Sallie Mae Announces Lower Interest Rates for Graduate Students, Effective
NEWARK, Del. -- March 6, 2013
Sallie Mae, the nation’s No. 1 financial services company specializing in
education, today announced new, lower interest rates on its Smart Option
Student Loan for graduate students.
Customers have a choice of variable or fixed rates with no origination fees
and no prepayment penalties. The variable rate range is 2.25 to 7.5 percent
(2.25 to 7.33% APR), based on today’s Libor. The fixed rate range is 5.75 to
8.875 percent (5.75 to 8.63% APR).
These rates compare favorably to federal Direct PLUS Loan rates, which are set
at 7.9 percent with a 4-percent origination fee (8.35% APR for loans that
defer repayment until after the student leaves school, or 8.79% APR for
“Many graduate students and their families here at Ole Miss who are seeking
additional financing to cover education costs consider federal Direct Grad
PLUS loans or non-federal private student loans,” said Dewey Knight, associate
director, financial aid, University of Mississippi. “Which loan program is
‘better’ is an individual decision dependent on the student's circumstances
and preferences. We highly recommend that our students research both loan
programs and choose the option that best meets their individual needs.”
The announcement comes just weeks before graduate students typically receive
acceptances and financial aid award letters. To be eligible, graduate students
may submit student loan applications on or after April 1, 2013. The rates are
available to borrowers in a master’s or doctorate program, enrolled either
full or part time.
“Just as graduate students apply to a variety of graduate schools and
carefully consider their offers of admissions and financial aid, they should
also thoroughly research their loan options,” said Charlie Rocha, senior vice
president, Sallie Mae. “Well-qualified applicants and those who expect to
repay their student loans quickly may benefit from a lower-cost, no-fee
private education loan.”
Sallie Mae’s Smart Option Student Loan features safeguards that promote
responsible borrowing, including:
*No surprises: clear terms, 30 days to shop around and 60 days to cancel.
*100 percent school certification: financial aid officers approve loan
amounts to ensure that customers borrow no more than the cost of
attendance, less other financial aid received.
*Graduate with less debt: customers who elect to make payments in school
receive the best interest rates and pay less interest compared to those
who defer payments until after graduation.
*On-time payment rewards: students may receive Upromise cash back rewards
of 2 percent of their scheduled, on-time, in-school monthly payments and a
0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction with the auto debit payment
*Tuition insurance: up to $5,000 of tuition, room, board and other fees not
refunded by the school if a student is forced to withdraw within a year
for eligible medical reasons.
*Cosigner release opportunity: the primary borrower may apply for cosigner
release after graduation and after making 12 consecutive monthly on-time
principal and interest payments.
*Death and disability loan forgiveness: full loan forgiveness for the
cosigner if a primary borrower dies or becomes permanently disabled.
Sallie Mae encourages students to apply for financial aid, build a budget, and
compare their loan options to make the choice that’s right for them. The
company recommends students explore Stafford loans, which may have lower
rates, and compare other options, including PLUS loans and private loans, to
fill any remaining unmet need.
Sallie Mae(NASDAQ: SLM) is the nation’s No. 1 financial services company
specializing in education. Celebrating 40 years of making a difference, Sallie
Mae continues to turn education dreams into reality for American families,
today serving 25million customers. With products and services that include
529 college savings plans, Upromise rewards, scholarship search and planning
tools, education loans, insurance, and online banking, Sallie Mae offers
solutions that help families save, plan, and pay for college. Sallie Mae also
provides financial services to hundreds of college campuses as well as to
federal and state governments. 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.
Nikki Lavoie, 302-283-4057
Patricia Nash Christel, 302-283-4076
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