Sallie Mae Bank Review | NextAdvisor with TIME

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Sallie Mae Bank Review

Sallie Mae Bank

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Sallie Mae Bank Review

  • inactive refinance rate icon

    Good interest rates

  • How to get inactive personal loan icon

    $2,500 minimum for CDs


Sallie Mae offers several account options for short and long term savings. This bank can be a good option if you’re looking to grow your emergency fund or everyday savings with a solid rate, but it has a few shortcomings compared to other major online banks.

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  • High Yield Savings offers competitive rates with no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements
  • Money market accounts come with check writing access
  • Competitive rates

The inconvenients

  • Minimum balance requirement of $2,500 for certificates of deposit (CD)
  • Low customer ratings
  • Fees may apply for certain account activity
  • No way to access your funds at an ATM

Additional Details

  • No minimum balance requirement for savings and money market accounts
  • Minimum deposit of $2,500 for CDs
  • Your account may be closed if it is inactive for more than 12 months and you have less than $100
  • No monthly account fees
  • CD terms are available from six months to 60 months
  • Access your accounts online or via mobile app
  • Certain other fees may apply depending on your use of your account: insufficient funds fees, stop payment fees and early withdrawal penalties, among others.
  • Sallie Mae also offers student loans and co-branded credit cards
  • Sallie Mae deposits are FDIC insured

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Full balance sheet of Sallie Mae Bank

You may know Sallie Mae best for her student loan and refinancing products, the bank also offers a few different accounts to grow your savings, including a high-yield savings account, money market account, and certificates of deposit (CDs). Each of Sallie Mae’s deposit accounts is FDIC insured and you can access them online or through a mobile banking app.

Savings accounts

The Sallie Mae High Yield Savings Account has no minimum balance requirements, no monthly fees and a competitive interest rate it’s competitive with other major online banks today.

You can make transfers and withdrawals by electronic transfer, direct deposit, mobile check deposit or postal check.

You may be charged a fee for outgoing transfers ($20 each), returned checks, and expedited check delivery. And although there is no minimum balance requirement, if you have an inactive account with a balance of less than $100 for 12 months or more, the bank may close your account.

In addition to high-yield savings, Sallie Mae’s SmartyPig online account (also with no minimum balance and no monthly fees) is designed to help you achieve specific financial goals. It’s an escalating interest account that rewards you more the more you save. However, these rates are variable and the levels may vary. Right now, for example, the APY you’ll earn is the same for all balance tiers.

Money market accounts

Sallie Mae’s Money Market Account is similar to her High Yield Savings, but offers a slightly higher interest rate and access to checks you can use to withdraw from your account.

Check writing capability comes with additional potential fees to watch out for: $5 for checks ordered after account opening, $15 to stop payments, and $19 if a check cannot be processed due to insufficient funds.

Otherwise, the same transfer and withdrawal options apply, and there are no monthly fees or minimum account balance requirements either.

Certificates of deposit

Sallie Mae offers a few high-yield certificates of deposit (CDs) with tenors from six months to 60 months. You will need a minimum deposit of $2,500 to open a CD, but there are no fees. You can fund your CD by check or electronic transfer.

Your CD will renew at the end of the term, unless you choose to close the account or move it elsewhere during the 10-day grace period after the CD has expired. If you want to withdraw your money before the CD matures, you will have to pay a penalty based on the length of the term. Early withdrawal penalties are equal to 90 days of interest on the amount withdrawn for CDs with a duration of 12 months or less and 180 days of simple interest on the amount withdrawn for durations greater than one year.

Others products

While Sallie Mae offers credit cards and student loan products in addition to deposit accounts.

Student loans

Sallie Mae is a private student loan manager offering loans for undergraduate, graduate and vocational training courses or trade certificates. There are also options for student loan refinance. Loans are capped at 100% of school-certified tuition. Sallie Mae’s student loans also have no set-up fees and you can get four free months of Chegg study.

Credit card

Sallie Mae’s Threesome credit cards with no annual fee all earn money on everyday purchases and allow you to redeem your rewards for your student loans. Depending on the card you choose, you’ll earn different amounts of cash back in different categories or spending requirements.

Client experience

There are a few communication and customer service challenges that can be a drawback of banking with Sallie Mae, depending on your goals.

Sallie Mae is an online bank only, but you will have the option of banking through an online account or mobile app. There’s no access to an ATM or branch and no way to deposit money directly, but you can cash checks using remote deposit and send or receive checks via job.

Unfortunately, Sallie Mae’s mobile banking app receives mixed reviews, including an average rating of 1.8 out of 5 stars on Google Play and an average rating of 1.5 stars out of 5 in the App Store. Across various reviews of the app, customers complain about lack of customer support and constant issues when trying to log into their accounts.

Sallie Mae has several options for contacting a representative, including a phone line available Monday through Friday during business hours, a mailing address, or an online chat. The online chat feature can be a big advantage over some other online banks. You can use to get answers to basic banking questions during normal business hours. However, the chat feature requires you to answer a series of questions before you can chat with a live customer service agent.


According to its website, Sallie Mae “endeavours to develop and update website content in accordance with “Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA, an international standard. You can also contact us via a dedicated email address for any questions or for assistance.

We’ve reached out to the bank for more information about accessibility features, but haven’t received a response as of press time. This article will be updated if more information becomes available.

Is Sallie Mae Bank for you?

Sallie Mae Bank offers a few different banking products which can be simple savings options. Both the High Yield Savings Account and the Money Market Account can help streamline your savings, while CDs may have a slightly higher barrier to entry with the minimum deposit of $2,500.

Nevertheless, each of these accounts today pays competitive interest rates among other banks.

The biggest hurdle for some customers may be how Sallie Mae compares to other banks we’ve reviewed when it comes to customer service and account access. Its mobile apps – which are one of the main methods of accessing your account – have very low ratings, and no money deposit options can be limited depending on your individual situation.

Frequently Asked Questions about Sallie Mae Bank

Does Sallie Mae have savings accounts?

Sallie Mae offers high yield savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs) and money market accounts.

Is Sallie Mae a federal student loan?

Sallie Mae only deals with private student loans, not the federal government.

Is Sallie Mae an online-only bank?

Sallie Mae is an online bank only. You can access your account online or through the bank’s mobile banking app.

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