NAPERVILLE, Ill. (4/3/09)--Illinois-based credit unions will invest nearly $100 million in securities issued by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) to finance low-interest, federally secured loans through the Federal Family Education Loan Program to Illinois students and their families. The loans will make college affordable for thousands of Illinois students for the second straight year. Twelve credit unions so far have committed to lending with the $100 million in funds secured last September. The figure could grow as new participants join and commitment levels increase in the next six months. The announcement of these funds will be made at a press conference today at Chicago-based Alliant CU, one of the participating credit unions. "Our message to Illinois' college-bound students and their families is that we will have plenty of money to lend you to go to school," said ISAC Executive Director Andrew Davis. "We salute our partner credit unions and the Illinois Credit Union League for again recognizing the importance of higher education for the public good and making sure Illinois students have access to federally backed, low-rate student loans," Davis added. The league played a critical role in security credit unions' support. "We are pleased to once again team up with ISAC and continue backing its efforts to help students get a quality education," said Dan Plauda, league president/CEO. In addition to Alliant CU, credit unions participating include:
* Baxter CU, Vernon Hills; * Citizens Equity First CU, Peoria; * CommonWealth CU, Kankakee; * Corporate America Family CU, Elgin; * Credit Union 1, Rantoul; * I.H. Mississippi Valley CU, Moline; * ISU CU, Normal; * Motorola Employees CU, Schaumburg; * Scott CU, Collinsville; * SIU CU, Carbondale; and * University of Illinois Employees CU, Champaign.
"The credit unions stood tall in providing the backing for us to meet the rising demand for student loans in the state of Illinois," said Illinois Designated Account PUrchase Program (IDAPP) Director Steve DiBenedetto. He invited students to explore their options at a newly redesigned website, IDAPP.com. Last year, a lack of liquidity, increasing tuition costs and federal policy changes cut lender profits and disrupted student lending in some states. State student loan agencies in Minnesota, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania ceased student lending operations, while IDAPP continued to lend through the year with the backing of credit unions.