Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (2016 Senior Series A)

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1 Presale: Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (2016 Senior Series A) Primary Credit Analyst: Mark W O'Neil, New York (1) ; Table Of Contents $55.00 Million 2016 Senior Series A Student Loan Program Revenue Bonds Rationale Transaction Overview Loan Characteristics Credit Analysis Standard & Poor's Expected Cumulative Default Rate: 9.0%-10.0% Payment Structure Cash Flow Analysis Credit Stability Cash Flow Analysis Issuer Overview Program Overview Related Criteria And Research APRIL 11,

2 Presale: Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (2016 Senior Series A) $55.00 Million 2016 Senior Series A Student Loan Program Revenue Bonds This presale report is based on information as of April 11, The rating shown is preliminary. This report does not constitute a recommendation to buy, hold, or sell securities. Subsequent information may result in the assignment of a final rating that differs from the preliminary rating. Preliminary Rating As Of April 11, 2016 Series Preliminary rating(i) Preliminary amount (mil. $) Interest rate Expected maturity dates(ii) 2016-A AA (sf) Fixed TBD (i)the rating on the bonds is preliminary and subject to change at any time. (ii)the senior series A bonds are expected to be issued as serial and term bonds. The actual amounts and maturity dates will be determined on the pricing date. TBD--To be determined. Profile Expected closing date May 18, Issuer, originator, and servicer Rhode Island Student Loan Authority. Collateral Private student loans originated under RISLA's student loan and consolidation loan programs. Trustee U.S. Bank N.A. Underwriter Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Rationale The preliminary 'AA (sf)' rating assigned to Rhode Island Student Loan Authority's (RISLA's) student loan program revenue bonds 2016 senior series A (the bonds) reflects our view of: The approximately 18.4%-18.5% credit support available based on our 'AA' stressed break-even cash flow scenarios, which provides coverage of approximately 4.2x-4.3x our 3.5%-4.5% expected net loss range (see the Standard & Poor's Expected Cumulative Default Rates and Break-Even Cash Flow Results sections below); The transaction's approximately % initial parity (defined as a percentage of the total assets, including outstanding loans and funds in the loan acquisition account, and the reserve account, to the total outstanding bonds); The credit quality of both the outstanding loans in the trust at closing and the loans to be originated during the acquisition period, which are expected to be of a composition and quality consistent with the RISLA's existing portfolio (see Credit Analysis section for details); and The timely interest and principal payments made under stressed cash flow and sensitivity modeling scenarios that Standard & Poor's Ratings Services believes are consistent with the assigned preliminary rating. APRIL 11,

3 Transaction Overview This is RISLA's eighth issuance out of this master trust, which was first created in RISLA will issue the $ million 2016 senior series A student loan program revenue bonds on parity with the trust's previously issued bonds. The series 2016 bonds will be fixed-rate, tax-exempt, serial and term bonds, similar to previous issuances. RISLA will use the issuance proceeds to originate new private student loans to be disbursed in 2016 and 2017, to refinance existing RISLA private student loans, and to make a deposit into the reserve account. RISLA will contribute a pool of additional loans to the trust as overcollateralization to support raising the ratings on the existing bonds. During the loan acquisition period ending Sept. 1, 2017, RISLA plans to originate approximately $ million in new loans from unexpended funds currently in the indenture and from the 2016 A senior series bond issue proceeds. These new originations will be underwritten according to RISLA's student loan program guidelines. RISLA expects the new loans to have similar characteristics to its most recent loan originations. The securitization includes the following transaction features: The trust will have a % parity ratio after the 2016 series A bonds are issued. The trust will use excess cash not required to pay interest and scheduled principal to optionally redeem the bonds until the trust reaches a 131.0% target parity. As long as the target parity is maintained, the trust may release cash to RISLA. However, on and after Dec. 1, 2021, the trust will use all excess funds to redeem trust bonds. This turbo feature locks out releases to the issuer, and we expect it to increase overcollateralization and parity during the transaction's later stages. A reserve account at closing of $7.254 million, which is 3.00% of the outstanding bond principal amount, will further support the trust's bonds. The reserve account will have a $2.418 million floor, which will be 1.00% of the initial bond principal amount outstanding at closing. The funds in the reserve account will generally be available to pay timely interest and principal at maturity. The reserve account may be replenished on each interest payment date according to the payment priority described below. The loan program guidelines, in conjunction with the transaction documents, will limit the loan characteristics and types that can be originated. For example, the program guidelines require that a borrower or co-signer have a minimum FICO credit score of 680 and minimum income of $40,000 (see the Program Overview section for additional details). We expect the loans in the trust to reflect the high credit quality of RISLA's current portfolio of fixed-rate loans, which has a weighted average FICO score of 767 and a co-signed concentration of 97%. All of the loans were originated through the school channel. Beginning the school year, RISLA introduced an immediate repayment loan option whereby loan payment begins upon disbursement, while the obligor is in school. This is in contrast to the traditional deferred interest payment loans that require payment only after the student leaves school. The immediate repayment loans generally have a shorter term and lower interest rate than the deferred payment loans. We believe that, all else being equal, immediate repayment loans should perform better than deferred payment loans. The trust is expected to contain at least 30% immediate repayment loans. RISLA offers an income-based repayment option to assist qualified borrowers who are having difficulty meeting their monthly loan obligations. The total amount of this benefit is capped and was modeled as an expense in all of the cash flow scenarios. As of July 2010, RISLA took over servicing of its private loans from Granite State, the longtime servicer. RISLA provides loan disbursement, file maintenance, billing, and collections for the loans, among other services, and has been actively engaged in pre-default aversion strategies since University Accounting Services (UAS), a APRIL 11,

4 worldwide servicer of student loan portfolios, provides and maintains the servicing platform with equipment, software, and training. The bonds are RISLA's limited obligations and are payable solely from the student loan pool and other assets pledged to the trustee for the bondholders' benefit. We will review all of the documentation that the transaction's parties have submitted to us to assess the transaction's consistency with our legal criteria. Chart 1 shows the transaction structure. Loan Characteristics The bondholders will receive payments primarily from collections on a pool of existing and newly originated private student loans. The total amount of loans in the 2009 RISLA trust at closing will be approximately $ million. All of the loans have fixed interest rates. RISLA will originate approximately $ million in new fixed-rate student loans from the 2016 series A bond proceeds and unexpended funds from previous bond issues during the loan acquisition period, which ends Sept. 1, The new loans will be underwritten according to RISLA's private loan guidelines, which will, in conjunction with the transaction documents, limit the loan characteristics and types that can be originated (see the Program Overview section for additional details). In addition, the transaction documents prescribe eligibility requirements for all of the loans backing the trust's bonds, including: At least 30% of the loans will be immediate repayment loans that have repayment start dates within 60 days of loan disbursement, while the remaining loans will have deferred repayment terms, meaning repayment will start within six months after the student leaves school; No more than $5.0 million of the loans will be private consolidation loans; 97% of the loans that are not consolidation loans will have a co-signer; and APRIL 11,

5 A minimum weighted average FICO score of 725 for co-borrowers on the loans. Loans will be originated with bond proceeds subject to a loan origination schedule of a cumulative total of loans as follows (excluding loans to be originated with unexpended previous bond proceeds): $24.00 million of originations by Oct. 1, 2016; $47.00 million of originations by Feb. 1, 2017; and $53.35 million of originations by Sept. 1, If new loans are not originated in the amounts specified above by each of the cut-off dates, the unused funds will be transferred to the revenue account and used to pay down the bonds. Credit Analysis As part of our default analysis, we evaluated RISLA's historical portfolio performance data, including the static pool cumulative default rates by repayment year. We also reviewed the existing managed collateral pool information by the obligor credit score distribution, the percentage of co-signed loans compared with non-co-signed loans, the loans' payment status, and the school concentration. For a comparative viewpoint, we also analyzed the performance of other lenders' portfolios that have credit characteristics similar to RISLA's portfolio. The trust's portfolio quality reflects RISLA's loan program originations, which are concentrated with borrowers and co-borrowers who have high FICO credit scores and attend schools in Rhode Island. Originations for the academic year have average FICO scores of approximately 767. At least 97% of the student loans were co-signed for each year since the academic year. We believe that loans with co-signers typically perform better than loans with only one borrower. Only Title IV institutions with degree or professional programs are eligible to participate in RISLA's loan program. Students attending four-year colleges represent 99% of the outstanding loans. In our opinion, loan pools that comprise borrowers who are attending four-year schools typically perform better than borrowers who attend two-year and proprietary colleges. In addition, RISLA recently took steps to enhance its underwriting, collections, and recovery efforts, such as increasing the minimum income requirement to qualify for a loan to $40,000. These efforts have resulted in more cured delinquencies and fewer delinquent loans rolling into default status. In 2009, the Rhode Island state Legislature provided RISLA an additional collection tool by permitting it to recover Rhode Island residents' defaulted loan amounts from state income tax refunds. Standard & Poor's Expected Cumulative Default Rate: 9.0%-10.0% Based on our review of the aforementioned data, we expect an overall cumulative default rate of 9.0%-10.0% for the loans currently in the 2009 indenture and the loans that will be originated with the 2016 series A and unexpended bond proceeds. The overall default rate is a function of our default rates for the existing and expected originations of immediate repayment, deferred, and consolidation loan types in the RISLA 2009 indenture that range between 5.9% APRIL 11,

6 and 10.7%. Before seasoning credit adjustments, we expect immediate repayment and consolidation loans to outperform deferred payment loans. We performed a similar analysis of RISLA's historical portfolio performance data regarding recoveries and resultant net losses for static pool data over the past 15 years. After our review, we expect an approximate 55% cumulative recovery rate. Applying the historical recovery rate to our expected cumulative default rate suggests an overall cumulative net loss rate of 3.5%-4.5%. Payment Structure RISLA will issue the bonds as tax-exempt, fixed-rate bonds with interest payable semiannually on each June 1 and Dec. 1, beginning June 1, We expect the bonds to have serial and term maturities and be subject to various redemption provisions. The redemption provisions include optional redemption, mandatory redemption resulting from the non-origination of loans during the acquisition period, and special optional and mandatory redemption from excess revenues. Payments will be made from the revenue account in the priority summarized in table 2. Table 2 Payment Waterfall Priority Payment 1 Make deposits to the rebate account as needed to meet the rebate account requirement. 2 Servicing fees. 3 Interest semiannually and principal of maturing bonds to the bondholders. 4 Program expenses if the reserve account balance is at the required level. 5 If the reserve account balance is not at the required level, replenish the reserve account. 6 Redeem the bonds at their stated maturities and optionally redeem bonds from excess revenues. 7 Before Dec. 1, 2021, as long as the parity ratio is at least 131%, release any remaining amounts to RISLA. After Dec. 1, 2021, use any remaining amounts to redeem the bonds maturing Dec. 1, 2024, or later, before their stated maturity dates. The trustee, servicing, and program fees and expenses are senior in the payment priority to any payments to the bondholders. All of the fees and expenses are capped. After all fees and expenses, scheduled interest and principal payments, and reserve fund deposits, if any, have been paid, excess spread will be used to redeem the bonds. Before Dec. 1, 2021, upon the trust reaching 131% parity, funds can be released to RISLA. As of Dec. 1, 2021, however, all excess spread will be used to redeem the bonds maturing Dec. 1, 2024, or later regardless of the trust's parity. This turbo feature will build credit enhancement toward the transaction's latter stages. Cash Flow Analysis Modeling assumptions We modeled the transaction to simulate stress scenarios that we believe are commensurate with the assigned preliminary ratings (see table 3). APRIL 11,

7 Table 3 Stressed Cash Flow Modeling Assumptions Preliminary rating Overall cumulative default rate range based on different loan types and repayment terms (%) AA (sf) Cumulative default timing fast scenario (approximate %) per year(i) 20/20/20/20/20 Cumulative default timing slow scenario (approximate %) per year(i) 15/15/15/15/10/10/10/10 Cumulative recovery rate (%) 40 Cumulative recovery rate timing (approximate %) per year 4.4/4.4/4.4/4.4/4.4/4.4/4.4/4.4/4.4 Voluntary prepayment rate (% CPR) per year Deferral period Forbearance % per year(ii) 12 4/5/6/7/8/9 for the transaction's remaining life Two-and-a-half years for all loans that can defer payments while in school (i)we ran separate fast and slow default scenarios. (ii)as loans enter repayment, 12% of their aggregate amount goes into forbearance status for one year. CPR--Constant prepayment rate. Stressed cash flow results In our stressed analysis, the overall default rate ranged from 29.3%-29.5%, depending on seasoning and loan repayment method (immediate or deferred). We believe these default rates are commensurate with the assigned preliminary rating based on the expected pool composition. We also stressed both the recovery lags and the deferment and forbearance periods in our cash flow scenarios. Under these stressed cash flow scenarios, all timely interest and principal due was paid, and depending on the scenario, the transaction was able to withstand a 17.6%-17.7% cumulative net loss rate. This net loss coverage is approximately a 4.1x multiple of our base-case expected net loss rate, which is consistent with the 'AA (sf)' preliminary rating. In addition, a cash flow scenario was modeled with zero prepayment and default rates including stress assumptions regarding deferment, forbearance, and recovery lags to ensure that all of the bonds are retired by their maturity dates. Break-even cash flow results In addition to stressed cash flow runs, we ran break-even cash flow scenarios that maximized the default rate while we kept all other assumptions constant. In the break-even scenarios, the transaction was able to absorb cumulative defaults in the 29.5%-29.7% range, depending on the scenario, and assuming a 40% recovery rate, cumulative net losses of 17.7%-17.8%. In each of the break-even scenarios, the transaction paid timely interest and note principal by the legal final maturity date. These results support a coverage multiple of approximately 4.1x our base-case expected net loss rate for this transaction. Credit Stability Cash Flow Analysis In addition to the stressed and break-even cash flows, we ran cash flow scenarios to assess the stability of the assigned preliminary rating under moderate stress conditions (a 'BBB' stress scenario). We believe that in a moderate stress scenario, the timing of voluntary prepayments would be slower, recovery rates would be higher, and forbearance would be lower than those in a 'AA' stress scenario (see table 4). APRIL 11,

8 Table 4 Sensitivity Cash Flow Modeling Assumptions Overall cumulative default rate range based on different loan types and repayment terms (%) Cumulative default timing fast scenario (approximate %) per year(i) 20/20/20/20/20 Cumulative default timing slow scenario (approximate %) per year(i) 15/15/15/15/10/10/10/10 Cumulative recovery rate (%) 50 Cumulative recovery rate timing (approximate %) per year 6.25/6.25/6.25/6.25/6.25/6.25/6.25/6.25 Voluntary prepayment rate (% CPR) per year Deferral period Forbearance % per year(ii) 8 2/3/4/5/6/7 for the transaction's remaining life Two-and-a-half years for all loans that can defer payments while in school (i)we ran separate fast and slow default scenarios. (ii)as loans enter repayment, 8% of their aggregate amount goes into forbearance status for one year. CPR--Constant prepayment rate. We ran sensitivity cash flow scenarios using the cash flow assumptions above, using fast and slow default curves. Chart 2 shows the credit enhancement for eight years from closing as a multiple of the remaining losses for the bonds. In this sensitivity analysis, credit enhancement for the bonds begins with a 2.42x or 2.53x coverage multiple of our moderately stressed net loss rate depending on the default curve, and grows to 2.47x or 2.57x after one year. Thereafter, the coverage multiple grows steadily, and then more rapidly after five years as the transaction turbos excess spread, which is used to build overcollateralization (see chart 2). APRIL 11,

9 Chart 2 Based on these scenario results, we expect our rating on the bonds to remain within one and two rating categories of our preliminary 'AA (sf)' rating for one and three years, respectively, which is consistent with our credit stability criteria (see "Methodology: Credit Stability Criteria," published May 3, 2010). Issuer Overview RISLA, a public corporation, governmental agency, and public instrumentality of Rhode Island, was established in 1981 to provide a statewide student loan program through originating or acquiring Federal Family Education Loan Program loans. In May 1992, RISLA's legislation was amended to permit it to finance the origination and acquisition of private loans that are not subject to federal insurance or reinsurance. RISLA is authorized to finance these programs and loans by issuing revenue bonds. Since its inception, RISLA has originated approximately $415.3 million of RISLA fixed-rate student loans to assist Rhode Island residents or students attending schools in Rhode Island. APRIL 11,

10 Program Overview RISLA has been providing private student loans, not insured by the U.S. government, since RISLA will use the 2016 series A bond proceeds to finance private loans under its student loan and consolidation loan programs. RISLA's portfolio of outstanding fixed-rate loans totaled $261.5 million as of Dec. 31, 2015, and had a weighted average FICO score of 767. Student and parent loans RISLA provides private loans to students and parents who meet their credit standards. The borrower must be a Rhode Island resident or be attending a Rhode Island-based school. A private loan amount is limited to the education cost less other financial aid, including other student loans, and generally ranges from $1,500-$40,000. There is a combined lifetime loan cap of $175,000 per household and $150,000 per student. RISLA performs a credit evaluation of all loan applications, which includes credit scoring, credit report history, debt service-to-income ratio, minimum income, and proprietary evaluation methodologies. All borrowers must have a co-borrower unless they can meet all of the co-borrower credit criteria on their own, including the minimum annual income requirement of $40,000. The borrower's credit history file must also have at least four unique accounts that have been open for at least two years, not including student loans. RISLA also offers loans to parents. When RISLA approves a loan application, it requires that the school certify the applicant's eligibility under RISLA's guidelines, the student's current enrollment, and that the loan amount, before fees, does not exceed the cost of attendance less other financial aid. Loan proceeds are disbursed directly to the schools. We believe this school certification requirement helps prevent fraud and excessive borrowing by the students. Private consolidation loans Under the private consolidation loan program, RISLA originates private loans to creditworthy borrowers who want to consolidate their non-federal private loans. Private consolidation loans are subject to the same credit criteria as the student and parent loans, with some additional requirements. Private consolidation loans have fixed-rate and 15-year maximum repayment terms. Servicing RISLA will service the loans, as it took over the servicing of the private loans from its long-time servicer, Granite State, in July RISLA has contracted with UAS to provide the servicing platform. UAS is responsible for continually maintaining the software, data, and security in compliance with RISLA's program and procedures. UAS services just under 1 million accounts for over 500 clients nationwide. UAS is a subsidiary of Transworld Systems Inc., an industry-leading provider of accounts receivable management services with approximately 2,500 employees worldwide. APRIL 11,

11 Related Criteria And Research Related Criteria Methodology And Assumptions For Ratings Above The Sovereign--Single-Jurisdiction, May 29, 2015 Criteria For Global Structured Finance Transactions Subject To A Change In Payment Priorities Or Sale Of Collateral Upon A Nonmonetary EOD, March 2, 2015 Global Framework For Cash Flow Analysis Of Structured Finance Securities, Oct. 9, 2014 Methodology And Assumptions For U.S. Private Student Loan ABS Credit Analysis, Feb. 13, 2013 Criteria Methodology Applied To Fees, Expenses, And Indemnifications, July 12, 2012 Global Investment Criteria For Temporary Investments In Transaction Accounts, May 31, 2012 Understanding Standard & Poor's Rating Definitions, June 3, 2009 Standard & Poor s Revises Criteria Methodology For Servicer Risk Assessment, May 28, 2009 Legal Criteria For U.S. Structured Finance Transactions: Appendix III: Revised UCC Article 9 Criteria, Oct. 1, 2006 Legal Criteria For U.S. Structured Finance Transactions: Criteria Related To Asset-Backed Securities, Oct. 1, 2006 Legal Criteria For U.S. Structured Finance Transactions: Securitizations By SPE Transferors And Non-Code Transferors, Oct. 1, 2006 Student Loan Criteria: Evaluating Risk In Student Loan Transactions, Oct. 1, 2004 Student Loan Criteria: Structural Elements In Student Loan Transactions, Oct. 1, 2004 Student Loan Criteria: Rating Methodology For Student Loan Transactions, Oct. 1, 2004 Related Research Global Structured Finance Scenario And Sensitivity Analysis: The Effects Of Macroeconomic Factors on Credit Quality, July 2, 2014 Overview Of Legal Criteria For U.S. Structured Finance Transactions, Oct. 1, 2006 The Rating Process For Student Loan Transactions, Oct. 1, 2004 Student Loan Programs, Oct. 1, 2004 In addition to the criteria specific to this type of security (listed above), the following criteria articles, which are generally applicable to all ratings, may have affected this rating action: "Post-Default Ratings Methodology: When Does Standard & Poor's Raise A Rating From 'D' Or 'SD'?," March 23, 2015; "Global Framework For Assessing Operational Risk In Structured Finance Transactions," Oct. 9, 2014; "Methodology: Timeliness of Payments: Grace Periods, Guarantees, And Use of 'D' And 'SD' Ratings," Oct. 24, 2013; "Counterparty Risk Framework Methodology And Assumptions," June 25, 2013; "Criteria For Assigning 'CCC+', 'CCC', 'CCC-', And 'CC' Ratings," Oct. 1, 2012; "Credit Stability Criteria," May 3, 2010; and "Use of CreditWatch And Outlooks," Sept. 14, APRIL 11,

12 Copyright 2016 Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC, a part of McGraw Hill Financial. All rights reserved. No content (including ratings, credit-related analyses and data, valuations, model, software or other application or output therefrom) or any part thereof (Content) may be modified, reverse engineered, reproduced or distributed in any form by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC or its affiliates (collectively, S&P). The Content shall not be used for any unlawful or unauthorized purposes. S&P and any third-party providers, as well as their directors, officers, shareholders, employees or agents (collectively S&P Parties) do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or availability of the Content. S&P Parties are not responsible for any errors or omissions (negligent or otherwise), regardless of the cause, for the results obtained from the use of the Content, or for the security or maintenance of any data input by the user. The Content is provided on an "as is" basis. S&P PARTIES DISCLAIM ANY AND ALL EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE, FREEDOM FROM BUGS, SOFTWARE ERRORS OR DEFECTS, THAT THE CONTENT'S FUNCTIONING WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, OR THAT THE CONTENT WILL OPERATE WITH ANY SOFTWARE OR HARDWARE CONFIGURATION. In no event shall S&P Parties be liable to any party for any direct, indirect, incidental, exemplary, compensatory, punitive, special or consequential damages, costs, expenses, legal fees, or losses (including, without limitation, lost income or lost profits and opportunity costs or losses caused by negligence) in connection with any use of the Content even if advised of the possibility of such damages. Credit-related and other analyses, including ratings, and statements in the Content are statements of opinion as of the date they are expressed and not statements of fact. S&P's opinions, analyses, and rating acknowledgment decisions (described below) are not recommendations to purchase, hold, or sell any securities or to make any investment decisions, and do not address the suitability of any security. S&P assumes no obligation to update the Content following publication in any form or format. The Content should not be relied on and is not a substitute for the skill, judgment and experience of the user, its management, employees, advisors and/or clients when making investment and other business decisions. S&P does not act as a fiduciary or an investment advisor except where registered as such. While S&P has obtained information from sources it believes to be reliable, S&P does not perform an audit and undertakes no duty of due diligence or independent verification of any information it receives. To the extent that regulatory authorities allow a rating agency to acknowledge in one jurisdiction a rating issued in another jurisdiction for certain regulatory purposes, S&P reserves the right to assign, withdraw, or suspend such acknowledgement at any time and in its sole discretion. S&P Parties disclaim any duty whatsoever arising out of the assignment, withdrawal, or suspension of an acknowledgment as well as any liability for any damage alleged to have been suffered on account thereof. S&P keeps certain activities of its business units separate from each other in order to preserve the independence and objectivity of their respective activities. As a result, certain business units of S&P may have information that is not available to other S&P business units. S&P has established policies and procedures to maintain the confidentiality of certain nonpublic information received in connection with each analytical process. S&P may receive compensation for its ratings and certain analyses, normally from issuers or underwriters of securities or from obligors. S&P reserves the right to disseminate its opinions and analyses. S&P's public ratings and analyses are made available on its Web sites, (free of charge), and and (subscription) and (subscription) and may be distributed through other means, including via S&P publications and third-party redistributors. Additional information about our ratings fees is available at APRIL 11,

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