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Sallie Mae

Sallie Mae
Overall Satisfaction Rating 3.55/5
  • 5 stars
    156
  • 4 stars
    221
  • 3 stars
    125
  • 2 stars
    80
  • 1 stars
    57
Based on 639 ratings submitted in the last year

This company is not yet authorized. See reviews below to learn more or submit your own review.

Sallie Mae is a private student loan company that lends to full-time and part-time students. It approves 95% of loans when the student signs up with a cosigner. Its loans can be used for all school-related purchases, including classes, books and housing. Sallie Mae offers the Multi-Year Advantage program, in which students can reapply for a loan easily year after year.

BOTTOM LINE

Sallie Mae is a national student loan lender with multiple programs. While its application requires a hard credit check, it has online resources and a 95% approval rating for applicants with cosigners.

PROS
  • High rate of approved loans
  • $0 origination
  • Multi-Year Advantage offering
CONS
  • Unclear credit requirements
  • Hard credit check

Top Sallie Mae Reviews We Found

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Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer

I am happy that the Sallie Mae student loan is open for non US Citizens and also allows access for students doing online learning. This comes in handy for me as I fit both classifications and going through my online degree would be far fetched if I didn't have the option of Sallie Mae.

Read full review
Rated with 4 stars
Verified Reviewer

Sallie Mae has been good. They send plenty of reminders when your bill is coming due or something has changed with your account. I am a co signer and I like being kept in the loop. I would apply with Sallie Mae for school loans in the future.

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    Are you this business?

    What is Sallie Mae?

    Sallie Mae is a provider of private education loans, online banking and college planning resources for students and their families. For those who have already started their research on finance options for college, Sallie Mae has likely come up in discussions because of its high approval rate and vast array of options.

    How does a Sallie Mae loan work?

    With Sallie Mae, students or their guardians apply for one of its loan options (it has a 95% approval rate for loans with a cosigner). Then all payments are deferred and don’t have to be paid in monthly increments until the student graduates or stops attending school. Sallie Mae offers borrowers the option to pay down the loan while in school if they prefer.

    Students who get a Sallie Mae loan also receive access to benefits like four months of free Chegg Study, an online education resource, and college planning resources. Sallie Mae also offers certain scholarships.

    Sallie Mae loan requirements

    Because there are so many types of loans available, requirements for approval can be pretty vast. For example, if you’re applying for a Smart Option Student Loan through Sallie Mae, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Also, your loan amount must be more than $1,000.

    There are certain credit requirements and income thresholds as well, but these vary, so your best option is to use its online calculator to figure out what’s available for you.

    Students or parents must apply for a new loan each school year, which means rates and factors can change from year to year. But it does offer a Multi-Year Advantage program that offers faster approval and convenience when applying for a loan year after year.

    The amount you take out can’t be more than the cost of attendance minus any financial aid, but the money can be used to cover 100% of school-certified expenses, including books and rent.

    Sallie Mae interest rates

    Sallie Mae offers fairly standard interest rates. Its average variable loan rate falls between 1.25% and 11.35% APR. For fixed-rate loans, the rates are typically between 4.25% and 12.59% APR.

    If your quoted interest rate is too high when you apply as a student, you may consider adding a cosigner for more favorable rates. Variable loan rates can be lower because they’re able to change over time, meaning you might close your loan at a low rate but see it gradually increase over time. Fixed rates stay the same throughout the lifetime of the loan.

    Here’s an example of how a Smart Student Loan repayment might look: If a freshman takes out a fixed loan for $10,000 with a 6.99% variable APR, they might end up owing $17,754.19 if the loan term is 15 years (the max length for this type of loan). Payments could include 51 payments of $25.00, 119 payments of $137.53 and one payment of $113.12, though this assumes the variable rate won’t increase or decrease, although it could at any time.

    Sallie Mae FAQ

    Is Sallie Mae a federal or private lender?
    Sallie Mae is a private loan provider. Federal loans have to be borrowed directly from federal providers.
    What credit score do you need for Sallie Mae?
    Sallie Mae doesn’t state what its minimum credit score requirements are, but it does provide an average range of 300 to 850.
    Is it hard to get a Sallie Mae loan?
    No — 95% of people who apply for a Sallie Mae loan with a cosigner are approved.
    Does Sallie Mae verify income?
    Yes. Sallie Mae requires proof of income and will complete a credit check before providing a loan.
    Is Sallie Mae forgiving student loans?
    No. Nearly all student loan forgiveness programs are federal, which does not cover Sallie Mae loans.

    Is Sallie Mae legit?

    Sallie Mae is a highly recognized name in the private student loan industry. With multiple programs, including ones for part-time students, and its 95% approval rate for students who use a cosigner, many students should be able to find a solution that works for them through Sallie Mae.

    It has streamlined its application process and promises fast approvals, although a hard credit check is required in order to see your rates and options. Its additional benefits, like the Multi-Year Advantage program and $0 origination fees, do help most students take control of their loans over the entirety of their time in college for easier payments after graduation.

    Sallie Mae Reviews

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    How do I know I can trust these reviews about Sallie Mae?
    How do I know I can trust these reviews about Sallie Mae?
    • 3,054,201 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
    • We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
    • We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
    • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.

    For more information about reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com please visit our FAQ.

    Page 1 Reviews 0 - 10
    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Dec. 28, 2020

    I am happy that the Sallie Mae student loan is open for non US Citizens and also allows access for students doing online learning. This comes in handy for me as I fit both classifications and going through my online degree would be far fetched if I didn't have the option of Sallie Mae.

    Be the first one to find this review helpful
    Rated with 4 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Dec. 26, 2020

    Sallie Mae was very helpful during my time of need and they were very helpful at all times on all my needs and helped with all I wanted and thanks to them I finished all my schooling.

    Be the first one to find this review helpful

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      Rated with 4 stars
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Dec. 25, 2020

      Never co-signed for a student loan before so can’t really compare. Guess it’s okay. Not been hounded. But my son pays on time every month so shouldn’t have any problems.

      Be the first one to find this review helpful
      Rated with 4 stars
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Dec. 24, 2020

      Sallie Mae has been good. They send plenty of reminders when your bill is coming due or something has changed with your account. I am a co signer and I like being kept in the loop. I would apply with Sallie Mae for school loans in the future.

      Be the first one to find this review helpful
      Rated with 1 star
      profile pic of the author
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Feb. 5, 2021

      In June of 2020 I enrolled in the Reduced Rate Program at Sallie Mae because the hours I was carrying at my university did not meet the minimum required by Sallie Mae to remain in deferment, but since I have not finished my degree yet, I don't have the benefit of the pay raise that would allow me to repay the loan in full terms. I received the paperwork verifying my enrollment, and the three months of "pre-enrollment" payments of $264.59 were made to qualify. In September I was advised I would have no payment as my enrollment was finalized and payments would begin again in October in the amount of $264.59 as auto-debit against my account as is required by the program. Instead, in October 2020, I was charged $624.15, causing my account to overdraft, for which I incurred $174 in fees from my bank and countless hours of headache trying to sort through the mess.

      After 16 separate phone calls to Sallie Mae during the month of October, I was advised that I would have to re-enroll in the program due to an error on their end, and that by once again making the payments for three months, I would be correctly enrolled. This time the amount was $311.15, which was more than the agreed upon amount, but for which I agreed to have the mess resolved. I made the qualifying payments in October, November and December and called at the end of January to confirm that I was correctly enrolled and could expect to see the next payment of $311.15 on Feb 3, 2021 and was assured that it would be done correctly.

      Today, Feb 5, 2021 the amount finally debited from my account, and instead it was $473.88. I once again called Sallie Mae, and after being sent to three different departments was assured someone would call me either Monday or Tuesday to sort it out, but if I hadn't heard from anyone by Wednesday to call again. I am at my wit's end. My husband and I are both teachers. I have very little free time to make these calls over and over. Sallie Mae does not value me as a customer, and I am certain I will have to call on Wednesday to be bumped from department to department again while they "research" and do nothing. It's a stress because you also never know if the person you get is going to be even be polite. That's hit or miss. Feeling helpless!

      6 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 1 star
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Jan. 8, 2021

      There is no courtesy from this predator. They have arbitrary 'policy' in place, which change depending on who you talk to. They don't send email correspondence to inform you that a forbearance is ending. They charge exorbitant interest (>9.9%).

      9 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 1 star
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Jan. 7, 2021

      I hate to see so many people like myself have fallen victim to this loan company as I have. From the beginning, I have had negative experiences trying to do anything over the phone with an agent. I am transferred several times, placed on hold, and told different things about my loan depending who I speak to. Additionally, I was lucky enough to get a new job during the pandemic, but if I was one of many others whom I know were laid off, struggling to find work etc. you'd have an awful time making these payments because they do not lift a single finger to assist. However, they still manage to push every advance to get you to sign another loan with them. I was just alerted on my dash in a "Coronavirus update" that anyone who is behind payment by more than 15 days will no longer be able to use credit or debit payments starting Feb. 1, '21. On top of everything this just seems damning to hell.

      The user interface itself is difficult to use and confusing. You are encouraged and inclined to use auto debit, but when I made my first payment, the auto debit did not takeout my payment on the due date, and my account reflected a payment was due still, so I went ahead to make a manual payment to avoid late fees. Nope, the auto debit took out the payment 3 days later and overdrew my account. I called again this month to be sure that I was not going to be penalized if the auto debit is late to take my money, and he assured me everything would be fine but I still get very nervous.

      There is 0 reflection on the site that tells you when auto debit will take, which I tried expressing to the agent. He just persisted with "the auto debit will withdraw soon ma'am". Very nerve wracking knowing these companies can come for your credit over anything. If I knew four years ago what I knew now, I wouldn't have ever committed to this. Greed and lack of compassion for thorough customer care rules this company. PLEASE don't sign a loan with Sallie Mae.

      9 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 2 stars
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Dec. 27, 2020

      Masquerading as a quasi-government institution they solicit your loans when you need them most -- as you and your kids realize their college education is going to cost more than they expected! They have exorbitant rates, no loan forgiveness or rate reduction paths for hardship, and generally use aggressive tactics to force uncomfortable payments. They claim to "work with you" on modifications or relief, but in reality, they do nothing. This behavior is very similar to the mortgage market during the 2008-2010 great recession.

      7 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 1 star
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Dec. 12, 2020

      I continue to be amazed why Sallie Mae's executives are not in jail. They are perpetrating the ultimate scam and worse, they are doing this to young adults. Their rates are insanely high leading to guess what, struggles to make payments. It's near impossible to discharge the debt while every other creditor doesn't get the same favor. Their customer service is a joke. Their website won't even let you get a statement and their hours of operation is typical government. And in the end, a degree isn't just what is was worth in the past. Please consider carefully before getting loans with Sallie Mae. It's NOT worth the pain!

      14 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 1 star
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      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Nov. 30, 2020

      I had to take some extra graduate courses and took out a loan with Sallie Mae. I did not know that because it was a private loan, I could not consolidate the loan. During the pandemic, Sallie Mae continued to charge me 10% ($100 a month) while other student loan companies waived it. I tried to ask them to help me with the issue given financial hardship during the pandemic and they said they couldn't help. Avoid using them at all costs!

      14 people found this review helpful
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      Sallie Mae Company Information

      Company Name:
      Sallie Mae
      Year Founded:
      1972
      City:
      Newark
      State/Province:
      DE
      Country:
      United States
      Website:
      www.salliemae.com