Letter to the Editor: Sallie Mae exec responds to column
To The Editor:
We agree with Julia Gagnon, when it comes to paying for college, students and families should make an informed decision (“Financial aid should be accessible for all students,” Aug. 29). At Sallie Mae, we are steadfast in our commitment to helping students do just that while also recommending responsible borrowing.
That’s why we were particularly disappointed to read Ms. Gagnon’s broad, uninformed characterization of our company. Through annual research, partnerships with organizations including FICO, and a variety of free tools and resources, Sallie Mae consistently promotes financial literacy to help families save, plan, and responsibly pay for college. In fact, just this week, we released new information to assist families in completing the FAFSA.
We recommend families explore scholarships, grants, and federal financial aid options before considering a private student loan. The team of financial aid professionals already available at American University would likely agree with that approach.
The reality is, if our customers don’t succeed, we don’t succeed. Today, 98 percent are paying back their loans on time and less than 2 percent default annually. We are proud of that record and our continued efforts to help families make college happen.
Ellen J. Roberts