Sallie Mae loans: helping students and families finance education

Sallie Mae is a US-based institution that grants several types of student loans depending on qualifying factors. In response to the need for UK students to meet their financial obligations, Sallie Mae loans are also available to help fund education costs where bursaries, grants, and government loans are not enough.

The review

Sallie Mae was established in 1972 as a government-sponsored entity. It was completely privatised in 2004 and today, it is a private company with no sponsorship from the US government.

  • Diversified portfolio of student loan offerings

The company offers products and services with at least 529 college saving plans. With these plans, Sallie Mae helps students finance their education costs through high yielding savings accounts and CDs. Private loans for undergraduate, graduate and K-12 are also offered with shorter repayment period. All in all, it assists in paying for education costs by offering various types of loans suitable to the individual's financial capabilities and credit ratings. Other products include banking, insurance and its Upromise savings programme.

  • How it works

Since 2007, Sallie Mae loans are available to UK residents studying in the UK or in the US. British students can qualify for a student loan based on their credit or a qualified cosigner. The applicant must be at least 18 years and must be enrolled in a degree course. Loan limits include £1,000 as a minimum and a maximum of £20,000. Lifetime aggregate limit is at £30,000 for undergraduates and £80,000 for postgraduate students. An application has to be sent to the company which will review the applicant or their guarantor credit ratings. Once approved, a credit agreement will be signed and disbursements (by cheque) are sent to the school for collection.


Reviews of Sallie Mae loans indicate positive feedback. One, it is a good source of financing for students and families to pay for education costs. It offers several credit schemes to choose from. Interest rates vary depending on the credit worthiness of the applicant and guarantors. Second, their website, salliemae.com is a secure portal so you never have to worry personal information is compromised. Third, the repayment schemes are reasonable as you can choose in terms of payback period and methods, that is, automatic online payment. In short, it is competitive and comparable with other student loan companies. Complaints include unknown conditions of the loan, change of loan servicer, overdraft fees for failing to pay on time and forbearance charge which they cannot afford.

Latest news

Sallie Mae recently announced it will separate its two publicly traded companies, one for student loans and the other for private loans. This confirms that the private education loan market is experiencing a growth especially with the rising costs of tuition fees.

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