The Foundation has already refinanced over half a million dollars to pastors with student loan debt through the High Education Loan Partners (HELP) program. HELP is a program through the Iowa United Methodist Foundation that helps pastors by offering a low interest rate to refinance the student loan debt they acquired while attending seminary.
The HELP program is open annually from June 1 to September 1. All required materials need to be sent to the Foundation and postmarked September 1 to be considered for the loan program.
Please refer to the HELP description document for more detailed criteria. Core criteria for loan consideration:
- Ordained elders and deacons who are members of and serving the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church for at least three years will have top priority, but those with at least one year of service will be considered.
- Local pastors who have completed the course of study and are serving full-time in the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church for at least two years.
- Loan recipients must enroll in or have completed the IUMF’s financial education certification course for faith leaders.
- Loans of higher interest rate.
- Plans to actively serve in the Iowa Conference for the length of the loan.