WASHINGTON -- The Student Loan Marketing Association said it is investigating irregularities at University Loan Services Inc., a student loan servicing company in Cambridge, Mass.

Sallie Mae, which acquired University in October 1990, said the inquiry concerns loan servicing activity before and after the acquisition.

Guarantors Notified

The government-chartered association said it has placed six University staff members, on administrative leave pending completion of the review.

Sallie Mae said it notified both the U.S. Department of Education and the Massachusetts Higher Education Assistance Corp., as well as other loan guarantors, of the inquiry. The reasons for the inquiry came to light when the Massachusetts agency told Sallie Mae that a default claim was being rejected because of document discrepancies.

An initial inquiry led to suggestions that certain loan servicing information might have been improperly altered, Sallie Mae said.

Of $350 million in loans serviced by University, Sallie Mae owns $290 million.

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