Credit Union helps students afford college

In today’s world, there is no debate about the importance of a higher education. Unfortunately, there also is little debate about the fact that students and families are faced with ever-increasing financial burdens in trying to achieve their education goals.

“The cost of college education has risen dramatically over the last 20 years. This has led to an ever-increasing gap between what scholarships and federal loans cover and the actual cost of attendance,” said Ashley Moore, MSR/loan officer. “It’s not uncommon for students to face funding gaps anywhere between $30,000 and $100,000 over four years of college. To fill that gap, millions of students and families rely on higher-cost private student loans.”

In hopes of bringing superior economic value to the marketplace and meeting the educational financing needs of credit union members and local consumers, in September Horizon Federal Credit Union joined with some of the nation’s leading credit unions to offer a new private lending solution called Credit Union Student Choice.

“With the ongoing turmoil in the marketplace, we felt it was imperative that credit unions, as not-for-profit balance sheet lenders with a unique ability and willingness to collaborate, get into the private student lending business,” said Traci Donahue, CEO. “Credit unions exist first and foremost to meet the needs of their membership, not to maximize profit by selling off loans to Wall Street. We are very proud to offer a private student loan solution that will deliver real value and meet a pressing need.”

Horizon Federal Credit Union’s private education line of credit features include zero origination fees, extremely competitive interest rates, in-school deferred payment and a graduated repayment option.

“It’s a very unique product that is structured as a line of credit, which allows students to make multiple draws over the course of their entire undergraduate career after completing just one simple application,” said Donahue. “Most importantly, we control the pricing and retain the ongoing relationship with our member. And considering we’re a not-for-profit cooperative that’s been making consumer loans for 58 years, it’s a natural progression for us to offer this product.”

Moore also points out that financial education is another key component of the program.

“The website we’ve built will help consumers make better decisions by providing in-depth information on all of the ways to finance a college education as well as calculators that will actually show them the numbers.”

To access this information and learn more about Horizon FCU’s private student loan solution, visit http://horizonfcu.studentchoice. org.

Horizon Federal Credit Union, with locations at 1007 E. Third St. and 217 W. Bald Eagle St., Lock Haven, was established in 1955 and has $62 million in assets.

Today, anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school within Lycoming or Clinton County is welcome to bank at Horizon FCU. Horizon FCU is member-owned and dedicated to providing high quality, competitive financial services for its members.