OREANDA-NEWS. Fitch Ratings affirms the senior notes and subordinate notes issued by SLM Student Loan Trust 2012-3 at 'AAAsf' and 'AAsf', respectively. The Rating Outlook remains Stable for the senior and subordinate notes. A detailed list of rating actions follows at the end of this press release.


High Collateral Quality

The 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. Fitch currently rates the U.S. sovereign at "AAA", outlook stable.

Sufficient Credit Enhancement

While both the senior and subordinate notes will benefit from overcollateralization (OC; the excess of trust's asset balance over bond balance) and excess spread, the senior notes also benefit from subordination provided by the class B note. As of January 2015, total parity is 101.01% (1.00% CE) and senior parity is 105.54% (5.25% CE). Cash is being released from the trust, given the specified OC amount, which is equal to the greater of 1.00% of the current adjustable pool balance and \$1,300,000, has been achieved.

Adequate Liquidity Support

Liquidity support is provided by a Debt Service Reserve Fund sized at the greater of 0.25% of the pool balance and \$1,249,353.

Acceptable Servicing Capabilities
Navient, formerly Sallie Mae, Inc., is responsible for day-to-day servicing of the trust. Fitch believes Navient is an acceptable servicer of FFELP student loans.


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 CE driven by positive excess spread given favorable basis factor conditions could lead to future upgrades.

Initial Key Rating Drivers and Rating Sensitivity further described in the Presale report published on April 24, 2012.

Fitch has affirmed the following:

SLM Student Loan Trust 2012-3:
--Class A notes at 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable;
--Class B notes at 'AAsf'; Outlook Stable.

A comparison of the transaction's Representations, Warranties, and Enforcement Mechanisms (RW&Es) to those of typical RW&Es for student loans is available by accessing the reports and links below:

--'SLM Student Loan Trust 2012-3 - Appendix', dated April 24, 2012;
--'Representations, Warranties, and Enforcement Mechanisms in Global Structured Finance Transactions -- Amended', dated April 17, 2013.