Sallie Mae

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Sallie Mae (SLM Corporation) is the largest education finance company in the U.S. "The company was originally established as the Student Loan Marketing Association, a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE), but began to privatize in 1997. The GSE was phased out in the first quarter of 2005, and Sallie Mae is fully privatized," it states on its website. [1]

Sallie Mae is the parent company of Nellie Mae, which also funds student loans.

In 2006, Sallie Mae revenue was US$9.1 billion with profits of US$1.1 billion. Top competitors are Bank of America, KeyCorp, and Student Loan Corporation.[1] Based in Reston, Virginia, the company was founded in 1972.[2]

Nation's Private Loan Debt Exceeds $150 Billion

A July 2012 report, Private Student Loans, released jointly by the U.S. Department of Education and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFIB), found that private loans account for more than $150 billion dollars of the massive 1 trillion dollars in outstanding student debt. This is the first government report on private student loans. Student loan debt has surpassed credit card debt as the number one source of unsecured debt in the country.

Key Findings [3]

  • American borrowers currently owe more than $150 billion in private student loans
  • More than $8 billion in private loans are in default
  • In 2009, the unemployment for private student loan borrowers who started school in the 2003-2004 academic year was 16%.
  • Ten percent of recent graduates of four-year colleges have monthly payments for all education loans in excess of 25% of their income
  • Fueled by investor appetite for asset-backed securities, the private student loan market grew from less than 5 billion in 2001 to over 20 billion in 2008 to less than 6 billion in 2011
  • Banks between 2005 – 2007 were marketing loans directly to students, reducing the involvement of the schools in the process and reducing the certification of need from the school.
  • Some students who had not reached their limit on federal loans took out private loans simply because they did not understand the process
  • More than 90 percent of the dollar amount of private students loans originated in 2011 were co-signed

Political contributions

Sallie Mae gave $572,000 to federal candidates in the 2006 election through its political action committee - 52% to Democrats and 48% to Republicans. [4]


Sallie Mae (SLM Corporation) spent $2,758,700 for lobbying in the first half of 2007. Some of the lobbying firms used were Clark & Weinstock, Patton Boggs, Van Scoyoc Associates, Inc., and the individual Richard Hohlt. [5]


Key people and pay: [6]

Selected members of the Board of Directors: [9]

Contact details

12061 Bluemont Way
Reston, VA 20190
Phone: 703-810-3000
Fax: 703-984-5042


Related SourceWatch articles


  1. SLM Corporation Profile, Hoovers, accessed December 2007.
  2. SLM Corporation Profile, Yahoo, accessed December 2007.
  3. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau & U.S. Department of Education, Private Student Loans,, July 20, 2012)
  4. 2006 PAC Summary Data, Open Secrets, accessed December 2007.
  5. SLM Corporation lobbying expenses, Open Secrets, accessed December 2007.
  6. Key People, Hoovers, accessed December 2007.
  7. Albert L. Lord, Forbes, accessed December 2007.
  8. C E Andrews, Forbes, accessed December 2007.
  9. Board of Directors, SLM Corporation, accessed December 2007.

External articles