How to Refinance or Get New Mexico Student Loans

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

Refinancing with Earnest

Refinancing rates from 3.21% APR. Checking your rates won’t affect your credit score.

Check out Earnest

From the University of New Mexico to St. John’s College, New Mexico’s colleges serve more than 70,000 students. If you’re headed to the Land of Enchantment to earn your degree, you’ll need a plan for paying tuition.

Although grants and scholarships can go far, they don’t always cover all your costs. Student loans can be a useful tool for filling the gap, so long as you don’t take on too much debt. Luckily, New Mexico college students graduate with some of the lowest debt rates in the country.

This guide will show you the best places to borrow New Mexico student loans so that you can focus on your classes instead of worrying about money. And if you’ve already taken on student debt, read on to learn about refinancing your New Mexico student loans for a lower rate.

New Mexico Student Debt: At a Glance
Average debt upon graduation $21,237
Percent of students who graduate with debt 54
National ranking for average debt upon graduation 49
National average debt upon graduation (Class of 2017) $39,400
Info current as of 2015-16 school year, except when noted
Source: The Institute for College Access & Success

How to get New Mexico student loans

Whether you’re a New Mexico resident or an out-of-state student attending a New Mexico school, you could be eligible for federal and state student loans. Since federal student loans tend to have the lowest rates, you’re best off starting with those. If you need more funding, you might be able to borrow from the New Mexico Educational Assistance Foundation (NMEAF).

Federal and state student loans

As long as you’re attending a qualifying school, you should be eligible to borrow federal student loans from Federal Student Aid. These government-backed loans come with relatively low interest rates, as well as a variety of federal protections.

Direct loans for students, for instance, have a 5.05% rate for undergraduates and a 6.60% rate for graduate students in 2018-2019. Any student can borrow unsubsidized direct loans, while students with financial need might also qualify for subsidized loans, which don’t start accruing interest until after you’ve left school.

What’s more, federal student loans qualify for some federal repayment programs, such as income-driven repayment and extended repayment plans. Plus, you could potentially get your student loans forgiven if you qualify for a federal program such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) or Teacher Loan Forgiveness.

To borrow federal student loans, you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The only drawback with these loans is that they come with borrowing limits. As a result, you might hit your maximum and still need more funding for school.

In this case, your parents could consider borrowing a parent PLUS loan, which comes with a 7.60% rate and virtually no borrowing limits. Or you could look to NMEAF for a New Mexico student loan.

NMEAF student loans for New Mexico students

NMEAF is a private nonprofit that the New Mexico Legislature established in 1981 to help

New Mexico students pay for college. It issues low-rate student loans to residents and nonresidents attending school in the state.

Through its alternative loan program, you can borrow a student loan between $2,000 and $20,000 a year with fixed rates from 5.95% to 7.45% as of Nov. 9, 2018. Since this loan is private, you will need to pass a credit check or apply with a creditworthy cosigner to qualify.

This New Mexico student loan comes with a variety of rate discounts and repayment plans. But federal student loans still generally have lower rates and more flexible plans, and they carry no credit requirement, so Federal Student Aid should still be your first stop for borrowing before you look to alternative options.

Private student loans

If you need additional money for college, consider borrowing from a private lender, such as a bank, credit union or online lender. But before you do, familiarize yourself with the ways that private loans differ from federal ones.

For instance, private loans require a credit check to qualify, so you’ll probably have to apply with a cosigner. Once you pass this test, you can choose between a fixed and variable interest rate.

Some private lenders let you defer repayment until you graduate, while others expect you to start paying right away. There’s typically no option for subsidized loans, so interest will start to accrue from the day the funds are disbursed.

Also, you won’t have as many repayment options, since most private lenders don’t offer income-driven, graduated or extended plans. That said, you can typically choose a term of between five and 20 years when you initially borrow.

Finally, note that private lenders aren’t always so flexible if you run into financial hardship. Some will let you pause your payments through forbearance, but not all offer this option.

So before you borrow, make sure you understand the terms and conditions of your debt and have a solid plan for paying it back. If you decide a private student loan is right for you, here are some providers of student loans in New Mexico:

  • Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union
    • Finances student loans between $2,000 and $30,000 a year
    • Offers a repayment term of 10 years
  • White Sands Federal Credit Union
    • Partners with Sallie Mae to provide the Smart Option Student Loan
    • Rates run from 2.00% to 11.85%
  • Ascent
    • Offers student loan repayment terms of five, 10, or 15 years for undergraduates, and 10 or 15 years for graduate students
    • Awards you with 1% cash back if you meet certain terms and conditions
    • Offers rates from 3.18% to 14.92%, and from 0.00% for Ascent Independent loans.
  • College Ave Student Loans
    • Finances student loans of $1,000 or more
    • Offers student loan repayment terms of five, eight, 10, or 15 years
    • Rates range from 1.49% to 12.99%
  • Sallie Mae
    • Finances student loans up to the cost of your school’s cost of attendance
    • Offers rates from2.00% to 11.85%

Since each lender sets its rates, make sure to shop around for the best offer. Besides looking for a competitive rate, pay attention to other benefits and customer reviews. Since you’ll likely have this debt for years, you’ll want to make sure you’re working with a reputable lender with a strong reputation for customer service.

How to refinance New Mexico loans

One of the most challenging aspects of paying off student loans is keeping up with interest. Let’s say you borrowed $30,000 at a 5.05% rate. If you complete your repayment in 10 years, you will have paid a whopping $8,272 in interest.

Fortunately, there is a strategy for lowering your interest rate: Refinance your student loans. Through refinancing, you could get a better rate on your student debt, especially if you have relatively higher-interest private loans.

Plus, you can choose new repayment terms on your debt. You might choose a shorter term to get out of debt more quickly and save on interest. Or you could extend your term to 15 or 20 years to lower your monthly bills.

Of course, extending your term will probably mean you’ll pay more interest over the long run. Keep long-term costs in mind before adding years to your education debt.

Refinancing also allows you to restructure your debt in a way that better works with your financial goals. And if you refinance multiple loans, you can combine them into a single loan with one monthly payment, which could be easier to track.

Note that refinancing is different from federal consolidation, which involves combining federal student loans with a direct consolidation loan and doesn’t lower your interest rate. This differs from refinancing, where both federal and private student loans are eligible, and you can cherry-pick one or more loans to refinance based on which would give you the most financial benefit.

Refinancing isn’t for everyone, though. When you refinance federal student loans, you turn them into a private debt. That means you lose eligibility for federal plans such as income-driven repayment, as well as programs such as PSLF.

If you’re relying on either, refinancing wouldn’t be the right move. But if you’re confident you can make your monthly bills, refinancing could save you money and help you conquer your debt.

Note that NMEAF also offers student loan refinancing to borrowers. Plus, there are banks, credit unions and online lenders that refinance New Mexico student loans. Here are some of your options:

  • NMEAF
    • Refinances student loans between $10,000 and $200,000
    • Offers rates between 5.50% and 6.25% APR as of Nov. 7, 2018
    • Allows student loan repayment terms of five, 10, 15 or 20 years
  • Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union
    • Refinances student loans up to $125,000 for undergraduates and up to $175,000 for graduate students
    • Has variable rates starting at 6.65% APR as of Nov. 7, 2018
    • Offers repayment terms of up to 15 years
  • Earnest
    • Refinances student loans from $5,000 to $500,000
    • Has rates ranging from 3.21% to 8.77%
  • Laurel Road
    • Offers repayment terms of five, seven, 10, 15 or 20 years
    • Rates on offer run from 1.99% to 7.02%
  • CommonBond
    • Refinances student loans up to $500,000
    • Rates go from 3.22% to 6.45%

Just as you should look carefully at your options when taking out a private student loan, you should also compare offers from multiple lenders before choosing a refinancing provider. Several internet-based lenders make this process easy by providing instant rate quotes. By exploring various offers, you can find one with the lowest rate and best terms.

Making the best decisions with your New Mexico student loans

Whether you’re heading off to college for the first time or have already graduated, it’s important to make smart decisions with your student debt. Look around for the best student loan or refinancing provider, and make a plan for paying back your student debt.

Our student loan calculator can help you estimate the long-term costs of your loan. If you can afford extra payments, you could even pay off your debt ahead of schedule.

Whatever approach you take, stay patient and focus on the long game. Eventually, you’ll be able to say goodbye to your student loans once and for all.

Note: Student Loan Hero has independently collected the above information related to student loan interest rates and terms. The financial institutions mentioned have neither provided nor reviewed the information shared in this article.

Need a student loan?

Here are our top student loan lenders of 2020!
LenderVariable APREligibility 
* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.

1 Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.

2 Important Disclosures for College Ave.

CollegeAve Disclosures

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.

1Rates shown are for the College Ave Undergraduate Loan product and include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.

2This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a first year graduate student borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 7.10% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $141.66 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $16,699.21. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

Information advertised valid as of 5/18/2020. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Lowest advertised rates require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.


3 Important Disclosures for Ascent.

Ascent Disclosures

Before taking out private student loans, you should explore and compare all financial aid alternatives, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans and consider your future monthly payments and income. Applying with a cosigner may improve your chance of getting approved and could help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Ascent Student Loans may be funded by Richland State Bank (RSB). Ascent Student Loan products are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information and certification of loan amount by a participating school. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions, and certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. Ascent is a federally registered trademark of Turnstile Capital Management (TCM) and may be used by RSB under limited license. Richland State Bank is a federally registered service mark of Richland State Bank.

  1. Variable rate loans are based on a margin between 2.90% and 16.50% plus the 1-Month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) rounded to the nearest 1/100th of a percent. The current LIBOR is 0.667%, which may adjust monthly. Your interest rate may increase or decrease, based on LIBOR monthly changes, resulting in an Annual Percentage (APR) range between 3.18% and 13.92%. Fixed rate loans have an APR range between 4.00% and 14.92% based on your credit worthiness and your selected program. Competitive variable rates calculated monthly at the time of loan approval. Rates are effective as of 05/01/2020 and reflect an Automatic Payment Discount of 0.25% on the lowest offered rate and a 2.00% discount on the highest offered rate. Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. (See Automatic Payment Discount Terms & Conditions.)
  2. Payments may be deferred. Subject to lender discretion, forbearance and/or deferment options may be available for borrowers who are encountering financial distress.
  3. Making interest only or partial interest payments while in school will not reduce the principal balance of the loan. There are three (3) flexible in-school repayment options that include fully deferred, interest only and $25 minimum repayment.
  4. Flexible repayment plans may be offered up to a fifteen (15) year repayment term for a variable rate loan and ten (10) year repayment term for a fixed rate loan. Students must be enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school. Minimum loan amount is $2,000.
  5. Interest rate reduction of 0.25% for enrollment in automatic debit applies only when the borrower and/or cosigner signs up for automatic payments and the regularly scheduled, current amount due (including full, flat, or interest only payments, as applicable) is successfully deducted from the designated bank account each month. Interest rate reduction(s) will not apply during periods when no payment is due, including periods of In-School, Deferment, Grace or Forbearance. If you have two (2) returned payments for Nonsufficient Funds, we may cancel your automatic debit enrollment and you will lose the 0.25% interest rate reduction. You will then need to re-qualify and re-enroll in automatic debit payments to receive the 0.25% interest rate reduction.
  6. All applicants (individual and cosigner) are required to complete a brief online financial literacy course as part of the application process to be eligible for funding.
  7. Eligibility, loan amount and other loan terms are dependent on several factors, which may include: loan product, other financial aid, creditworthiness, school, program, graduation date, major, cost of attendance and other factors. Aggregate loan limits may apply. The cost of attendance is determined and certified by the educational institution.
  8. The legal age for entering into contracts is eighteen (18) years of age in every state except Alabama where it is nineteen (19) years old, Nebraska where it is nineteen (19) years old (only for wards of the state), and Mississippi and Puerto Rico where it is twenty-one (21) years old.
  9. 1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions. Click here for details. In order to be eligible for the 1% Cash Back Graduation Reward, borrower must meet the following criteria after graduation:
    • The student borrower has graduated from the degree program that the loan was used to fund.
    • The student borrower may change majors and/or transfer to a different school, but must obtain the same level of degree (e.g. – undergraduate or graduate)
    • The graduation date is more than 90 days and less than five (5) years after the date of the loan’s first disbursement.
    • Any loan that the student has borrowed under the Ascent loan is not more than 30-days delinquent or in a default status as of the graduation date and until any Graduation Reward is paid.
  10. Students can apply to release their cosigner and continue with the loan in only their name after making the first 24 consecutive regularly scheduled full principal and interest payments on-time and meeting the other eligibility criteria to qualify for the loan without a cosigner.

* Application times vary depending on the applicant’s ability to supply the necessary information for submission.


4 Important Disclosures for Discover.

Discover Disclosures

  1. Students who get at least a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent) qualify for a one-time cash reward on each new Discover undergraduate and graduate student loan. Reward redemption period is limited. Please visit DiscoverStudentLoans.com/Reward for any applicable reward terms and conditions.
  2. View Auto Reward Debit Reward Terms and Conditions at DiscoverStudentLoans.com/AutoDebitReward.
  3. Aggregate loan limits apply.
  4. The interest rate ranges represent the lowest and highest interest rates offered on Discover student loans, including Undergraduate, Health Professions, Law, MBA, Residency, and Private Consolidation. The fixed interest rate is set at the time of application and does not change during the life of the loan. The variable interest rate is calculated based on the 3-Month LIBOR index plus the applicable margin percentage. For variable interest rate loans, the 3-Month LIBOR is 1.00% as of April 1, 2020. Discover Student Loans may adjust the rate quarterly on each January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 (the “interest rate change date”), based on the 3-Month LIBOR Index, published in the Money Rates section of the Wall Street Journal 15 days prior to the interest rate change date, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent (0.125% or 0.00125). This may cause the monthly payments to increase, the number of payments to increase or both. Our lowest APR is only available to customers with the best credit and other factors. Your APR will be determined after you apply. It will be based on your credit history, which repayment option you choose and other factors, including your cosigner’s credit history (if applicable). Learn more about Discover Student Loans interest rates.
  5. Get a variable interest rate from 2.99% APR to 6.24% APR (3-Month LIBOR + 1.99% to 3-Month LIBOR + 5.24%) for either a 10-year or 20-year repayment term. Or lock in a fixed interest rate from 3.74% APR to 6.49% APR for a 10-year repayment term or from 3.74% APR to 6.49% APR for a 20-year repayment term. The fixed interest rate is set at the time of application and does not change during the life of the loan. The variable interest rate is calculated based on the 3-Month LIBOR index plus the applicable margin percentage. The margin is based on your credit evaluation at the time of application and does not change. For variable interest rate loans, the 3-Month LIBOR is 1.00% as of April 1, 2020. Discover Student Loans may adjust the rate quarterly on each January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 (the “interest rate change date”), based on the 3-Month LIBOR Index, published in the Money Rates section of the Wall Street Journal 15 days prior to the interest rate change date, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent (0.125% or 0.00125). This may cause the monthly payments to increase, the number of payments to increase or both.
Lowest APRs shown are available for the most creditworthy applicants.

5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change and state law restrictions. Loans are offered through CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS #1175900).

  1.  Rates are as of July 1, 2019 and include auto-pay discount. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment. Variable rates may increase after consummation.

6 Important Disclosures for Citizens.

Citizens Disclosures

Undergraduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.54%- 6.40% (3.54% – 6.40% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 3.79% – 6.65% (3.79% – 6.65% APR).

Graduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 2.72% – 6.11% (2.72% – 6.11% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 3.49% – 6.36% (3.49%-6.36% APR).

Business/Law Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 1.47% – 8.35% (1.47% – 8.20% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.45% – 10.74% (4.45% – 10.59% APR).

Medical/Dental Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 1.47% – 7.25% (1.47% – 7.10% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.40% – 9.64% (4.40% – 9.49% APR).

Parent Loan Rate Disclosure:  Variable interest rates range from 3.09%-6.23% (3.09%-6.23% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 5.48%-8.52% (5.48%-8.52% APR).

Bar Study Rate Disclosure:  Variable interest rates range from 4.79% – 9.93% (4.79% – 9.85% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 7.39% – 12.94% (7.39% – 12.82% APR).

Medical Residency Rate Disclosure:  Variable interest rates range from 3.88% – 7.38% (3.88% – 7.04% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 6.99% – 10.49% (6.97% – 10.08% APR).

Variable Rate Disclosure: Variable Rates are based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of May 1, 2020, the one-month LIBOR rate is 0.44%. Variable interest rates will fluctuate over the term of the loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. The maximum variable rate is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%.

Fixed Rate Disclosure: Fixed rate ranges are based on applicable terms, level of degree, and presence of a co-signer.

Lowest Rate Disclosure: Lowest rates require a 5-year repayment term, immediate repayment, a graduate degree (where applicable), and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.

Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer. Borrowers should carefully review federal benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are considering possible loan forgiveness options, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision on our website including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.

Eligibility Criteria: Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or eligible non-citizen with a creditworthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-signer. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer is required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. Citizens Bank private student loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/Promissory Note, verification of application information, and if applicable, self-certification form, school certification of the loan amount, and student’s enrollment at a Citizens Bank participating school.

Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.

Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

2.00% – 10.01%*,1Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit SallieMae

1.49%
11.98%
2
Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents

Visit College Ave

3.18% – 13.92%3Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit Ascent

2.09%
11.49%
4
Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit Discover

3.52% – 9.50%5Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit CommonBond

3.54% – 6.40%6Undergraduate and Graduate

VISIT CITIZENS

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. 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.