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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Illinois Community Bank Supports Local Students Through iHELP® Student Loan Program

Midwest Bank of Western Illinois Joins as Originating Lender for Illinois

Washington, D.C.  (February 1, 2011)-Midwest Bank of Western Illinois, Monmouth, Ill., is the first Illinois member bank of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) to commit loan capital to the iHELP® private student loan program. Midwest Bank of Western Illinois will also join iHELP® as the originating lender for the state.

"The iHELP® private student loan program is an invaluable service for students and their families, providing funding for tuition costs after other financial aid has been exhausted," said Dan Clancy, ICBA senior vice president of services. "ICBA is delighted that the Midwest Bank of Western Illinois is making such a significant commitment to the program and the students of western Illinois."

iHELP® 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 in 2010, home of the program's administrator, the Student Loan Finance Corp. (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 being rolled out nationwide, with six states already processing loans and an additional 15 states in the "due diligence" process. 

"Midwest Bank of Western Illinois is pleased to join the iHELP® program as an originating and participating bank so that we may meet the educational funding needs of local students and also help other ICBA community member banks achieve the same goal in their communities," said Chris Gavin, president and CEO of Midwest Bank of Western Illinois.  "Meeting the needs of our neighbors is a fundamental strength of community banks, and this important program further enhances our ability to rise to that challenge."

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




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