The $70 million South Bay Credit Union of  Redondo Beach, Calif., has partnered with Sallie Mae to offer members private student loans, the credit union announced.

The credit union, which serves more than 8,000 members in Los Angeles County's South Bay area, will refer members to private student loans funded by Sallie Mae through the education-focused financial services company's Smart Option Student Loan program, South Bay CU said.

The Smart Option Student Loan program offers borrowers competitive interest rates, multiple in-school repayment options, 24/7 online account management and no repayment penalties; it can also cover up to 100% of school certified education costs, South Bay CU said.

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has been immersed in the credit union industry for over a decade. She first joined CU Times in 2011 as a freelance writer, and following a two-year hiatus from 2013-2015, during which time she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union), she re-joined the CU Times team full-time as managing editor. She was promoted to executive editor in 2019. In the earlier days of her career, Chilingerian focused on news and lifestyle journalism, serving as a writer and editor for numerous regional publications in Oregon, Louisiana, South Carolina and the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, she holds experience in marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space. At CU Times, she covers People and Community news, cybersecurity, fintech partnerships, marketing, workplace culture, leadership, DEI, branch strategies, digital banking and more. She currently works remotely and splits her time between Southern California and Portland, Ore.