How to Schedule a Sallie Mae Payment


This post is a step-by-step guide to scheduling Sallie Mae payments on ReadyForZero. There have been some recent changes to the way we request your information to process these payments, so please read on if you have questions about how this works.

The Background

If you have multiple loans within your Sallie Mae account, then these loans may be separated into something called biller groups (also referred to as billing groups). It is possible to have one or multiple biller groups and they can all contain one or more loan each. Previously, when scheduling payments for Sallie Mae, we would request your account number and loan ID. We requested the loan ID in case you wanted to apply your payment to one specific loan in your Sallie Mae account. However, we saw a few issues in which these payments weren’t being applied correctly. The reason being that Sallie Mae saw the loan number and interpreted it to be the biller group.

After speaking with someone very helpful and informative at Sallie Mae, it came to light that it is not possible to distinguish between the different loan IDs when making electronic payments, although it is possible to distinguish between biller groups. That is why we now ask you for your account number and biller group. If you have a 16 digit account number then you are not required to enter a biller group. However, there is information below that you should be aware of so please read on.

What to Do if You Want to Pay a Specific Sallie Mae Loan

So what happens if you want to pay one specific loan but there are multiple loans within the same biller group? Unfortunately, the only way to solve this issue right now requires a little work from you (although we’re always looking for ways to change that).

Here’s what you do if you have a 10 digit account number (plus a 3 digit loan number).

  1. Call your Sallie Mae customer service number and tell them you’d like to separate your biller groups and loans.
  2. Specify that you want them to match your biller group and loan IDs one-to-one. In other words, you should have each loan under its own biller group and make sure the numbers match: loan ID 1-03 should be under biller group 1-03.
  3. When you schedule a payment on ReadyForZero, you can now enter the biller group ID that contains the loan you want to pay and then know that it will only go to that loan.

Here’s what you do if you have more than one account with 16 digit account numbers.

  1. Call your Sallie Mae customer service number and tell them that you have more than one account with 16 digit account numbers.
  2. Ask them if your 16 digit account numbers are grouped together.*
  3. If your 16 digit account number accounts are grouped together, ask Sallie Mae to separate them. That way you can ensure that your payments to these accounts are applied properly.

*If you have more than one account with 16 digit account numbers, Sallie Mae may have grouped them together unbeknownst to you. In fact, the only way you can know if your 16 digit account number accounts are grouped together is to call Sallie Mae and ask them. If you don’t do this and it turns out that your accounts were grouped together, payments to one of the accounts individually by ReadyForZero will be applied to all accounts in the group by Sallie Mae.

What to Do if Your Loans Are Consolidated

There is one instance in which you would not be able to have your loans separated out from your biller groups and that is if they are consolidated. I spoke to Sallie Mae about this and the reason is because they have to group all consolidated loans under one loan per federal regulation. This may seem confusing if you can see the breakdown of the consolidated loans within that one loan, but regardless this is still considered to just be one loan by Sallie Mae.

The good news is that consolidated loans aren’t expected to receive separate payments anyway since they are grouped as one. If your consolidated loans have multiple interest rates and you want to ensure that your highest interest rate loan gets the bulk of your payment, then read these instructions from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to find out how to ask Sallie Mae to do this.

And that’s all! Now you can rest assured that your Sallie Mae payments will be applied correctly. If you have any more questions about this, or would like some assistance on your call with Sallie Mae, please call us (877) 236-5886 at or email

Image Credit: Cast a Line

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  • Trying to ad a Sallie Mae loan (just one) so why am I still required to add a billing group. I REALLY don’t want to call Sallie Mae and it’s just one loan (not a consolidation of many) so why can’t I just link it straight?

    • Shannon_ReadyForZero

      Hi Nick. Actually, all Sallie Mae loans fall under a billing group, even if you only have one loan. We have now made the billing group field optional, so you can skip that. However, it would be best to then start with a small test payment ($15 for example) to ensure that this will work for your loan. Since Sallie Mae is in the process of changing their account structures – we find it best to always start with a test payment.

      • Thanks!

        • Shannon_ReadyForZero

          You’re welcome! Please feel free to email me if you run into any trouble.