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Best Buy Now, Pay Later Apps & Services of 2021 – Blog



Best Buy Now, Pay Later Apps & Services of 2021

So, you want to buy something special, but you do not have the cash for it… or the credit.

Money doesn’t grow on trees, and life’s not like a video game where you get money for doing random quests. So, it’s time to look into buying now, and pay later options.

There is a “buy now and pay later” option for everything you can think of. So, whether your goal is to buy a car, get some quick money for an unexpected expense, or buy something special for yourself, there’s an option for you.

To learn about the most legit and trusted buy now pay later options, keep reading. You’ll have the item or service you want in no time.

Top 3 Best Buy Now, Pay Later Options:

  1. MoneyMutual – Best Overall & Editor’s Preference
  2. – Best For Debt Consolidation
  3. BillsHappen – Best For Personal Loans

12 Best Buy Now, Pay Later Apps On The Market [Full Reviews] 

#1. MoneyMutual – Best Overall & Editor’s Preference




The online marketplace known as MoneyMutual helps match borrowers with lenders. If you’re looking into getting a short-term loan, go here first to start the application process.

The process takes just five minutes, and the basic requirements are that you must be 18 years old, have a checking account, and have at least $800 a month coming in – they call it “verifiable income.”

Specific requirements will apply based on your lender. On average, borrowers get about $250 to $2500, but that will depend on your specific qualifications.


  • The platform is free to use
  • You can meet many lenders that tailor their services to you
  • It takes just 5 min to apply


  • Not available for New York or Connecticut consumers


-2 million happy customers and counting

-Fast Funding- you get your money in 24hr or less

-They work with plenty of lenders to meet your needs

-They offer up to $5000 in loans

Customer Experience

Customers had positive things to say when it came to MoneyMutual. From

“I saw the commercial and called… I had my money in no time flat. They have loans for all sorts of things. My repayments are taken out monthly, this works for me. The extra fees are not bad, either.” – Jamie, Florida.

“If you need a quick influx of cash, check out MoneyMutual. It’s fast and safe, and they offer loans, payday loans, the money you can send overseas… and it’s all at your fingertips. Repayment is available to those who can pay it back and they do offer year-round options. Just make sure you pay on time or ahead of time.” – Raven, Texas.

⇒ Click Here to Visit the Official Website of MoneyMutual

#2. – Best For Debt Consolidation



This company connects borrowers with well-known lenders quickly. The application process is fast, easy and you could have your money in 24 hours or less.

You start out entering some basic info, such as name, birthdate, and military status. There are plenty of loans available- whether you’re seeking money for medical, wedding, auto repair, an emergency, or just to take a vacation, they have you covered.

And even though some of the loan reasons may seem frivolous, it won’t make you any more or less qualified. So, be honest about your reasoning.

Here are the basic qualifications: 

-must be 18 years of age or older

-You must have a checking account

-You must have a work number, home number, and email

-Must be a US citizen/permanent resident

-Must earn $1000 a month or more


  • It’s available in all 50 states
  • Lenders seek you out
  • They make it easy to understand- no need to be a financial guru.


  • They do sell contact information
  • Interest rates may be high


-They accept all credit types (bad/no credit welcome)

-You can use your money for any reason

-Loan requests take just minutes to be approved

-Loans are offered from $500 to $10K

Customer Experience


“They have great customer service. They were careful and ensured I understood- they checked with me to see if I had any questions. All answers were honest and professional. I recommend it.” -Emir Ozcan

“This is a quick, easy portal you can use to connect with lenders.” -Anthony Tyler.

⇒ Click Here to Visit the Official Website of

#3. BillsHappen – Best For Personal Loans



If you’ve seen that eye-catching ad on TV for BillsHappen, you’re not alone. They have a heaping helping of lenders that seek you out based on your needs. There are so many lenders that instead of instant approval after one click, it could take up to five minutes to load all the available companies.

Rest assured, this is a good thing; it gives you more options. Of course, you can use your money for any purpose you like, but emergencies, vehicle repair, payday loans, or sudden medical expenses are the most common reasons.

To get started, you need a driver’s license, an SSN, a social security number, a bank account; you must be at least 18 years old, and be employed, receiving benefits, or self-employed. You must also have a valid home address.


  • Approval happens fast
  • The request takes a few minutes for approval
  • No need to deal with someone in person
  • No fees for using the service


  • The requirement of an SSN leaves out people in the country who do not have one/whose info was compromised.


-You can borrow anywhere from $100 to $5000

-All credit types are welcome

-Approval happens in minutes

-Money is in your account the next business day.

Customer Experience doesn’t have many actual customer testimonials we were able to find. That being said, competing news sites have rated it favorably, and the lack of complaints is an indicator that this service is legitimate and safe if you need money.

⇒ Click Here to Visit the Official Website of BillsHappen

#4. Auto Credit Express – Best For New & Used Car Loans


This is a loan company for people who need a car but don’t have the world’s greatest credit. They help buyers nationwide connect with dealerships who specialize in bad or no credit auto sales. So, whether your credit could use some fixing up or you’ve never had a loan for anything and need to establish credit, they can help.

You’ll begin by filling out a loan request form online. This doesn’t take long at all, just three minutes, and you will be connected to dealerships ready to help you.


  • They can help even if you’ve had a repossession on your record
  • Many payment options are available to suit your needs, such as income-based
  • Approval happens fast- you could be driving your new car today


  • Interest rates are quite high on these loans- 14% and up for newer cars and 20.45% for used vehicles if your score is 579 or lower.


  • They’ve been in business for over 20 years.
  • They’ve closed over a billion dollars in subprime credit auto loans
  • The form takes minutes to fill out
  • They work with dealerships near you

Customer Experience


“You are awesome… I found the dealership in minutes. Would recommend it to a friend.” -Bryce

“You guys were here when I needed a loan and nobody else would finance, thanks to my credit. I appreciate it.” – Denise.

⇒ Click Here to Visit the Official Website of Auto Credit Express

#5. – Best For Bad or No Credit


We get it; you need a car to do anything nowadays. Walking to work can be great exercise, but what happens when the cold winter comes? This website aims to work with people who have less than stellar credit to get the wheels they need.

This is a legitimate company with some pretty strict requirements, but it’s worth it because you’ll likely end up with a quality vehicle, unlike some other lenders.

You’ll need: 

-To be at least 18 years old

-Have a government-issued ID

-Choose a car no more than 8 years old

-Be a US Citizen with documentation of citizenship

-If co-signing, your co-signer must be at least 18 years of age


  • No monthly income is needed
  • Same-day approval is available
  • They’ll work with you to keep payments affordable.


  • Not available for MA, HI, ND, NV, or OR customers
  • APRs tend to be high


-The service is free to use

-They’ve been in business since 1994

-APRS range anywhere from 0 to 25%

-Vehicles must be under a certain mileage to qualify for a loan; this helps you because you get a better car with fewer miles

Customer Experience

The company features a good rating on several other news websites- it’s an excellent service designed to make life easier on those of us with bad or no credit. It takes the guesswork out of who will lend money to you and sends the lender’s right to you.

Customers appreciate the great service, flexible payments, and of course, the ability to own a personal vehicle of their choice.

⇒ Click Here to Visit the Official Website of

#6. – Wide Range of Products & Services


If you need a car, but you would like to compare a myriad of offers, check out! Not only do you get to see what’s out there, but you can also get a car if you have not-so-great credit. You’ll be introduced to 20 or so lenders, and in just minutes, you’ll have an offer.

The max vehicle age is 10 years old, and the max mileage is 125,000 or 120,000 if it’s a private party loan. You have to have at least $1500 a month in income to qualify.

You’ll have time to think it over, too- the loan offers last for 30 days. This also gives you time to find a co-signer, if necessary, which they allow. Loan terms can last anywhere from 24 to 84 months.


  • They allow buyers to use co-signers
  • You can compare offers from a variety of lenders
  • The Minimum credit score is just 575


  • They restrict the vehicles you can buy in terms of age/mileage.


-Great for those seeking a new or used car; great if you’d like to refinance

-Takes just minutes for offers to come to you

-You’ll get your check for the loan in 24 hours

-Bad credit welcome

Customer Experience


“They found different quotes/rates so I could get what I wanted. Everything worked great and was legitimate.” -Carlos Molina.

“Very attentive, knowledgeable, and they complete your finances fast- I will always use myAutoloan.” – Kenneth Johnson.

⇒ Click Here to Visit the Official Website of myAutoloan

#7. Surge Mastercard – Reputed Brand


If you need to build your credit, or you’d like a low-limit card for emergencies/unexpected expenses, the Surge Mastercard could be what you need.

The card is issued under Celtic Bank, an institution known for considering those with bad credit. Payment history is reported to all three bureaus, so we know this is a way to rebuild credit and show that you are capable of making payments on time.

That being said, there are some fees associated with the card to be aware of. For example, a second authorized user will cost $30. The annual fees range from $75 to $99.


  • Grants you access to your Transunion Vantage 3.0 score
  • The limits are manageable, and you won’t get deep into debt
  • MasterCard is a legitimate, widely accepted credit card that can be used anywhere


  • Must have a checking account to apply


-Application is easy, and you will know in seconds if you’re approved

-You can pre-qualify before doing the hard pull on your credit

-You can keep track of your account online 24 hours a day

-They welcome all credit ratings

Customer Experience

From Wallethub:

“They started me at a $500 limit and now I am at $1100. It’s worth it, as other credit cards are stingy when it comes to increasing your credit line.” – Mikedukes1

“This card is decent if you have poor credit. I pay in full every month; my credit score has increased. They doubled my limit. If you can use it responsibly, it’s great.” – NicoleNoel1226

⇒ Click Here to Visit the Official Website of Surge Mastercard

#8. Indigo Platinum Mastercard – Best For People With Low Credit


If you’d like the power of a widely accepted card in your wallet, but your credit isn’t great, try the Indigo Platinum. It’s issued by Celtic Bank, which specializes in people with subprime credit, and you can even choose your favorite design to personalize it.

And although this is a great card for people that need to rebuild credit, there are a few things to be wary of, such as the fees.

Annual fees for this card range from $59 to $99, and if it is the latter, it will drop to $75 for new applicants. APR is 23.9, which is typical for these subprime cards.

The credit limit is low, only $300. That being said, you won’t get in over your head with debt, and it’s easy to rebuild credit by paying it off in full each month.


  • Offers the usual benefits of Mastercard such as travel assistance services
  • The limit is low, so you don’t have to worry about running up a huge credit card bill
  • The foreign transaction fee is just 1%


  • The APR is relatively high
  • No rewards/points/cash back benefits


-You can prequalify in seconds

-The account history is reported to the US’s three major bureaus, helping you to rebuild credit

-Online help is available 24 hrs a day, for free

-Ideal if your credit isn’t the greatest

Customer Experience

From Wallethub:

“Great card to use if you are trying to re-establish credit. You can use it anywhere, and it’s great to have around.” – Macjames229.

“Great card for when I was getting back on my feet. I would recommend this to anyone needing a card who is ‘credit-challenged!”- Makeithappen.

⇒ Click Here to Visit the Official Website of Indigo 

#9. PayPal Prepaid Mastercard – Used As A Regular Debit Mastercard


If you have had trouble in the past with bank accounts and are unable to gain access to a debit or credit card, consider this PayPal Prepaid Mastercard. You load money onto it from your PayPal account, and you can use it anywhere Mastercards are accepted.

Of course, you have to link a PayPal account to use it. Plus, this won’t help you build credit; it just offers a method for you to use plastic without having to apply for a traditional credit or debit card.

With this, it’s easy to manage your spending, as the limit is only as high as the amount of money you put on there. It’s ideal if you work online and get paid via PayPal but don’t have a traditional bank account for your funds to be deposited into.


  • Use this wherever you would use a Mastercard or PULSE credit card
  • Enjoy a savings account with an APY of 5.00% if you wish.
  • You can transfer money to the card for free from your PayPal balance.
  • Cashback is available when using retail checkouts.


  • PayPal transfers have a $300/day limit.
  • You cannot use online services without linking your PayPal account first.


-You can easily and quickly transfer money from PayPal to your card

-FDIC insured, issued by Bancorp

-You can use it for Direct Deposit, which helps you get paid faster

-Handy mobile app available

Customer Experience


“I was happy with the card, no trouble using it at the shops. Reloading the card is easy. My only complaint was that it took a while to get to me.” -Andy, Salisbury, MD.

“PayPal has given me the chance to have a debit card, one that is safe, convenient, and fast for use with online purchases. I don’t have to worry about hidden fees/costs as you do with a bank.” – Ashley, Norwalk, CA.

⇒ Click Here to Visit the Official Website of PayPal Prepaid

#10. Fingerhut Credit – Best For Beginners


Fingerhut is a popular online store packed full of name-brand products people love, such as Dyson and Kitchenaid. And even if you didn’t plan on buying anything there, the Fingerhut credit card can help rebuild damaged credit.

The card features a $0 annual fee, and you don’t have to have a very high score to qualify. However, you will want to avoid carrying a balance, as the APR is relatively high (29.99%).

You should use this card for small buys at Fingerhut, then pay it off every month. After making payments on time regularly, you should see your score go up, and then you can begin the hunt for a traditional card.


  • It has a $0 annual fee
  • It’s easy to qualify for
  • You can increase your credit line relatively quickly
  • Your approval decision comes back in seconds


  • It cannot be used anywhere except Fingerhut, no good for emergency expenses.
  • No rewards or incentives are offered for using your card at Fingerhut.


-The application process is simple, and you could be approved in seconds

-Gets you access to great name-brand goods you can use for yourself or give as gifts

-Helps build credit by reporting to the three major bureaus

Customer Experience

From Wallethub:

“My credit score was not ideal. Fingerhut gave me a chance. I’m working on raising it. I really appreciate it- thanks, Fingerhut.” – Petraf.

“I am grateful for Fingerhut being there when I needed help improving my credit score. I have improved my score… thank you.” -Samuela24.

⇒ Click Here to Visit the Official Website of Fingerhut Credit

#11. Montgomery Ward Credit Account – Wide Selection of Brands


Having been around since 1872, Montgomery Ward is a name many of us have heard about. Perhaps you’ve even shopped there a few times. But did you know they offer a credit account that can help those with bad credit rebuild?

It’s true- and since the credit comes right from the company itself, there are no hidden charges or third-party fees to worry about.

They report to the three major bureaus each month, and there is no annual fee for the line of credit. However, you should be wary of the APR, which can range anywhere from 5.75% to 25.99%.


  • No annual fee
  • Low monthly payments on items purchased
  • It’s an easy and low-cost way to rebuild damaged credit.


  • It can only be used at Montgomery Ward, not for use on emergency purchases/expenses.


-No hidden fees or third-party fees

-Monthly payments can be as low as $10

-You can use it directly after approval

-Responsible use means higher credit line

Customer Experience

From Wallethub:

“Prices might be a bit high, and the interest rate is high, but if you need to rebuild credit, this is the place to go. They’re good at reporting, so your score improves faster.”- Jacks6.

“Love this store- they give me good credit limits. Excellent services and products. I recommend Montgomery Ward.” – Jascitaaw.

⇒ Click Here to Visit the Official Website of Montgomery Ward Credit Account

#12. Zebit – Premium Brands Available


Ever heard of Zebit? Rest assured, you’re in good hands if you decide to use it. They have an A+ rating as per the BBB, and many happy customers, too. It’s an e-commerce site that sells goods you want and gives you the chance to pay overtime for them.

Their site is secure, and all personal info is encrypted. So, you can feel safe entering your application information.

Zebit does not make use of your FICO score in determining whether or not you qualify. Instead, they take a look at your identity and income. In addition, you should keep in mind that Zebit doesn’t report your history of payments to credit bureaus; ergo, it cannot be used to build or establish credit.


  • You get 6 months to pay for your purchases
  • Applying to the service doesn’t impact your credit score
  • $0 in hidden fees
  • You pay according to your paycheck schedule


  • It cannot be used for building credit
  • You must have the income to qualify for Zebit


-Lines of credit up to $2500 interest-free are available

-Your Zebit account can only be used to purchase items from the Zebit site

-Application takes only minutes, and you can use your account immediately after approval

Customer Experience

From Trustpilot:

“I have had great experiences with Zebit. You can pay a little down and make your other payments after. Everyone should try Zebit!” – Trekerah Nana Boyd.

“I appreciate that Zebit gave me the chance to purchase things I needed for my family and pay over time. In these crazy times, it’s good to know Zebit has my back.” – Pamela Muzzall.

⇒ Click Here to Visit the Official Website of Zebit

Buying Guide For Buy Now, Pay Later Options

Not sure what to look for when you need a buy now, pay later option? We’ve got you covered.

Types Of Buy Now, Pay Later Options

Use this list to see which option is best for you.

Personal loans are great because of how flexible they are. They do not put restrictions on how the money may be used once you’ve borrowed it. Once the money hits your bank, it’s up to you how you’d like to spend it.  Loans like this typically come with a high-interest rate, so be sure you are borrowing for something you need (a medical expense, an auto repair, or other necessity).

Today, it’s almost necessary to own a car. But not all of us qualify for an auto loan. As a result, subprime auto loans are available. The good news is that plenty of lenders are out there willing to help customers with bad credit.

Best of all, you can use the auto lending services above to enter your info and compare rates, getting you the best one out there for your new set of wheels.

If you have poor or no credit, it can be hard to get a credit card for things you need, such as emergency expenses, online purchases, or stores/venues that are cashless. Credit cards are also great to have if your paycheck was late getting to you- you can cover what you need while you wait for it to come in.

Thankfully, credit cards are available for people who need them most and, if used correctly, can help you rebuild credit. Make sure you read up on the interest rate, penalties, and fees for each card.  No two are alike. Depending on your credit history and income, your rate may vary from somebody else’s.

  • Retail Store Credit Lines

If you have a favorite store you just can’t get enough of, consider using their credit cards or lines to build credit. Not all credit lines can be used to build credit- for example, Zebit- but you may be able to get rewards or discounts at that store if you use their card.

Some retailers will only allow their credit cards to be used at their stores- for example, Fingerhut and Montgomery Ward- but it is still an excellent way to get what you need and improve your credit.

How Does Buy Now, Pay Later Work? 

When you’re checking out at your favorite retailer, you have a few options to pay. You can pay using cash or debit card, or you can pay using borrowed money in the form of a buy now, pay later option. These options are usually in the form of credit cards for small purchases or loans for durable goods like vehicles.

If making a small purchase, you will probably have to pay a small down payment today and the rest of the balance over time.

This could be in the form of monthly payments, the popular pay in 4 options, or some other method. During checkout, you will have to fill out an application with pertinent info such as your phone number, date of birth, address, and name. A soft credit check may be performed but rest assured that it does not affect your credit score. In a matter of seconds, your application will be approved or denied.

Some buy now, pay later methods require a hard pull on your credit, which will affect your score. The loan options, such as the auto and personal ones above, will result in a hard pull. Some credit cards will also result in a hard pull. Read over their guidelines carefully to make sure you know what you’re getting.

Late Fees/Annual Fees

Make sure you’re aware of any and all late fees/annual fees/interest fees associated with your buy now, pay later choice. For example, many Pay in 4 options does not have interest charges associated with them.

But, credit cards, personal and auto loans, and even the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard all have fees associated with them. So, make sure you are aware of them, so you are not caught by surprise when it comes time to pay, or you are late with a payment.

FAQs Regarding Buy Now, Pay Later Options

Here, you’ll find our readers’ most asked questions when it comes to buying now, pay later options:

Q. What Exactly Is Buy Now, Pay Later?

Essentially, Buy Now, Pay Later refers to services where you are given credit to get what you want or need that day and pay the balance via monthly/bi-weekly installments.

Every year, we see more and more BNPL options cropping up. In the old days, credit cards, auto loans, and personal loans reigned supreme, but now we’ve got store credit lines and online services giving buyers options.

Traditional credit cards still stand as the most popular method. You complete the transaction and then pay on your balance each month. Once the debt is paid, that line of your credit opens again, and you can use it once more. Formally, we call this a “revolving line of credit.”

Q. Will BNPL Affect My Credit Score?

Current debt makes up a third of your total credit score. Upon taking a loan, the debt increases, and your credit score may decrease. However, the decrease will reduce as you make on-time payments on that debt.

That being said, a brand-new loan could boost your score. To lenders, it looks good when you are capable of managing different loan varieties, so it could certainly help you.

Q. Is BNPL A Good Idea?

In theory, BNPL is a great idea. But there are a few things to consider before diving into a purchase, especially very expensive ones.

It’s generally a good idea to use BNPL services for necessary things, such as a car to get to your job/medical appointments/family reasons, or to fix a leaky toilet in your home.  Although plans to pay back debt might seem easy to manage, you are still incurring debt. It’s never a good idea to take on debt for something you don’t need.

It’s also good to look for BNPL options that feature zero interest or low interest. This brings down the monthly payment amount, and it also becomes easier to pay the debt down.

If you are already struggling to make ends meet, pay your bills, or establish some emergency savings, don’t go with buy now, pay later options. It’s so easy to do and so easy to get approved that it becomes easy to fall into deep debt with such services.

Ending up late on your payments could send you to collections or get you stuck with sky-high late fees. This only hurts your credit rating.

For some of you, using a credit card to purchase what you need could be a smarter option. Most credit cards net you cashback or rewards in the form of points. Plus, they also report directly to credit bureaus which can help you build or repair credit.

By having a track record of on-time monthly payments, you can rebuild your credit rating and climb your way to better financing options for future purchases.

Q. Is Bnpl What I See On Various Shopping Websites? 

Yes! There are many buy now, pay later companies cropping up that help consumers purchase things they want or need but break it down into monthly payments. You perhaps have seen names such as Klarna, Afterpay, or Affirm while you’ve shopped on various websites.

Afterpay is one of the “Pay in 4” companies. Many popular companies like Bed Bath & Beyond, Old Navy, and many others are partnered with this brand. So long as you make your payments on time, you don’t incur any extra fees. But if you don’t make the payment within 10 days of its due date, an $8 fee is incurred.

Klarna has been spotted at retailers like Macy’s and Foot Locker. They also offer a Pay in 4 Plan, but if your payment isn’t in after they’ve attempted to take it twice, you will incur a late fee that maxes out at $7.

Affirm works with retailers, the most popular being Walmart. The interest rates offered by Affirm are varied based on the retailer, so the repayment term/interest you get at one store could be different from another.

Some of the stores have zero interest; others can go as high as 30%. Make sure you read the agreement carefully to ensure your interest rate isn’t too high. There are no late fees with Affirm.

These are not the only BNPL services for websites. You may have seen others like Quadpay, or perhaps you have used PayPal’s Pay in 4 services.

Q. Does Buy Now, Pay Later Build Credit? 

It depends on the BNPL service you’re after. When repaid on time, credit cards and loans will help you build, or rebuild, credit.

Store-specific lines of credit MAY help you; for example, the Fingerhut line of credit is one way to do just that.

Meanwhile, registering with a buy now, pay later company such as Klarna will likely not affect your credit score. However, Klarna does a soft inquiry and does not report your history of payments to credit bureaus, so it’s not great for building or repairing credit. Afterpay also doesn’t report to credit bureaus.

Meanwhile, Affirm takes a different stance- they state that some types of loans will not be reported to Experian, but others could be. An example of a loan that would not be reported is a 0%, 4 biweekly payment loan. They may also report loans that have back payments, which in turn could negatively impact your credit rating.

Q. Can I Buy Now, Pay Later With Amazon?

Amazon has its in-house service, called Amazon Pay Later. They split up payments into five installments, and the last installment is smaller if the cost isn’t equally divided by five. However, you can only use it to purchase one item per category of product. So, for instance, you cannot use the service to buy two Lenovo laptops.

Final Thoughts: Which Is The Best Buy Now, Pay Later Service?

We hope this article about buy now, pay later methods has been helpful to you. We hope that whatever comes your way, you can use these useful sites to get the money you need. We, however, suggest going for either one of the top 3 platforms that we have picked, namely, MoneyMutual,, and BillsHappen. Just make sure to familiarize yourself with the terms of the loan so you can pay it back on time and build your credit.

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Are Sallie Mae Student Loans Federal or Private?



When you hear the name Sallie Mae, you probably think of student loans. There’s a good reason for that; Sallie Mae has a long history, during which time it has provided both federal and private student loans.

However, as of 2014, all of Sallie Mae’s student loans are private, and its federal loans have been sold to another servicer. Here’s what to know if you have a Sallie Mae loan or are considering taking one out.

What is Sallie Mae?

Sallie Mae is a company that currently offers private student loans. But it has taken a few forms over the years.

In 1972, Congress first created the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) as a private, for-profit corporation. Congress gave SLMA, commonly called “Sallie Mae,” the status of a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) to support the company in its mission to provide stability and liquidity to the student loan market as a warehouse for student loans.

However, in 2004, the structure and purpose of the company began to change. SLMA dissolved in late December of that year, and the SLM Corporation, or “Sallie Mae,” was formed in its place as a fully private-sector company without GSE status.

In 2014, the company underwent another big adjustment when Sallie Mae split to form Navient and Sallie Mae. Navient is a federal student loan servicer that manages existing student loan accounts. Meanwhile, Sallie Mae continues to offer private student loans and other financial products to consumers. If you took out a student loan with Sallie Mae prior to 2014, there’s a chance that it was a federal student loan under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

At present, Sallie Mae owns 1.4 percent of student loans in the United States. In addition to private student loans, the bank also offers credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts to its customers, many of whom are college students.

What is the difference between private and federal student loans?

When you’re seeking financing to pay for college, you’ll have a big choice to make: federal versus private student loans. Both types of loans offer some benefits and drawbacks.

Federal student loans are educational loans that come from the U.S. government. Under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, there are four types of federal student loans available to qualified borrowers.

With federal student loans, you typically do not need a co-signer or even a credit check. The loans also come with numerous benefits, such as the ability to adjust your repayment plan based on your income. You may also be able to pause payments with a forbearance or deferment and perhaps even qualify for some level of student loan forgiveness.

On the negative side, most federal student loans feature borrowing limits, so you might need to find supplemental funding or scholarships if your educational costs exceed federal loan maximums.

Private student loans are educational loans you can access from private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. On the plus side, private student loans often feature higher loan amounts than you can access through federal funding. And if you or your co-signer has excellent credit, you may be able to secure a competitive interest rate as well.

As for drawbacks, private student loans don’t offer the valuable benefits that federal student borrowers can enjoy. You may also face higher interest rates or have a harder time qualifying for financing if you have bad credit.

Are Sallie Mae loans better than federal student loans?

In general, federal loans are the best first choice for student borrowers. Federal student loans offer numerous benefits that private loans do not. You’ll generally want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review federal funding options before applying for any type of private student loan — Sallie Mae loans included.

However, private student loans, like those offered by Sallie Mae, do have their place. In some cases, federal student aid, grants, scholarships, work-study programs and savings might not be enough to cover educational expenses. In these situations, private student loans may provide you with another way to pay for college.

If you do need to take out private student loans, Sallie Mae is a lender worth considering. It offers loans for a variety of needs, including undergrad, MBA school, medical school, dental school and law school. Its loans also feature 100 percent coverage, so you can find funding for all of your certified school expenses.

With that said, it’s always best to compare a few lenders before committing. All lenders evaluate income and credit score differently, so it’s possible that another lender could give you lower interest rates or more favorable terms.

The bottom line

Sallie Mae may be a good choice if you’re in the market for private student loans and other financial products. Just be sure to do your research upfront, as you should before you take out any form of financing. Comparing multiple offers always gives you the best chance of saving money.

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Tips to do some fall cleaning on your finances



Wealth manager, Harry Abrahamsen, has five simple ways to stay on top of the big financial picture.

PORTLAND, Maine — Keeping track of our financial stability is something we can all do, whether we have IRAs or 401ks or just a checking account. Harry J. Abrahamsen is the Founder of Abrahamsen Financial Group. He works with clients to create and grow their own wealth. Abrahamsen shares five financial tips, starting with knowing what you have. 

1. Analyze Your Finances Quarterly or Biannually

You want to make sure that your long-term strategy is congruent with your short-term strategy. If the short-term is not working out, you may need to adjust what you are doing to make sure your outcome produces the desired results you are looking to accomplish. It is just like setting sail on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You know where you want to go and plot your course, but there are many factors that need to be considered to actually get you across and across safely. Your finances behave the exact same way. Check your current situation and make sure you are taking into consideration all of the various wealth-eroding factors that can take you completely off course.

With interest rates very low, now might be a good time to consider refinancing student loans or mortgages, or consolidating credit card debt. However, do so only if you need to or if you can create a positive cash flow. To ensure that you are saving the most by doing so, you must look at current payments, excluding taxes and insurance costs. This way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.

The most important things to look for when reviewing your credit report is accuracy. Make sure the reporting agencies are reporting things actuary. If it doesn’t appear to be reporting correct and accurate information, you should consult with a reputable credit repair company to help you fix the incorrect information.

4. Savings and Retirement Accounts

The most important thing to consider when reviewing your savings and retirement accounts is to make sure the strategies match your short-term and long-term investment objectives. All too often people end up making decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people, under different circumstances. Having a sound strategy in place will allow you to view your finances with a macro-economic lens vs a micro-economic view. Stay the course and adjust accordingly from a risk and tax standpoint.

RELATED: Financial lessons learned through the pandemic

A great tip for lowering utility bills or car insurance premiums: Simply ask! There may be things you are not aware of that could save you hundreds of dollars every month. You just need to call all of the companies that you do business with to find out about cost-cutting strategies. 

RELATED: Overcome your fear of finances

To learn more about Abrahamsen Financial, click here

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How to Get a Loan Even with Bad Credit



Sana pwedeng mabura ang bad credit history as quickly and easily as paying off your utility bills, ‘no? Unfortunately, it takes time. And bago mo pa maayos ang bad credit mo, more often than not, kailangan mo na namang mag-avail ng panibagong loan. 

Good thing you can still get a loan even with bad credit, kahit na medyo limited ang options. How do you get a loan if you have bad credit? Alamin sa short guide na ito. 

For more finance tips, visit Moneymax.



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