Sallie Mae Announces Winner of “It Pays to Repay” Contest

  Sallie Mae Announces Winner of “It Pays to Repay” Contest

Business Wire

NEWARK, Del. -- January 11, 2013

A 40-year-old mother from Davison, Mich., is starting off the New Year with
renewed hope for her future.

Georgette Abdella is the winner of the Sallie Mae “It Pays to Repay”
Sweepstakes. More than 7,000 customers entered the contest to win up to
$25,000 to pay off their Sallie Mae-serviced student loans. Abdella was
awarded $20,000 to pay off her student loans in full.

Sallie Mae created the contest to reward customers who made their education
loan payments a priority. To be eligible, customers needed to be in good
standing with a six-month history of the scheduled on-time loan payments.

“This contest celebrated all of our customers who successfully make on-time
student loan payments,” said Patricia Nash Christel, vice president, Sallie
Mae. “Ms. Abdella made a plan to successfully pay down her loans and worked
hard every month to make payments. The payoff came sooner than she expected.”

For Abdella, the prize is especially rewarding. She attended Mott Community
College and later transferred to the nursing program at the University of
Michigan-Flint. After Abdella withdrew from the program, she struggled to make
payments on her loans.

“I knew a degree would help me find a good-paying job that would make it
easier to support my son,” Abdella said. “But, it was tough to be a single
mom. I had to put my education goal on the back burner. It was a difficult
decision, but I had to make it.”

Abdella continued to work in the healthcare field while raising her son. She
picked up a second job as a bartender to keep up with her loan payments. In
addition, she enrolled in an automatic payment withdrawal program and received
a reduced interest rate.

“I had an excellent experience with the people at Sallie Mae,” she said. “I
couldn’t have asked for better help. They got me back on track.”

Now thanks to the contest prize, Abdella will be student loan debt free and
plans to register for classes again in the year ahead.

“I’m so thankful to Sallie Mae," she said. “I just got married and I have a
wonderful son. They’re my greatest accomplishment. They support my goal to
become a RN.”

Abdella’s son, 19, is currently attending college. Her advice to him and other
students: “Make sure you finish. It’s important to earn your degree. And, if
you get off track, call your lender. They are willing to work with you.”

Join the conversation on how to save, plan and pay for college at

*Image available upon request.

Sallie Mae (NASDAQ: SLM) is the nation’s No. 1 financial services company
specializing in education. Whether college is a long way off or just around
the corner, Sallie Mae turns education dreams into reality for its 25 million
customers. With products and services that include 529 college savings plans,
Upromise rewards, scholarship search tools, education loans, insurance, and
online banking, Sallie Mae offers solutions that help families save, plan, and
pay for college. Sallie Mae also provides financial services to hundreds of
college campuses as well as to federal and state governments. Learn more at Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its
subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.


Sallie Mae
Nikki Lavoie, 302-283-4057
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