Nelnet is prepping its first student loan securitization of the year.

Fitch Ratings said today it has assigned provisional ratings to two classes of notes to be issued by the Nelnet Student Loan Trust 2013-1. The $428 million Class A notes have provisionally been rated ‘AAA’ and the $9.5 million Class B notes have provisionally been rated ‘A+’.

Citigroup is the lead underwriter.

Nelnet issued approximately $4.2 billion of student-loan backed notes in 2012 through six deals. The three transactions brought to market prior to the current deal were around $1 billion in size, but the sponsor is starting off with smaller deals again this year.

The collateral for 2013-1 comprises 100% Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loans. FFELP loans benefit from a U.S. government guarantee of at least 97% of their principal and accrued interest.

Total credit enhancement for the latest deal is provided by overcollateralization and excess spread,
and for the Class A notes, 2.22% subordination is provided by the Class B notes.

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