Commerce Bank, Sallie Mae Partner on New Student Loan

Commerce Bank has teamed with Sallie Mae to offer a new student loan that helps students pay off their debt faster.

With the Smart Option Student Loan, students make interest payments while in school, graduate with less debt and pay off their loans faster compared with a traditional, 15-year deferred-payment private student loan, Commerce said.

A typical freshman can save more than 50 percent in interest charges over the life of the loan and pay off in seven years after graduation instead of the standard 15-year-term offered by alternatives, according to Commerce.

Applicants may be eligible to borrow up to the full cost of their education, less other aid received.

Students who enroll in and successfully make all their monthly payments by automatic debit may be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction. Using Commerce’s Smart Reward benefit, students can earn 2 percent of their scheduled monthly payment in a Upromise account.

Students can apply for the loan with a co-signer, which increases the chance for approval and a lower rate. Students can also have the co-signer removed from the account after they graduate.

SLM Corp. (NYSE: SLM), commonly known as Sallie Mae, manages $182 billion in education loans and serves 10 million student and parent customers.

Commerce Bancshares (NASDAQ: CBSH), which is based in St. Louis and Kansas City, is the holding company for Commerce Bank, which has more than 370 locations in Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Oklahoma and Colorado. David Kemper is chairman and CEO of Commerce.


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