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Fitch Rates New Hampshire Education Loan Revenue Bonds.

NEW YORK -- Fitch has assigned ratings to the following educational loan revenue bonds issued by New Hampshire Health and Education Facilities Authority:

-- $60,000,000 educational loan revenue bonds, New Hampshire Higher Education Loan Corporation Issue, series 2005A-1 'AAA';

-- $60,000,000 educational loan revenue bonds, New Hampshire Higher Education Loan Corporation Issue, series 2005A-2 'AAA';

-- $30,000,000 educational loan revenue bonds, New Hampshire Higher Education Loan Corporation Issue, series 2005B 'A'.

The ratings are based on the quality of the student loan portfolio, the credit enhancement provided, and the sound legal structure of the trust. The collateral consists of both Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) student loans, as well as alternative loans originated by the issuer, which are capped at 22% of the aggregate market value of the trust estate. In addition, the ratings on the senior notes benefit from the subordination provided by the subordinate notes.

The ratings address the ability of the trust to pay bond principal at maturity and pay timely interest. The ratings do not address the ability of the trust to pay carry-over interest, nor do they address the ability of the auction-rate bondholders to successfully remarket their bonds at an auction now or in the future.

The series 2005A-1, 2005A-2, and 2005B bonds are issued pursuant to an amended and restated indenture of trust dated June 1, 1998 as supplemented and amended by the 16th supplemental indenture of trust dated April 1, 2005. The bond proceeds will be deposited to the loan acquisition fund and be used to acquire or originate FFELP or alternative student loans, redeem series 1997A-1 and 1997B bonds, make a deposit to the debt service reserve fund, and pay costs of issuance.

The series 2005A-1, 2005A-2, and 2005B bonds are tax-exempt, 35-day auction-rate securities. Interest is payable semiannually beginning June 1, 2005. The legal final maturity dates for the series 2005A-1, 2005A-2, and 2005B bonds are Dec. 1, 2039.

Under a loan agreement, New Hampshire Health and Education Facilities Authority (the authority) pledges the proceeds of its tax-exempt issuance to New Hampshire Higher Education Loan Corporation (corporation) who has, in turn, issued a collateral bond to the authority as security for the loan. The corporation will use the tax-exempt proceeds to acquire additional eligible student loans.

The authority is an agency of the State of New Hampshire. It was created to assist certain New Hampshire nonprofit educational institutions and nonprofit health care institutions in the construction and financing of projects undertaken in relation to educational and health care facilities and to assist qualified entities in the financing of student loan programs. The authority achieves its mission by issuance of its bonds and by making money available to qualified borrowers through its capital loan program.

The corporation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation incorporated on Feb. 24, 1983 under the laws of the State of New Hampshire for the purpose of providing low cost financial assistance to eligible students or their parents. The corporation was formed at the request of the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation (the foundation) to originate and service education loans and to provide education loan management services. In 1993, the corporation was designated as the state's eligible lender under the Higher Education Act at which time it began originating loans. Under a servicing agreement dated Jan. 1, 1997, Granite State Management & Resources provides complete administrative, management, and support services for the corporation's loan programs.

Granite State Management and Resources services the loan portfolio.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 28, 2005
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