NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - A newly launched online repayment system is making repaying United Methodist student loans easier and will improve efficiency in processing scholarships and loan applications.

Beginning in 2008, United Methodist students also can apply for scholarships and loans online.

In addition, students will be able to go online and track the status of an application to see if it is complete. For instance, a scholarship applicant can learn if a letter of reference is missing or if the application is approved pending verification of enrollment.

As of March, students have been able to borrow more money at a lower interest rate. The amount a student can borrow was doubled to $5,000, and the interest rate was dropped to 5 percent. As of the end of August, more than $1.7 million of the $1.8 million allocated has been loaned to students needing financial help for the fall semester of 2007.

To learn more about United Methodist loans and scholarships, visit www.ghbem.org.

United Methodist churches can order resources for Special Sunday offerings by calling United Methodist Communications at 888-346-3862 or visiting www.umcgiving.org/ss.