University of Wisconsin Credit Union is introducing a newprogram that will teach student loan borrowers all about loanrepayment post-graduation.

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The $1.5 billion, Madison, Wis.-based credit union announced thelaunch of a free student loan exit counseling program for students graduating inMay 2012 or this summer. The credit union will host in-personeducational seminars on six University of Wisconsin campuses —Madison, Milwaukee, Stevens Point, Whitewater, Oshkosh and GreenBay.

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“Providing financial education is a core business value for ourorganization,” said Mike Long, the credit union's executive vicepresident and chief credit officer, as well as the executive vicepresident and chief operating officer for CU Campus Resources, a student lending CUSO wholly owned by UWCredit Union.

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“Our commitment to student success continues well beyond theinitial loan transaction. Our intent is to make our program veryaccessible, so graduates will take advantage of the seminar to getthe information and skills they need to make good financialchoices,” Long said.

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Seminar topics will include estimated student loan payments,repayment options, whom to contact with questions, federalfinancial aid, post-college budgeting and how student loans canaffect personal credit history, UW Credit Union said.

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Long said UW Credit Union has invited nearly 600 students toattend the sessions, based on their graduation dates, and if theprogram is successful, the credit union will consider offeringadditional in-person sessions at more UW System schools and anonline counseling option.

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“It's important to be a resource for students during theirtransition following graduation,” he 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.