A state agency that provides private student loan financing will merge with the agency that oversees most other forms of college financial aid.

Gov. Paul LePage said Tuesday that he has signed the law to merge the Maine Educational Loan Authority and the Finance Authority of Maine. The merger will take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns.

LePage said the merger will give Maine students and families “one-stop shopping” for college financing.

MELA offers private student loan financing and FAME, a semi-independent state agency, oversees higher education loans, loan repayments, grants and college savings programs in the state. The boards of the two agencies supported the merger.

The merger came after MELA learned that Maine Education Services, which services the authority’s loans, would discontinue its services Sept. 30. LePage said the merger will allow students to continue to access private loans without disruption.

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