Oxford Executive MBA alumnus Scott Patterson has launched a new student loans venture. The company called “Student Choice” is designed to help thousands of US students afford quality higher education. Access to higher education is increasingly difficult for the average US family. The government offers federal loans but these are capped, so until now families have bridged the gap in provision by borrowing from traditional lenders at relatively high rates.
Scott’s unique venture funds student loans through credit unions. Popular in the US for providing low rates on consumer loans, credit unions are not traditional players in education lending. “Student Choice helps these institutions to enter the market and fills an important gap in their loan product sheet,” Scott explains. “They are offering a competitive product without incurring high costs or additional overheads.”
Student Choice offers the same level of service as other sophisticated student loan programmes: a co-branded web site, a 24/7 call centre, a credit decision and underwriting platform, document processing, certification with more than 8,000 schools nationwide, insurance, loan servicing, and marketing support.
Since its launch in May 2008, Student Choice has approved over US$60 million in new lines of credit to more than 2,000 students. There are already 20 credit unions participating, offering the private student loan product to their members, with another 15 new organisations due to go live before the end of 2008.