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Sallie Mae stands for Student Loan Marketing Association, the largest private student loan company in the world. It started in 1973 as a government student loan business in Delaware, New Jersey. From that, it provided, serviced and collected on private student loans. As of 2014, Sallie Mae has turned their private student loans accounts over to Navient Corporation, a federal student loan servicer and collector. Today, it still provides K-12, undergraduate and graduate loans; investment products, credit cards, various insurance plans, and financial programs for college students. The CEO is Raymond J. Quinlan.
Sallie Mae provides financing, insurance products, credit cards, and insurance plans for students of all ages. They help individuals and families who cannot afford quality and higher education. They offer some student loans at a 2.25% interest rate, a comparatively low amount, and have no fee to originate. These products give students and their parents several repayment choices and special accommodations at a fixed or flexible rate.
All Sallie Mae loans holders can go into forbearance before a loan becomes delinquent if they are experiencing a financial hardship. Those who are in the military have their own customer service representatives who are trained to know and understand the special needs of servicemen and are prepared to assist them. They are also covered under the Servicemen's Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which keeps their interest rate at 6% or lower, even when they are in active duty.
This is a cash back rewards program for students. The customer shops online or eats out and receives cash back that can be applied to college expenses.
There are no ATM's from which money from a Sallie Mae checking account can be withdrawn. Withdrawals must be done through a money transfer to a linked account, and takes 2-3 business days to process.
Twenty percent of students who owe on student loans in the USA are Sallie Mae clients. Of those customers, 20% of them are in default and 11% of them continued in default after leaving forbearance. This is not a surprising number when one considers the comparatively high interest rate (6 %+) some Sallie Mae students loans have.
Sallie Mae spends millions of dollars lobbying against federal student loan policies in order to promote their business, which offers students loan at a much higher interest rate that makes it difficult for many students to pay off their loans and stay out of debt. Sallie Mae is affiliated with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an organization that supports controversial legislation such as "stand your ground", "right to word", and voter ID.
Their supportive positions with these policies have won them negative attention and criticism along with the withdrawal of ALEC membership from several organizations following Sallie Mae's joining. Other Sallie Mae concerns include:
One student claims that Sallie Mae took money out of her account even though her loans were not delinquent. Another student said he is a victim of identity theft from a Sallie Mae loan. It caused his wages and income taxes to be garnished instead of correcting the matter.
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