HARTFORD, Conn. (2/6/09)--A Connecticut low-interest student loan bill, developed by the state’s credit unions and Gov. M. Jodi Rell, has been introduced in the Connecticut General Assembly. General Assembly Governor’s Bill No. 842--“Credit Union League of Connecticut Student Loan Program”--will allow the Credit Union League of Connecticut and credit unions to offer low-interest rate loans to students who can’t obtain financing for post-secondary education because of restrictive underwriting criteria, reduced access to home equity loans or decreased market value of homes. The bill was introduced by State Sen. John McKinney (R-28) and State Rep. Lawrence Cafero (R-142). It has been referred to the assembly’s Committee on Higher Education and Employment Advancement. Credit unions started accepting applications for the loans when the program officially began Dec. 8, Gov. Rell announced (NorwalkPlus.com Dec. 8). About $17.5 million in loans was committed for the new program. The credit unions expect to offer rates ranging from 5.75% to 6%, which is below the 6.99% rate offered by the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority. As of the end of last year, about 15 Connecticut credit unions were participating in the new state program (News Now Dec. 9).