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MINNESOTA'S STUDENT-LOAN GUARANTOR IS FIRST IN NATION TO BE RATED BY MOODY'S

 MINNESOTA'S STUDENT-LOAN GUARANTOR IS FIRST
 IN NATION TO BE RATED BY MOODY'S
 ST. PAUL, Minn., May 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Northstar Guarantee Inc., Minnesota's designated student-loan guarantee agency, has been given an investment grade rating of single A2 by Moody's Investor Service Inc., Northstar said today.
 It is the first student-loan guarantor in the nation to receive a claims-paying rating from Moody's.
 Northstar Guarantee, which replaced the Higher Education Assistance Foundation (HEAF) as Minnesota's designated guarantor, completed its first year of operations this month.
 It guaranteed $400 million in new student loans during the year, and already ranks eighth in guarantee volume among student-loan guarantors nationally and 10th in loans outstanding.
 Taige Thornton, Northstar's president and chief executive officer, said Moody's took note of the agency's strong expense controls, information system and portfolio mix.
 "We're very pleased with the rating," Thornton said. "It bears out the independent judgment of lenders throughout the state who have supported us in our effort to ensure the highest level of service to the student-loan community in Minnesota.
 "We also believe that it provides something of a benchmark for other student loan agencies -- a challenge to open themselves to this kind of scrutiny as a way of reestablishing public confidence in the industry."
 More than 300 Minnesota lenders use Northstar as their guarantor, including Norwest Bank, N.A.; First Bank, N.A.; and Marquette Bank.
 The role of a student-loan guarantor is to guarantee the repayment of principal and interest to the lender for each eligible loan. Northstar guarantees loans for post-secondary-school students who are Minnesota residents or attend school in Minnesota, along with medical, law and business students at the graduate level nationally.
 Northstar was created in a joint effort by the state's public and private sectors to ensure continued access by Minnesota students to the Federal Guaranteed Student Loan Program through loan guarantees provided by a Minnesota-based agency. It currently has a staff of 55.
 -0- 5/28/92
 /CONTACT: Taige P. Thornton of Northstar Guarantee, 612-290-8784/ CO: Northstar Guarantee Inc. ST: Minnesota IN: FIN SU:


AL -- MN014 -- 4872 05/28/92 15:29 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 28, 1992
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