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Pennsylvania Community Bank Pledges Support to iHELP® Student Loan Program

Conestoga Bank Joins iHELP as a Participating Bank in Pennsylvania

Washington, D.C. (November 8, 2011)—Conestoga Bank in Philadelphia, Pa., is the latest member bank of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) to commit loan capital to the iHELP® private student loan program.

“ICBA is pleased that Conestoga Bank has agreed to make a commitment to the iHELP student loan program in Pennsylvania,” said Dan Clancy, ICBA executive vice president of services. “The iHELP private student loan program allows our nation’s community banks to provide ‘gap’ funding within their communities to deserving students and their families.”

iHELP, which was rolled out in the first quarter of 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 offering insurance for iHELP loans. The iHELP program is now being rolled out nationwide.

“At a time when many families are struggling with reduced federal student aid, the iHELP program still allows students to achieve the dream of a higher education at a cost that is below most other programs in the marketplace,” said William McDaniel, chairman of the Community Bank of Raymore and ICBA’s Bank Services Committee.

iHELP hit its first full lending cycle in 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.

“Conestoga Bank is committed to serving the financial needs of our community, and we’re pleased to partner with iHELP to more fully serve those needs,” said Richard A. Elko, President and CEO of Conestoga Bank. “Conestoga Bank is proud to be providing access to educational opportunities which will benefit the economic vitality of our community.”

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