Note that the situation for student loans has changed due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and relief efforts from the government, student loan lenders and others. Check out our Student Loan Hero Coronavirus Information Center for additional news and details.
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If you live in New Jersey and are repaying student debt, then here’s some good news: New Jersey student loan forgiveness programs are a real thing. Some are tied to areas of study like medicine or law, while others are offered by employers or New Jersey colleges themselves.
Read on to learn how you can get student loan repayment help or even forgiveness, as well as New Jersey’s limits on student loans and other private debt, and how to find even more repayment assistance.
If you are struggling with student loans in New Jersey, there are state-based student loan repayment assistance programs you might be able to qualify for.
If you studied nursing or medicine, you’re in luck. New Jersey offers a couple of programs specifically aimed at helping health care professionals get rid of their student loan debt.
If you are struggling with high tuition costs, check out programs such as Rutgers’ RU-N to the TOP, which provides free tuition for low-income families. This is a different kind of help than loan forgiveness but worth checking out to see if you qualify.
Let’s go over some of the options available — specifically:
- Nursing Faculty Loan Redemption Program
- Primary Care Physician and Dentist Loan Redemption Program
- The New Jersey STEM Loan Redemption Program
- John R. Justice Loan Redemption program
- Your school or your employer
This program was created to address a shortage of faculty members at nursing schools in the state. Since becoming an educator in nursing requires a graduate degree, this program incentivizes that with tuition payback in exchange for five years of full-time work at a nursing school after graduation.
However, the graduate program you attend must be one of the approved programs, such as a master’s degree in nursing (MSN), a doctor of nursing science (DNS), a doctor of nursing practice (DNP), or a Ph.D. in nursing or “another related field of study.” You also need to have maintained a 3.0 GPA in your program.
Once you graduate, you can qualify for the Nursing Faculty Loan Redemption Program if you obtain full-time faculty employment at a nursing school in New Jersey within one year of completing your graduate degree. Payments from this program will be sent to your student loan servicer and max out as follows:
- $5,000 for your first year
- $7,000 for your second year
- $10,000 for your third year
- $13,000 for your fourth year
- $15,000 for your fifth year
- No more than $50,000 is allowed for the entire loan redemption
You can find more information about this program through HESAA’s website or call them with questions at (609) 584-4480.
If you’re a physician, physician assistant, certified nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife or dentist working in an underserved community in New Jersey, this program can help you repay your student loans.
Primary Care Physician and Dentist Loan Redemption Program recipients can get student loan redemptions of up to $120,000. The redemption is in exchange for two to four years of service as a primary care provider in areas experiencing a critical shortage of such professionals. To be eligible, you must begin your service in one of these areas within two years of completing your training or residency.
You’re required to work full time for the first two years. You can then receive an extension by serving either another two years of full-time work, or four years of part-time work.
A relatively new program (2018) in New Jersey is its STEM Loan Redemption Program, which is aimed at graduates who are employed in STEM jobs in the state. The incentive is aimed at attracting and retaining talent in the STEM fields.
The redemption exchange for this program is an employee’s commitment to working full time in a STEM field in New Jersey for up to eight years (and a minimum of four years).
After certifying that an applicant to the program has worked in a high-growth STEM job for the requisite amount of time in New Jersey, the recipients of the STEM Loan Redemption Program can have up to $2,000 eligible student loan debt redeemed, annually, for up to four years, to a maximum of $8,000.
Two other requirements are the applicants must have an outstanding balance with a state or federal loan program, not be in default on any student loans and they must have graduated on or after Dec. 14, 2018.
This program is aimed at recruiting and retaining qualified prosecutors and public defenders in New Jersey.
If you do qualify for this program, you will be asked to sign an agreement to commit to remaining employed as a prosecutor or public defender for at least three years.
Unlike other programs, this award is made in a lump sum, and it is sent directly to the applicant’s lender. In 2019, the program awarded $2,409.89 to eligible prosecutors and defenders. It is not guaranteed that the program will be available in the fall of 2020, but if you are interested, you should check the website for more information.
Don’t just look to the state for assistance repaying your student loans — your alma mater and your employer might have programs to help as well.
For example, many law schools offer their own student loan repayment assistance programs. Eligibility for these programs, like the ones above, will depend on where you choose to work. Check out the assistance offered by Rutgers Law School and Seton Hall University School of Law to see what these programs look like. Then, check with your school to see if they have anything like it.
As for your workplace, many employers are starting to help their staff with student loan repayment.
If your employer isn’t yet offering a program like this, consider presenting the idea to your human resources department — not just for you, but also as a recruitment tool for millennials.
So what happens if you’re deep in New Jersey student loan debt — and deep in New Jersey student loan default? The statute of limitations on debt in New Jersey could be on your side.
This means that debt in default has a time limit after which it becomes “time-barred.” Once that happens, collectors can still sue you for the debt, but you can use this statute as a defense and potentially win your case.
However, if you make a payment on a debt in default, the clock immediately restarts. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t make an effort to repay your debt — just that doing so clears out any time that has passed in leading up to the statute of limitations thus far.
Currently, there’s only a statute of limitation on private student loans. Federal student loans are exempt from this law. As of right now, the statute of limitations on certain debt in New Jersey is six years.
If you don’t work in any of the fields necessary to reap the benefits of loan forgiveness programs, or your employer or school don’t offer student loan repayment assistance, don’t lose hope.
Although there might not be New Jersey-sponsored programs to help you with your loans, there are other ways to get help.
For example, there are federal student loan forgiveness programs that help teachers, nonprofit workers, government employees and others to obtain forgiveness for their loans.
And if you’re struggling to repay and don’t qualify for these programs, you can lower your monthly payments with an income-driven repayment plan and apply for forgiveness after the required number of consecutive payments.
Just keep in mind that most forgiven student loan debt, no matter which of the programs listed in this article you use, are subject to income tax. Prepare yourself so you’re not shocked by a tax bill if your debt is forgiven.
Maya Dollarhide contributed to this report.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 9 lenders of 2021!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.88% – 6.15%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.88% – 5.64%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.85%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.25% – 6.59%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.88% – 5.64%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.90% – 5.25%7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.39% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|2.13% – 5.25%8||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of June 1, 2021.
2 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.
Interest Rate Disclosure
Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 2.48% APR to 5.79% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 1.88% APR to 5.64% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 36% (the maximum allowable for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 2.04% and 5.8% to the one month LIBOR. Earnest rate ranges are current as of 6/8/2021, and are subject to change based on market conditions.
Auto Pay Discount Disclosure
You can take advantage of the Auto Pay interest rate reduction by setting up and maintaining active and automatic ACH withdrawal of your loan payment. The interest rate reduction for Auto Pay will be available only while your loan is enrolled in Auto Pay. Interest rate incentives for utilizing Auto Pay may not be combined with certain private student loan repayment programs that also offer an interest rate reduction. For multi-party loans, only one party may enroll in Auto Pay.
Student Loan Refinancing Loan Cost Examples
These examples provide estimates based on payments beginning immediately upon loan disbursement. Variable APR: A $10,000 loan with a 20-year term (240 monthly payments of $72) and a 5.89% APR would result in a total estimated payment amount of $17,042.39. For a variable loan, after your starting rate is set, your rate will then vary with the market. Fixed APR: A $10,000 loan with a 20-year term (240 monthly payments of $72) and a 6.04% APR would result in a total estimated payment amount of $17,249.77. Your actual repayment terms may vary.Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest. com/terms-of-service, e-mail us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
Earnest Loans are made by Earnest Operations LLC or One American Bank, Member FDIC. Earnest Operations LLC, NMLS #1204917. 535 Mission St., Suite 1663, San Francisco, CA 94105. California Financing Law License 6054788. Visit earnest.com/licenses for a full list of licensed states. For California residents (Student Loan Refinance Only): Loans will be arranged or made pursuant to a California Financing Law License.
One American Bank, 515 S. Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104. Earnest loans are serviced by Earnest Operations LLC with support from Navient Solutions LLC (NMLS #212430). One American Bank and Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
© 2021 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved.
3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.
4 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
Fixed rates from 2.49% APR to 6.94% APR (with autopay). Variable rates from 2.25% APR to 6.59% APR (with autopay). All variable rates are based on the 1-month LIBOR and may increase after consummation if LIBOR increases; see more at SoFi.com/legal/#1. If approved for a loan your rate will depend on a variety of factors such as your credit profile, your application and your selected loan terms. Your rate will be within the ranges of rates listed above. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers, or may become available, such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license #6054612; NMLS #1121636 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org). Additional terms and conditions apply; see SoFi.com/eligibility for details. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
6 Important Disclosures for Navient.
7 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 04/07/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.49% APR – 7.75% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
8 Important Disclosures for PenFed.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 2.89%-4.78% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.13%-5.25% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.