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Media tout CUs for college loans co-op biz model
BALTIMORE and NEW YORK CITY (1/14/10)--SmartMoney and the Baltimore Sun touted credit unions’ college loans and cooperative business model in two articles published this week. College students feeling the credit crunch can find student loans at credit unions, according to SmartMoney. The magazine cited three credit unions--Southern Lakes CU, Kenosha, Wis.; West Branch Valley FCU, Williamsport, Pa.; and Merck, Sharp & Dohme FCU, Chalfont, Pa.--that offer private student loans. Many credit unions are stepping up to help after banks have scaled back, said the magazine. New York State’s Higher Education Services Corp. just added SEFCU, Albany, to its list of lenders. Roughly 20 credit unions have entered the market through Fynanz and 82 more credit unions have entered through Credit Union Student Choice, which processes loans and provides regulatory compliance, the magazine added. The average rate on credit union student loans is just above 6%. Sallie Mae, a major underwriter of private student loans, has rates ranging from 4.25% to 12.75%, SmartMoney said. In other news, The Baltimore Sun explored cooperatives’ business model as a way to empower workers Tuesday. The Sun noted that many national firms, such as credit unions, operate with a cooperative model. The United Nations has declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives, and is encouraging governments to collaborate with the co-op movement to create more productive societies and reduce poverty. “In hard times like these, the co-op model makes sense,” the newspaper said. “After all, public confidence in corporations, banks and the larger financial system is at low ebb, while unemployment is at its highest level in 25 years.”
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