SLM Corp. or Sallie Mae,the largest student-loan company in the country, today began selling $1 billion in senior notes due 2016, according to sources.

Price talk is between 6.5% and 6.625%. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is the lead bookrunner.   The Reston, Virginia-based  firm reportedly plans to use the proceeds from the notes to refinance existing debt. The company is taking advantage of its improved stock price, which rose today past 48 cents, the highest level since mid-2008.

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