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ICBA Member Bank Makes Commitment to iHELP Student Loan Program

Orlando, Fla. (March 17, 2010)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) appreciates ICBA member First Dakota National Bank, Yankton, S.D., for making a significant commitment of loan capital to support the ICBA iHELP program as an originating lender. ICBA iHELP is a low-cost, private lending program that will help community bank customers achieve their higher-education goals. Launched in November 2009, the program helps meet the funding gap between the cost of education and other available forms of financial aid.

“ICBA thanks First Dakota National Bank for being the first ICBA member bank to jump on board and make such a significant commitment to this program,” said Dan Clancy, ICBA senior vice president of services. “Many of the nation’s largest lenders are making fewer private-education loans. The ICBA iHELP program allows our nation’s community banks to ensure within their community deserving students and their families are able to obtain loan funding. More than 300 members have already expressed interest in the program, one of the strongest responses we have ever had to a new program.”

ICBA iHELP is initially being rolled out in South Dakota, home of the program’s administrator, the Student Loan Finance Corporation, which provides ICBA members with turnkey loan origination and servicing support for the program, and ReliaMax Surety, a South Dakota domiciled insurance company will insure ICBA’s iHELP loans. SLFC plans to expand the ICBA iHELP program nationwide this year in time for the fall lending season.

“First Dakota National Bank is pleased to make this commitment to our customers and our communities,” said Rob Stephenson, First Dakota National Bank’s president and chief operating officer. “ICBA iHELP will allow us to meet our customers’ educational funding needs locally, which is the strength of America’s community banks. We also have the opportunity to help other ICBA member banks attain the same goal in their communities through participation agreements. We will act as both an originating and participating bank.”

For more information about ICBA iHELP, visit www.ihelploan.com.