Sallie Mae took more than 100 of its employees to Hawaii in August in celebration of a record year, $5 billion in student loans…putting 374,000 borrowers in potential life-long debt. Yes, if you have a student loan (or personal loan) with Sallie Mae or a subsidiary, you just helped finance one hell of a company trip.
Ray Quinlan, CEO of Sallie Mae, footed the bill for his employees’ five-day trip to luxury Fairmont resort on Wailea Beach in Maui. “We said, ‘Hey, look, Maui is a pretty nice spot.’ And so if you wanted to stay a few days or want to bring family, that’s up to you,” Quinlan told NBC at the resort.
Since news broke about the Hawaii trip, the company has received substantial backlash from customers and even celebs because according to NBC News, 1 in 5 American adults struggle to pay off their combined $1.6 trillion in student debt through Sallie Mae. That outrage poured onto Twitter, and the company better prepare for an all-out revolt and A LOT of upcoming missed payments.
One Twitter user wrote, “What if we all just stopped paying back our student loans to force negotiations for better repayment terms??? Like a union for borrowers 🤷🏾♂️ #salliemae”. Another tweeted, “Wait…. so #SallieMae went to HI on our pain & suffering and didn’t invite us? After all that calling they do? Hmmm… that’s some bitch shit! I’m high key disappointed 😔 #salliemae”
However, Twitter user Kay A. had an alternative perspective and questioned the educational institutions instead of the loan facilitators. He tweeted, “Why are people mad at #SallieMae when it’s your alma mater’s inane high tuition that creates the need for student loans!? Sallie Mae collects interests, your school collect’s principal! Flawed system, but blame the cost originator not the loan!”
Quinlan told NBC News the trip to Maui was not an incentive trip. “This is a sales get-together for all of our salespeople,” he said, noting that the publicly traded company has been going on retreats since it was founded in the 1970s to service federal education loans.
So now the question is, are you making your Sallie Mae payment this month?