Sallie Mae Review

How does your bank stack up?

  • Financial Rates: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 5.0 Star Icon


  • Cash rewards on savings accounts
  • No account fees or required amounts
  • Personal and student loans if you qualify
  • Five year CDs have amazing interest rates


  • High opening amount for CDs
  • CDs require large sum to earn interest
  • No checking accounts offered
  • High-interest rates on personal loans

What You Need to Know

To get the cash back rewards you have to meet requirements. You must link a UPromise Goal Saver Account with the UPromise Rewards Account. You must also either have $5,000 in the account or make ten deposits within the first 90 days. You earn 10% of the amount of money transferred from your Rewards account to your Goal Saver account. If you meet the requirements, you earn an annual bonus of $10 the first two years and a loyalty bonus of $100 the third year.

The high yield savings account and money market accounts do not have any monthly fees. There is no required amount to open these accounts. They offer competitive interest rates, and there is no required monthly balance.

Sallie Mae is a college funding bank. They offer student and personal loans. Some of the different loans include undergraduate loans, parent loans, MBA loans, dental or medical school loans, medical residency loans, bar study loans, or graduate student loans. Sallie Mae offers a personal loan to help consolidate your debt, pay for major expenses, or life events.

The interest rates on Sallie Mae CDs are exceedingly higher than other banks. CDs range in term from six months to five years. The five year CD offers the best interest rate, but the other terms are still better than other banks.

To open a CD with Sallie Mae bank, the required opening balance is $2,500. The interest rates on the CDs are much higher than other banks.

To earn interest on Sallie Mae CDs, you must keep at least $2,500 in the CDs at all time. If your account balance drops below that amount, you will not earn interest. Sallie Mae CDs offer interest rates that are considerably higher than other banks and even other online banks.

Sallie Mae does not offer a checking account. This is a college savings bank. They do offer different savings accounts to help you prepare for college. Sallie Mae also has different loans to help pay for college, but no checking accounts.

As with any loan, the interest rates are high. Know the different repayment plans, interest rates, and if there is a fee for paying your loan off early. High-interest rates mean you could end up paying almost $9,000 in interest on a $10,000 loan.

Cool Things

Smarty Pig Accounts

This account lets you set specific savings goals and track your progress. It is an online piggy bank. You can set up automatic deposits, make deposits anytime, and make withdrawals anytime. The interest rates on the account are competitive. There are no fees and no required amount to open the account. For every person you refer who opens an account, sets a goal, and makes deposits to it you will receive a $10 bonus.

College Planning Tools

Sallie Mae bank focuses on preparing for college. They offer different loans and savings accounts to get you on track. Information is available for scholarships, financial aid, grants, and loans. There are different calculators to help you understand total college costs.

Each of their loans is broken down, so you know how repayment options affect you financially. Sallie Mae helps you find scholarships, offers tips for writing scholarship essays, and fund a few scholarships.

Private School Loans

One of the loans offered is for kids in private schools. This loan is for kindergarten through 12th grade. Repayment on these loans begins 30 days after the private school receives the money. You, as a parent, can apply for a loan to help your college student with expenses. The repayment on this loan is while your student is in school.

Upromise credit card

This credit card is a simple way to help you fund college accounts. You earn 5% back for college on eligible purchases. These purchases include over 850 online shopping partners and over 10,000 restaurants. You also earn money back on online travel. You can have the cash you earn deposited into a GoalSaver account, pay down on a Sallie Mae loan, or request a check. Using this credit card has raised over $1 billion.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

On the Sallie Mae website, you can search for scholarships and apply for financial aid. They first encourage saving for college, applying for grants, scholarships, and financial aid. If you cannot cover the costs of college after those four options, then loans are available. Sallie Mae does college sweepstakes and offers a few scholarships.


In 1973 the Student Loan Marketing Association opened as a Government-Sponsored Enterprise. Sallie Mae, the companies nickname, helps support the student loan program that was created by the Higher Education Act in 1965. It only took six years for Sallie Mae's assets to exceed $1 billion. By 1987 Sallie Mae was servicing 2 million accounts.

Sallie Mae started offering rewards in 1993 to customers who have a good habit of paying their loans back. Those programs are still in effect today.

In 1995 launched. Moreover, in 2004, Sallie Mae officially became a private company instead of a GSE.

Since opening its doors in 1973, Sallie Mae has helped over 30 million American's pay for higher education. They first encourage and provide ways to find scholarships, grants, and financial aid. The different loans offered, filled the financial gaps.

Awards and Recognition

  • "Best Place to Stash Cash" by Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine
  • "Financial Content Marketing Award" from Gramercy Institute
  • "2017 AVA Digital Awards" for excellence in digital communication

Giving Back

The Sallie Mae Fund encourages youth to achieve higher education. Since 2001 this fund has awarded $15.5 million in scholarships to over 6,300 students. The fund created the African-American fund to help increase access to African-American students.

The State Access Initiative pledged $1 million to states with low income and minority demographics to encourage higher education. California, Texas, and Florida were chosen as the first key states.

Through the "Bridging the Dream Scholarship" Sallie Mae awarded five students $25,000 each in scholarships.

Through the "Make College Happen Challenge" Sallie Mae awarded ten students a total of $40,000 to help pay for college.

Sallie Mae employees raised money to assist people with special needs. They also donated books to local elementary schools through the ‘Reading is Fundamental' program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this bank FDIC insured?

Yes. Sallie Mae is FDIC insured. The FDIC is an agency of the United States government that protects funds deposited in banks, up to $250,000 per customer, per bank. The money deposited in FDIC insured banks means money is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.

How do I access my money?

You can access your money through transfers or checks. Because Sallie Mae only offers savings, money market accounts, and CDs, you are limited to the withdrawals you make each billing cycle.

Does this bank offer mobile banking?

Yes. You can access your account through any smartphone, computer, tablet, or from your Apple watch.

Is this bank free?

Yes. There are no monthly maintenance fees for any of their accounts.

Is this a good bank?

Yes. Sallie Mae has many resources to help you successfully save for college. This bank helps you find scholarships, apply for financial aid, and get the loans you need. Their accounts offer competitive interest rates, especially CDs.

Is this bank secure online?

Yes. Sallie Mae is FDIC insured. They offer a unique verification code to insure you are the one using your mobile device. They never send personal information through text. They provide a secure online login and encrypt data.

Does this bank offer competitive interest rates?

Yes. Each account offer has competitive interest rates. Sallie Mae CDs offer considerably higher interest rates than other banks.

Can I use this bank for my business accounts?

No. Sallie Mae is a bank set up to help American's save for college. They offer loans, savings accounts, and tips to help you prepare financially for college.

How is the online bank different from the online banking my bank offers?

Sallie Mae does not offer checking accounts. They only provide savings accounts, CDs, and loans for college.

Do their checking accounts pay interest?

Sallie Mae does not offer checking accounts.

How do I reach customer service?

By phone, mail or fax.

Does this bank offer bill pay?

No. Since Sallie Mae does not have checking accounts, there is no bill pay.

Can I deposit cash?

No. You can make check deposits through the app.

How long do transfers take?

Transfers linked to other bank accounts take 2-3 business days. Transfers between Sallie Mae accounts are instant.

Can I sign up for direct deposit to this account?

Yes. You can have money directly deposited into any of the Sallie Mae accounts or sign up for automatic debit to pay down your loans.

Bank Information

Sallie Mae Bank
175 S West Temple, Ste.600
Salt Lake City UT 84101

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