Developing Champions
One Student at a Time

We’ve Served and Assisted Millions of Students!

It all started in January 1988, when Champion founder Mary Lyn Hammer was hired by a school as the nation’s first full-time Default Manager. Historically, this event occurred at the time when student loan defaults first started becoming an issue.

Coming from a banking background where the primary goal of servicing was to keep borrowers current and prevent foreclosures, Ms. Hammer quickly realized that if she served as a liaison between the borrowers and loan servicers that student loan defaults could be prevented. Ms. Hammer was inspired and worked quickly to systematically identify the problems in the student loan industry then she developed procedures to implement that could curtail these problems. Ms. Hammer’s initial program achieved phenomenal results—the default rate at her school dropped from 34% at program inception to 16% within the first year and to less than 10% within two years.

During that time Ms. Hammer also identified fraud and abuse issues that were plaguing student loans and bravely took action to create big changes by lobbying at Capitol Hill with her recommendations. Her ideas were so helpful, that she was included in the process to draft laws to resolve student loan issues and protect the rights of borrowers.

Ms. Hammer and her companies are respected advocates for higher education. Champion understands the value of preserving positive, supportive relationships between students and their educational institutions. The fundamentals of our program today are based on the essential, proven-successful techniques that Ms. Hammer originally developed in 1988 to prevent student loan defaults and protect students.

Champion is not a collection agency and does not collect money on debt. Mary Lyn Hammer is well-recognized and trusted as a student loan repayment expert who has provided FREE representation in Washington, D.C. for students who otherwise would have no voice. Champion Empowerment Institute, launched in 2013, is part of the Champion Companies portfolio and offers many tools and resources to help people succeed in life.

The Champion Companies

Mary Lyn Hammer’s mission to empower individuals with quality education opportunities, practical financial literacy resources, and essential life skills has grown and evolved across multiple Champion companies.


Champion Empowerment Institute

Financial Literacy, Life Skills, and Life Success Resources

Champion Col-EDGE Solutions

Student Loan Default Prevention Pioneer Since 1989

Champion for Success

Non-profit; Financial and Life Skills Mentoring for Youth and Young Adults

Champion for Life

Championing Health, Wellness, and Beauty, offering exceptional products to enrich lives


Mary Lyn Hammer

Advocacy for Higher Education Federal Legislation & Regulations, specializing in Student Loan Programs