Private student lending CUSO CU Student Choice has partnered with college planning and funding software provider Collegiate Funding Solutions to launch a collaborative promotional effort.
CU Student Choice and Collegiate Funding Solutions will host Webinars for current and prospective clients, promote each other's services and offer an integrated package to credit unions interested in offering both programs.
"Ultimately, both of our organizations are focused squarely on helping credit unions deliver value to college students and families," said Mike Weber, vice president of marketing for CU Student Choice. "This partnership is another way to enhance each of our programs for the benefit of credit unions and consumers."
CU Student Choice currently has 90 credit unions offering its certified private student loan and is working on rolling out a graduate and consolidation loan product in addition to the current undergraduate loan.
The Collegiate Funding Solutions program is a virtual counseling session that compiles information from consumers to provide them with a report that gives suggestions and tips on how to prepare for the cost of college and how to reduce its out-of-pocket cost.
Credit unions can offer the counseling session as a free service to members and can tie in special promotions or products to the report. Members complete the Collegiate Funding Solutions report and then print out a coupon to redeem at the credit union for the special promotion.
"I've been hearing from credit unions that in order to grow they need to boost loan volume and members. This is something they can offer as a free service and pitch as community outreach," said Roger Lorelle, president of Collegiate Funding Solutions.
Credit unions looking to offer both the CU Student Choice private loan and the Collegiate Funding Solutions product can integrate both into their Web sites.
"It's all a great fit and I have great comfort in the value to the member," said Bob Michaud, senior vice president/chief marketing officer at Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union. The credit union will be one of the first to offer the integrated package of both CFS and the CU Student Choice loan on March 2nd when it launches its new Web site.
The report compiled by Collegiate Funding Solutions estimates the potential cost for college based upon potential college choices. The report also goes through options to help fund the potential college costs such as grants, scholarships, investments and loans. The credit union can list its CU Student Choice loan as a private loan option in the report and link directly to the credit union's site so students can apply for the loan online.
The report can also link to other credit union products like special education savings accounts and home equity loans.
While the partnership now is mainly cross promotional, Weber said that CU Student Choice feels that in the future there will be other ways to work together to enhance both products.
"Down the road, we'll look for ways and opportunities to communicate the benefits to credit unions about offering a holistic approach to delivering college planning and funding solutions to members," Lorelle said. "This holistic approach includes comprehensive college planning and funding solutions and the products to implement the solutions, like CU Student Choice private student loans."