The private student loan market is dominated by big financial institutions and established lenders, but could technology help smaller banks gain a foothold?

That's the hope of community banks such as First Dakota National Bank in Yankton, S.D. The $1.1 billion-asset institution — which was the first in the Dakotas to receive a bank charter, in 1872 — has partnered with ReliaMax, a company that insures, originates and services loans on behalf of lenders, with the goal of considerably expanding its student lending portfolio.

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