ISAC to Illinois Students: ‘We’re Here For You’

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–November 10, 2009.  The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) announced it still has $66 million available to make low-interest, federally-secured student loans to Illinois students through the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) for the 2009-10 academic year, emphasizing its commitment to making college accessible and affordable for Illinois students.

“As other players in the student loan industry exit, we remain committed to the students and families of Illinois.  In fact, we’ve already committed to $44 million in student loans this academic year,” ISAC Executive Director Andrew Davis said.  “We are familiar with the needs of Illinois families and financial aid procedures of Illinois colleges and universities because we’ve been at it for so long.”

A lack of liquidity, steadily increasing tuition costs and changes in federal policy that cut lender profits created a disruption in student lending in some states, and a number of banks have exited the student-lending arena in the past two years, including U.S. Bank and Bank of America, which will cease loan originations December 5.

The Illinois Credit Union League played a critical role in securing $110 million for student loans, ensuring continued FFELP lending.  Commitments were obtained from Alliant Credit Union (Chicago), Baxter Credit Union (Vernon Hills), Citizens Equity First Credit Union (CEFCU, Peoria), CommonWealth Credit Union (Kankakee), Corporate America Family Credit Union (Elgin), Credit Union 1 (the State employees’ credit union based in Rantoul), Kane County Teacher’s Credit Union (Elgin), I.H. Mississippi Valley Credit Union (Moline), ISU Credit Union (Normal), Motorola Employees Credit Union (Schaumburg), Sangamon Schools Credit Union (Springfield),  Scott Credit Union (Collinsville), SIU Credit Union (Carbondale), and University of Illinois Employees Credit Union (Champaign).

“Thanks to the credit unions’ support, we continue to provide student loans to those in need at FFELP-participating schools while serving our mission by offering Illinois students and parents college access programs, financial literacy education and loan delinquency and default prevention,” Davis concluded.  “We invite students and parents to explore all their college finance options with their financial aid office or to visit our Web site,”

The Web site is the perfect place for Illinois students to begin, allowing users to quickly and easily access information on various types of loans, apply for loans online, check loan status, and even make payments on a one-time or automated basis with just a few mouse clicks.

Through IDAPP, ISAC’s student lending arm, Stafford and PLUS loans are available to students and their families, offering the advantages of lower interest rates and more favorable terms than private loans in addition to the excellent customer service provided by IDAPP. Interest on federal student loans range from 5.6 percent to 8.5 percent while interest on a private loan can be as high as 18 percent.

The Illinois Designated Account Purchase Program (IDAPP) was started in 1977 and is the student loan division of ISAC.  Last year, IDAPP originated $177 million in student loans to more than 32,000 borrowers, providing expert loan service and advice to students, schools and financial institutions in Illinois.

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The Illinois Student Assistance Commission provides students of all ages and backgrounds with the resources and support to obtain financial aid for higher education.

A state agency, ISAC has paved the path to post-secondary education with innovative programs for more than 50 years. Last year alone, ISAC continued its mission to make college affordable for Illinois students by issuing over 186,000 grants and scholarships totaling nearly $431 million.

The Commission provides educational funding with student loans, as a loan guarantor and via numerous public programs such as the successful Monetary Award Program (MAP), the Illinois Veteran Grant and the College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition Program. Students and families have free access to a wealth of financial aid and college planning information at ISAC’s family of websites available at