Home > Students > Who Is Sallie Mae?

Comments 0 Comments

If you took out a private student loan to pay for college, you may be getting some letters and email from a company called Sallie Mae. You definitely need to open those.

Sallie Mae is a consumer banking business focused on education, and it originates and services more than 1 million private student loans. It used to service federal education loans, too, but in 2014, it moved that aspect of its business into a separate company called Navient. It’s not nearly as common for a student loan borrower to have to deal with Sallie Mae these days as it used to be before the Navient spinoff, but if you have private student loans, you may need to get quite familiar with the company. Your student loans can have a huge impact on your financial future, like whether or not you can get a mortgage or other forms of credit, so you want to be on top of these accounts as soon as you’re done with school, if not sooner.

Not only is Sallie Mae a private student loan lender, it offers consumer banking services, insurance and its Upromise college savings program.

As you enter repayment of your student loans, either right as you leave school or after your grace period expires, you’ll be hearing from your student loan servicer about how to make payments. That may be why letters and emails from Sallie Mae are showing up in your inbox.

“[T]his year we are launching new communications by email and USPS to customers and their co-signers to help them with the things they need to know as they prepare for repayment including: estimating payment amounts, establishing a budget, reducing interest rates through auto-debit, creating or logging in to their online account and updating contact information,” said Rick Castellano, vice president of corporate communications for Sallie Mae, in an email to Credit.com.

If ever you have questions about your loan or concerns about your ability to make payments, you should immediately reach out to your servicer. Mark Kantrowitz, an expert on paying for college, recommends calling the servicer to solve any problems. He explained via email:

“Most borrowers with complicated questions seem to prefer communicating with their lenders by email or the lender’s website, since they can send email at any time and describe the question or problem in depth,” wrote Kantrowitz, senior vice president and publisher of Edvisors.com. “Sometimes communicating by phone yields a quicker resolution of the problem or question, since the lender might need additional information or to ask follow-up questions.”

Borrowers can communicate with Sallie Mae via USPS, email or phone, Castellano said, and as it is with most consumer banking options these days, borrowers can manage their accounts entirely online.

Repaying student loans can be intimidating, especially if you’re just starting out at a new job and getting a handle on post-grad life. What you don’t want to do is procrastinate on opening up those communications from Sallie Mae. Missing payments and falling behind on your student loans can seriously damage your credit, which can only make it harder to establish the sure financial footing you want. You can see how your student loan debt affects your credit standing by getting your free credit report summary on Credit.com — if managed well, your student loans can help you build a strong history of on-time payments and smart debt management.

More on Student Loans:

Image: iStock

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Our Owners

Credit.com is owned by Progrexion Holdings Inc. which is the owner and administrator of a number of business related to credit and credit repair, including CreditRepair.com, and eFolks. In addition, Progrexion also provides services to Lexington Law Firm as a third party provider. Despite being owned by Progrexion, it is not the role of the Credit.com editorial team to advocate the use of the company’s other services. In articles, reporters may mention credit repair as an option, for example, but we’ll also be sure to note the various alternatives to that service. Furthermore, you may see ads for credit repair services on Credit.com, but the editorial team isn’t responsible for the creation or implementation of those ads, anymore than reporters for the New York Times or Washington Post are responsible for the ads on their sites.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team