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Bank of North Dakota selling federal student loan portfolio

Eric Hardmeyer of the Bank of North Dakota gives a presentation Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in Fargo. David Samson / Forum News Service

BISMARCK—North Dakota's state-owned bank said Monday, Nov. 13, that it would sell and transfer the federal portion of its student loan portfolio.

The transfer to the North Texas Higher Education Authority will be complete in early 2018, the Bank of North Dakota said. The bank continues to own, offer and service its state-sponsored student loans.

The bank said the sale allows it to eliminate numerous federal regulatory burdens and increase default prevention efforts.

The federal government decided to administer the federal student loan program in 2010, when the Bank of North Dakota's portfolio included $797 million in federal student loans for 57,000 borrowers. That now stands at $255 million for 19,000 borrowers, but the bank's state-sponsored loan program has grown from $277 million to $1.1 billion in that time.

"Bank of North Dakota remains highly committed to continuing its state-sponsored student loan program," bank President Eric Hardmeyer said in a statement. "Offering student loans is an essential activity that assists in fulfilling our mission to promote agriculture, commerce and industry in North Dakota."

Student loan borrowers affected by the sale are being sent mail and email notifications this week. Qualified North Dakota residents can apply to refinance their federal student loans with the Bank of North Dakota.

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