NEW YORK (8/12/09)--In an article about getting last minute financial aid before school starts, a USA TODAY personal finance columnist cites the Credit Union Student Choice lending program as an option for student loans. The article, "Even as kids pack to go college, it's not too late for aid," by columnist Sandra Block, outlines several options, including private student loans. "Recently, though, some credit unions have started offering private student loans, often at more favorable rates than for-profit lenders," she wrote. More than 80 credit unions are participating in Credit Union Student Choice, a group that helps credit unions offer private student loans, Executive Vice President Scott Patterson told Block. The article said the average interest rate on the loans is 5.8%, with no origination fee, and that the rates are variable. She referred readers to www.studentchoice.org for a list of participating credit unions. "We think it's a terrific acknowledgment of the fair-value private student loans that credit unions affiliated with Student Choice are currently offering," said Michael Weber, vice president of marketing at Credit Union Student Choice. "With nearly 80 credit unions from all across the country offering loans through the Credit Union Student Choice network, we're very pleased that a personal finance expert like Sandra Block is recommending that consumers consider credit unions for private loan funding options," Weber told News Now. He said the network recently revamped its website to make it easier for users.