LPFA gives preliminary approval to $200 million bond issue for student loans

BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana Public Facilities Authority Board of Trustees on Tuesday took the first step in ensuring availability of education loans next year for Louisiana students, giving preliminary approval to a $200 million bond issue to fund the LPFA’s student loan program.

The national credit crisis and federal legislation that has caused many banks to pull out of the student loan business have reduced the availability of higher-education loans. The bond issue for Louisiana’s only non-profit provider of higher-education loans will make tens of thousands of loans available, helping many students and their families deal with the rising costs of college expenses and fewer lending sources. The loans will be offered at rates at or below those established by the U.S. Department of Education.

“While a declining economy has made times tough for many families, we want Louisiana students and their parents to know that money will be available for college,” said John D. Bernhardt, chairman of the LPFA Board of Trustees. “As Louisiana’s only non-profit student loan provider, we’ve helped more than 365,000 students finance their higher educations, and we will continue to help thousands more.”

The board scheduled its next regular meeting for Dec. 9.

The Louisiana Public Facilities Authority is a self-supporting public trust and public corporation that issues both taxable and tax-exempt bonds to finance public and private projects throughout the state. The LPFA finances industrial and economic development projects, provides low-cost funding for hospitals and hospital equipment, universities and other educational facilities, student loans and essential programs for state and local governmental units. The LPFA does not receive any funds from the state for its operations.

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