Student Loan Program

Catalyst Corporate provides credit unions with a private student loan referral program through its partnership with Sallie Mae®. The Smart Option Student Loan® pays for college expenses that are not covered by scholarships and federal loans. The program not only benefits credit union members by providing funds for college, but also benefits credit unions by generating additional fee income.

The Smart Option Student Loan expands credit union product lines at no cost or funding of the loans, while helping credit unions attract and retain members. The program generates fee income for each originated loan without any upfront investment from the credit union, and the program can be activated on the credit union’s website in a few weeks.

Features & Benefits:

  • The Smart Option Student Loan helps credit union families obtain the money they need for college. After maximizing scholarships and federal loans, they can borrow up to 100 percent of their school-certified costs of attendance at a degree-granting institution (minimum $1,000).1
  • Borrowers can enjoy competitive fixed or variable interest rates and choose from three simple repayment options, including monthly interest-only or fixed monthly payments while in school and during the six-month separation period, or deferred payments until after school, for degree-granting institutions.2
  • Members can earn a Upromise® Smart Reward® for paying on time3 and a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction for making monthly payments by automatic debit4.
  • Applying online is easy – it takes approximately 15 minutes to apply and get a credit result.
  • Sallie Mae's high-quality customer service and technical assistance match the credit union commitment to great member service.
  • Members may manage their loans online through Sallie Mae’s activity center 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

As certified by the school and confirmed by Sallie Mae, less other financial aid received. Credit criteria and eligibility requirements apply. Sallie Mae reserves the right to approve a lower loan amount than what the school has certified. Requested amounts exceeding $99,999 may require multiple loans.

Interest rates for the Fixed and Deferred Repayment Options are higher than for loans with the Interest Repayment Option. Variable rates may increase after consummation. Interest is charged while you are in school and during the 6-month separation period. Any interest that remains unpaid when you enter full repayment will be added to your loan balance.

3 Primary borrower can earn a reward into his or her active Upromise account of 2% of the scheduled loan payment amount for each on-time payment during the in-school and separation periods. Loan payments must remain current to be eligible for the reward. The Smart Reward Benefit and Upromise membership are subject to the terms and conditions of the Upromise service, as may be amended from time to time. Terms and conditions apply to the Upromise service. Participating companies, contribution levels and terms and conditions are subject to change at any time without notice. Go to to learn more. Upromise accounts are not FDIC insured, carry no bank guarantee and may lose value.

4 Either the borrower or cosigner (not both) must enroll in auto debit through Sallie Mae. The rate reduction benefit applies only during active repayment for as long as the borrower's monthly payment amount is successfully deducted from the designated bank account and is suspended during forbearances and certain deferments. 


Information advertised is valid as of 12/26/2014.

Smart Option Student Loans are made by Sallie Mae Bank or a lender partner.

SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

Catalyst Corporate is not the creditor and is compensated for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.

©2015 Sallie Mae Bank. All rights reserved. MKT10439 0115