PROS / Sallie Mae offers competitive variable-rate interest rates and an array of private loan options.
CONS / Sallie Mae only offers phone support for loan questions.
VERDICT / Sallie Mae is a longtime leader in the student loan industry that offers many private student loan options.
When it comes to student loans, Sallie Mae is a household name. It offers a full range of loan options for students looking to offset their expenses with the help of private student loans. If you are a current college student, whether in an undergraduate or graduate program, you can apply for a loan through Sallie Mae. Unlike other private student loan companies, it does not set a cap on the amount of money you can borrow while in school. You can borrow up to the full cost of attendance, after deducting federal student loan costs, and even petition your school for special expenses that exceed that amount.
Additionally, Sallie Mae offers consolidation loans. These loans are convenient if you have multiple federal and private student loans. Using a consolidation loan, you can combine the loans into a singular loan amount, interest rate and payment. This process usually lowers your overall monthly payment.
Sallie Mae offers both fixed-rate and variable-rate loans, which is comparable to the best student loan companies we reviewed. It is important to be aware that variable-rate loans can shift, but there is a cap on these rates. If you would like a more stable interest rate to help you plan for the long term, consider the fixed-rate loan option.
This lender offers three different repayment options for you to choose. The first of these is deferred payment, where you do not have to make payments on principle or interest until you graduate. The second payment option is a fixed-payment option where you pay a low monthly fee to keep your accumulating interest low, lowering the overall payments you will make on the loan. Lastly, you can pay full interest while you are in school. The more you pay while you are in school, the more you save in the long run.
Unlike other student loan companies for college, Sallie Mae does not offer any rate reduction when you apply for your private student loans. Other college loan companies usually offer some type of value incentive to earn your business. Sallie Mae makes up for it with its competitive interest rates for both variable- and fixed-rate loans. As is standard among the best college student loan companies, there is no origination or application fee for Sallie Mae.
A nice feature Sallie Mae offers is a college loan calculator. This tool helps you to estimate your college expenses so you can limit the debt you accrue in school through proper budgeting and discipline.
Sallie Mae has a sole term length of 15 years, which is fairly standard among student loan companies, and no prepayment penalty. There is a rate-reduction offer if you set up automatic payment through Sallie Mae.
This loan option is somewhat lacking in help and support. Unlike other college loan companies, Sallie Mae does not offer email or live chat support. Its website does have a FAQs section and a number for phone support should you have questions.
Sallie Mae continues to be a leader in the student loan industry. Through Sallie Mae, you get access to an array of private student loan options with competitive interest rates. It lacks some help and support options that other college loan companies include; however, you should be able to find most student loan services you are looking for through Sallie Mae.