WASHINGTON - Four nonprofit student loan lenders are urging the Treasury Department to provide issuers of student loan-backed debt with liquidity facilities, such as standby purchase agreements, so that the issuers can convert their existing auction-rate securities into variable-rate demand obligations.

The proposal, which is detailed in a five-page letter written primarily by James Stipcich, president of the Montana Student Assistance Foundation, manager of the state's nonprofit student loan lender, is similar to another one made to the Treasury this week by the Regional Bond Dealers Association and the Education Finance Council, which represents nonprofits and state-level student loan lenders.

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