The Complete Student Loan Repayment Guide for New Mexico Residents

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. 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 understand what you are buying, and consult 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. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the financial institution.

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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 free 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 are usually “free money,” meaning you generally never have to pay them 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 fin.aid@state.nm.us.

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 2018!
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1 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

  1. VARIABLE APR – APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes.

2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student Loan RefinanceFixed rates from 3.999% APR to 7.804% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.480% APR to 7.524% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.480% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.07% plus 0.91% 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. 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
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

  1. Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). The following table displays the estimated monthly payment, total interest, and Annual Percentage Rates (APR) for a $10,000 loan. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) shown for each in-school loan product reflects the accruing interest, the effect of one-time capitalization of interest at the end of a deferment period, a 2% origination fee, and the applicable Repayment Plan. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment, which is reflected in the interest rates and APRs displayed. Variable rates may increase after consummation. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.08% effective July 25, 2018.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan Rate DisclosureVariable rate, 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 August 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.07%. Variable interest rates range from 2.72%-8.17% (2.72%-8.17% APR) and 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 cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 3.50%-8.69% (3.50% – 8.69% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. 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. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
  2. Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision at http://www.citizensbank.com/EdRefinance, including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.
  3. Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled, must be in repayment of their existing student loan(s) and must make the minimum number of payments after leaving school. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The co-signer (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer will be required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.
  4. Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  5. Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
  6. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.
  7. Average savings based on 18,113 actual customers who refinanced their federal and private student loans through our Education Refinance Loan between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. The calculation is derived by averaging the monthly savings of Education Refinance Loan customers whose payments decreased after refinancing, which is calculated by taking the monthly student loan payments prior to refinancing minus the monthly student loan payments after refinancing. The borrower’s savings might vary based on the interest rates, balances and remaining repayment term of the loans they are seeking to refinance. The borrower’s overall repayment amount may be higher than the loans they are refinancing even if their monthly payments are lower.
2.57% – 5.87%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Earnest
2.80% – 6.38%1Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Laurel Road
2.48% – 7.52%2Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit SoFi
2.47% – 7.99%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Lendkey
2.57% – 6.65%3Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit CommonBond
2.72% – 8.17%4Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Citizens
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. 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 understand what you are buying, and consult 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. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.