When educator turned hip-hop artist Dee-1 finished paying off his student loans, he celebrated by writing the hit song, " Sallie Mae Back." Now, the lyrical master of financial literacy is teaming up with Sallie Mae to help students get on the right track to paying back their student loans. And with recent graduates making their first student loan payment this month, November was the ideal time to officially release the "Pay Off Your Student Loans Playlist," a set of tips, tools, and resources from Dee-1 and Sallie Mae.

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"Pay Off Your Student Loans Playlist" from Sallie Mae and Dee-1 (Photo: Business Wire)

"Pay Off Your Student Loans Playlist" from Sallie Mae and Dee-1 (Photo: Business Wire)

The Dee-1 and Sallie Mae collaboration on paying back student loans comes on the heels of the recently completed " Dee-1's Knowledge for College" tour, presented by Sallie Mae, during which Dee-1 and Sallie Mae visited 18 high schools in five states and awarded a total of $95,000 in scholarships.

"Whether talking about paying back student loans or a car note, I'm passionate about financial literacy and helping people learn through my own personal experiences," said Dee-1. "And the reality is, people out there are hungry for information. They want to understand the facts when it comes to paying back student loans and the best way to do it. That's why I partnered with Sallie Mae; we have that same vision and together we can educate people and help more of them feel that joy of paying off their student loans like I did."

When it comes to paying back student loans and managing finances, the following tips are at the top of Dee-1's playlist:

Know who you owe and how much you owe.

  • Understand if your loan is from Uncle Sam (the federal government) or Aunt Sallie (Sallie Mae or another private lender). If you are unsure, call your lender or check your credit report.
  • Be responsible. Know your monthly payment amounts and due dates.

Separate your wants from your needs.
  • Managing your money means managing your lifestyle.
  • Prioritize payments you must make every month, and make sure your student loan is one of them.

Exceed your own expectations.
  • Pay more than the minimum amount due each month.
  • If you get a raise or tax refund, use part or all of it to increase your monthly loan payment.
  • The faster you pay off your loan, the less you'll spend in the long run.

Confront reality.
  • If you run into trouble, don't hide from it, don't be embarrassed by it, and don't give up. Stay positive, focused, and look for solutions.
  • Call your lender or touch base with your cosigner, if you have one.

Get excited about your future!
  • Be passionate about managing your money wisely and effectively.
  • You can't make your student loans disappear magically overnight, but you can make a plan for paying them off.

"Dee-1 got our attention with 'Sallie Mae Back' not only because it's a song about a subject near and dear to our hearts, but also because the exhilaration he expresses in the video — and in person — over paying off his student loans is contagious," said Martha Holler, senior vice president, Sallie Mae. "We are delighted to work with him again to help newly minted graduates get into the rhythm of repayment. Dee lays out the process in steps that are direct and doable, teaching the right moves for building a positive credit history and successfully paying back student loans."

In addition to Dee-1's tips for paying back student loans, Sallie Mae.com is a one-stop resource for straightforward, comprehensive tools. It features a monthly budget worksheet, loan payment calculators, and information about payment options, including the company's Graduated Repayment Period. The Graduated Repayment Period allows graduates with eligible Sallie Mae loans in good standing to make 12 months of interest-only payments before they transition into making full principal and interest payments. Sallie Mae customers may also be eligible to receive a 0.25 percent interest rate reduction when they enroll to make scheduled monthly payments by automatic debit.

This week, Sallie Mae also unveiled a new mobile app — available for Apple and Android — to help customers manage their accounts and make payments from smartphones. Access to loan information, including current balance, total amount due, interest rate, and payment history, plus the ability to make loan payments, are now all at a customer's fingertips.

For more about Dee-1's collaboration with Sallie Mae, watch his " Tips for Paying Down Student Loans" video and visit www.Salliemae.com/Dee1. For more information about saving, planning, and paying for college, visit SallieMae.com.

Sallie Mae (NASDAQ: SLM) is the nation's saving, planning, and paying for college company. Whether college is a long way off or just around the corner, Sallie Mae offers products that promote responsible personal finance, including private education loans, Upromise rewards, scholarship search, college financial planning tools, and online retail banking. Learn more at SallieMae.com. Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

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