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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If you live in New York, you already know the high cost of, well, just about everything. But if you also studied there, then you have an even bigger battle to fight — paying off New York student loans.
The good news? You’re not alone in this struggle: You have options for student loan forgiveness in New York.
Over half of New York’s graduates are in debt, but there are many resources out there that can assist them — and you — in handling those New York state student loans.
Helpful New York resources available to you
With over half the state’s graduates in debt, there are quite a few opportunities for student loan forgiveness in NY. Just remember: Some forgiven student loan amounts may be subject to taxes — so you’ll need to be prepared for that when tax season rolls around.
Now, let’s take a look at your forgiveness and repayment options to help you with your New York student loans:
- Free tuition
- New York State’s ‘Get on Your Feet’ Loan Forgiveness Program
- New York State District Attorney and Indigent Legal Services Attorney Loan Forgiveness Program
- New York State Licensed Social Worker Loan Forgiveness Program
- New York State Nursing Faculty Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program
- New York State Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program
- Teach NYC Loan Forgiveness Program
- The Regents Physician Loan Forgiveness Award Program
- New York National Guard
- Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAPs) from your college or university
Plus: Statute of limitations on New York state student loans
If you’ve already graduated, skip this one. But if you’re in the middle of your education or just getting started, New York now offers free college tuition to eligible students attending State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) schools, as well as community colleges and statutory colleges at Cornell and Alfred University.
The program is called the Excelsior Scholarship, and you can apply for it here. Below are just a few of the eligibility requirements, according to the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation:
- You must be a resident of New York for one year before the start of your first term.
- Your income must be less than $125,000 and you must not be in default on any student loans.
- Students must attend a SUNY or CUNY school full-time as an undergraduate. If you’re not attending a SUNY or CUNY school, you must attend community college or a statutory college at Cornell or Alfred University full-time as an undergraduate.
This program is designed to supplement the gap between what you need and what you actually receive from federal grants. Therefore, you must submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) first and include that in your application.
The “Get on Your Feet” Program was recently announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It’s available to anyone with an undergraduate degree from a New York State institution and an adjusted gross income of $50,000.
To be eligible, you must already participate in an Income-Based Repayment (IBR) or Pay As You Earn (PAYE) plan and have earned your degree in or after December 2014.
You can apply for this program year-round. If approved, up to 24 full monthly payments will be paid toward your student loans. That’s two years of student loan debt relief available to you as you look for work (or pursue better work) and, as they say, get back on your feet. You can apply here.
Now we’re getting to the career-based programs, and the first one is specifically for those in law: The New York State District Attorney and Indigent Legal Services Attorney Loan Forgiveness Program.
You can apply for the program via the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation. Here are several of the requirements, according to their website:
- You must have had a job as District Attorney, Assistant District Attorney or Indigent Legal Services Attorney for at least four years, but no more than nine years.
- Employment must be full-time, and you must be a resident of New York.
- You must not be in default on their student loans.
If selected for this award, you can receive as the maximum award the lesser of $20,400 or your full eligible student debt. The award is paid in annual amounts of up to $3,400 for each year of service (up to six) or the remaining loan debt.
If you’re a social worker, you know how it feels to devote yourself to your work while asking for little in return. Luckily, if you also have New York student loans, you could find the help you need via the New York State Licensed Social Worker Loan Forgiveness Program.
The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation outlines eligibility requirements here, but below are just a few you should know about:
- You are ineligible if you have any defaulted student loans.
- You must be a resident of New York state who has lived in the state for at least one year before applying and licensed to practice in New York state as a social worker.
- Your work must be “in a critical human service area” for a minimum of 35 hours each week.
If this sounds like you, you can check to see if the county you work in renders you eligible for the program here.
Recipients of this award can receive up to the lesser of the $26,000 maximum or their eligible student debt; payments go up to $6,500 per year for up to four years of service, or the remaining debt. If your first or last year of the program is less than one year, you’ll receive a prorated disbursement based on the number of hours you worked.
Nursing is another line of work that requires a lot of dedication without any expectation of significant financial rewards. But nurses with New York student loans can receive financial assistance, thanks to the New York State Nursing Faculty Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program.
Like many of the other programs listed here, you can find more information via the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation. Here are several of the eligibility requirements mentioned:
- Be a registered nurse with a master’s degree in nursing or a doctoral degree (required for qualification as nursing or adjunct clinical faculty).
- Have a license to practice in New York state and be a New York state resident for one full year.
- You must have qualified service, defined as “employment as a nursing faculty member or as adjunct clinical faculty providing classroom or clinical instruction at a nursing school located in NYS for the equivalent of at least 12 credit hours during an annual period commencing July 1 and ending June 30.”
Nurses receiving this award qualify for the lesser of the following: a maximum of $40,000 (paid annually for up to $8,000, for up to five years of service), or their remaining debt.
What about full-time farmers living in New York and paying off student loans? Believe it or not, the state has a program to help you.
The New York State Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program offers New York State student loan forgiveness for farmers who graduated from an in-state institution in the past two years.
If that’s you, you must also have been a New York resident for 12 months prior to applying and agree to operate a farm in New York on a full-time basis for at least five years.
Those who receive this award can receive the lesser of the $50,000 maximum or their loan debt at time of eligibility; it is paid out in annual disbursements of up to $10,000 (for up to five years), or the remaining debt.
Teaching is a hard job made even harder with the expense of a master’s degree. The Teach NYC Loan Forgiveness Program is currently not accepting applications at time of writing, but you can check the website for updates.
The program is a tax-free grant for the use of student loan repayment. Teach NYC lists many eligibility requirements, but below are some of the high-level requirements you need to know:
- This grant is for new hires in New York City public schools.
- This grant is for teachers and some school-based clinicians (including pedagogic clinicians) in specific understaffed areas.
- You must have the appropriate certifications for your work.
- You must have served 10 months (12 months in year-round special education programs) of “satisfactory service” in a designated area of need.
The award is capped at $24,000 and has a disbursement period of six years. You can apply here.
There are multiple student loan forgiveness programs for physician assistants, but what about physicians? Physicians with New York state student loans have their very own student loan assistance program: The Regents Physician Loan Forgiveness Award Program.
The New York State Education Department has quite a few requirements, some of which are listed below:
- To qualify, you must be a resident of New York state who is licensed to practice there.
- You must have completed your residency within five years of the first award being granted.
- If you didn’t receive your residency by then, you must have completed your training in 2020 in either family practice, pediatrics, internal medicine, emergency medicine or obstetrics (psychiatry may also be considered in some facilities).
And if you get the award? Here are a few highlights:
- You can get up to $10,000 per year for two years.
- The amount of the award is based on the amount of the school loans and loan interest incurred, for both undergraduate and medical school
- Available funds depend on the state funds available for this program that year.
- You must practice in a specific area or serve a specific population within the state during the year(s) you receive the award.
- No matter how much you receive, you must serve for a minimum of two years.
For military members battling student loan debt, there are a variety of military-based federal repayment and forgiveness plans. Many of these plans can be seen on the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation’s “Military Corner.”
However, if you’re a member of the New York National Guard, you have your own student loan repayment program. And it qualifies you for up to $50,000 of student loan repayment assistance.
The annual disbursement is set to be the greater of either 15% of your original loan balance or $500. You can find more information on this program and apply here.
Finally, if you’re not currently eligible for New York State student loan forgiveness, you might qualify for a loan repayment assistance program (LRAP) from your college.
To find out, simply go to the website of your alma mater and search for LRAP programs based on your major. You can also contact your school directly for more information.
If New York state student loan forgiveness programs don’t have anything to offer you and you’ve already defaulted on your New York student loans, there’s one more thing that might be able to help — the statute of limitations on debt.
Fun fact: There is a statute of limitations on most kinds of debt that prevents debt collectors from being able to successfully sue you for a judgment to collect on “old” debt.
However, what “old” means varies by debt type and state. Plus, the statute of limitations on debt doesn’t mean debt collectors can stop trying to collect from you — it simply means they can’t sue you for it. Or, more specifically, they can’t sue you for repayment of the debt and win if you show up to court and prove that the statute of limitations has caused your debt to expire.
Otherwise known as “time-barred” debt, you can see what the statute of limitations on your debt is by state using this guide.
The bad news for federal student loan holders is that these loans are exempt from ever being considered time-barred debt. Thus, they aren’t eligible to expire under the statute of limitations on debt. A rule in The Higher Education Act is the reason for this exemption.
However, private student loans aren’t mentioned in this rule, and, as written contracts, they can be considered time-barred debt in New York once they’ve been in default for six years or longer.
Note that the statute of limitations refers to debt that’s in default. Therefore, if you make a payment on your defaulted debt (or agree to do so), you’ll reset the clock on the statute of limitations for your debt.
You have options if you’re struggling with New York student loans
Battling New York state student loans isn’t easy. After all, you could already be dealing with the high cost of your New York school’s tuition, or even the high cost of living in New York City.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t have a chance to get ahead. Just remember that you can do the following:
- Contact your state representatives to lobby for changes. You can find a list of them here and here.
- Take advantage of New York state student loan forgiveness programs, such as those listed above.
- Learn how to utilize the statute of limitations on debt.
Know your rights, research any and all student loan repayment strategies and assistance programs from the state or your school and stay on top of your student loan situation. You’ll be able to get ahead on your student loans and start spending time on the things you truly care about.
Christina Majaski contributed to this report.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 9 lenders of 2021!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.89% – 6.15%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.99% – 5.64%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.80% – 9.36%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.91% – 5.25%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.25% – 6.53%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.15% – 4.42%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.39% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|2.00% – 5.63%8||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews! |
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of May 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 2.89%-4.78% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.15%-4.42% 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.
7 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
8 Important Disclosures for Nelnet.
Checking your rate results in a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. If you continue with your application, Nelnet Bank will request your permission to obtain your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies. This is a hard credit pull and may affect your credit score.
Interest rate reduction of .25% for automatically withdrawn payments from any designated bank account (“auto debit discount”). Auto debit discount applies when full payments (including both principal and interest) are automatically drafted from a bank account. The auto debit discount will continue to apply during periods of approved forbearance or deferment if the auto debit discount was in effect at the time of receiving the forbearance or deferment. Auto debit discount will remain on the account unless (1) the automatic deduction of payments is canceled or (2) there are three consecutive automatic deductions returned for insufficient funds at any time during the term of the loan.
Request for the cosigner to be released can be made by the borrower after 24 consecutive, on-time payments (not later than 15 days after the due date) of principal and interest have been made. Borrowers in deferment or forbearance must make 24 consecutive, on-time payments after re-entering repayment to qualify for the release. The borrower must be current on their payments at the time of the cosigner release request and show the ability to assume full responsibility of the loan(s) by meeting certain credit criteria on their own at the time of the request, including, but not limited to, being a U.S. citizen or having permanent residency in the United States, being the age of majority in their permanent state of residency, providing sufficient proof of income, and having no student loans in default.
Hardship forbearance allows you to temporarily suspend payments on your loan(s) while you are experiencing financial hardship. It is offered in increments of two or three months, with a maximum of 12 months available, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. If your loan(s) are in good standing at the time of your request, you will be eligible for forbearance in increments of two monthly payments. If, at the time of your initial request, your loan(s) are considered past-due, you will be eligible for forbearance in increments of three monthly payments. Future increments of forbearance, up to a life-time maximum of 12 months, may be requested upon the completion of making a certain number of principal and interest payments. During the two- or three-month forbearance period, you will not be required to make payments; however, any unpaid interest will continue to accrue and will be capitalized (added) onto your principal balance at the end of the forbearance period. You may continue making payments in any amount without penalty during the forbearance period. Your loan repayment term will be extended by the number of months in the forbearance period.
Refinance Loan Eligibility: You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security number, and be the legal age to enter into binding contracts in your permanent state/territory of residency, or be at least 17 years of age and apply with a cosigner who is at least the age of majority in their state/territory. Non-residents can apply with an eligible cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security number. The student loans you refinance must be in their grace or repayment period, and you can no longer be enrolled in school on a half-time or more basis. You must have at least $5,000 in student loans to refinance. You, or your eligible cosigner, must have an annual income of at least $36,000. Approval subject to credit review. Other credit criteria may apply.
Refinance Loan Limits:
Loan Refinancing Risks: Federal student loans include benefits that may not be offered with private student loans. Carefully review any potential benefits that may be lost by refinancing federal and private education loans, such as the loss of any remaining grace periods. To learn more about what to take into consideration when refinancing federal student loans with private education loans, click here
Selecting ‘Get Started’ results in a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. If you continue with your application, Nelnet Bank will request your permission to obtain your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies. This is a hard credit pull and may affect your credit score.
Fixed interest rates range from 2.99% APR (with auto debit discount) to 6.25% APR (without auto debit discount). Your interest rate will depend on your (and if applicable, your cosigner’s) credit qualifications. The fixed interest rate will remain the same for the life of the loan.
Variable interest rates range from 2.00% APR (with auto debit discount) to 5.63% APR (without auto debit discount). Your interest rate will depend on your (and if applicable, your cosigner’s) credit qualifications. Variable rates may increase after consummation. The variable interest rate is equal to the One-Month London Interbank Offered Rate (“One-Month LIBOR”) plus a margin. The One-Month LIBOR in effect for each monthly period (from the first day of the month through and including the last day of the same month) will be the highest One-Month LIBOR published in The Wall Street Journal “Money Rates” table on the twenty-fifth (25th) day (or if such day is not a business day, the next business day thereafter) of the month immediately preceding such calendar month. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for a variable interest rate loan will change monthly on the first day of each month if the One-Month LIBOR index changes. This may result in higher monthly payments. The current One-Month LIBOR index is 0.15% as of 5/4/2021.
The lowest interest rate for each loan type requires automatically withdrawn (“auto debit”) payments, a five-year repayment term, and the borrower making immediate principal and interest payments. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rate. The interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) may be higher depending upon (1) the credit history of the borrower and, if applicable, the cosigner, (2) the repayment option and loan term selected, (3) the loan type selected, and (4) the highest level of education attained. If approved, applicants will be notified of the rate qualified for within the stated range.
*Checking your rate results in a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. If you continue with your application, Nelnet Bank will request your permission to obtain your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies. This is a hard credit pull and may affect your credit score. **Your actual savings may vary based on interest rates, outstanding balances, remaining repayment terms, and other factors.