Pros / Sallie Mae will consider releasing a cosigner after 12 on-time payments.
Cons / You can only reach the company by phone for help and support.
Verdict / With a loan limit of $200,000, Sallie Mae offers enough money to pay for almost any college education, but its limited options for reaching customer support make this loan provider difficult to recommend.
Taking out a loan to pay for college is something most students do. After you've applied for scholarships and taken advantage of federal student loans, a private student loan can be a good way to pay for your education. Sallie Mae is a private student loan provider that offers up to $200,000 to help fund your education.
Sallie Mae has been involved in student loans for decades, and the high loan limit it offers should be enough for any student to afford an undergraduate degree. However, you can't consolidate federal and private loans into a single loan, something that the best private student loan providers can do.
You can choose between a fixed or variable interest rate, and the repayment length is 12 years. This 12-year repayment period is a shorter period of time than PNC Bank and Wells Fargo, which means that you will have to pay more money per month to pay the loan off on time. You can, however, always pay the loan off faster with no penalties if you are able.
If you're like most students that don't have an established credit history, you may need to have a family member or friend act as a cosigner for the loan. This student loan provider offers one of the shortest cosigner release periods – 12 months. This means that if you make on-time payments toward the principal and interest on your loan, your cosigner can be released from the loan. Additionally, Sallie Mae will give you 12 months of forbearance over the life of the loan. Forbearance can be used if you lose your job or run into financial difficulties and can't pay your monthly payments. Sallie Mae will let you pause the payments (while interest still accrues) until you regain your financial footing.
If you get a student loan and sign up for automatic payments from a checking or savings account, Sallie Mae will give you a 0.25 percent discount on your interest rate (other student loan options deduct 0.50 percent).
One area where we found Sallie Mae lacking, however, was with its options for reaching help and support. Student loans are confusing. If you take out a private loan, you want to be able to quickly get help when you need it.
Sallie Mae doesn’t offer any email support, nor does it have live chat on its website. The only way to contact this student loan provider is to call and wait for a customer service agent. The best student loans give you multiple ways to contact the provider.
If you need a student loan with a high limit, Sallie Mae’s upper limit of $200,000 can cover the cost of your undergraduate college expenses. However, the lack of email and live chat support, pushed this student loan provider toward the end of our student loan services review.