial aid office to help ensure customers borrow no more than the cost of attendance less other financial aid received.
  • Reduced Interest Rates and Rewards for Paying on Time: Customers can reduce their interest rate by 0.25 percent by enrolling in the automatic debit option. Customers who sign up for Upromise by Sallie Mae — the free saving for college and rewards program — and choose to make interest-only or fixed payments while in school may earn 2 percent of their scheduled monthly payment back in cash by making on-time payments. Also, through Upromise Loan Link, customers may use Upromise earnings to pay down eligible Sallie Mae student loans.
  • Graduated Repayment: The Smart Option Student Loan is the only nationwide private education loan offering a Graduated Repayment feature, a transitional repayment plan that offers customers greater budget flexibility. Students with an eligible loan who graduate and maintain their Sallie Mae loans in good standing may elect to make 12 interest-only payments while transitioning into full principal and interest payments.
  • Cosigner Release: After they graduate, and once they have made 12 consecutive on-time principal and interest payments and meet certain other credit requirements, customers may apply to have their cosigner released from the loan.

Sallie Mae recommends the 1-2-3 approach to paying for college: first, start with money you won’t have to repay by maximizing scholarships and grants; second, explore federal student loans by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid; and third, consider a responsible private education loan to fill the financing gap.

For more information or to apply, visit www.SallieMae.com/smartoption.

Sallie Mae (NASDAQ: SLM) is the nation’s saving, planning, and paying for college company. Whether college is a long way off or just around the corner, Sallie Mae offers products that promote responsible personal finance, including private education loans, Upromise rewards, scholarship search, college financial planning tools, and online retail banking. Learn more at SallieMae.com. Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

Multimedia Files:

Sallie Mae's 1-2-3 Approach to Paying for College Video


Sallie Mae
Ellen J. Roberts, 302-451-0428