Washington Post coverage of the decline in private student lending. How can we get the good news about credit unions into this story?
On Dec. 28, Washington Post writer David Cho had a front page "special report" on the affect of the financial meltdown on private student loans. It was part of the WP's Consequences of the Crisis, Assessing the Legacy of the Great Financial Tempest, series.
The article reports that "during the last academic year, private student loan volume fell by half as financial firms became wary of lending to students, who generally do not have long credit histories. Officials from Sallie Mae, the industry leader in student lending, said they expect another significant decline this year."
Contrast this with the credit union industry. The 90 CUs participating in the Credit Union Student Choice CUSO have funded over $100 million in private loans since the CUSO was launched 18 months ago. They expect another $40 million in disburments for the spring semester.
One critical need is to let schools know there is a viable option to direct their students toward. The Student Choice team spent a good part of December getting the word out at financial aid conferences and the Consumer Banker's Association Student Lending Conference.