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Sallie Mae CD Review

How does your bank stack up?

  • Financial Rates: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Variety of Terms: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Opening Required Amount: 4.0 Star Icon


  • Competitive interest rates on CDs
  • Good variety of CD terms offered
  • Interest rates on CDs not tiered
  • Penalty for early withdrawals is low


  • CDs have a required opening amount
  • Must keep set amount in account
  • Does not offer guarantee for rates
  • Link CDs to external bank accounts

What You Need to Know

Each Sallie Mae CD offers competitive interest rates. The rates are competitive with other online CD accounts. Sallie Mae rates are much higher than typical bank rates. The longer the CD term the higher the interest rates offered. Sallie Mae’s five-year CD offers very competitive interest rates.

Sallie Mae offers a good variety of CD terms. The terms range from 6-months to 60-months. There are 11 CD terms in total. Sallie Mae offers CD terms in more than just traditional terms. Those term lengths include an 11-month CD, a 13-month CD, a 15-month CD, and a 30-month CD. These options allow customers to find the best fit for their money.

The CD interest rates for Sallie Mae CDs are not tiered. You do not have to have a large account balance to earn the most competitive rates available. Any balance above the required opening amount earns competitive interest rates.

Most CDs have a fee if you withdraw the money before the CD reaches maturity. The penalty for Sallie Mae CDs is less compared to other banks CD fees. The penalty for withdrawing money from CD terms 12-months or less is 90 days of interest. The fee for CDs over 12-months is 180 days of interest.

There is a set amount required to open Sallie Mae CDs. Each of the CD terms requires $2,500 to open. Make deposits through an electronic transfer or an e-deposit on the mobile app. You can also mail a check.

To earn interest on the Sallie Mae CDs, you must keep an account balance of $2,500. If your balance drops below that amount, you will not earn any interest. Sallie Mae CDs offer competitive interest rates if you keep that set balance.

Sallie Mae CDs do not come with a guarantee to lock in the best rate. The interest rate at the time you open the CD is the interest rate you receive for the life of the term. The rate you lock in is fixed for the life of the CD term.

Sallie Mae CDs must be linked to an external account to make electronic transfers. Once you link an external account, you can transfer money electronically. Customers can withdraw earned interest from the CD. To withdraw the interest, transfer the money into the linked external account.

Cool Things

Scholarship Search

The Sallie Mae website offers a tool called Scholarship Search. This is a free way to search through over 5 million scholarships. The total of these scholarships is over $24 billion. These scholarships are not just for undergraduate programs. There is also a tool to search for graduate school scholarships.


This is a program to help parents save for their children’s education. Upromise members get information and access to expert advice on how to pay for college. By using the Upromise Mastercard, you can earn cash back to help pay for college. By using the credit card, you can earn 1.25 percent cash back on purchases. Upromise lets you round up your purchase to the nearest dollar. That money can be put into a college fund. By linking your Mastercard to a 529 account, you can earn even more cash back. Family and friends can add money to your children’s 529 accounts.


Sallie Mae first started as a government-sponsored enterprise in 1972. In 2004 they became a private company. In 2014 the company split into two companies to serve their customers better. One company is to serve those with student loans, and the other serves more government loans.

Along with offering loans, Sallie Mae offers a banking division. They offer a high yield savings and money market account, CDs, and their SmartyPig account. Each of these accounts is entirely online accounts. They offer interest rates competitive with other online accounts.

Awards and Recognition

  • Accredited Business by the Better Business Bureau
  • Named one of the 10 Best Online Banks of 2018 by
  • Named one of the 10 Best CD Accounts of 2018 by

Giving Back

Sallie Mae gives back to the communities they serve. As a company, they offer employees paid time off to volunteer in their communities. Employees volunteer with organizations including the Special Olympics. They also volunteer with the Million Meal Movement and Cradles to Crayons.

In 2018 Sallie Mae awarded more than $400,000 to students. The money was awarded through scholarships, contests, and sweepstakes. Through the Sallie Mae website, you can also search for other scholarships available. There are more than 5 million scholarships to search through. Those scholarships total more than $24 billion. There is also a link to help find scholarships for graduate schools.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sallie Mae 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 many different terms does Sallie Mae offer?

They offer 11 CD terms. Those terms range from 6-months to 60-months—they off 11, 13, 15, and 30-month terms along with the regular CD terms.

What is the required amount to open a CD with Sallie Mae?

Each Sallie Mae CD requires $2,500 to open.

How do I deposit money into Sallie Mae CDs?

Through a check deposit or an electronic transfer. To transfer money electronically, you must link an external account to your Sallie Mae account.

How do I access my money?

Through electronic transfers. You must link an external bank account to your Sallie Mae account. You can only access your money during the grace period after your CD reaches maturity.

Do I have to open other Sallie Mae accounts before I can open a CD?

No. You can open a CD without opening any other Sallie Mae accounts.

Do Sallie Mae CDs offer competitive interest rates?

Yes. Each of the Sallie Mae CDs offer competitive interest rates. The rates are competitive with other online CDs.

Can I choose how to receive my interest payments from Sallie Mae CDs?

Interest will be electronically transferred into a linked external account. You can choose to receive the interest monthly, quarterly, yearly, or at the CD maturity. You must fill out a form to set up how to receive your interest.

What percentage am I charged if I withdraw money before the maturity date?

For CDs terms under 12-months, the fee is 90 days of interest. For terms longer than 12-months, the early withdrawal fee is 180 days of interest.

How do I make changes during the grace period?

To make changes to your Sallie Mae accounts contact customer service.

How will I know my Sallie Mae CD is nearing maturity?

Sallie Mae will email you around 30 days before your CD is ready to mature. You then have ten days to make changes during the grace period.

How long is the grace period between renewal?

The grace period for each CD is ten days.

Are Sallie Mae CD rates guaranteed for the entire term?

Yes. Sallie Mae offers fixed interest rates. The rates you receive are locked in for the life of the term.

Does Sallie Mae offer mobile banking?

Yes. With the mobile app, you can access your Sallie Mae CDs. With the app, you can see account information and deposit checks through e-deposit. You can only deposit money into your CDs during the grace period or after the CD reaches maturity.

Is Sallie Mae a good bank?

Their interest rates for CDs are competitive with other online accounts. Their interest rates are not tiered, so any balance earns a competitive interest rate. They offer a good variety of CD terms. Each CD requires $2,500 to open.

Is Sallie Mae secure online?

Sallie Mae offers security regulations that comply with federal law. They offer computer safeguards, and their buildings and files are secure.

What is the shortest Sallie Mae CD term offered?

The shortest CD offered is a six-month term.

What is the longest Sallie Mae CD term offered?

The longest CD offered is a 60-month term.

Does Sallie Mae offer accounts other than CDs?

Yes. Other banking accounts include high yield savings and money market account. They offer their SmartyPig account and student loans as well.

Can I use Sallie Mae CDs for my business accounts?

No. Specific business accounts are not available through Sallie Mae.

How do I reach customer service?

By phone, email, or mail. Their customer service hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.

Bank Contact Information

Sallie Mae
175 S West Temple, Suite 600
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

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