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Student Loans

College Ave vs. Sallie Mae Student Loan Comparison

Updated Oct 20, 2023   |   4-min read

When you’re taking out private student loans, you have many lenders to choose from. Student loan options can vary a lot among lenders, so always compare rates, loan options, and repayment options to find the best financial aid for your situation.

College Ave and Sallie Mae are two popular private student loan lenders. This comparison will help you decide which of these two is best for you.

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Rates (APR) 4.44% – 15.99% 4.50% – 16.20%
Rates (APR) Rates (APR)
4.44% – 15.99% 4.50% – 16.20%
Loan amount $1,000 – 100% of certified costs $1,000 – 100% of certified costs
Loan amount Loan amount
$1,000 – 100% of certified costs $1,000 – 100% of certified costs
Repayment terms 5, 8, 10, or 15 years 10 – 15 years
Repayment terms Repayment terms
5, 8, 10, or 15 years 10 – 15 years

What Loans Does Each Lender Offer?

Both College Ave and Sallie Mae are well-known student loan lenders with a strong reputation for offering education financing to creditworthy borrowers. Both offer a wide variety of loans, so qualified applicants have a good chance to find a fitting loan with either lender.

Each lender’s loan options are listed below. You can learn more about them in our full Sallie Mae student loan review and our full College Ave student loan review

College Ave Student Loan Options

  • Undergrad student loans
  • Graduate student loans
  • Parent Loans
  • Career training loans
  • Law school loans
  • Dental school loans
  • Medical school loans
  • MBA loans
  • Refinance loans

Sallie Mae Student Loan Options

  • Undergrad student loans
  • Graduate student loans
  • Parent student loans
  • Career training loans
  • Law school loans
  • Dental school loans
  • Dental residency and relocation loans
  • Bar study loans
  • Health professions graduate loans
  • Medical school loans
  • Medical residency and relocation loans
  • MBA student loans
  • K-12 loans

Sallie Mae vs. College Ave: Which Is Right for You?

The table above shows how Sallie Mae and College Ave compare in some important areas, but sometimes it can be difficult to see where one lender is better than the other.

Here are a few scenarios where one lender may make more sense for you.

If you want a little more time before repayment: College Ave

Both lenders offer an option for deferment of payments while you’re in school and a six-month grace period in which you don’t have to make payments once you graduate or leave school.

College Ave, however, allows borrowers to apply for an additional six months of grace period if you need a little more time.

Just be aware that interest will continue to accrue during periods of deferment with both lenders.

If you want the shortest possible period for cosigner release: Sallie Mae

You may require a cosigner with good credit to help you get the loan amount you need with competitive rates. Cosigner release allows a cosigner to be absolved of the legal responsibility for loan repayment when the primary borrower has proved to be able to repay on their own.

Sallie Mae allows cosigner release after 12 months of on-time payments. College Ave makes cosigner release an option only after half the repayment period has lapsed.

If you want to refinance existing educational debt: College Ave

College Ave offers student loan refinance loans, and Sallie Mae does not. Refinancing your student loans can help you lower the interest rate and monthly payment on existing debt, making the repayment process cheaper and easier for the remaining life of the loan.

Bottom Line: Sallie Mae vs. College Ave

College Ave’s student loans were our choice as the best option between the two lenders thanks to the opportunity to receive low rates and choose your repayment term. If you value a short cosigner release period, then Sallie Mae may be a better choice.

How These Two Lenders Compare to Other Lenders

Make sure you exhaust your options for federal student loans before looking at private lenders. Federal loans could save you money and give you more flexible repayment, such as income-driven repayment plans and student loan forgiveness, in the future.

However, if your cost of attendance is above what you can receive in federal student aid, private loans can fill in the gaps.

Compare several lenders to find the lowest rates and best repayment terms. You can see our top picks for private student loans on our Best Private Student Loans page.

In addition, see how Sallie Mae stacks up against Discover in our Sallie Mae vs. Discover comparison.