Program assists parents with student loans and pastors with loan repayments
by Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE — Applications are now being accepted for the new parent loan program through the Presbyterian Mission Agency.
Available for Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) members, the parent loan, administered through Financial Aid for Service, offers a 6 percent interest rate — a full percentage point lower than U.S. Department of Education parent PLUS loans.
“This is one loan you can feel good about because it’s a renewable resource,” said mission coordinator Laura Bryan, who oversees Financial Aid for Service. “It helps parents now cover higher education costs, and through repayment, parents served today will return loan capital to serve other families. Plus, the interest payments on the PC(USA) parent loan will be used to provide student loan repayment assistance to pastors in the future.”
In 2018, Americans borrowed over $125 million through the PLUS program and paid 4.3 percent in origination fees. The PC(USA) parent loan has no origination fees. Borrowers who in enroll in the electronic bill pay transfer option receive a half-percent interest rate reduction.
“It’s a win-win,” said Bryan. “If we create 25 parent loans a year, we help each family save $430 in origination fees and $100 to $150 in interest in the first year. Adding 25 new borrowers a year, in four years, the interest paid on PC(USA) parent loans will reach a quarter of a million dollars.”
The deadline to apply for the PC(USA) parent loan is Sept. 1. There are no penalties for pre-payment or overpayment on the 10-year loans, which range from $2,500–$10,000.
Presbyterian loan specialist Melonee Tubb said that now is the time for parents to consider how to cover any financial gap for higher education because they know how much aid their student is receiving from the college or university of their choice.
“We know it’s a stressful time,” she said. “We’re available to discuss options. If you’re planning on taking out a parent loan, take it out from us.”
More information and an application for the PC(USA) parent loan can be found at pcusa.org/parentloan.
PC(USA) parent loans and debt assistance programs are funded by endowments. Please click here to make a gift to this fund.
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