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20 of households have student debt but CUs helping
WASHINGTON and FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (10/1/12)--Nearly one in five U.S. households had college debt in 2010, double the debt in 1989 and up 15% from 2007, with the biggest burdens on the young and the poor, says a new study. But credit unions are helping out in several ways.

The fact that Money Mission also offers scholarship opportunities for high school seniors is what sold Coastal Community FCU President/CEO Carol Gaylord-Purdy on the program.

"We've wanted to offer a scholarship program for some time," she told the league, "but we've lacked the expertise, as well as the time and resources to develop one."  With a child in college, she knew the financial burden college can place on families.

"With minimal monthly cost, through Money Mission we are able to offer our members an opportunity to earn scholarship dollars, thereby providing some financial relief to families," she said. The more credit unions signing up for Money Mission, the more scholarship dollars are available, she said.

A+ FCU, a $955 million asset credit union in Austin, has a scholarship program and has also partnered with Austin Community College (ACC)  Student Life to offer what it says is the nation's first community college savings challenge, the Riverbat Savings Challenge, said the league.

The first 10 contestants have been chosen from more than 90 ACC students who applied. The contestants will compete for a $2,500 grant prize and other cash prizes.  The challenge begins this month and runs to March. To follow their progress as they work toward their goals, use the savings challenge link.
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