Student Loans

iHelp Private Student Loans

What is the iHelp Loan Program?

The iHelp Student Loan is a private student loan program intended to fill the gap between conventional funding and true cost of college.
The loan is available only to students, carries a low interest rate, defers repayment until the student is out of school, and features a variety of long-term repayment plans.

What are the qualifications?

  • 1. The borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or apply with a cosigner who meets this requirement.
  • 2. The borrower must be enrolled, at least, half-time at an iHelp eligible school. Half-time is usually considered to be six credit hours but may vary. (Check with your school to determine its requirements to be at least a half-time student.) View eligible schools on the web at
  • 3. The borrower and cosigner must be of legal age as defined by their state of permanent residence.
  • 4. The borrower or cosigner must have at least 3 years of positive credit history and meet other creditworthy requirements.
  • 5. The borrower or cosigner must not have had bankruptcies, foreclosures or repossessions during the past 7 years.
  • 6. The borrower or cosigner must not have defaulted on a federal or private student loan.
  • 7. The borrower or cosigner must meet the minimum credit score.

What are the repayment options?

In school

Choose form three repayment options while you are attending school (at least half-time):

  • 1. Make interest-only payments. This option lowers the overall cost of the loan.
  • 2. Make no payments at all. You are not required to make payments until you graduate or attend school less than half time. This option will increase the amount you owe when you do begin repayment.
  • 3. Make principal and interest payments. If you can afford it, this option will actually cause your loan to be smaller by the time you graduate or attend school less than half-time.

Out of school

Choose from three repayment options:

  • 1. Make principal and interest payments. This is the payment schedule you will automatically be set up with. You will make interest and principal payments just like on any other type of loan over a 20 year period.
  • 2. Make interest-only payments. you can request a 24 month interest-only repayment schedule.
  • 3. Make graduated repayment. You can request a graduated repayment schedule. This option allows you to make interest only payments for a set period of time and then the payment amount gradually increases over time until you are making the full principal and interest payments.

Miscellaneous Information

  • Repayment will begin based on the repayment option you select when you apply for the loan.
  • If you choose to defer payments while you are attending school at least half-time, repayment begins 6 months after your separation from school (i.e. graduation or withdrawal).
  • If you choose to make interest-only payments, payments of interest begin between 30 and 60 days after first disbursement. Repayment of both principal and interest begins 6 months after your separation from school (i.e. graduation or withdrawal).
  • If you choose to make principal and interest payments, repayment begins between 30 and 60 days after first disbursement.

More than 75 colleges and universities in the State of Illinois, and hundreds more in other states, are eligible to participate in this student loan program.

They include:

  • Illinois State University
  • Eastern Illinois University
  • Southern Illinois University
  • Western Illinois University
  • Northern Illinois University
  • University of Illinois
  • Illinois Wesleyan University
  • Bradley University
  • Millikin University
  • Monmouth College
  • Knox College
  • Carl Sandburg College
  • Eureka College

If your school is not listed here, see the complete list of schools at
For more information, contact a Community Banker at any location of Your Hometown Community Banks or email and request that a Community Banker contact you.
*Very Important: Do NOT include ay financial or confidential information in an email. Email is not a secure form of communication.


Offer of credit is subject to credit approval
Mention of any university by name does not constitute an endorsement by Morton Community Bank.
Always exhaust all federal aid opportunities before seeking private student loans.


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