Sallie Mae Flew 100 Employees To Hawaii, And You Still Have Student Loan Debt

Twitter is not happy about it.

Here’s what you need to know.

Sallie Mae

According to NBC News, which first reported the story, Sallie Mae, the private student loans lender, paid for its employees to vacation in Maui at the Fairmont Kea Lani to celebrate a record year of $5 billion in student loans to 374,000 student loan borrowers. Sallie Mae’s CEO, Ray Quinlan, said the retreat was a “sales get together for all our salespeople,” adding that Sallie Mae has taken similar trips since the 1970’s.

In 2014, Sallie Mae split into two separate companies: Sallie Mae and Navient. Sallie Mae, also known as SLM Corporation, is a consumer banking company and lender for private student loans, while Navient is a student loan servicer. Both Sallie Mae and Navient are publicly-traded companies.Today In: Money


The news didn’t sit well with many on Twitter, as the hashtag #salliemae has been trending.

The most popular complaint goes something like this: “How can this company take a vacation when I owe tens of thousands of dollars in student loans and haven’t take a vacation in years?”

Other complaints go something like this: “Why are they profiting off of student loans when people need student loans to go to school?”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, tweeted: “Cancel all student debt.”

Sanders believes that all student loan debt – including federal and private student loans – should be cancelled. He also believes that all four-year public colleges and community colleges should be tuition-free.

Not everyone on Twitter shares the same sentiments. Some have noted that while the optics may not be ideal, it’s typical for teams to take sales retreats – even to Maui. Other have commented that Sallie Mae is a lender and borrowers can choose their lender and whether they borrow student loan debt.

Student Loans: Action Steps

According to the latest student loan debt statistics, there are more than 44 million borrowers who owe $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. According to personal finance site Make Lemonade, student loan debt is now the second highest form of consumer debt, second only to mortgages.

What can you do to pay off student loans faster?

There are four primary ways to manage and repay your student loans. Make sure you understand all your options.

This student loan quiz takes less than one minute to complete and provides you with a free, customized student loan repayment plan.

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