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.
* * *
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|
|1.88% – 6.15%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.88% – 5.64%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.85%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.25% – 6.39%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.88% – 5.64%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.90% – 5.25%7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.39% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|2.13% – 5.25%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 June 1, 2021.
2 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.
Interest Rate Disclosure
Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 2.59% APR to 5.79% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 1.88% APR to 5.64% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 36% (the maximum allowable for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance 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 2.04% and 5.8% to the one month LIBOR. Earnest rate ranges are current as of 6/8/2021, and are subject to change based on market conditions.
Auto Pay Discount Disclosure
You can take advantage of the Auto Pay interest rate reduction by setting up and maintaining active and automatic ACH withdrawal of your loan payment. The interest rate reduction for Auto Pay will be available only while your loan is enrolled in Auto Pay. Interest rate incentives for utilizing Auto Pay may not be combined with certain private student loan repayment programs that also offer an interest rate reduction. For multi-party loans, only one party may enroll in Auto Pay.
Student Loan Refinancing Loan Cost Examples
These examples provide estimates based on payments beginning immediately upon loan disbursement. Variable APR: A $10,000 loan with a 20-year term (240 monthly payments of $72) and a 5.89% APR would result in a total estimated payment amount of $17,042.39. For a variable loan, after your starting rate is set, your rate will then vary with the market. Fixed APR: A $10,000 loan with a 20-year term (240 monthly payments of $72) and a 6.04% APR would result in a total estimated payment amount of $17,249.77. Your actual repayment terms may vary.Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest. com/terms-of-service, e-mail us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
Earnest Loans are made by Earnest Operations LLC or One American Bank, Member FDIC. Earnest Operations LLC, NMLS #1204917. 535 Mission St., Suite 1663, San Francisco, CA 94105. California Financing Law License 6054788. Visit earnest.com/licenses for a full list of licensed states. For California residents (Student Loan Refinance Only): Loans will be arranged or made pursuant to a California Financing Law License.
One American Bank, 515 S. Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104. Earnest loans are serviced by Earnest Operations LLC with support from Navient Solutions LLC (NMLS #212430). One American Bank and Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
© 2021 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved.
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 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.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
Fixed rates from 2.74% APR to 6.74% APR (with autopay). Variable rates from 2.25% APR to 6.39% APR (with autopay). All variable rates are based on the 1-month LIBOR and may increase after consummation if LIBOR increases; see more at SoFi.com/legal/#1. If approved for a loan your rate will depend on a variety of factors such as your credit profile, your application and your selected loan terms. Your rate will be within the ranges of rates listed above. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers, or may become available, such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license #6054612; NMLS #1121636 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org). Additional terms and conditions apply; see SoFi.com/eligibility for details. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
6 Important Disclosures for Navient.
7 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 04/07/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.95% APR – 7.63% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
8 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 2.13%-5.25% 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.