Sallie Mae

Sallie Mae Reviews

Sallie Mae Reviews

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About Sallie Mae Reviews

Sallie Mae is a private student loan company that lends to full-time, part-time and less than half-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.

Pros & Cons


  • High rate of approved loans
  • $0 origination
  • Multi-Year Advantage offering


  • Unclear credit requirements
  • Hard credit check

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.

Featured Reviews

Nairobi, Other

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 classif...

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Tucson, AZ

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...

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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 online education 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 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 5.99% to 16.33% APR. For fixed-rate loans, the rates are typically between 4.50% to 14.83% 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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Page 1 Reviews 0 - 10

Reviewed Sept. 2, 2022

To make a long story short this company is not helpful to their borrowers. Basically if you already used the Graduate Repayment Program and used the forbearance then that's it. You have no more options. So unless you miss a payment they will be more than happy to assist if possible but there is no guarantee. If you are trying to avoid that and trying to get ahead of this you can forget help. I will never ever recommend them to anyone. They are unhelpful and will send you all over the place to finally have someone tell you no they can't help. Even with Covid-19 they only pause the payments for three months. They never offered any alternative repayments other than the Graduate Repayment and once you used that then you're done. Now with Recession looming over they will not help. So I will repeat. Never ever use them.

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    Customer ServiceStaffRates

    Reviewed Sept. 19, 2021

    I would like to say in my opinion Do Not Trust Sallie Mae. I Do Not Have a loan with them. But I was helping pay the interest rate a month. Somehow in 2016 all students were required to pay the interest rate. But needless to say I was paying twenty five a month. Never look at my bank statements but I was looking for something and what did I see instead of twenty five there was a total of over Five Hundred taken out of my account for 5 months. I had the bank stop the payments. Now all the time I paid the interest there was no statement from Sallie Mae nor to the student either. No paperwork on raising the payment. But once the payment stop Sallie Mae has called several times and called people and Stated To These Persons That the Student Used Them As A Reference.

    What madding is The student father left over 10 years no contact and then received a message about Sallie Mae Stating the Student used him as a Reference. In Fact Sallie Mae of Professionalism is a Negative with it Practice. I would Not Recommend Sallie Mae plus look at Better Business Bureau and Attorney General Office.

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    Customer ServiceRates

    Reviewed July 10, 2021

    I give a less favorable rating because I wasn't allowed sufficient time to graduate and secure a job before the interest on the loan began to accumulate. This is a cutthroat and predatory practice in my opinion.

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    Customer ServiceLoan Process

    Reviewed July 1, 2021

    Poor quality when borrowing... I feel harassed every time I purchase something from anyone else lately... I hate to even have a doggone student loan at all... It’s too much of a hassle to apply for other stuff.

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    Customer ServiceStaffLoan ProcessRates

    Reviewed June 30, 2021

    Early on after graduating they offered very little help for me. I was not working for some time unable to find a job that would pay enough to repay my student loans. They offered little help and compounded huge amounts of interest growing a relatively modest student loan into an insurmountable mountain of debt that I will never be able to repay. Student loan servicers have ruined many young people's lives with these unfair current servicer Navient seems somewhat better, but I still not very trustful.

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    Customer Service

    Reviewed June 29, 2021

    Ever so thankful for the opportunity to finish college. Without student loans, it would not have been possible. Getting my degree was the highlight of my life and gave me confidence in myself during a very difficult time.

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    Customer ServiceLoan ProcessRates

    Reviewed June 27, 2021

    Even with state grants, loans did not fully cover 3 years of an in-state university with no room and board. Then, I had to have my parents get denied a parent plus loan (even though they were paying nothing for my education), in order for me to qualify for a different type of loan. This was so stressful, that it interfered with my school work. The 2nd type of loan I needed in order to finish my bachelor's, skyrocketed my student loan debt due to compounding interest. If I could go back in time, I would not get a 4yr degree due to the unpayable interest Sallie Mae charges.

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    Customer ServiceStaff

    Reviewed June 26, 2021

    They really helped me in my time need. Their offers were great for my needs at the time and repayment was easy. I would definitely recommend them to any student who is in need and can’t find the funds.

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    Customer Service

    Reviewed June 25, 2021

    I have been with Sallie Mae for many years, I started to pay off my loans but went back to college and had several forbearance. Because I started out late, I also went on disability until retirement and now I am in a program thru President Obama that I don't have to repay for 25 yrs then the loan will cancel. Sallie Mae was always a good company to deal with, great customer service.

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    Reviewed 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!

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    Sallie Mae Company Information

    Company Name:
    Sallie Mae
    Year Founded:
    United States