Your New Mexico Student Loan Guide to Borrowing and Repayment

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

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.

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.

New Mexico student loans
Logo

We’ve got your back! Student Loan Hero is a completely free website 100% focused on helping student loan borrowers get the answers they need. Read more

How do we make money? It’s actually pretty simple. If you choose to check out and become a customer of any of the loan providers featured on our site, we get compensated for sending you their way. This helps pay for our amazing staff of writers (many of which are paying back student loans of their own!).

Bottom line: We’re here for you. So please learn all you can, email us with any questions, and feel free to visit or not visit any of the loan providers on our site. Read less

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.

*          *          *

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

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.

Helpful resources for borrowers with student loans in New Mexico

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:

1. New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Loan Repayment Program
2. Health Professional Loan Repayment Program
3. Public Service Law Loan Repayment Program
4. Teacher Loan Repayment Program

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 Aug. 15 every year and closes on Oct. 1. 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 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.

3. Public Service Law Loan Repayment Program

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.

4. Teacher Loan Repayment Program

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 student loans and financial aid for current students

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:

New Mexico grants

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.

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. 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

1. Legislative Lottery Scholarship Program

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.

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% 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.

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 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.

4. Competitive Scholarship

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.

5. Graduate Scholarship

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.

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.

6. Wartime & Vietnam Veterans’ Scholarship

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.

7. Firefighters and Peace Officers Survivors 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 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].

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

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.

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 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 2020!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
1.99% – 5.64%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

1.89% – 5.90%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Laurel Road

2.25% – 6.09%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

1.89% – 6.77%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Splash

2.39% – 6.01%Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Elfi

1.99% – 5.41%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit CommonBond

Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 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 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.79% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.64% 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 July 31, 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 7/31/2020. 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.


2 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 September 9, 2020. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
 


3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 2.99% APR to 6.09% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.25% APR to 6.09% 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 2.25% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 0.18% plus 2.32% 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 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 September 10, 2020.


5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

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 0.16% effective August 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.