Sallie Mae Flew More Than 100 Employees to Hawaii to Celebrate Student Debt

The paid vacation was meant to celebrate a record $5 billion in new student loans

datecation
The Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort in Kuaui Hawaii.
By Bonnie Stiernberg / October 21, 2019 9:39 am

As our nation’s collective student loan debt tops $1.6 trillion and Democratic candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren promise to address the growing crisis, more than 100 Sallie Mae executives and sales team members responded by taking a paid vacation to Hawaii to celebrate a generation’s crippling financial burdens.

As NBC reports, the company brought its employees to the luxury Fairmont resort on Wailea beach in Maui for a five-day paid getaway to celebrate a record year — $5 billion in new student loans to 374,000 borrowers. Sallie Mae CEO Ray Quinlan told the network that the trip was a “sales get-together,” adding that, “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 also told NBC that the company does a similar sales trip every year and has been doing so since the 1970s. The optics of a company celebrating saddling young adults with what in some cases becomes a lifetime of debt while relaxing at a tropical resort are, as you might expect, not great. #salliemae trended on Twitter as many angry borrowers reacted to the news.

Sanders weighed in as well, tweeting “Cancel all student debt.”

Student loan debt is now reportedly the second-highest form of consumer debt, behind mortgages. More than 44 million Americans currently have student loan debt.

Subscribe here for our free daily newsletter.

Daily Brief

News From Around the Web

November 21, 2019 November 20, 2019