Higher Student Loan Rates Propel SallieMae
RESTON, Va. - (07/21/06) -- Student loan giant Sallie Maeannounced Thursday that second quarter earnings more than doubled,as students rushed to refinance their loans before the July 1 riseof 2% on rates. Net income for the quarter soared by 144% to $724million, or $1.61 a share. For the first six months of the yea ,net income surged 67% to $858 million, or $2.08 a share. Throughthe first half of 2006, Sallie Mae has originated $10.8 billion innew student loans, up 13% from the first six months of 2005. At theend of the second quarter the company's loan portfolio, most of itstudent loans, grew to $130 billion, and its customer base to 10million borrowers. The company, chartered in 1972 to facilitate asecondary market for student loans originated by credit unions andbanks, has expanded since its privatization two years ago to afull-service lender, in direct competition with many of theinstitutions it was created to serve. It is now the biggestoriginator of student loans in the country.