The Complete Student Loan Repayment Guide for New Mexico Residents

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New Mexico — the Land of Enchantment — is renowned for its breathtaking scenery, national parks, and historic sites. However, it’s more than just beautiful landscapes. For families and young people, the state can be a great place to get an education and launch a career.

The state also has a robust financial aid program for residents, including grants, scholarships, and low-interest New Mexico student loans. You can get money to pay for college or, if you have already graduated, the state might forgive some or all of your loans.

The state of New Mexico student loans

When it comes to affordability and education, New Mexico is hard to beat. A recent Student Loan Hero study found that at just $113 per college credit, the state’s public universities offer the cheapest prices per credit in the nation. You can get an excellent education at a fraction of the price you’d pay in other states, such as Vermont, where credits cost an average of $466.

Over half of all graduates from New Mexico schools have student loan debt, but they tend to have less debt than the national average.

According to the Institute for College Access and Success, New Mexico graduates have $21,373 in student loan debt, on average. Compare that to the national average of $37,172 and it’s clear that New Mexico residents come out ahead.

That cheaper education can result in big rewards. Earning a bachelor’s degree can dramatically improve your earning potential if you live and work in the state. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, high school graduates in New Mexico earn just $25,747 per year. Graduates with a four-year degree earn $43,257 per year, a 68 percent increase.

Helpful resources for borrowers with student loans in New Mexico

To make college more affordable, the New Mexico Higher Education Department operates several programs that offer loan repayment aid. Here’s a full list of programs that might help you.

Loan repayment assistance programs

Some fields, such as teaching, are notoriously underpaid. However, those roles are essential for the community’s well-being. To help residents afford an education and encourage students to work in certain fields, New Mexico has five student loan repayment assistance programs:

1. New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Loan Repayment Program

If you’re a public service worker in a critical need position, you could qualify for loan repayment assistance. To be eligible, you must complete at least two years of service within the New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department. Your degree must be relevant to the department’s critical needs and you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

The loan repayment program opens on July 1 every year and closes on Aug. 15. When the program is open to applicants, you can complete the application online.

2. Health Professional Loan Repayment Program

Practicing health professionals who make a two-year service commitment in a high-need area can receive up to $25,000 per year to repay their student loans.

You must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident and you need to live in New Mexico for at least 12 months before you apply. You must be licensed or certified at the time and working full time.

The application period begins on March 15 and closes on May 1, but you can learn more about the program’s details now.

3. John R. Justice Loan Repayment Program

Prosecutors and public defenders in New Mexico can receive up to $8,300 per year through the John R. Justice Loan Repayment Program. Eligible recipients can receive the award for multiple years, but repayment assistance cannot exceed $60,000.

To be eligible, you must be a prosecutor or public defender for the state, tribal, or local government or a qualifying nonprofit organization. Prosecutors who work for the federal government are not eligible.

Only federal student loans qualify for this program. Applications are not yet available but can be found on the Higher Education Department website.

4. Public Service Law Loan Repayment Program

If you’re an attorney who works in public service and you make $55,000 or less per year, you might be eligible for up to $7,200 in student loan repayment assistance.

To qualify, you must be a licensed attorney in New Mexico and work for the state or local government or a qualifying nonprofit organization. You must serve at least three years and your loans cannot have been in default in the past. You also need to ensure you’ve exhausted school-offered repayment assistance programs before applying.

Applications are available on Oct. 1 and are due by Feb. 1.

5. Teacher Loan Repayment Program

Teachers working in high-risk positions in public schools can receive student loan repayment assistance in return for at least two years of service.

You must be a citizen of the U.S. and have lived in New Mexico for at least 12 months to qualify. You need to work for a public school that’s not meeting acceptable academic proficiency levels.

Applications are available on March 1 and must be submitted by May 1.

NM student loans and financial aid for current students

New Mexico residents who are current high school or college students can find many grant, scholarship, and loan-for-service programs that help make college more affordable.

New Mexico grants

Grants are a great form of financial aid you can receive. Unlike other forms of assistance, such as student loans, grants generally never have to be paid back. Grants can help reduce your education costs so you don’t need to rely on debt to pay your tuition and fees.

New Mexico has two state-sponsored grants:

1. College Affordability Grant

The College Affordability Grant is for students with financial need but who are ineligible for other state grants and scholarships. Eligible students can receive up to $1,000 per semester to attend school at a public New Mexico university or college or tribal college.

You must be enrolled at least half time and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to qualify. To apply for the grant, contact your school’s financial aid office.

2. Student Incentive Grant

Under the Student Incentive Grant, students with a significant financial need can receive up to $2,500 per year if they attend a public New Mexico college or university or tribal college.

To qualify, you must be enrolled at least half time. You can apply for the grant by contacting your school’s financial aid office.

New Mexico scholarships

Like grants, scholarships usually do not have to be repaid. You can apply for and receive several scholarships and combine the awards to pay for college.

Some are need based and require you to demonstrate financial hardship. Other awards are merit based, where the state awards scholarships based on your academic or athletic accomplishments.

The state offers eight scholarships:

1. Legislative Lottery Scholarship Program

This scholarship will pay a percentage of your tuition. There’s no need to apply; the college you attend will determine your eligibility and award. You could qualify for the scholarship if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are pursuing an undergraduate degree
  • You completed a high school degree or received an equivalent credential while being a New Mexico resident
  • You enroll in school within 16 months of graduating or receiving an equivalent credential
  • You enroll in and earn 15 credit hours per semester at a public four-year school, or 12 credit hours per semester at a public two-year school
  • You maintain at least a 2.5 GPA

Note that students with disabilities might qualify for reduced requirements.

2. New Mexico Scholars

The New Mexico Scholars Scholarship covers the cost of tuition, books, and fees for up to four years.

To be eligible for this scholarship, you are required to meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a resident of New Mexico
  • You must have graduated in the top 5 percent of your high school class or obtained scores of at least 1140 on the SAT or 25 on the ACT
  • You must attend an eligible public or private university
  • You are pursuing an undergraduate degree and are enrolled full time
  • Your family makes $60,000 per year or less

To apply, contact your school’s financial aid office.

3. Athletic Scholarship

If you’re a student athlete, you might be eligible for a scholarship that covers tuition and fees. Athletic scholarships are available to both New Mexico residents and non-residents.

To qualify, you must attend one of the following schools:

  • Eastern New Mexico University
  • New Mexico Highlands University
  • New Mexico Junior College
  • New Mexico State University
  • University of New Mexico
  • Western New Mexico University

Contact the school’s financial aid office or athletic department for details.

4. The Bridge Scholarship

The Bridge Scholarship award can range in value; in some cases, it may cover the full cost of tuition and fees. To qualify, students must be a resident of New Mexico and have graduated from a public, accredited high school.

Contact your school’s financial aid office for details and to apply.

5. Competitive Scholarship

Although the Competitive Scholarship can be small in value, non-resident and non-citizen recipients who receive at least $100 from it are eligible for New Mexico resident tuition and fee rates. This can help students save thousands by avoiding out-of-state tuition costs.

To qualify, you must be a non-citizen or non-resident and attend a public, four-year school in New Mexico full time. Contact your school’s financial aid office for more information.

6. Graduate Scholarship

Students from underrepresented groups in graduate education can receive up to $7,200 per year through the Graduate Scholarship program. If you’re pursuing your master’s degree, you can receive the scholarship for up to two years.

To qualify:

  • You must be a member of an underrepresented group and have a financial need
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • You must be willing to take on an unpaid internship or assistantship

Your school’s financial aid office determines additional eligibility requirements and awards, so contact them for more information.

7. Vietnam Veterans’ Scholarship

If you served in the military during the Vietnam War, you might be eligible for the Vietnam Veterans’ Scholarship, which covers the cost of tuition, fees, and books.

Eligible students must be a resident of the state and certified as a Vietnam veteran by the New Mexico Veterans’ Service Center. You must have been honorably discharged and either a resident of the state when you enlisted or have been living in the state for at least 10 years.

For more information, contact your school’s financial aid department.

8. Firefighters and Peace Officers Scholarship

If a family member was a firefighter or peace officer and passed away in the line of duty, you might be eligible for the Firefighters and Peace Officers Scholarship. It covers the cost of tuition at a public university.

Both you and the deceased loved one must have been residents of New Mexico at the time of death. If your child served and died, they must have been at least 21 when they passed away.

To request an application, send an email to [email protected].

New Mexico loans for service

Advanced degrees, such as graduate or doctoral degrees, can be prohibitively expensive. The high cost of education can deter some people from pursuing certain fields, such as health care. To help make higher education more affordable, New Mexico offers incentives to those entering certain fields.

New Mexico has seven student loans for service programs. The state distributes low-interest loans and, if you’re willing to work in the state in a high-need area, they will even forgive some or all of your loan balance after you graduate.

The following careers can qualify:

  • Physician assistant
  • Physician
  • Nurse
  • Nurse Educator
  • Teacher
  • Dentist
  • Veterinarian

Depending on your field, you could receive up to $25,000 per year in a loan and have 100 percent of your loan forgiven once you complete your service term.

Statute of limitations on NM student loans

If it’s been years since you graduated and you’ve fallen behind on your payments, look into statute of limitation laws for New Mexico student loans.

When it comes to debt, “statute of limitations” is a legal phrase that means debt collectors can’t come after you for defaulted or delinquent student loans after a certain period of time. Student loans are written contracts, so under New Mexico law, debt collectors can’t sue you after six years.

It’s important to know that federal student loans don’t fall under the statute of limitations for debt; only private student loans are eligible. Plus, if you make a payment on your loans in default, the statute of limitations timeline starts over.

To learn more about what New Mexico’s statute of limitations means for you, check out this article.

Pursuing your goals when you have student loans

Paying for college and repaying your student loans can be a serious challenge. However, there are a surprising number of programs available that can help reduce your education costs or debt.

Doing your homework and seeing if you qualify for any assistance could help you save thousands.

If you need help managing your New Mexico student loans, we can help you tackle your debt and identify repayment options for free.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 6 lenders of 2020!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
1.99% – 6.65%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Laurel Road

1.99% – 7.10%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Splash

2.99% – 6.44%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

2.39% – 6.01%Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Elfi

1.99% – 6.43%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

3.18% – 6.07%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit CommonBond

Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 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.

  1. Checking your rate with Laurel Road only requires a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
  2. Savings vary based on rate and term of your existing and refinanced loan(s). Refinancing to a longer term may lower your monthly payments, but may also increase the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Refinancing to a shorter term may increase your monthly payments, but may lower the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Review your loan documentation for total cost of your refinanced loan.
  3. After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship. During any period of forbearance interest will continue to accrue. At the end of the forbearance period, any unpaid accrued interest will be capitalized and be added to the remaining principle amount of the loan.
  4. Automatic Payment (“AutoPay”) Discount: if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically from a bank account, the interest rate will decrease by 0.25% and will increase back if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically from the borrower’s bank account. The 0.25% AutoPay discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the discount is applied to the principal to help pay the loan down faster.

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 June 23, 2020. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
 


2 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.

Splash Financial Disclosures

Splash Financial loans are available through arrangements with lending partners. Your loan application will be submitted to the lending partner and be evaluated at their sole discretion. For loans where a credit union is the lender, or a purchaser of the loan, in order to refinance your loans, you will need to become a credit union member.

The Splash Student Loan Refinance Program is not offered or endorsed by any college or university. Neither Splash Financial nor the lending partner are affiliated with or endorse any college or university listed on this website.

You should review the benefits of your federal student loan; it may offer specific benefits that a private refinance/consolidation loan may not offer. If you work in the public sector, are in the military or taking advantage of a federal department of relief program, such as income based repayment or public service forgiveness, you may not want to refinance, as these benefits do not transfer to private refinance/consolidation loans.

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 May 1, 2020.

Fixed APR: Annual Percentage Rate [APR] is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rate options range from 2.88% (without autopay) to 7.27% (without autopay) and will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. Rates are subject to change without notice. Fixed rate options without an autopay discount consist of a range from 2.88% per year to 6.21% per year for a 5-year term, 3.40% per year to 6.25% per year for a 7-year term, 3.45% to 5.08% for a 8-year term, 3.89% per year to 6.65% per year for a 10-year term, 4.18% per year to 5.11% per year for a 12-year term, 4.20% per year to 7.05% per year for a 15-year term, or 4.51% per year to 7.27% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. The fixed interest rate will apply until the loan is paid in full (whether before or after default, and whether before or after the scheduled maturity date of the loan).
The Rate will not change during the term. Repayment examples are for illustrative purposes only. The following Fixed Rate examples are based on a $10,000 loan amount using the lowest APR for each application term listed above. All student loan rates used in calculating the examples are shown without the autopay discount (.25%). There are no application or origination fees, and no prepayment penalties. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan with an APR of 2.88% per year for a 5-year term would be $179.15. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan with an APR of 3.40% for a 7-year term would be $134.17. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan with an APR of 3.45% for a 8-year term would be $119.35. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 with an APR of 3.89% for a 10-year term would be $100.72. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 with an APR of 4.18% for a 12-year term would be $88.43. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan with an APR of 4.20% for a 15-year term would be $74.98. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan with an APR of 4.51% for a 20-year term would be from $63.32.

Variable APR: Annual Percentage Rate [APR] is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Variable rate options range from 1.99% (with autopay) to 7.10% (without autopay) and will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. Our lowest rate option is shown with a 0.25% autopay discount. Our highest rate option does not include an autopay discount. The variable rates are based on the Variable rate index, is based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of April 27, 2020, the one-month LIBOR rate is 0.43763%. The interest rate on a variable rate loan is comprised of an index and margin added together. The margin is a fixed amount (disclosed at the time of your loan application) added each month to the index to determine the next month’s variable rate. Variable rate options without an autopay discount consist of a range from 2.01% per year to 6.30% per year for a 5-year term, 4.00% per year to 6.35% per year for a 7-year term, 2.09% per year to 3.92% per year for a 8-year term, 4.25% per year to 6.40% per year for a 10-year term, 2.67% per year to 4.56% per year for a 12-year term, 3.44% per year to 6.65% per year for a 15-year term, 4.75% per year to 6.93% per year for a 20-year term, or 5.14% per year to 7.10% for a 25-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. Variable interest rates will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. The maximum variable rate may be between 9.00% and 16.00%, depending on loan term. The floor rate may be between 0.54% and 4.21%, depending on loan term. 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.
Variable APRs and amounts subject to increase or decrease. Variable rates are indexed to the one-month LIBOR rate. The following Variable Rate examples are based on a $10,000 loan amount. Repayment examples are for illustrative purposes only. All student loan rates below are shown without the autopay discount (.25%). There are no application or origination fees, and no prepayment penalties. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan with an APR of 2.01% per year for a 5-year term would be $175.32. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan with an APR of 4.00% for a 7-year term would be $136.69. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan with an APR of 2.09% for a 8-year term would be $113.21. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 with an APR of 4.25% for a 10-year term would be $102.44. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 with an APR of 2.67% for a 12-year term would be $81.24. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan with an APR of 3.44% for a 15-year term would be $71.19. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan with an APR of 4.75% for a 20-year term would be from $64.62. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan with an APR of 5.14% for a 25-year term would be from $59.28.

 


3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 3.20% APR to 6.44% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.99% APR to 6.44% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loanSee APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 3.21% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 0.18% plus 2.82% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. See eligibility details. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. 

4 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.

Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.19% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.43% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.43% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate 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 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of June 15, 2020, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.

Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.

The information provided on this page is updated as of 6/15/2020. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.

© 2020 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.


5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). 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 0.19% effective June 10, 2020.

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.