NEWARK, Del., March 28, 2013 - Even with a diploma in hand, recent college graduates may still face a tough job market as the newest members of the workforce. Sallie Mae, the nation's No. 1 financial services company specializing in education, will introduce a transitional repayment plan, effective for new loans, that will offer its customers greater budget flexibility during this period.
The Graduated Repayment Period will allow new college graduates in good standing to sign up for a one-year interest-only payment period, after the six-month grace period, instead of making full principal and interest payments at that time. The feature will be available for new Smart Option Student Loan applications on April 1 for undergraduate and graduate students who attend degree-granting institutions beginning in the fall semester.
"Everybody knows that financing a college education is a serious investment of both time and resources," said Miles Martin, director of financial aid, Hampton University in Hampton, Va. "As with any investment, you want to get good results. The flexibility of this Sallie Mae Option Loan feature will help protect your college investment when the time comes to repay your student loans."
The feature was designed to keep the total cost of the loan low. For example, a freshman borrower who elects in-school deferment on a $10,000 loan with typical loan terms would pay $144 per month for a 10-year repayment term. With the Graduated Repayment Option, the monthly payment would be $89 the first year, then $152 the second year, until it's paid off. The difference in the total cost is less than $400, without extending the length of the loan. For more details, view the cost comparison chart.
"Americans with college degrees are more likely to get hired and earn bigger paychecks, but newer graduates may need a more flexible option as they settle into a first job, create a budget, and establish financial independence," said Charlie Rocha, senior vice president, Sallie Mae. "This feature will serve our customers who need that extra time after graduation to land on their feet."
The Graduated Repayment Period is the latest feature in affordable, financially responsible repayment options available from Sallie Mae.
Introduced in March 2009, Sallie Mae's Smart Option Student Loan was the first national loan product to help students save money by making interest payments while in school and reducing the repayment term. In June 2010, the company designed a $25 repayment option to make it easier for families who understand the benefits of making in-school payments but want a standard, fixed monthly payment amount. In May 2012, Sallie Mae launched its fixed interest rate for customers who desire the stability of fixed payments for the life of the loan.
Sallie Mae has also introduced benefits such as on-time payment rewards, built-in tuition insurance, and faster cosigner release, as well as a death and disability loan forgiveness safeguard.
Additional eligibility requirements for the Graduated Repayment Period will be available at SallieMae.com.
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 25 million 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.