In anticipation of education spending cuts that could result from Federal budget negotiations, the nearly 200 credit unions partnered with Washington, D.C.-based student lending CUSO Credit Union Student Choice have pledged $1 billion in higher education financing, the CUSO said.
Credit Union Student Choice President Jon Jeffreys said while it appears the legislative debt ceiling/deficit reduction package includes funding for essential Federal student loan programs such as Pell Grants and subsidized Stafford loans, the CUSO’s CU partners’ collaborative pledge prepares student borrowers for cuts that could occur in the future.
“There are serious long-term questions,” Jeffreys said. “The government will be aggressively looking for additional budget cuts in the coming months and it remains to be seen how educational funding programs could be affected. One thing that is certain, however, is that our credit union partners stand ready to support students, families and universities.”
The participating CUs use Credit Union Student Choice’s services to provide school-certified private education loans that they can hold on their own books. The CUSO has funded more than $400 million in student loans since its 2008 launch.
“We are thrilled to be part of such an important collaborative commitment to families and schools,” said Linda Darling, executive vice president and CFO for the Tampa, Fla.-based, $5 billion Suncoast Schools FCU, a Credit Union Student Choice partner. “Credit unions may not be able to solve all problems stemming from the current federal government fiscal situation, yet, we know through this historic pledge, we can make a difference for many.”