If you didn't know better, you might think Sallie Mae was a long lost relative or a 1950s-era television star, but if you've had any exposure to the world of student loans, you probably already know that Sallie Mae is a giant among loan lenders.
Sallie Mae actually is a nickname for the SLM Corporation, which manages more than $180.4 billion in debt for more than 10 million borrowers. The company originally began in 1972 providing federally guaranteed student loans under the Federal Family Education Loan Program, which is second only to Direct Loans. More recently, Sallie Mae, which had as many as 8,000 employees working in offices across the country, has expanded into private student loans, as well.
The organization has changed over the years since it first was entirely government-sponsored and then morphed into a privatized concern. It has also added such innovative programs as Upromise, the plan that provides rebates to consumers which can be applied to college savings accounts.
For parents of prospective college students looking to find ways to underwrite a college education, Sallie Mae's website is worth a visit since there is information on its savings accounts, 529 plans, and Upromise reward program, as well its various student loan options. It is the nation's leading saving, planning, and paying-for-education company, and since its founding, it has helped more than 31 million invest in higher education. You might count yourself as 31 million plus one.