This excerpt taken from the SLM 10-Q filed Nov 7, 2006.
Accounting for Loans Held for Investment and Loans Held for Sale
If the Company has the ability and intent to hold loans for the foreseeable future, such loans are held for investment and therefore carried at amortized cost. Any loans held for sale are carried at the lower of cost or fair value. The Company actively securitizes loans but securitization is viewed as one of many different sources of financing. At the time of a funding need, the most advantageous funding source is identified and, if that source is the securitization program, loans are selected based on the required characteristics to structure the desired transaction (i.e., type of loan, mix of interim vs. repayment status, credit rating, maturity dates, etc.). The Company structures securitizations to obtain the most favorable financing terms and as a result, due to some of the structuring terms, certain transactions qualify for sale treatment under SFAS No. 140 while others do not qualify for sale treatment and are recorded as
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (Continued)
1. Significant Accounting Policies (Continued)
financings. Because the Company does not securitize all loans and not all securitizations qualify as sales, only when the Company has selected the loans to securitize and such transaction qualifies as a sale under SFAS No. 140 has the Company made a decision to sell loans. At such time, selected loans are transferred into the held-for-sale classification and carried at the lower of cost or fair value. If the Company will recognize a gain related to the impending securitization, no allowance is needed to adjust the loans below their respective cost basis.