Student-loan issuance levels have more than doubled over last year, and that has helped propel secondary market student-loan securitizers USA Education to the No. 3 position on preliminary third quarter league table data, according to Thomson Financial Securities Data.

USA Education (formerly Sallie Mae), No. 27 in last year's rankings, has issued about $8.2 billion in securities year-to-date, ending Sept. 30. The company said that it planned to issue about $10 billion in bonds in 2000, and that it is on track to reach that level.

Student loan issuance for the year-to-date stands at $14.1 billion, ranked fourth in issuance by asset type. In comparison, last year, student loans accounted for only $6.1 billion in the ABS market.

Ford Motor Co. has taken the top spot with $9.8 billion in issuance, moving from No. 5 last year with $7.1 billion. General Motors Corp. moved up to No. 2 from No. 3, with $9.2 billion in issuance for 2000.

Automobile receivables held onto the No. 2 spot, with $40.9 billion in issuance, according to TFSD.

Conseco Inc., which held the top spot at the end of the third quarter 1999, took a dramatic fall out of the top 10 to number 13 with $3.7 billion in issuance. For the first three quarters of 1999, Conseco had issued almost $10.8 billion in securities.

Part of Conseco's lack of presence in the marketplace this year has been the company's decision to sell its Conseco Finance unit, along with terminating its home-equity loan origination.

However, home equity and revolving credit remained No. 1 in terms of issuance, though the levels are down slightly from last year. The market saw $53.4 billion in home-equity/revolving credit issuance for 2000, compared to almost $57 billion last year.

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