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Credit union will offer student loans

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OGDENSBURG – The St. Lawrence Federal Credit Union has introduced a new alternative student loan program to help area students pay for college.

The credit union’s new student loans will help fill in the funding gaps that federal aid can leave behind, according to Credit Union CEO Todd R. Mashaw.

“The cost of college education has risen dramatically over the last 20 years,” Mr. Mashaw said Friday. “This has led to an ever-increasing gap between what scholarships and federal loans cover and the actual cost of attendance.”

He said 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,” Mr. Mashaw said. “And we want to be able to provide that service for students and their families.”

Unlike many bank-funded student loans, the credit union Student Choice loans are structured as a line of credit. Mr. Mashaw said the line of credit allows students to make multiple draws over the course of their entire undergraduate career after completing one application.

Mr. Mashaw said the application must be submitted online, however students and their parents can visit any of the three branch locations in Ogdensburg and Canton to review the application and discuss the borrower’s options.

Undergraduate students can borrow anywhere from $1,000 to $75,000 to pay for books, supplies, tuition and room and board.

The money will go directly to the school. The borrower must be a credit union member to apply for the loan.

Financial education is another key component of the program, Mr. Mashaw said.

“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,” said Mr. Mashaw.

Loan interest rates will be determined by the borrower’s credit score. In the case the borrower has no line of credit, the borrower’s interest rate will be determined by the co-signer’s credit score.

Mr. Mashaw said the credit union offers financial management resources for young adults and a full range of products and services to help develop and maintain good financial habits.

St. Lawrence Federal Credit Union membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in St. Lawrence County, and businesses and organizations located within the county. More information about credit union services is online at www.stlawrfcu.com .

Branches are located at 800 Commerce Park Drive and 333 State St., Ogdensburg, and 11 Court St., Canton.

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