Community Banks Offer Student Loans with ICBA and iHELP

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Washington, D.C (June 7, 2018)—The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) today announced that six community banks announced plans to work with Reunion Student Loan Finance Corporation (RSLFC), administrators of the iHELP Private Student Loan Program, to provide student lending services to customers in their communities. The initial investment by the banks totals more than $18 million.

“Higher education is a goal shared by millions of young adults and their families,” said Chris Lorence, ICBA group executive vice president of member engagement and strategy. “The iHELP program gives community banks the tools to offer guidance and financial resources to local scholars while developing a relationship with the next generation of consumers.”

The newly signed banks include:

    • American Bank Center – Dickinson, ND
    • BankStar Financial – Elkton, SD
    • First State Bank of Wabasha – Wabasha, MN
    • Hardin County Savings Bank – Eldora, IA
    • First United Bank & Trust – Oakland, MD
    • Athens State Bank – Athens, IL

The iHELP Private Student Loan Program performs a vital service for students by filling the gap between the cost of education and other financial resources such as scholarships, grants and federal student loans. More than 450 ICBA community bank members have participated in the program, providing more than $300 million in private student loans to more than 22,000 students since the program’s inception in 2000, including nearly $72 million in 2017-2018.

“The iHELP program enables lenders to retain customers rather than sending them to nationwide student loan program that they don’t have a financial relationship with,” said Spencer Aberle, RSLFC Chief Operating Officer. “This also helps community banks reinvest in their customers and communities providing a risk-free product.”

The iHELP program is fully administered by RSLFC, which provides ICBA community bank members with a turnkey loan origination, servicing and compliance solution supported by RSLFC staff. Additionally, iHELP offers a student loan consolidation program to help college graduates simplify and lower their monthly payments and take greater control of their financial planning.

About ICBA

The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for nearly 5,700 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at

About iHELP private student loans
The iHELP Private Student Loan Program is currently provided through more than 300 community minded member banks of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA). iHELP and its lending partners are committed to helping students and their families make informed decisions about their plans for higher education.  Reunion Student Loan Finance Corporation administers iHELP for its banks and has over 40 years of experience in the student loan business.