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If you’re a new graduate, you might not be that interested in your student loan servicer. But rest assured that your student loan servicer is very interested in you.
Your loan servicer plays a major role in your repayment. And if you happen to have Sallie Mae student loans, the good news is you have a wide selection of options to make those payments easier on your budget and save money over the long term.
Sallie Mae student loans
When it comes to paying for college, federal student loans are a smart first choice. They tend to have lower interest rates and more generous repayment terms than private ones.
But it’s possible to exhaust your federal loan options and need more money for school. That’s when private loans can make sense. With a private loan, you can borrow up to the total cost of attendance.
If you decided to apply for private student loans to pay for college, you might have selected Sallie Mae as your lender and loan servicer. It’s a popular choice, as the company currently manages over $18.6 billion in private loans.
The first step in repaying your loans is identifying what kind you have, as well as the length of your repayment terms. Sallie Mae offers various types of loans. See the table below for more details.
|Loan||Loan type||Repayment length|
|Smart Option Student Loan||For students working toward an associate, bachelor’s, or certificate from a degree-granting school||Up to 15 years|
|Parent Loan||For parents of undergraduate, graduate, or certificate program students||Up to 10 years|
|MBA Loan||For students pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree||Up to 15 years|
|Medical School Loan||For students attending veterinary or medical school||Up to 20 years|
|Dental School Loan||For dental school students||Up to 20 years|
|Health Professions Graduate Loan||For students studying to become pharmacists, nurses, or other health professionals||Up to 15 years|
|Law School Loan||For law school students||Up to 15 years|
|Graduate School Loan||For master’s and doctoral students||Up to 15 years|
Sallie Mae repayment options
Once you graduate and start making payments, it’s important to understand all your repayment options so that you don’t fall behind. If you’re struggling to keep up with your loans, here’s what you need to know about repaying your Sallie Mae student loans.
1. You can enter your loans into forbearance
Many private lenders don’t allow you to postpone payments, even in the case of financial hardship. Thankfully, Sallie Mae is an exception.
If you’re facing an emergency such as a job loss, you might be able to enter your loans into forbearance. That means you can postpone making payments for up to 12 months while you get back on your feet.
Sallie Mae does require you to pay a fee to demonstrate good faith. You’ll have to pay $50 per loan — with a maximum of $150 per account — to obtain a forbearance.
You should also know that interest continues to accrue while you’re in forbearance, but it can be worthwhile as you get your finances back in order.
To discuss your options, contact Sallie Mae at 800-472-5543.
2. You can defer payments
If you’re going back to school, you might worry about how to keep up with your loan payments.
Luckily, Sallie Mae offers deferments, meaning you can reduce or postpone your payments if you’re returning to college, going to graduate school, or entering an internship or residency. You can receive a deferment for up to 48 months.
When you defer your loans, interest continues to accrue on the balance. Without payments toward the accrued interest or principal, your balance can grow by a significant amount. But a deferment can be a useful tool, giving you breathing room in your budget while you complete your education.
To request a deferment, complete Sallie Mae’s request form.
3. You can qualify for an interest rate reduction
Sallie Mae recommends borrowers sign up for automatic debit payments. If you follow its guidance and enroll, you might qualify for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on your eligible loans.
If an interest rate reduction doesn’t sound significant, know that the savings can add up. If you had a $35,000 loan at 8.00% interest, you’d pay $15,958 in interest charges over the course of 10 years. But if you signed up for automatic debit and got a 7.75% interest rate, you’d pay $15,404 in interest. Taking a few minutes to sign up for automatic payments would help you save over $500.
How to pay off Sallie Mae student loans early
Maybe you don’t need deferment or forbearance but are ready to get rid of your student loans as quickly as possible. If so, use these tips to pay them off ahead of schedule.
- Pay something while in school: You can cut down on interest charges and save money by making even small payments while still a student.
- Make strategic extra payments: When you make an additional payment, Sallie Mae first applies it to unpaid fees, then to unpaid interest. Next, any remaining amount is applied to the current balance. Unless directed otherwise, the extra payment will go toward your next payment due. To speed up your repayment, contact the company and ask it to count it as an extra payment, rather than reducing your next payment.
- Consider refinancing: If your loan has a high interest rate, you could save a substantial amount of money by refinancing your student loans. With refinancing, you take out a new loan for some or all of your current ones. This way, you can get a better interest rate, a longer term with smaller payments, or a shorter term to get you out of debt faster. Find out how much you can save by using our refinancing calculator. And if you think this might be the right move for you, compare offers from multiple refinancing lenders to ensure you get the best rate.
Tackling your debt
Whether you need a little more breathing room on your repayments or want to speed up your progress out of debt, you do have a lot of options for your Sallie Mae student loans.
Consider your choices to decide what’s best for you, and make sure to check out more great tips on dealing with your student loans.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.57% – 6.98%3||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit SoFi|
|2.47% – 5.87%1||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Earnest|
|2.47% – 8.03%4||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Lendkey|
|2.80% – 6.22%2||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Laurel Road|
|2.48% – 6.25%5||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit CommonBond|
|2.57% – 8.17%6||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Citizens|