Note that the situation for student loans has changed due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and relief efforts from the government and many lenders. Check out our Student Loan Hero Coronavirus Information Center for additional news and details.
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As a student in New Mexico, you could be eligible for a range of grants, scholarships and low-interest New Mexico student loans. Thanks to the state’s robust financial aid program, you could get significant assistance paying for college or loan forgiveness after you graduate.
This guide will go over all your options for New Mexico student loans and other types of aid, so you can earn your degree in an affordable way. Specifically, we’ll look at:
- The state of New Mexico student loans
- Helpful resources for borrowers with student loans in New Mexico
- New Mexico student loans and financial aid for current students
- Statute of limitations on NM student loans
- Pursuing your goals when you have student loans
When it comes to affordability and education, the Land of Enchantment is hard to beat. A Student Loan Hero study found that at just $113 per college credit, New Mexico’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 — for example, Vermont is where credits cost an average of $466.
About 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 (TICAS), New Mexico graduates has $21,858 in student loan debt, on average. Compare that to the national average of $29,200, and it’s clear that New Mexico residents come out ahead.
Some fields, such as teaching, are notoriously underpaid. However, those roles are essential for the community’s well-being. So, to help residents afford an education and encourage students to work in certain fields, the New Mexico Higher Education Department operates several programs that offer loan repayment aid.
Here’s a list of programs that might help you:
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 Aug. 15 every year and closes on Oct. 1. When the program is open to applicants, you can complete the application online.
Practicing health professionals who make a two-year service commitment in a high-need area can receive assistance to repay their student loans.
You must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident and you’ll need to have lived 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.
If you’re an attorney who works in public service and you make $75,000 or less per year, you might be eligible for up to $7,200 per year 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 due by Dec. 2.
Teachers working in high-need positions in public schools can receive student loan repayment assistance in return for at least two school 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 will 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.
New Mexico residents who are current high school or college students can find programs that help make college more affordable. The three forms these come in are:
Grants are a great form of financial aid you can receive. Unlike other forms of assistance, such as student loans, grants you generally won’t 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. Student Incentive Grant
Under the Student Incentive Grant, students with significant financial need can receive up to $2,500 per year if they attend a public New Mexico university, college 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.
2. College Affordability Grant
The College Affordability Grant is for students who have financial need but are ineligible for other state grants and scholarships. Eligible students can receive up to $1,500 per semester to attend school at a public New Mexico university, 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.
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. With some exceptions, most of these scholarships will require students to attend a public in-state college or university.
The state offers the following scholarships:
1. Legislative Lottery Scholarship Program
2. New Mexico Scholars
3. Athletic Scholarship
4. Competitive Scholarship
5. Graduate Scholarship
6. Wartime & Vietnam Veterans’ Scholarship
7. Firefighters and Peace Officers Survivors Scholarship
This scholarship will pay a percentage of your tuition. Plus, 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 as a New Mexico resident
- 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.
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% 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 nonprofit 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.
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 nonresidents.
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.
Although the Competitive Scholarship can be small in value, nonresident and noncitizen recipients who receive at least $100 from it are eligible for New Mexico resident tuition and fee rates. This can help students save money by avoiding out-of-state tuition costs.
To qualify, you must be a noncitizen or nonresident of the U.S. and attend a public, four-year school in New Mexico full time. Contact your school’s financial aid office for more information.
New Mexico 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.
- 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.
If you served in the military during wartime, you might be eligible for the Wartime & Vietnam Veterans’ Scholarship, which covers the cost of tuition, fees and books.
Eligible students must be a resident of the state and certified as an honorably discharged veteran by the New Mexico Veterans’ Service Commission. For the Vietnam Veterans’ Scholarship, you must have been 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.
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 Survivors Scholarship. It covers the cost of tuition at a public university for up to six years.
Both you and the deceased loved one must have been residents of New Mexico at the time of death, and you must have been under the age of 21. To request an application, send an email to [email protected].
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 six 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.
Qualifying careers include:
- Physician assistant
- Nurse Educator
Check each program for the full list of eligible careers. Depending on your field, you could have your loan forgiven once you complete your service term.
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.
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 choose the right repayment plan for you.
Rebecca Safier contributed to this report.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2021!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.89% – 5.99%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.99% – 5.64%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.99% – 6.84%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.91% – 5.25%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.25% – 6.53%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.17% – 4.47%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
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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 Feburary 1, 2021.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
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 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.49% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.34% 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 October 26, 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 10/26/2020. 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.
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 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 02/17/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.91% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.95% APR – 7.63% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
6 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 2.99%-5.15% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.17%-4.47% 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.