Salomon Smith Barney has the lead mandate for two student loan-backed offerings from first time-issuers, which the market can expect to see in the coming months, sources say. Units of Wells Fargo & Co. and Citigroup's Student Loan Corp. are working on inaugural ABS offerings, each backed by federally insured FFELP student loans.

Wells Fargo Educational Financial Services plans to sell approximately $500 million of paper by either this quarter or early next year, according to CFO Glen Herrick. Issuance vehicle Wells Fargo Student Loans Receivables, LLC filed its preliminary shelf registration with the Securities & Exchange Commission Sept. 10 for a token $1 million.

Following approval the company will sell floating-rate notes with a structure consisting of A-1 and A-2 senior classes and a subordinated B class. The entire deal will be indexed to three-month Libor, according to the filing.

Student Loan Corp. had little to say on the topic of the upcoming ABS offering. Assistant Treasurer Brad Svalberg noted, "We have actively explored the possibilities of securitization. It remains a question of economics."

Student Loan Corp., once a wholly owned subsidiary of Citigroup that was spun off in 1992, is the top originator and holder of federally guaranteed student loans in the U.S, according to a company press release, with projections of $2 billion to $3 billion of loans in 2001. Most of the company's loans are made through Citibank, which is the majority shareholder in Student Loan Corp.

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