Fitch Affirms SLM 2006-9

NEW YORK--()--Fitch Ratings affirms the ratings of the class A and B notes issued by SLM Student Loan Trust 2006-9 at 'AAAsf' and 'Asf', respectively. The Outlook is Stable for all notes. A full list of ratings follows at the end of this release.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

High Collateral Quality: The trust collateral consists of 100% of Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loans. The credit quality of the trust collateral is high, in Fitch's opinion, based on the guarantees provided by the transaction's eligible guarantors and reinsurance provided by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) for at least 97% of principal and accrued interest. The current U.S. sovereign rating is 'AAA' with a Stable Outlook.

Sufficient Credit Enhancement: While both the senior and subordinate notes will benefit from future excess spread, the senior notes also benefit from subordination provided by the class B notes. As of March 2015, total parity is 100.00% and senior parity is 104.70%. Cash is being released from the trust given that the 100% total parity is maintained.

Adequate Liquidity Support: Liquidity support is provided by a reserve account currently sized at its floor of $ 3,769,588.

Acceptable Servicing Capabilities: Navient Solutions, Inc. (formerly known as Sallie Mae, Inc.), as servicer, will be responsible for servicing the portfolio. Fitch believes that Navient Solutions is an acceptable servicer of FFELP student loans.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

Since FFELP student loan ABS rely on the U.S. government to reimburse defaults, 'AAAsf' FFELP ABS ratings will likely move in tandem with the 'AAA' U.S. sovereign rating. Aside from the U.S. sovereign rating, defaults and basis risk account for the majority of the risk embedded in FFELP student loan transactions. Additional defaults and basis shock beyond Fitch's published stresses could result in future downgrades. Likewise, a buildup of credit enhancement driven by positive excess spread given favorable basis factor conditions could lead to future upgrades.

Fitch has affirmed the following:

SLM Student Loan Trust Series 2006-9:

--Class A-4 at 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable

--Class A-5 at 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable

--Class A-6 at 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable

--Class B at 'Asf'; Outlook Stable

Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

--'Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria' dated March 2015;

--'Rating U.S. Federal Family Education Loan Program Student Loan ABS Criteria' dated June, 2015.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=864268

Rating U.S. Federal Family Education Loan Program Student Loan ABS Criteria

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=750530

Additional Disclosure

Solicitation Status

http://www.fitchratings.com/gws/en/disclosure/solicitation?pr_id=984685

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Contacts

Fitch Ratings, New York
Media Relations
Sandro Scenga, +1-212-908-0278
sandro.scenga@fitchratings.com
or
Primary Analyst
Director
Nicole Edwards, +1-212-908-9114
or
Fitch Ratings, Inc.
33 Whitehall St
New York, NY 10004
or
Committee Chairperson
Senior Director
Tracy Wan, +1-212-908-9171

Contacts

Fitch Ratings, New York
Media Relations
Sandro Scenga, +1-212-908-0278
sandro.scenga@fitchratings.com
or
Primary Analyst
Director
Nicole Edwards, +1-212-908-9114
or
Fitch Ratings, Inc.
33 Whitehall St
New York, NY 10004
or
Committee Chairperson
Senior Director
Tracy Wan, +1-212-908-9171