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Student Funding Opportunities

Helping students and families pay for education beyond high school continues to be our goal and drive our innovations. We are meeting the needs of our current and future workforce by assisting traditional-age college students and helping working adults seeking specialized training for new and growing job markets and to refinance existing higher education debt. Iowa Student Loan supports the Education Finance Council's Guiding Principles (PDF). Throughout this report, you may choose to highlight these best practices or return to regular viewing.

Education Funding

Both traditional college students and adults looking to return to the classroom or take part in accelerated learning opportunities face challenges in finding the information and products they need to succeed in paying for their education. Our products and programs not only offer competitive financing but clearly defined terms that are presented upfront to help these individuals make informed decisions before they start an application.

Partnership Loan

Image of the Partnership Loan Features

Providing a supplemental student loan program, we are proud to call our own, remains one of our most important goals and is central to our mission of helping Iowa students and families obtain the resources necessary to succeed in postsecondary education. To do that, we are always looking to improve the rates we offer and the options that are available to students and their families.

Our Partnership Advance Education Loan® (Partnership Loan) continues to feature three in-school payment options so that students and families can determine what is most important to them based on their financial situation. They can choose a loan that:

  • Requires principal and interest payments immediately to keep finance costs as low as possible.
  • Lets students make interest-only payments during school to prevent increases to the loan balance.
  • Is a more traditional option of deferring repayment until after school.

Fixed and variable rates are available for all these options. As these are supplemental private loans, any information materials — including our website — and the online application strongly encourage students and families to explore and exhaust all sources of student financial aid before applying for this loan.

In addition, when interest rates for federal PLUS Loans (loans for parents and graduate students) were lowered on July 1, we re-evaluated the Partnership Loan's rates to keep them lower than the PLUS Loan for most borrowers. In cases where applicants do not qualify for lower rates, we continued to proactively inform them of alternatives with lower rates, including the PLUS Loan.

Colleges are required to certify the enrollment, cost of education and financial aid of each Partnership Loan applicant in order to avoid unintentional overborrowing and serve as a check that the loan is being used for educational purposes.

In October 2016, Iowa Student Loan issued bonds that will allow us to fund and improve many projects. One of many benefits of this new financing will allow us to lower many Partnership Loan interest rates early in 2017.

Skills Fund

Our partnership with Skills Fund — an innovative startup company that provides financing for professionals attending highly skilled accelerated learning programs or bootcamps — is another way we are growing to meet the demands of the changing education landscape. Bootcamps may not be a typical form of postsecondary education, but they are a rapidly growing presence in specialized training for in-demand careers that align with our corporate mission and vision.

Skills Fund Image

Currently, a majority of bootcamp students do not qualify for federal student aid. This makes it difficult for professionals to expand their skill set by attending a bootcamp. Skills Fund provides competitive financing to selective bootcamps after ensuring the coding, data science and other skills-oriented programs meet a stringent set of quality standards.

During 2016, Skills Fund has seen tremendous growth, and our relationship with them as we originate and service their loans has led to improvements for both companies and the professionals we're helping.

Refinancing Opportunities

Refinancing college debt is a major issue for today's graduates. That's where our Reset Refinance LoanSM program and LinkCapital's loans for medical professionals can help borrowers get a handle on repayment of multiple student loans and often decrease the cost of their loans.

Reset Loan

A growing need for Iowans and others with student loan debt are options that will help them with high interest loans. After conducting and learning from a small pilot program in 2014–2015, Iowa Student Loan relaunched and expanded the Reset Loan in 2016 to help borrowers manage existing student loan debt.

Using our resources and expertise, we have created a credit-based refinancing option for borrowers looking to lower their student loan payments or seeking lower interest rates. The Reset Loan features no fees and fixed interest rates, and it can simplify repayment for borrowers making payments to multiple student loan lenders.

The Reset Loan is currently available to the general public and through a pilot employer benefit program with an Iowa-based employer. We anticipate lowering many Reset Loan interest rates in early 2017 due to the recent bond issuance.

Image of the Reset Refinance Loan Logo

Image of the features of the Reset Refinance Loan


Image of medical professional sitting by the water.

In 2015, we began an alliance with LinkCapital, a startup that specializes in refinancing student loans for medical professionals. LinkCapital's initial funding allowed the company to quickly fund more than $55 million in refinanced student loans. LinkCapital's refinance options for medical professionals is another project that will see additional funding due to Iowa Student Loan’s recent bond issuance.

LinkCapital is now offering two loan programs: the Medical Professional Refinance Loan Program for medical professionals who have completed their post-graduate training and the Medical Resident Refinance Loan Program with two offerings — the Standard Resident Loan and the Contracted Resident Loan — for medical residents who have completed at least one year of post-graduate training. Currently, LinkCapital loans are offered exclusively to medical professionals and residents at partnering health systems, providing access to more than 5,000 medical professionals across the country. In the future, we expect to see this program expand to include other medical professionals and be available for LinkCapital's affiliate partners.

These highly desired loans are being serviced by Aspire staff, and our staff also provides pre-application information to interested medical workers. Customer service for all borrowers is provided under the name Aspire Servicing Center by Aspire Resources Inc. employees.

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Subject to credit approval, loans are made by Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation or Bank of Lake Mills. Bank of Lake Mills does not have an ownership interest in Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation. Bank of Lake Mills is not affiliated with the school you attended or are attending. Bank of Lake Mills is Member FDIC. Loan servicing, including billing and other customer service, will be provided by Aspire Servicing Center.