The Facts About Sallie Mae
We get it. Most people think of us when they think of student loans. In reality, the U.S. Department of Education is far and away the largest student lender. In fact, 92% of the country’s $1.6 trillion of student loans today are federal student loans.
Sallie Mae is a consumer bank that owns 1.4% of student loans today. We are not Navient or any other company that services or collects loans for the federal government.
Sallie Mae offers private student loans and other financial products. Private loans are credit-based and underwritten, meaning we assess your ability to pay back the loan before we make it.
Our 1,800 employees come to work every day with a singular purpose: to empower families to responsibly pay for college. We help our customers invest in themselves through education, the proven pathway to economic mobility, and build prosperous futures as our country’s next nurses, teachers, lawyers, engineers, business leaders, and more.
Beyond college, we help customers create new goals and make experiences happen with products like private graduate loans, credit cards that reward responsible financial behavior, personal loans, and goal-based savings accounts.
A responsible approach
We agree that college should be more affordable. We also believe student loan providers have an obligation to lend responsibly, which is why we assess every applicant’s financial situation, and if they don’t demonstrate the ability to handle the debt, we say no.
Our responsible lending approach works:
- 98% of our customers successfully manage their loans.
- Our customers pay off their loans in an average of 7 years.
Our undergraduate student loan features a pioneering in-school repayment option, which allows students and families to reduce their overall loan costs and debt.
98% of our customers are successfully repaying their loans; less than 2% default annually
We’re proud of our customers’ success
completed their program of study
agree their work gives them a feeling of personal accomplishment
Source: Sallie Mae sponsored research among repayment borrowers under age 35; December 2018 and March 2019; all data except the % who completed their program is based on borrowers who have earned at least a bachelor's degree
We give back to students, families, and communities
Our Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program helps change the lives of students who have excelled in school but may need financial help to attend college. Since 2016, we’ve awarded $560,000 in Bridging the Dream scholarships to inspiring students.
Our award-winning financial literacy initiatives teach high school students about planning for college and financial literacy. Sallie Mae visits high schools and youth groups across the country, awarding scholarships and paying off student loans. This award-winning, nationwide tour reached more than 10,000 high school students in 2018.
We work with national organizations and states to develop and distribute college planning materials to tens of thousands of students and their families.
We encourage our employees to make a difference by giving them paid time off to volunteer in their communities. We work directly with non-profits like Special Olympics, Junior Achievement, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Since 2014, The Sallie Mae Fund has awarded nearly $2 million in grants to local and national non-profit organizations that address barriers to college access.