News Column

Fitch Affirms SLM 2006-7

May 22, 2014

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Fitch Ratings affirms the SLM Student Loan Trust 2006-7 senior notes at 'AAAsf' and subordinate note at 'Asf'. The Rating Outlook remains Stable for all classes.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

High Collateral Quality: The trust collateral consists of 100% of Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loans. The credit quality of the trust collateral is high and based on the guarantees provided by the transaction's eligible guarantors and reinsurance provided by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) for at least 97% of principal and accrued interest. The current U.S. sovereign rating is at 'AAA' with a Stable Outlook.

Sufficient Credit Enhancement: While both the senior and subordinate notes will benefit from future excess spread, the senior notes also benefit from subordination provided by the class B note. As of April 2014, total parity is 100% and senior parity is 104.54% (4.34% CE). Cash is being released from the trust given that the 100% total parity is maintained.

Adequate Liquidity Support: Liquidity support is provided by a reserve account. The reserve is sized equal to the greater of 0.25% of the pool balance, and $3,769,093.

Acceptable Servicing Capabilities: Navient Solutions, Inc. (formerly known as Sallie Mae, Inc.), as servicer, will be responsible for servicing the portfolio. Fitch has reviewed the servicing operations of Navient Solutions and believes it to be an acceptable servicer of FFELP student loans.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

Since FFELP student loan ABS rely on the U.S. government to reimburse defaults, 'AAAsf' FFELP ABS ratings will likely move in tandem with the 'AAA' U.S. sovereign rating. Aside from the U.S. sovereign rating, defaults and basis risk account for the majority of the risk embedded in FFELP student loan transactions. Additional defaults and basis shock beyond Fitch's published stresses could result in future downgrades. Likewise, a buildup of credit enhancement driven by positive excess spread given favorable basis factor conditions could lead to future upgrades.

Fitch has affirmed the following ratings and Rating Outlooks:

SLM Student Loan Trust Series 2006-7:

--Class A-4 at 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable;

--Class A-5 at 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable;

--Class A-6A at 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable;

--Class A-6B at 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable;

--Class A-6C at 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable;

--Class B at 'Asf'; Outlook Stable.

Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

--'Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria' (May 20, 2014);

--'Rating U.S. Federal Family Education Loan Program Student Loan ABS Criteria' dated (May 17, 2013).

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=748821

Rating U.S. Federal Family Education Loan Program Student Loan ABS Criteria

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=708795

Additional Disclosure

Solicitation Status

http://www.fitchratings.com/gws/en/disclosure/solicitation?pr_id=831367

ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.



Fitch Ratings

Primary Analyst

Paul Jiang, +1 212-908-9120

Analyst

Fitch Ratings, Inc., 33 Whitehall Street, New York, NY 10004

or

Committee Chairperson

Steven Stubbs, +1 212-908-0676

Senior Director

or

Media Relations, New York

Sandro Scenga, +1 212-908-0278

sandro.scenga@fitchratings.com

Source: Fitch Ratings


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