SLABs research & questions

For folks who are interested in research into SLAB, here’s a list of questions we brainstormed –

  • List of where SLABs are
  • Who are the largest investors in SLABs?
  • How long are the terms for SLABs? Is there a statute of limitations? What other time frame are we working with there?
  • Messaging / research into SLABs for narrative work
  • Connections + mapping between SLABs + stock ideas
  • Comparison of cost of tuition-free higher education versus current cost of education
  • How much of the gov’t held assets are student loan debts?
  • What % of the SLABs are gov’t backed & which ones are private loans?

If you’re doing research into these areas, please respond so others know! And add other questions & ideas! Yay!


I’m working on answering some of these questions today… really hard to find a lot of these answers out unless you pay huge subscription fees to Moody’s or S&P’s… almost like they don’t want us lowly debtors to find out what’s really going on :thinking:

Edit: do we have access to a paid Moody’s account? It would give us much better data to work with concerning SLABS

You’re awesome, thanks Eli! But, sorry, we don’t have a paid Moody’s account.

Alas! I suspected as much.

I made a powerpoint giving some context and ideas on how the Debt Collective could potentially use SLABS as an escalation strategy: Debt Collective SLABS Escalation Strategy

I think if we’re actually going to present it to the larger Debt Collective, we could possibly trim down/streamline it a bit more. I tried to answer all the questions above.

I’ve set the file so people can make comments on google drive, would love to get folk’s feedback!

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Wow that powerpoint was really informative, thank you.


So we had another SLABS meeting on Tuesday. I was nominated to give a brief description of the SLABS/research group at Thursday’s 50 day check in call, here is what I was thinking of saying:

The SLABS (Student Loan Asset-Backed Securities) research group is brainstorming ways that the Debt Collective could potentially organize strategically around the SLABS market. SLABS are a financial instrument that turns pools of our unpaid student loans into someone else’s cash flow. Student loan companies like Navient, Sallie Mae, and Nelnet turn our debts into SLABS, and Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Bank of America help market them to investors, who receive cash flows from investing in the SLABS or trading them in financial markets.

We are brainstorming and researching how the Debt Collective could leverage SLABS to apply pressure in the fight for student debt cancellation. We want to explore exactly how our debts are being used by creditors to make profits, and think creatively about we can turn our burdens into leverage. So far we have been meeting Tuesdays at 7PM eastern, and we’re really just getting started. One semi-concrete goal we’ve discussed is producing some video/audio content about SLABS to help student debtors understand how their debts can be turned into SLABS. We’re looking for new ideas for what people would want to learn about!

Sorry to double post, but I came across this article by Andrew Ross from 2012 which talks about SLABS, among other aspects of student debt. It’s a great read and really gives a perspective on all that subsequent history he relayed in his presentation the other night.

“It’s no wonder that student loans are among the most lucrative sectors of the financial industry. Nor is it any surprise to find a thriving market in securitized loans (almost a quarter—$234.2 billion—of the aggregate $1 trillion debt) known as SLABS (Student Loans Asset-Backed Securities).”