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Press release from Business Wire

Sallie Mae Comments on Education Debt

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sallie Mae Comments on Education Debt13:32 EDT Thursday, May 24, 2012 NEWARK, Del. (Business Wire) -- Sallie Mae (NASDAQ: SLM), the nation's No. 1 financial services company specializing in education, released the following statement from Vice Chairman and CEO Albert L. Lord following today's annual meeting of shareholders: “Higher education may be the most valuable investment we ever make. This investment also is an enormous financial decision for many students and their families, and it often comes early in the student's life. Sallie Mae is proud to have helped more than 31 million Americans pay for college, and we look forward to continuing to work with students and families to save, plan and pay for this important investment – critical to the individual and essential to this country's future. “There is no question that we are in a difficult job market for Americans of all ages, particularly so for young people. We heard that loud and clear today from our younger shareholders. The average college graduate who borrows presently faces approximately $25,000 in student debt. This is a daunting challenge to say the least. But our customers will succeed. And we will continue to do all we can to help. Sallie Mae has 40 years of experience helping 40 different graduating classes and has seen several economic recessions. Bridging these difficult times is one of our key strengths. We are proud that we have transitioned millions of graduates with debt through to full repayment. “Borrowing to pay for college is a serious decision to be carefully considered. Too often, borrowing is seen only as part of the total admissions process, and there is insufficient focus on financial consequences. At Sallie Mae, we believe the student lender has the responsibility to work with customers to ensure they are properly educated about their financial obligation and the products and services offered serve the best interest of all participants. There are no winners on a defaulted loan. “Sallie Mae continues to support enactment of reasonable reform to bankruptcy laws to discharge mature education loans – both private and federal – after borrowers have had a meaningful opportunity to establish themselves and begin paying their loans. “Sallie Mae's mission is to help families save, plan and pay for college. With sound lending practices and responsible products, we are wholly committed to helping students dream, invest and succeed.” Sallie Mae (NASDAQ: SLM) is the nation's No. 1 financial services company specializing in education. Whether college is a long way off or just around the corner, Sallie Mae turns education dreams into reality for its 25 million customers. With products and services that include college savings programs, scholarship search tools, education loans, tuition insurance, and online banking, Sallie Mae offers solutions that help families save, plan, and pay for college. Sallie Mae also provides financial services to hundreds of college campuses as well as to federal and state governments. Learn more at Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America. Sallie MaeMedia:Patricia Nash Christel, 302-283-4076, patricia.christel@SallieMae.comMartha Holler, 302-283-4036, martha.holler@SallieMae.comorInvestors:Joe Fisher, 302-283-4075, joe.fisher@SallieMae.comSteven McGarry, 302-283-4074,