Need help paying for college or graduate school? Sallie Mae will maintain its competitive interest rates with no origination fees for the next academic year

Business Wire

NEWARK, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Millions of soon-to-be high school and college graduates have selected an undergraduate or graduate program for the next academic year and now have a new challenge, the right way to pay for it.

For the upcoming 2014/15 academic year, Sallie Mae will continue to offer the same highly competitive fixed and variable interest rates and no origination fees or prepayment penalty on its Smart Option Student Loans. Variable rates for undergraduates range from 2.25% to 9.37% APR and fixed rates for undergraduates range from 5.74% to 11.69% APR1. Graduate students can qualify for variable rates of 2.25% - 7.27% APR or fixed rates of 5.74% - 8.56% APR2.

“Paying for college is just as important as selecting the right school, and it’s essential for families to evaluate their choices and determine how they will pay for the entire degree,” said Charlie Rocha, senior vice president & chief marketing officer. “We eliminate guesswork by showing details on all options and the total costs upfront so consumers can make the right informed decision for them.”

Private loans can be an affordable and financially responsible way to fill a gap in financing higher education. Sallie Mae’s Smart Option Student Loan features three monthly repayment options while the student is in school: payments of interest only, a fixed monthly payment or deferred payments. Sallie Mae encourages customers to make payments while in school to reduce finance charges and the amount of debt owed, and more than half of customers do. To help students and families make an informed borrowing decision, Sallie Mae provides prospective borrowers with detailed information about the total cost of the loan including interest rate, monthly payment, and total payments required for each repayment option.

The Smart Option Student Loan offers repayment flexibility as customers transition from school to the work force. New college graduates who maintain their Sallie Mae loan(s) in good standing may request a one-year interest-only payment period, after a six-month grace period, to help with the transition to full principal and interest payments without extending the length of repayment.

For parents considering taking a loan themselves, cosigning a private loan may be a lower-cost alternative for highly-qualified borrowers, and with Sallie Mae, the loan is a shared responsibility in the student’s name. Borrowers may apply to have their cosigner released from the loan after making 12 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest.

Sallie Mae’s Smart Option Student Loan also includes benefits of on-time payment rewards and tuition insurance. Customers taking advantage of the Smart Reward benefit may earn 2 percent of their scheduled monthly payments that are made on time while in school with the Interest or Fixed Repayment Options and have earned more than $5 million cash back into their Upromise by Sallie Mae accounts. Additionally, built-in tuition insurance covers up to $5,000 of tuition, room, board and other fees not refunded by the school if the student is forced to withdraw for eligible medical reasons.

Sallie Mae recommends a 1-2-3 approach to paying for college: First, explore scholarships and grants and use savings and income. Second, explore federal loans and third, fill the gap with a responsible private education loan. Sallie Mae encourages those who borrow to consider salary ranges of the chosen profession and the anticipated monthly payments on all student loans and before considering a private education loan.

Join the conversation on how to save, plan and pay for college at Facebook.com/SallieMae and Twitter.com/SallieMae.

Sallie Mae (NASDAQ: SLM) is the nation’s No. 1 financial services company specializing in education. Whether college is a long way off or just around the corner, Sallie Mae turns education dreams into reality for American families. With products and services that include Upromise rewards, scholarship search and planning tools, private education loans, insurance, and online banking, Sallie Mae offers solutions that help families save, plan, and pay for college. 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.

1 Interest rates for the Fixed and Deferred Repayment Options are higher than for loans with the Interest Repayment Option. Variable rates may increase after consummation. Interest is charged while you are in school and during the 6 month separation period. Any interest that remains unpaid when you enter full repayment will be added to your loan balance.

2 Interest rates for the Fixed and Deferred Repayment Options are higher than for loans with the Interest Repayment Option. Graduate student pricing on the Smart Option Student Loan is limited to students enrolling in a Masters/Doctorate level degree program. Graduate Certificate/Continuing Education course work is not eligible for graduate student pricing. Variable rates may increase after consummation. Interest is charged while you are in school and during the 6 month separation period. Any interest that remains unpaid when you enter full repayment will be added to your loan balance.

Contact:
Sallie Mae
Debby Hohler, 617-454-6741
dhohler@upromise.com

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