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History

These loans helped fund a time in my life that I will always cherish. - Tyler F., Washington

Sallie Mae has undergone significant transformations since its creation as a government-sponsored enterprise. Four decades of innovation and change have made Sallie Mae the leading financial services company specializing in education.


2010s

2014

Sallie Mae split into two, publicly traded entities: a consumer banking business and a newly named loan management, servicing and asset recovery business, Navient Corporation.

2013

Sallie Mae celebrates 40 years of helping make education accessible to families around the country.

2012

Upromise by Sallie Mae increases cash back rewards for college.

Sallie Mae expands its private education loan options by introducing a new fixed interest rate version of the Smart Option Student Loan.

For the third consecutive year, the Sallie Mae Money Market Account is recognized by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine as “the best place to stash cash” due to market-leading pricing, competitive interest rates, no monthly fees, and no minimum balance.

2011

Sallie Mae expands its saving, planning, and paying for college financial services initiatives with retail banking products: high-yield savings accounts, CDs, and checking accounts through Sallie Mae Bank® and credit cards with rewards to help pay down education loans.

Sallie Mae Insurance Services launches, featuring products to help families protect their investment in higher education.

Sallie Mae begins trading on the NASDAQ stock market under the ticker symbol SLM.

2010

Congress passes the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which eliminates the public-private partnership Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). Effective July 1, 2010, all federal loans are originated directly by the U.S. Department of Education.

2000s

2009

The Smart Option Student Loan® is introduced, an innovative loan that provides life-of-loan savings with in-school interest payments.

Sallie Mae is selected to service federal loans on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education. Sallie Mae has since separated into two independent companies, and this work is now performed by Navient Corporation.

2008

The Higher Education Opportunity Act enacted, providing new guidelines regarding lender-school relations and loan application disclosures.

2006

Sallie Mae becomes the nation's leading saving-for-college company with the acquisition of Upromise® and Upromise Investments®.

2004

Sallie Mae is fully privatized, four years ahead of schedule.

1990s

1997

Shareholders approve privatization of Sallie Mae.

1995

First securitization transaction valued at $1 billion.

SallieMae.com launched.

1994

William D. Ford Direct Student Loan Program enacted into law. Clinton Administration announces that Sallie Mae should restructure itself from a GSE to a private company.

1993

Sallie Mae introduces incentives to reward borrowers for establishing good repayment habits.

1992

Sallie Mae creates The Sallie Mae Fund. Over the next two decades, the Fund will contribute more than $125 million to increase access to higher education and to support local communities.

1980s

1987

Number of Sallie Mae employees doubles in one year as three new servicing centers are opened to better serve customers.

Sallie Mae owns 24 percent of student loans outstanding, servicing 2 million accounts.

1984

Sallie Mae shares publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker symbol SLM.

1970s

1979

Total assets exceed $1 billion.

1978

Board authorizes in-house loan servicing operations.

1975

First shareholder meeting is held.

First loan is purchased from 1st Pennsylvania Bank.

1973

The Student Loan Marketing Association (nicknamed “Sallie Mae”) opens its doors as a Government-Sponsored Enterprise (GSE). It is designed to support the guaranteed student loan program created by the Higher Education Act of 1965.