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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.
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 4.37% to 11.85%
- 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 4.06% to 14.73%, 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 3.94% to 12.78%
- Sallie Mae
- Finances student loans up to the cost of your school’s cost of attendance
- Offers rates from4.37% 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:
- 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
- Refinances student loans from $5,000 to $500,000
- Has rates ranging from 2.46% to 7.89%
- Laurel Road
- Offers repayment terms of five, seven, 10, 15 or 20 years
- Rates on offer run from 3.05% to 7.02%
- Refinances student loans up to $500,000
- Rates go from 2.50% to 7.57%
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 2018!
|1 Important Disclosures for CollegeAve.
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or Nationwide Bank, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
Information advertised valid as of 11/1/2018. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
2 Important Disclosures for Discover.
3 Important Disclosures for Ascent.
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.
* Application times vary depending on the applicants ability to supply the necessary information for submission.
* 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.
4 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
5 Important Disclosures for PNC.
PNC Bank is one of the nation’s largest education loan providers. For over 40 years, PNC has been committed to helping students and their families make possible the adventure of college.
6 Important Disclosures for SunTrust.
Before applying for a private student loan, SunTrust recommends comparing all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and both federal and private student loans. To view and compare the available features of SunTrust private student loans, visit https://www.suntrust.com/loans/student-loans/private.
Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. SunTrust Bank reserves the right to change or discontinue this loan program without notice. Availability of all loan programs is subject to approval under the SunTrust credit policy and other criteria and may not be available in certain jurisdictions.
SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. ©2018 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SUNTRUST, the SunTrust logo and Custom Choice Loan are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved.
7 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Additional terms and conditions apply. For more details see LendKey
8 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
A government loan is made according to rules set by the U.S. Department of Education. Government loans have fixed interest rates, meaning that the interest rate on a government loan will never go up or down.
Government loans also permit borrowers in financial trouble to use certain options, such as income-based repayment, which may help some borrowers. Depending on the type of loan that you have, the government may discharge your loan if you die or become permanently disabled.
Depending on what type of government loan that you have, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness in exchange for performing certain types of public service. If you are an active-duty service member and you obtained your government loan before you were called to active duty, you are entitled to interest rate and repayment benefits for your loan.
A private student loan is not a government loan and is not regulated by the Department of Education. A private student loan is instead regulated like other consumer loans under both state and federal law and by the terms of the promissory note with your lender.
If your private student loan has a fixed interest rate, then that rate will never go up or down. If your private student loan has a variable interest rate, then that rate will vary depending on an index rate disclosed in your application. If the interest rate on the new private student loan is less than the interest rate on your government loans, your payments will be less if you refinance.
If you don’t pay a private student loan as agreed, the lender can refer your loan to a collection agency or sue you for the unpaid amount.
Remember also that like government loans, most private loans cannot be discharged if you file bankruptcy unless you can demonstrate that repayment of the loan would cause you an undue hardship. In most bankruptcy courts, proving undue hardship is very difficult for most borrowers.
9 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|3.94% – 12.78%1||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|4.06% – 13.06%3||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.34% – 12.99%2||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.37% – 11.23%*,4||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|5.03% – 11.23%5||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.12% – 13.13%6||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|5.62% – 10.01%7||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|3.93% – 9.81%8||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|4.26% – 12.13%9||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|