Sallie Mae Personal Loans Review
Sallie Mae is one of the nation’s largest student loan lenders, but it also provides personal loans. You need an invitation to get one, though, and eligibility is restricted. Also, rates can be high, so be sure to shop around before taking out a Sallie Mae personal loan.
Sallie Mae has been in the student loan business since the 1970s. While it began as a federal loan servicer, it has since moved into providing private student loans for undergraduates, grad students, and parents. Additionally, Sallie Mae offers personal loans, but they are available on an invitation-only basis and you need an offer code to apply.
This Sallie Mae personal loan review will tell you everything you need to know about this loan, as well as some alternative options if you don’t have an offer code or cannot qualify for a loan from Sallie Mae.
In this review:
- How to Get a Sallie Mae Personal Loan
- Basic Information: Rates, Terms, Fees & Limits
- The Benefits of Sallie Mae Personal Loans
- The Downsides of Sallie Mae Personal Loans
- LendEDU’s Top-Rated Personal Loan Lenders
How to Get a Sallie Mae Personal Loan
With most of the best personal loan lenders, you can visit their website, submit a quick application, and see if you can qualify for a loan within minutes. But you cannot do this with Sallie Mae. Sallie Mae personal loans are invite-only, so you’ll need to be offered a personal code before you can apply.
Offer codes are sent out only to people whom Sallie Mae has determined are likely to qualify for a loan. While this makes the loan approval process quick and easy if you happen to get an offer code, you are out of luck if you haven’t received one.
There’s no option to request an offer code, and having other loans with Sallie Mae does not guarantee you’ll receive one.
If you do get an offer code, you can then submit an online application, and chances are good you’ll be approved. However, Sallie Mae will still need to verify that you meet basic eligibility criteria, including:
- Having good credit (or a cosigner with good credit)
- Earning sufficient income
- Being of legal age in your state
- Being a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States
- Having a valid bank account
Because only pre-approved borrowers can apply, the application and funding process is extremely fast with Sallie Mae personal loans. In fact, funds may be available as quickly as the next business day once you have completed the application process.
Basic Information: Rates, Terms, Fees & Limits
Here are some of the key things to know about personal loans from Sallie Mae if you are considering applying for a loan with this lender.
- APRs: 6.99% to 24.99% (fixed rate APR)
- Loan amounts: $3,000 to $35,000
- Loan terms: 36 months or 60 months
- Fees: No origination fees or prepayment penalties
The Benefits of Sallie Mae Personal Loans
There are some definite benefits to Sallie Mae personal loans, including the following:
- Very quick funding: If you need access to cash right away, you can submit an application, get approved, and get your money as soon as the following business day. Many other personal loan lenders take as long as a week to provide you with funding.
- No fees: You will not pay any origination fees or application fees. And if you make the choice to repay your Sallie Mae personal loan early, you won’t get hit with a prepayment penalty.
- Free FICO scores: Sallie Mae will update you on your credit report for free once per quarter, so you can track your progress with paying off debt and improving your credit score.
- Straightforward paperwork process: You don’t need to complete a long application or submit a ton of documentation since only pre-approved borrowers can apply for Sallie Mae personal loans.
- Loans can be used for many purposes. You can use your Sallie Mae personal loan to finance a home renovation, pay for a major life expense, or to consolidate credit card debt.
The Downsides of Sallie Mae Personal Loans
There are also some clear downsides to be aware of, including:
- Limited availability: Most people will not be able to get Sallie Mae personal loans due to the fact that the product is invitation-only. It can be frustrating not to be able to obtain a personal offer code when you want one and to have no ability to apply for a loan if you like the loan terms being offered.
- High interest rates: The minimum APR of 6.99% is competitive, but it’s available only to the most creditworthy applicants. Loan rates go as high as 24.99% APR, which is much higher than the interest rates offered by many competitor loans and which could make your Sallie Mae personal loan very expensive.
- Few loan repayment options: You will have to repay your loan from Sallie Mae over either 36 months or 60 months. These are relatively short repayment terms that do not provide a lot of flexibility compared to some competitor personal loan options, and they mean that you may end up with a higher monthly payment than you are comfortable with. On the other hand, there are no prepayment penalties, so you always have the option to submit loan payments before their due date.
LendEDU’s Top-Rated Personal Loan Lenders
If you cannot qualify for a loan with Sallie Mae or you want to compare different offers before applying, check out LendEDU’s picks for the best personal loan lenders.
Here are top lenders for those with good credit:
- LightStream: Loan amounts up to $100,000
- SoFi: Loan amounts up to $100,000
- Citizens Bank: Loan amounts up to $50,000
- Earnest: Loan amounts up to $75,000
Bottom Line: Is a Sallie Mae Personal Loan Right for You?
If you get a preapproval code and want to see what rate Sallie Mae is offering you, it doesn’t hurt to check. But you should always compare rates and loan terms from other financial institutions as some Sallie Mae loans are very expensive. If you don’t have a personal offer code from Sallie Mae, you’ll need to find another lender that offers personal loans.
Author: Christy Rakoczy
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