College lender Sallie Mae plans to add some 2,000 jobs across the U.S. for call center, information technology and operations support staff, by returning its overseas operations to the U.S.
The publicly traded company, whose formal name is SLM Corp., says it expects to hire these employees over the next 18 months. It currently employs more than 8,000 people at 20 U.S. locations.
Chief Executive Albert L. Lord said in a press release: "The current economic environment has caused our communities to struggle with job losses. They need jobs, and we will put 2,000 of them into U.S. facilities as soon as we possibly can."
Sallie Mae is the nation's largest student lender. Launched in 1972 as a government-sponsored enterprise, the company began privatizing in 1997 and eliminated its remaining federal government ties in 2004.
Although private, Sallie Mae is still involved with government programs. It channels low-interest federal loans to students under various programs that account for almost one-third of its income, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Obama administration's proposed budget would reduce the role of private lenders such as Sallie Mae in making federal student loans.