Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Facing a Tuition Payment Deadline? Don’t Worry. Sallie Mae Offers Last-Minute Options to Help Students, Parents Pay for College

BUSINESS WIRE --As back-to-school season approaches, parents and students still have time to find money to foot this falls college tuition bill. Sallie Maethe nations leading saving-and-paying-for-college companyoffers several affordable options available in time to meet the cost of higher education.

The good news is that families do not have to turn to credit cards or tap retirement savings to pay for college, said Martha Holler, spokeswoman, Sallie Mae. If you have your financial aid but are still coming up short, get educated on these no- and low-interest options to cover this semesters tuition bill.

Sallie Mae advises families to consider these solutions to a last-minute college financing gap:


Tuition Payment Plans

Many schools offer families the opportunity to make monthly tuition payments over the course of the school year as an alternative to a large, lump-sum payment due at the start of the term. Sallie Mae's TuitionPay is an interest-free, monthly installment option that helps families better manage the cost of education. TuitionPay plans can save families money by reducing the amount needed to borrow, and by letting funds stay longer in interest-bearing accounts. For more information, visit www.TuitionPay.com or call 800-635-0120 to speak with a TuitionPay consultant.


Sallie Mae PLUS Loan

Federal PLUS Loans allow graduate and professional students and parents of undergraduate, dependent college students to finance their unmet financial need, up to the full cost of education, as certified by the student's school. Federal PLUS Loans carry a fixed interest rate of 8.5%, regardless of the customer's credit history, income, assets or collateral. The loan may be used to cover education expenses in addition to tuition, including room, board, books, supplies and even travel.

New federal legislation has made qualifying for PLUS loans easier this year as borrowers may be up to 180 days late on payments on their primary mortgage or medical bills and still qualify. Also new this school year: Parents with new PLUS loans may postpone making payments until six months after their beneficiary student completes college or drops below half-time status. In addition, Sallie Mae assists parents and graduate and professional students who do not immediately qualify for a PLUS loan in resolving outstanding or erroneous credit issues. More information is available on www.SallieMae.com/PLUS.


Sallie Mae Signature Student Loan

For students who have explored all federal student loan programs and still have unmet financial need, the Sallie Mae Signature Student Loan is the next best option. Sallie Mae's Signature Student Loan is a private education loan for qualified undergraduate, graduate and health profession students that offers competitive interest rates that reward creditworthiness. Applicants who do not have an established credit history are encouraged to apply with a creditworthy cosigner to help qualify for the loan. Those who have an established credit history may be eligible for a lower interest rate by applying with a creditworthy cosigner. By logging onto www.SallieMae.com/Signature, students can learn more about the Signature Student Loan, use the online pre-approval feature to receive credit results quickly and complete the entire application using the e-signature process.

Sallie Mae encourages families to use its 1-2-3 approach to paying for college: First, use free money. Fill out the FAFSA to access need-based grants, and research and apply for scholarships. Consider supplementing with current income, college savings, and an interest-free monthly tuition payment plan. Second, explore federal loans. Available to both students and parents, they can offer low, fixed interest rates and flexible repayment options. Third, fill any gap with private education loans. They are convenient and designed to help students meet the total cost of college.

SLM Corporation (NYSE:SLM), commonly known as Sallie Mae, is the nations leading provider of saving- and paying-for-college programs. The company manages nearly $172 billion in education loans and serves 10 million student and parent customers. Through its Upromise affiliates, the company also manages more than $19 billion in 529 college-savings plans, and is a major, private source of college funding contributions in America with 9 million members and $425 million in member rewards. Sallie Mae and its subsidiaries offer debt management services as well as business and technical products to a range of business clients, including higher education institutions, student loan guarantors and state and federal agencies. More information is available at www.salliemae.com. SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

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