Sallie Mae announced earlier this week that its Smart Option student loan customers earned more than $5.5 million back by making on-time payments through a rewards program introduced by the lender in 2010.
The Sallie Mae Smart Rewards program rewards customers who make on-time payments on their loans while in school or during their six-month grace period—two percent of their payment is earned back each month.
“Our goal is to help students and families make informed and responsible decisions about paying for college,” Charlie Rocha, the senior vice president of Sallie Mae, said. “Making payments while in school reduces finance charges and the overall cost of the loan, builds credit and allows families to repay their loans faster. Our Smart Rewards Program further enhances those benefits of in school payments for families.”
Customers can choose to defer payment, pay monthly interest or a fixed monthly payment while in school—an option chosen by more than 50 percent of all customers. Student loan customers who make payments while in school are eligible for the rewards program.
Money earned back through the program is deposited into a Upromise account and can be used to pay an eligible loan, purchase textbooks or be transferred into a high-yield savings account with Sallie Mae.