Monday, June 11, 2007

Iowa Student Loan Offers Interest-Reduction Program for Soldiers

To help ease some of the financial stress on soldiers serving their country during wartime, Iowa Student Loan has implemented a zero-percent interest rate for up to 24 months. The Iowa Student Loan Armed Forces Interest Reduction Program will provide the loan benefit to borrowers on active duty in the United States Armed Forces Services between Sept. 11, 2001, and Dec. 31, 2008.

“We want to recognize borrowers who are serving our nation during this time of war,” said Steve McCullough, CEO of Iowa Student Loan. “We’re proud to honor these brave men and women and provide some relief to them and their families during this difficult time.”

The nonprofit lender is Iowa’s largest college lender, and estimates the interest-reduction program will cost $500,000. In 2006, the average debt for a student graduating from an Iowa Regent University was $29,992. At the program's interest rate of 3.5 percent, a recent graduate deployed in the Armed Services would pay an estimated $1,050 a year in interest.

Members of Iowa’s congressional delegation and local military officials praised the program. “I commend Iowa Student Loan for stepping up and assisting those Iowans, our veterans, who are so bravely serving our country. This practice should be replicated throughout the lending industry,” said U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-3rd District. "This is exactly the type of service I have come to expect Iowa Student Loan to provide to Iowa students and families,” said U.S. Rep. Tom Latham, a Republican who represents the 4th District.

Lt. Col. Gregory Hapgood, public affairs officer for the Iowa National Guard, said the interest-free program "very tangibly honors the sacrifice of Iowa’s service members."

To qualify for the Armed Forces Interest Reduction Program, borrowers must meet the following criteria:

• Have a non-defaulted private loan owned or serviced by Iowa Student Loan (or have completed payment on such a loan) during the eligibility period of Sept. 11, 2001, to Dec. 31, 2008.

• Provide a copy of military orders confirming eligible service.

If you were deployed, are currently deployed or become deployed during the eligibility period, call Iowa Student Loan at (800) 243-7552 (a representative can call on your behalf) or go to A copy of your military orders that confirms eligible service is required.

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