Sallie Mae Unveils New Community College Loans

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Sallie Mae, the former secondary market purchaser which has carved out the dominant share of the student loan market, said it has introduced a new family of loan products specifically geared to community college students.

The company's Community College Solutions is aimed at the nation's 11 million community college students at a time when state budget pressures are forcing many of the schools to raise tuition.

The program provides loans that may be combined with federally guaranteed loans and will include Sallie Mae's Tuition Payment Plan, an interest-free program that will allow students to spread out tuition payments throughout the school year, instead of making up-front payments.

The company also introduced a Continuing Education Loan for students returning to school to pursue professional or technical training.

Many of these students are enrolled in non-degree programs and are not eligible for federally guaranteed loans.

Sallie Mae, formally known as SLM Corp., was chartered in 1972 to create and facilitate a secondary market for guaranteed student loans originated by credit unions and banks but has transformed over the past five years into the biggest originator of student loans, in direct competition with the same credit unions and banks it once served for the secondary market.

Contact Ed Roberts at eroberts

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