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The Saratoga Community Federal Credit Union (SCFCU) started as a small credit union formed by a group of teachers from the Saratoga Springs City School District in 1945 to better serve their banking needs.
It has since grown to serve all of the residents and businesses of Saratoga County in New York, offering low cost loans and affordable banking products.
Today it continues supporting education by offering a suite of higher education loans for community colleges, 4- year colleges and universities, graduate schools, trade schools, and k-12 parochial and private schools.
If you live, work, operate a business, or attend a church or school in Saratoga County, you and your immediate family are eligible to join SCFCU which operates as a not-for-profit financial cooperative. Members have equal ownership in the cooperative and all earnings are returned to members in the form of dividends, lower fees, and lower loan rates.
SCFCU offers several kinds of student loan products, including new student loans for undergrads and grads as well as student loan consolidation. Working in partnership with CU Student Choice and Sallie Mae, SCFCU offers borrowers flexible funding and repayment options.
SCFCU Student Choice Loan
The purpose of private student financing is to fill the funding gaps created when lower-cost sources such as grants, scholarships, and federal student loans can’t cover the full amount.
With SCFCU’s undergraduate line-of-credit, students only need to borrow once for their entire undergraduate program and then use the line-of-credit as the need arises. Students can borrow up to $75,000 which can be allocated towards college costs each year.
The program is administered in partnership with CU Student Choice — a consortium of credit unions from around the country formed to provide better private financing alternatives. A line-of-credit makes funding available as it is needed so there is no reason to have to reapply for new funding each year.
The SCFCU Student Choice loan program is available to any student attending one of 2,000 approved schools. Because it is a private loan students have to qualify based on their credit, but they can use a cosigner to improve their chance of qualifying or for getting a lower rate.
Rates are variable, which means they can be adjusted quarterly based on the Prime index. If interest rates increase the loan APR may also increase.
Borrowers may opt for an interest-only payment plan while they are still in school or they can defer both principal and interest payments. Finally, SCFCU offers a graduated repayment plan which lowers the monthly balance during the first two years of loan repayment.
Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan
SCFCU has also partnered with Sallie Mae to offer a more traditional loan option but with some special features. You can borrow up to 100 percent of the school-certified cost of attendance each year. You can choose between a variable loan rate and a fixed rate.
There are three repayment options including a Deferred Repayment, Fixed Repayment, and Interest Repayment. If you need more flexibility coming right out of school, you can opt for the Graduated Repayment Period option which allows you to make interest-only payments for one year.
Cosigners are welcomed and a cosigner release is available when you make twelve on-time payments after you graduate.
Student Loan Consolidation
SCFCU also offers student loan consolidation which allows you to combine multiple private and federal student loans of up to $100,000 to create one convenient monthly payment.
If you or a cosigner has excellent credit, there is a good chance you will be able to lower your interest costs — potentially saving you thousands of dollars in interest over the term of the loan.
The standard repayment term for a consolidated loan is 15 years. Because this is a private loan you will lose protections provided by any federal loans you choose to consolidate, including the availability of income-driven repayment plans, forbearance, and loan forgiveness.
Financing for Private Schools, Trade Schools, and Child Care
For many families, the need for education financing can extend beyond college student loans. Many families seeking to find the right educational opportunities for their children look to child care and private schools.
SCFCU offers private funding to help pay expenses or to cover the full cost of education. SCFCU also offers education financing for students who opt for trade schools or a community college.
Author: Jeff Gitlen