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First Marblehead's Pre-Tax Operating Results Improve 27% Year-Over-Year as Monogram(R)-Based Loan Originations Climb 134%

BOSTON, MA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/07/13 -- The First Marblehead Corporation (NYSE: FMD) today announced its financial and operating results for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 as well as the six month period ended December 31, 2012. Results for the three and six months ended December 31, 2012 included facilitated loan volumes, income and expenses of our subsidiary Cology LLC ("Cology") since October 19, 2012.

Total facilitated loan volumes for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, were $66.9 million, including $49.7 million facilitated by Cology. Monogram-based facilitated loan volumes for the quarter totaled $17.2 million, up $5.1 million, or 42%, from the same period a year ago. For the six months ended December 31, 2012, total facilitated loan volumes were $151.4 million, including $101.7 million of Monogram loans, an increase of 134% year-over-year.

"We are very pleased by the substantial increase in our Monogram volumes, a key contributor to our improved financial results," said Daniel Meyers, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Combined with originations from Cology and the opportunity to offer additional Monogram-based services to their client base, we believe that First Marblehead continues to strengthen its competitive position in the student loan marketplace," added Mr. Meyers.

For the second quarter of fiscal 2013, the Company recorded a net loss from continuing operations of $12.3 million, or $(0.12) per common share, compared to a net loss from continuing operations of $3.8 million, or $(0.03) per common share, for the second quarter of fiscal 2012. The increase in the net loss from continuing operations was attributable to a $12.6 million income tax benefit recorded in the second quarter of fiscal 2012. The net loss from continuing operations, before income taxes was $11.9 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, compared to a net loss from continuing operations, before income taxes of $16.4 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2011, an improvement of 27%.

For the six months ended December 31, 2012, the Company recorded a net loss from continuing operations of $26.2 million, or $(0.25) per common share, compared to a net loss from continuing operations of $22.6 million, or $(0.20) per common share, for the same period a year ago. The net loss from continuing operations, before income taxes improved 27%, or $9.5 million, to $25.4 million. The improvement was driven by a $6.1 million, or 34% increase, in revenues attributable in part to increases in net interest income and administrative fee income. During the six month period, total expenses fell $4.8 million, or 9%, on declines in marketing costs of $2.4 million attributable to lower loan acquisition costs as well as $1.7 million in lower expenses associated with special servicing of the NCSLT trusts as the Company transitioned these services to another provider during the quarter ended December 31, 2012.

Company Liquidity
As of December 31, 2012, the Company had $182.5 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments compared to $186.8 million at September 30, 2012.

The decrease of $4.3 million from the prior quarter resulted primarily from $13.7 million to fund operations as well as $4.7 million used in connection with the acquisition of a substantial portion of the operating assets of Cology, Inc. These outflows were offset by the growth in bank deposits, net of purchases of investment securities and funding of education loans, of $14.8 million.

Net operating cash usage* for the six months ended December 31, 2012 was $24.5 million, a $4.8 million, or 16% reduction, from the same six month period a year ago.

* See below under the heading "Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures."

Quarterly Conference Call
First Marblehead will host a conference call on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time to discuss its operating results. Investors and other interested parties are invited to listen to the conference call via a simultaneous internet broadcast on the Company's website at www.firstmarblehead.com, under "For Investors," or by dialing (888) 317-6003 from the United States or (412) 317-6061 from abroad and entering the pass code 6926004.

A replay will be available approximately one hour after completion of the call on First Marblehead's website or by dialing (877) 344-7529 from the United States or (412) 317-0088 from abroad and entering the pass code 10024783. The replay will be available for two weeks.

About The First Marblehead Corporation First Marblehead helps meet the need for education financing by offering national and regional financial institutions and educational institutions the Monogram® platform, an integrated suite of design, implementation and credit risk management services for private label, customizable private education loan programs. For more information, please see www.firstmarblehead.com. First Marblehead supports responsible lending and is a strong proponent of the smart borrowing principle, which encourages students to access scholarships, grants and federally-guaranteed loans before considering private education loans; please see www.SmartBorrowing.org. Through its subsidiary, Union Federal Savings Bank, First Marblehead offers private education loans, residential and commercial mortgage loans and retail savings, money market and time deposit products. For more information, please see www.unionfsb.com. First Marblehead also offers outsourced tuition planning, billing, payment technology services and refund management services through its subsidiary Tuition Management Systems LLC. For more information, please see www.afford.com. Through its subsidiary, Cology LLC, First Marblehead offers private education loan processing and disbursement services as well as life-of-loan servicing for lenders. For more information, please see www2.cology.com.

Statements in this press release, including the financial tables, regarding First Marblehead's future financial and operating results and liquidity, including the characteristics, pricing or performance of future Monogram-based private education loan portfolios, and our expectations as to future financial success, as well as any other statements that are not purely historical, constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based upon our historical performance, and on our plans, estimates and expectations as of February 7, 2013. The inclusion of this forward-looking information should not be regarded as a representation by us or any other person that the future results, plans, estimates, intentions or expectations expressed or implied by us will be achieved. You are cautioned that matters subject to forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including economic, legislative, regulatory, competitive and other factors, which may cause our actual financial or operating results, facilitated loan volumes and resulting cash flows or financing-related revenues, or the timing of events, to be materially different than those expressed or implied by forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include: market acceptance of, and demand for, our Monogram platform and fee-based service offerings, including our success in negotiating loan program agreements with additional clients; the successful sales and marketing of Monogram-based loan offerings, including the volume of loan applications and the extent to which loan applications ultimately result in disbursed loans; the volume, timing and performance of disbursed loans; the size and structure of any credit enhancement provided by First Marblehead in connection with our Monogram platform; our success in designing, implementing and commercializing private education loan programs through Union Federal, including receipt of and compliance with regulatory approvals and conditions with respect to such programs; capital markets conditions and our ability to structure securitizations or alternative financings; the size, structure and timing of any such securitizations or alternative financings; any investigation, audit, claim, regulatory action or suit relating to the transfer of the trust certificate of NC Residuals Owners Trust or the asset services agreement between the purchaser and First Marblehead, including any challenge to tax refunds previously received as a result of the audit being conducted by the Internal Revenue Service; resolution of litigation and regulatory proceedings pertaining to our Massachusetts state income tax returns; our success in integrating the operations of Cology LLC and realizing the anticipated benefits of our acquisition of a substantial portion of the operating assets of Cology, Inc., including additional fee-based revenues; the estimates and assumptions we make in preparing our financial statements, including quantitative and qualitative factors used in determining the estimate of the fair value of service revenue receivables; and the other factors set forth under the caption "Part I - Item 1A. Risk Factors" in First Marblehead's quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 8, 2012. Important factors that could cause or contribute to future adjustments to the estimates and assumptions we make in preparing our financial statements include: actual transactions or market observations relating to asset-backed securities, loan portfolios or corporate debt securities; variance between our performance assumptions and the actual performance of the loan portfolios held by the GATE trusts, Union Federal or First Marblehead's clients (the "Portfolios"); economic, legislative, regulatory, competitive and other factors affecting discount, default, recovery and prepayment rates on the Portfolios, including general economic conditions, the consumer credit environment and unemployment rates; management's determination of which qualitative and quantitative factors should be weighed in our estimates, and the weight to be given to such factors; capital markets receptivity to securities backed by private education loans; and interest rate trends. We specifically disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this press release, even if our estimates change, and you should not rely on those statements as representing our views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.



               First Marblehead Corporation and Subsidiaries
                   Consolidated Statements of Operations
       For the Three and Six Months Ended December 31, 2012 and 2011
                                (Unaudited)
        (dollars and shares in thousands, except per share amounts)

                               Three months ended       Six months ended
                                  December 31,            December 31,
                             ----------------------  ----------------------
                                2012        2011        2012        2011
                             ----------  ----------  ----------  ----------
Revenues:
  Net interest income:
        Interest income      $    1,367  $      726  $    2,560  $    1,280
        Interest expense           (341)       (231)       (614)       (470)
                             ----------  ----------  ----------  ----------
          Net interest
           income                 1,026         495       1,946         810
  Provision for loan losses          46          82         120         254
                             ----------  ----------  ----------  ----------
          Net interest
           income after
           provision for
           loan losses            1,072         577       2,066       1,064
Non-interest revenues:
        Tuition payment
         processing fees          7,374       7,196      14,798      14,475
        Administrative and
         other fees               2,386       2,109       5,801       4,498
        Fair value changes
         to service revenue
         receivables                381      (3,200)      1,219      (2,252)
                             ----------  ----------  ----------  ----------
          Total non-interest
           revenues              10,141       6,105      21,818      16,721
                             ----------  ----------  ----------  ----------
          Total revenues         11,213       6,682      23,884      17,785
Non-interest expenses:
        Compensation and
         benefits                10,396      10,188      19,209      21,089
        General and
         administrative          13,006      13,532      30,401      33,312
                             ----------  ----------  ----------  ----------
          Total non-interest
           expenses              23,402      23,720      49,610      54,401
                             ----------  ----------  ----------  ----------
Loss from operations            (12,189)    (17,038)    (25,726)    (36,616)
Other income:                       281         639         281       1,763
                             ----------  ----------  ----------  ----------
Loss from continuing
 operations, before income
 taxes                          (11,908)    (16,399)    (25,445)    (34,853)
Income tax expense (benefit)
 from continuing operations         375     (12,631)        770     (12,292)
                             ----------  ----------  ----------  ----------
Loss from continuing
 operations                     (12,283)     (3,768)    (26,215)    (22,561)
Discontinued operations, net
 of taxes                            --   1,198,036          --   1,128,871
                             ----------  ----------  ----------  ----------
Net (loss) income            $  (12,283) $1,194,268  $  (26,215) $1,106,310
                             ==========  ==========  ==========  ==========
  Net (loss) income per
   basic common share:
      From continuing
       operations            $    (0.12) $    (0.03) $    (0.25) $    (0.20)
      From discontinued
       operations                    --       10.85          --       10.23
                             ----------  ----------  ----------  ----------
    Total basic (loss) net
     income per share        $    (0.12) $    10.82  $    (0.25) $    10.03
                             ==========  ==========  ==========  ==========
  Net (loss) income per
   diluted common share:
      From continuing
       operations            $    (0.12) $    (0.03) $    (0.25) $    (0.20)
      From discontinued
       operations                    --       10.85          --       10.22
                             ----------  ----------  ----------  ----------
    Total diluted net (loss)
     income per share        $    (0.12) $    10.82  $    (0.25) $    10.02
                             ==========  ==========  ==========  ==========
    Weighted-average common
     shares outstanding
      Basic                     104,903     101,492     103,482     101,413
      Diluted                   104,903     110,381     103,482     110,363



             The First Marblehead Corporation and Subsidiaries
                        Consolidated Balance Sheets
                 As of December 31, 2012 and June 30, 2012
                                (Unaudited)
                           (dollars in thousands)

                                                 December 31,    June 30,
                                                     2012          2012
                                                 ------------  ------------
Assets
Cash and cash equivalents                        $    127,408  $    123,497
Short-term investments, at cost                        55,095        85,007
Restricted cash                                       127,793        65,401
Investments available-for-sale, at fair value          80,068        68,598
Education loans held-to-maturity, net of
 allowance of $1,464 and $1,309                        50,661        33,095
Mortgage loans held-to-maturity, net of
 allowance of $604 and $591                            10,313         7,811
Deposits for participation interest accounts, at
 fair value                                             9,637         4,039
Service revenue receivables, at fair value             16,004        16,341
Goodwill                                               20,066        19,548
Intangible assets, net                                 25,518        20,922
Property and equipment, net                             5,928         4,570
Other assets                                            9,732         8,976
                                                 ------------  ------------
    Total assets                                 $    538,223  $    457,805
                                                 ============  ============
Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity
Liabilities:
  Deposits                                       $    126,680  $     83,428
  Restricted funds due to clients                     167,447       104,981
  Accounts payable, accrued expenses and other
   liabilities                                         14,843        18,133
  Income taxes payable                                 24,381        23,414
  Net deferred income tax liability                     1,070           861
                                                 ------------  ------------
    Total liabilities                                 334,421       230,817
Commitments and contingencies:
Stockholders' equity:
Preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share;
 20,000 shares authorized; 0 and 133 shares
 issued and outstanding                                    --             1
Common stock, par value $0.01 per share; 250,000
 shares authorized; 119,780 and 110,658 shares
 issued; 111,060 and 102,002 shares outstanding         1,197         1,106
Additional paid-in capital                            454,785       452,726
Accumulated deficit                                   (66,842)      (40,627)
Treasury stock, 8,720 and 8,656 shares held, at
 cost                                                (186,901)     (186,828)
Accumulated other comprehensive income                  1,563           610
                                                 ------------  ------------
    Total stockholders' equity                        203,802       226,988
                                                 ------------  ------------
    Total liabilities and stockholders' equity   $    538,223  $    457,805
                                                 ============  ============




              The First Marblehead Corporation and Subsidiaries
                 Facilitated and Disbursed Loan Volume Data
        For the Three and Six Months Ended December 31, 2012 and 2011
                                 (Unaudited)
                           (dollars in thousands)

The following tables present certain loan metrics for the three and six
 months ended December 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011:

                              Three months ended December 31,
                ------------------------------------------------------------
                               2012                           2011
                ---------------------------------- -------------------------
                Partnered  Union   Cology          Partnered  Union
                 Lending  Federal   LLC     Total   Lending  Federal  Total
                --------- ------- ------- -------- --------- ------- -------
                                   (dollars in thousands)
Facilitated
 Loans          $  13,203 $ 4,009 $49,734 $ 66,946 $   3,015 $ 9,090 $12,105
Disbursed Loans    16,129   6,022  58,300   80,451     5,054   9,740  14,794


                               Six months ended December 31,
                ------------------------------------------------------------
                               2012                           2011
                ---------------------------------- -------------------------
                Partnered  Union   Cology          Partnered  Union
                 Lending  Federal   LLC     Total   Lending  Federal  Total
                --------- ------- ------- -------- --------- ------- -------
                                   (dollars in thousands)
Facilitated
 Loans          $  76,292 $25,387 $49,734 $151,413 $  17,813 $25,571 $43,384
Disbursed Loans    49,206  18,947  58,300  126,453    12,310  17,219  29,529

Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures
In addition to providing financial measurements based on U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"), the Company has included in this press release an additional financial metric that it refers to as "net operating cash usage" and that was not prepared in accordance with GAAP. The Company defines "net operating cash usage" to approximate cash required to fund its operations. "Net operating cash usage" is not directly comparable to the Company's consolidated statement of cash flows prepared in accordance with GAAP. Legislative and regulatory guidance discourages the use of, and emphasis on, non-GAAP financial metrics and requires companies to explain why a non-GAAP financial metric is relevant to management and investors.

The Company's management and its board of directors use this non-GAAP financial metric, in addition to GAAP financial measures, as a basis for measuring and forecasting the Company's core operating performance and comparing such performance to that of prior periods. The non-GAAP financial measure is also used by the Company in its financial and operational decision-making.

The Company believes that the inclusion of this non-GAAP financial metric helps investors to gain a better understanding of its results, including its non-interest expenses and liquidity position. In addition, the Company's presentation of this non-GAAP financial measure is consistent with how it expects that analysts may calculate their estimates of its financial results in their research reports and with how clients, investors, analysts and financial news media may evaluate its financial results.

There are limitations associated with reliance on any non-GAAP financial measure because any such measure is specific to the Company's operations and financial performance, which makes comparisons with other companies' financial results more challenging. Nevertheless, by providing both GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures, the Company believes that investors are able to compare its GAAP results to those of other companies, while also gaining a better understanding of its operating performance, consistent with management's evaluation.

"Net operating cash usage" should be considered in addition to, and not as a substitute for, or superior to, financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP. "Net operating cash usage" excludes the effects of income taxes, acquisitions or divestitures, participation interest account net fundings and changes in other assets and other liabilities that are solely related to short-term timing of cash payments or receipts.

In accordance with the requirements of Regulation G promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the table below presents the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure, loss from continuing operations before income taxes, for the three and six months ended December 31, 2012 and 2011 and reconciles the GAAP measure to the comparable non-GAAP financial metric:



             The First Marblehead Corporation and Subsidiaries
           Net Operating Cash Usage, a non-GAAP Financial Measure
    For the Three and Six Month Periods Ended December 31, 2012 and 2011
                                (Unaudited)
                           (dollars in thousands)

                                  Three months ended     Six months ended
                                     December 31,          December 31,
                                 --------------------  --------------------
                                    2012       2011       2012       2011
                                 ---------  ---------  ---------  ---------
Loss from continuing operations,
 before income taxes             $ (11,908) $ (16,399) $ (25,445) $ (34,853)
Adjustments to loss from
 continuing operations, before
 income taxes:
  Fair value changes to service
   revenue receivables                (381)     3,200     (1,219)     2,252
  Cash receipts from service
   revenue receivables                 444         26      1,556         54
  Depreciation and amortization        988      1,263      1,994      2,497
  Stock-based compensation           1,081      1,180      2,149      2,522
  TMS deferred revenue              (2,368)    (2,874)      (910)    (2,093)
  Other, net of cash flows from
   FMDS in 2011                     (1,527)       179     (2,634)       326
                                 ---------  ---------  ---------  ---------

    Non-GAAP net operating cash
     usage                       $ (13,671) $ (13,425) $ (24,509) $ (29,295)
                                 =========  =========  =========  =========

Contact:
Dana Arvidson
Investor Relations
First Marblehead
800 Boylston Street, 34th FL
Boston, MA 02199
617.638.2065

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