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Colorado Community Bank Pledges Support to the iHELP® Student Loan Program

Fort Morgan State Bank Joins as Originating Lender for Colorado

Washington, D.C. (August 15, 2011)—Fort Morgan State Bank, Fort Morgan, Colo., is the latest member bank of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) to commit loan capital to the iHELP® private student loan program. Fort Morgan State Bank will also join iHELP as the originating lender for the state of Colorado.

“ICBA is pleased that Fort Morgan State Bank will be joining the growing number of community banks already offering the iHELP private student loan program,” said Dan Clancy, ICBA executive vice president of services. “By committing monetary support, Fort Morgan State Bank has agreed to make a significant commitment to this important student loan program, which is making a real difference in the lives of community bank customers.”

iHELP, which was rolled out in 2010, is a simple, transparent and low-cost private lending program that is offered through local community banks to help their customers achieve their higher-education goals. iHELP was initially launched in South Dakota, home of the program’s administrator, the Student Loan Finance Corporation (SLFC), which provides ICBA community bank members with turnkey loan origination and servicing support for the program, and ReliaMax Surety, a South Dakota– domiciled insurance company providing insurance for iHELP loans. The iHELP® program is now being rolled out nationwide.

“As a community banker, I’m glad that ICBA is providing such a powerful and valuable program like iHELP to its membership,” said William McDaniel, chairman of the Community Bank of Raymore and ICBA’s Bank Services Committee. “During this time when many families are struggling with reduced federal student aid, it’s good to know that the iHELP program still allows students to achieve the dream of a higher education.”

iHELP will hit its first full lending cycle this July through September and has 10 states processing loans for the current academic year. These states include South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Georgia and Colorado.

“Fort Morgan State Bank is excited to join the iHELP program so we can offer this loan program to help our local customers and communities throughout Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region,” said John Sneed, president and CEO of Fort Morgan State Bank. “iHELP will allow us to meet our customers’ educational funding needs locally—a strength of America’s community banks. We will be able to help other ICBA member banks attain the same goal in their communities through participation agreements. We are happy to begin working as both an originating and participating bank of this worthwhile program.”

For more information about the iHELP private student loan program, contact Ann Anderson (303) 621-2533 or aanderson@ihelploan.com.