A bright financial future

No catch. No gimmicks. Just loan assistance.

It's just that easy, as Huntington University graduates Brandon and Brenda (Bair) Borders have learned.

Brandon and Brenda both graduated from Huntington in 2011, Brandon with a journalism and public relations degree, and Brenda with a youth ministries degree.

Shortly after, they married and began to settle into their new lives complete with new challenges and new worries. But one concern no longer weighing on their minds was their loans. They knew those were in good hands with the Loan Repayment Program.

While at Huntington, both Brandon and Brenda applied to receive the Loan Repayment Program. Through the program, they, like many other Huntington students, are given assistance on their loan repayments after graduation. Based on income amounts, students can qualify for full or partial repayments of their loans.

After graduation, students are reimbursed quarterly. Brandon and Brenda were the first Huntington students to enjoy this benefit.

"We opened the envelope right after we left the HUB (and then) we went right to the bank," Brandon said about the check presentation from the LRAP Association on Feb. 7. "We jokingly said that we were going to frame the (bank) receipt or at least put it on the fridge."

For the Borders, that day was many years in the making.

During their sophomore year, Brenda had changed her major to youth ministries and the couple had begun to talk about marriage. They weren't sure about their financial future because their loans had already begun to accumulate.

"We started to pray about it. It started hitting us pretty hard," Brenda said.

But a wise friend passed along advice that sent Brenda to Scott Raymond, executive director of student success, who told her about the Loan Repayment Program.

"Ok, I'm going to be able to pay this back and do what I love," Brenda remembers. "It was unbelievable. … I was just full of joy."

Today, Brenda works as the director of youth ministry at Life Community Church (formerly Aboite Missionary) in Fort Wayne, Ind. To fill the full-time hours commitment for the Loan Repayment Program, she also works part time at a daycare. Brandon works as a sales and marketing associate at Only Internet in Bluffton, Ind. Together, they know the future is bright with a chance to be debt free sooner.

"It has allowed us, in some sense even, to think farther into the future," Brandon said. "Instead of thinking a month or three months ahead, we can think three or five years ahead."