Student Choice steps up investments in college planning and financing for credit union members

CUSO appoints Patterson as dedicated President/CEO

WASHINGTON, DC (July 12, 2017) Credit Union Student Choice, the industry-leading provider of higher education financing solutions to America’s credit unions, announced today an acceleration of its commitment to deliver credit union members superior choices for educational planning and funding.

As the CUSO approaches its 10th anniversary, Student Choice is reshaping its executive management structure and stepping up investments in its solution platforms. A key part of these changes is the appointment of Scott Patterson as the CUSO’s first dedicated President and CEO. Prior to this appointment, the organization was run through a management agreement with Callahan & Associates, a founder of the CUSO.

“The decision to appoint Scott as our President/CEO provides Student Choice with an exceptional leader who will help us focus on, and accelerate, our product and service expansion,” said Brian Ducharme, Board Chairman of Student Choice and President/CEO of MIT Federal Credit Union. “Callahan & Associates’ management during our start-up years has been instrumental to our success, and they will remain a vital and strategic partner moving forward.”

“The CUSO has experienced tremendous growth in the past nine years, and we are making significant investments in both our existing platform and new areas of services,” said Ducharme. “We’re thrilled to have Scott’s talent focused directly on growing our solutions and leading Student Choice into the future.”

Patterson has nearly 20 years of credit union industry experience, most recently managing Student Choice while serving in his primary role as a Partner at Callahan & Associates. At Callahan, Patterson launched the popular in 1999, oversaw the firm’s proprietary financial performance programs Peer-to-Peer and CUAnalyzer, and co-founded Student Choice in 2008. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business and economics from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, and an MBA from the University of Oxford’s SAID Business School in England.

“When we launched Student Choice in early 2008, most private student lenders were abandoning the market as a result of the financial crisis,” said Patterson. “Families couldn’t find college financing in the private market, let alone at reasonable rates. Our founding credit unions and networked partners stepped up to launch Student Choice because it was the right thing to do – to help members during a national retreat in essential consumer lending. Today, while the recession is behind us, our members need us more than ever.”

A pioneer of private student lending in the credit union system, Student Choice now partners with nearly 275 credit unions and has assisted more than 75,000 students and families with more than $2.3 billion in originated loan support.

“We look forward to enhancing our value for credit union partners in each phase of a member’s college financing lifecycle,” said Ducharme. “By making key investments in a robust college counseling solution for families, a student loan repayment assistance program for employers, and a relationship development platform for credit unions, we will improve our ability to deliver a unique, holistic solution that goes well beyond just a loan.”

The CUSO offers a three-stage approach to post-secondary education finance and affordability.

  • College Planning – comprehensive education and guidance via to ensure members make wise college choices and access “free and cheap” financing before turning to private loans.
  • In-School Support – a revolutionary line-of-credit private student loan solution allows student and families to apply just once and draw down the balance as necessary each year.
  • Post-Graduation –a refinance solution that allows young professionals to take control of their student loan debt and cement a strong relationship with the credit union.

While the benefits of attaining a college degree remain compelling, students are faced with making critical decisions that will have long-term effects on their financial well-being.

“When approached responsibly, a student loan is one of the most empowering forms of consumer credit,” said Patterson. “Education financing assistance is a critical way for credit unions to serve families and help young members succeed. I’m very excited to lead such a talented team of seasoned experts that shares a passion for helping credit union members achieve their education and career aspirations.”

Scott Patterson

About Credit Union Student Choice

Credit Union Student Choice is a credit union service organization (CUSO) that positions credit unions as leaders in education finance by offering a comprehensive solution that helps them deliver fair-value private education loans and corresponding financial education to students and families. To learn more, visit


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