News of a contract with Educaid was welcomed at the Lawrence loan servicing center.
A new loan servicing agreement eventually may mean more business for the Lawrence Sallie Mae office.
Under a contract announced Wednesday, Sallie Mae offices throughout the nation will originate and service loans for Educaid, First Union Corp.'s student loan division.
Sallie Mae operates a student loan servicing center in Lawrence that employs about 475 people.
Elaine Nelson, Sallie Mae vice president of Kansas operations, said the Lawrence office wouldn't immediately feel the effects of the Educaid contract.
"There are no immediate impacts here because the new (Educaid) loan volume is newly originated," Nelson said. "Since we focus on default and post-default activities in Lawrence, it will be a number of months before we see any of the volume."
But the deal is a welcome one, she said. "It's a wonderful new business arrangement for Sallie Mae."
In late January, Sallie Mae said it was cutting back this year to about 375 Lawrence employees and downsizing its Lawrence operations into one building. The moves are part of a national reorganization.
The partnership announced Wednesday will include the use of Laureate, Sallie Mae's new Internet-based student loan delivery system. Schools that partner with Educaid will have full access to Laureate's features, including online loan applications, 24-hour availability of funds and immediate loan guarantees.
Sallie Mae, founded 25 years ago, is a publicly traded company based in Virginia. The company owns or manages student loans for more than 5.3 million borrowers.
Educaid, established in 1984, is the student loan division of North Carolina-based First Union Corp., the parent company of the nation's sixth-largest bank holding company.
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