Sallie Mae - Need to Know

Ranked as the number one source for educational funding, Sallie Mae manages and owns millions of dollars in federal, private, and consolidation loans. Their borrowers consist of undergraduates, graduates, and parents. Borrowers also seek advice from Sallie Mae on the best way to obtain such money.

Founded with government sponsorship in 1972, Sallie Mae began fully operating as a private entity in 2004. As this change took hold it's caused some lawmakers to accuse the company of caring more about profit than the quality of their services. Despite this, Sallie Mae earned recognition as one of the Best 100 Corporate Citizens.

If you need to borrow, Sallie Mae suggests you determine the amount as well as assess your rights and responsibilities by following their “1-2-3 Approach to Paying for College”. First, secure as much free money as you can in the form of scholarships and grants. Sallie Mae will be happy to show you how. Second, use Sallie Mae to apply for federal loans before applying for private ones because they are easier to obtain and manage. And third, Sallie Mae helps choose and finance private loans if you still need funds.

The application process appears overwhelming, but Sallie Mae can greatly reduce your anxiety. For federal aid, Sallie Mae provides the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA requires an extensive history of your family's income, taxes, and college enrollment. This information develops a profile of your financial needs. Also, you must submit it for each school year, as soon after the first of the year as possible. So on January 2 of whatever year you plan to enroll, turn it in! The sooner the application is in the hands of lenders, the better. Fierce competition for federal aid results from its acceptance of poor credit ratings and its consistently low interest rates. Plus, after graduation, there is a six-month grace period before repayment begins. And deferments are available. This leeway increases demand, so stay well ahead of deadlines to increase your chances for federal aid.

Next, tackle the private loans. Securing private loans depends on your credit history, so Sallie Mae encourages applicants with poor credit to find a co-signer with good credit. Whether working as a partner with another institution or as a lender on their own, Sallie Mae can advise you on the best term options so repayments can be managed with ease.

Finally, if you are already repaying multiple school loans but need more, Sallie Mae suggests loan consolidation through their services. Consolidating federal or private loans into one monthly payment eases economic stress if you are struggling to complete your education. Often, Sallie Mae provides lower interest rates on your new payment.

While Sallie Mae isn't perfect it does help parents and college students achieve an affordable education through its knowledge and financial assistance.

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