Maine CUs partner with FAME to launch new student loan consolidation program

August 5, 2016

How committed are Maine CUs to helping students consolidate and refinance student debt? Of the five, initial lenders participating in the newly-launched Student Loan Consolidation Program, which is backed by the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME), all five are Maine credit unions.

In June, FAME and the lenders launched the "Loan For ME" initiative, which connects borrowers with local resources for financing higher education. With college costs quickly outpacing federal education borrowing limits, many are forced to bridge the funding gap through a variety of loans at varying interest rates and terms. Student loan consolidation combines multiple existing loans into a single monthly payment, often at a lower interest rate, to help simplify repayment and reduce the overall cost of borrowing.

One of those participating is Maine Savings FCU. Rick Moore, VP of Lending at the CU, explained, "Student loan consolidation is a great option to consider for anyone who borrowed when student loan rates were higher than current rates. It's great to see that it's credit unions that are the first to partner with FAME to offer this great program." Kyle Casburn, President/CEO of Seaboard FCU, which was the first lender in Maine to partner with FAME to offer its Private Student Loan program, which is part of the Loan For ME initiative, and is also among the five, initial participants in this program, agreed, adding, "Student debt is a growing problem, and we are committed to introducing solutions and alternatives to help Maine students."

In 2015, the Maine legislature authorized FAME to provide loan insurance to local lenders for student loan consolidation purposes. Through, borrowers can become more informed about student loans and link to a participating local lender of their choice. The online application process includes an education module designed to help them decide whether consolidation is right for them.