Tom Montilli, vice president of marketing for HUECU, said the credit union began as solely serving the employees of the university but expanded its field of membership to include students and alumni about a decade ago.
He attributed HUECU wining the portfolio, in part, to it being a credit union at time when local community-based financial institutions and credit unions were rising in popularity.
The HUECU affinity deal was unusual in an additional respect as well.
"Today's volatile economic environment has wreaked havoc on many lenders in the private student lending industry, leaving students with little access to fair-value financial aid," said Gene Foley, president/CEO of HUECU
. "But as a not-for-profit credit union that is completely focused on serving the Harvard community, not only are we surviving the current economic downturn, but we are in a position to step up and deliver an even higher level of service to Harvard students a time of critical need."