Federal Direct Loans, offered by the government (Department of Education), are based on your financial and family situation, as provided in your FAFSA®.
Private student loans, offered by banks and institutions, are based on your credit profile. You should generally consider federal student loans first, then take out a private student loan if you still need money for college.
With a Direct Subsidized Loan, the U.S. Department of Education pays the interest while the student is in school for at least half-time, during a grace period (if offered) and through authorized deferment periods.
With Direct Unsubsidized Loans, the borrower is responsible for the interest charged during the in-school or grace periods, or a post-school deferment.
Both federal and private loan options are helpful tools in funding your education. We encourage completing the FAFSA® and exploring scholarships, grants, federal and state student loans first. If you’ve reviewed these options and still have a gap in funding, that’s when Commerce Bank Student Loans can help you close your funding gap.
As with all loans, it’s wise to only borrow what you need and what you can afford to pay back later, so we encourage you to consider things like the anticipated monthly payments on your total student loan debt and expected future earnings when exploring a private student loan. See our article on responsible borrowing.
A certified student loan involves your selected school verifying with Commerce Bank the money borrowed is only used for your education. Upon approval, and after you’ve accepted and signed the terms, the loan is set to your school’s financial aid office to confirm your details. The loan funds cannot exceed your school’s calculated cost of attendance minus any other aid or loan you’re receiving for the semester.
An uncertified student loan doesn’t need approval from your selected school; instead, the funds are sent directly to you. This requires more work on your end to ensure your school is paid on time. We recommend that you first exhaust all other options before using an uncertified loan to cover your school expenses. Consider your savings, a part-time job, applying for additional scholarships, or help from your family before exploring an uncertified loan.
Payments for Your Future Education Loan® are made directly to our servicer, Sallie Mae. You may send a check, pay online, by phone or through the Sallie Mae mobile app.
By phone – Call (800) 472-5543
By mail – Sallie Mae, P.O. Box 8459, Philadelphia, PA 19101-8459
Online – Access your student loan account at www.salliemae.com and establish your payment preference
By mobile app – Download the Sallie Mae app from the App Store or Google Play
Use your Apple Watch® – You can pay your Sallie Mae loan and view the confirmation, all from your Apple Watch. Once you download the Sallie Mae mobile app, you can easily sync your iPhone® to your Apple Watch.
Sallie Mae is the first major private student loan servicer to offer customers the option to view accounts and make payments via the Apple Watch.
The Sallie Mae® mobile app
Access your student loans any time, anywhere. Manage your student loan payments at your convenience.
You can select from three options5:
You have at least six months after you leave school (your grace period) before you begin to make principal and interest payments — this applies to all three repayment options.
Your Future Education Loan and Commerce Bank graduate loans: These loans are for students at participating degree-granting schools located in the U.S. Your Future Education Loan information is for undergraduates only. Graduate Certificate/Continuing Education coursework is not eligible for MBA, Medical, Dental, and Law School Loans. Students who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents must reside in the U.S., attend a participating school in the U.S., apply with a creditworthy cosigner (who must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident) and provide an unexpired government-issued photo ID to verify their identity. Applications are subject to a requested minimum loan amount of $1,000. Current credit and other eligibility criteria apply.
Bar Study Loan: This information is for borrowers who are enrolled at least half-time in their final year of study at a participating ABA-accredited law school located in the U.S., or have graduated from one within the last 12 months. Borrowers should be sitting for the bar exam no later than 12 months after graduation. Borrowers can be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents or Non-U.S. citizens who reside in the U.S. and apply with a creditworthy cosigner (who must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident) and provide an unexpired government-issued photo ID to verify identity. Applications are subject to a requested minimum loan amount of $1,000. Current credit and other eligibility criteria apply.
Residency and Relocation Loan: This information is for borrowers who are pursuing or have received a M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.P.M., D.V.M., or V.M.D. degree. Borrowers must be enrolled at least half time in their final year of study at a participating allopathic, osteopathic, podiatric, dental or veterinary medicine schools in the U.S., or have graduated from one within the past 12 months. U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents are eligible. Non-U.S. citizen borrowers who reside in the U.S. are eligible with a creditworthy cosigner (who must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident) and are required to provide an unexpired government-issued photo ID to verify identity. Applications are subject to a requested minimum loan amount of $1,000. Current credit and other eligibility criteria apply.
To participate in the Residency and Relocation Loan program, veterinary medical schools are required to be accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association, dental schools are required to be accredited by the American Dental Association, medical schools are required to be accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education or the American Osteopathic Association's Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation, and podiatric schools are required to be accredited by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education.
Apple, iPhone, Apple Watch, Siri, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
Android, Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.
FAFSA is a registered service mark of U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid.