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Sallie Mae helps 2 million student loan customers avoid default and begin improving credit rating


Another 431,000 customers succeed by paying student loans in full

NEWARK, Del. - Sallie Mae (NYSE: SLM), the nation’s No. 1 financial services company specializing in education, helped 2.3 million customers resolve their past-due accounts and avoid the consequences of student loan default on $38.3 billion in federal and private student loans last academic year.

Sallie Mae received top ranking for its default prevention work in the U.S. Department of Education’s recently announced student loan servicing performance results.

“We are sensitive to the economic challenges our student loan customers face in this economy, and we reach out to those experiencing difficulty to provide one-on-one assistance,” said Jack Remondi, president and chief operating officer, Sallie Mae. “We have a number of plans to help borrowers manage their payments and avoid the negative consequences of delinquency and default. It’s important for customers who are experiencing difficulty to contact us so we can help.”

One customer, Christina B., a biology graduate of University of New Orleans, ran into challenges keeping up with loan payments after experiencing a layoff at work. “Sallie Mae worked with me; they explained the options I had available and helped me get back on track,” she said. Today, she works as an environmental scientist, performing compliance inspections for various businesses in Louisiana, and successfully made her last loan payment earlier this year. “You never know when your circumstances are going to change,” she says of the experience. “That’s when you need to reach out and ask for help and explain what is happening. It might be hard at first, but you’ll find people ready and willing to work with you.”

Sallie Mae celebrated the 431,000 customers who successfully paid their student loans in full last academic year. In a recent survey of Sallie Mae customers who had made their last payment or were about to do so, 90 percent said they were proud they had persevered to make their loan payments.

Kisha S. is one such success story. She borrowed $25,000 in student loans to attain her bachelor’s degree from New York University and her master’s at George Washington University. Today, she works as a change management manager for a privately held business in Washington, D.C., and speaks at schools coaching fellow college graduates on student loan repayment success. “I’m someone whose student loan debt was not paid off by their parents or a husband,” she said. “I want people to know that they can do the same thing. In many cases, it’s about a simple life style change—taking in fewer movies, having dinners at restaurants or cutting back on shopping sprees can make a big impact and put you closer to your financial goals.”

Hani J. is another. After working as a dental assistant for several years, he pursued his dream of becoming a dentist. “I was grateful to Sallie Mae for financing a good portion of my education,” he said. “As soon as I graduated, I made a promise to myself to make loan payments a top priority.” He successfully repaid his student loans last year and is an established dentist in northern California.

The severe and lasting impacts of loan default may include damage to the customer’s credit, job prospects, denial or loss of professional licenses, the possibility of civil litigation, and the possibility of being denied other forms of consumer credit for years to come. On federally guaranteed student loans, the Department of Education also takes remedies to recover funds through wage garnishment, the seizure of income tax refunds and federal benefit payments, or the loss of eligibility for additional federal student aid.

Sallie Mae’s online payment tools, college planning resources, continuous communication with customers, and loan default prevention programs facilitate customers’ desire to preserve their good credit and enable them to access lower-cost credit in the future. The company’s efforts also save taxpayer dollars on federally guaranteed student loans and assist colleges in retaining eligibility for federal financial aid for incoming students.

Sallie Mae (NYSE: SLM) is the nation’s No. 1 financial services company specializing in education. Serving 23 million customers, Sallie Mae offers innovative savings tools, tuition payment plans and education loans that promote responsible financial habits and reward success. Through its subsidiaries, the company manages or services $234 billion in education loans and administers $38 billion in 529 college savings plans. Members of its Upromise college savings rewards program have earned $625 million to help pay for college. Sallie Mae is also one of the leading financial service providers for universities and governments at all levels, including supporting $8 billion in ecommerce transactions annually at nearly 1,000 campuses. More information is available at SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries, commonly known as Sallie Mae, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.


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