- Associated Press - Sunday, June 5, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The Bank of North Dakota is partnering with real estate brokers to help potential buyers refinance their student loan debt.

Bank President Eric Hardmeyer tells the Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/1TKcULK ) that national reports show that students are graduating with an average of $27,000 to $30,000 in student loan debt. And housing lenders are seeing the student loans as a barrier to housing loan approval.

Hardmeyer says people are delaying major life decisions because of student debt. The realization helped lead to the bank’s DEAL One loan program.

A graduate paying 14 percent interest student loan can refinance the loan to less than 2 percent interest with a variable rate. Hardmeyer says that’s a huge savings, and in some cases, it’s a life changer.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com

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