The state of New York just announced it will take on student loans for those having a difficult time making payments.
How to qualify
‘Get on Your Feet’ is a loan forgiveness program with the goal of assisting college graduates who haven’t yet found a high-paying job. Eligible borrowers must be residents of New York and earn less than $50,000 a year. The new program became official as of December 31, 2015.
Graduates must have attended a college or university in New York, must already be enrolled in a federal income-based repayment plan and must have graduated after December 2014. Unfortunately, if you borrowed money from a private lender, you’re out of luck — the program is geared toward federal borrowers only. And just to note, Clark recommends never taking out private loans to pay for education. Here’s why.
Read more: New ways to pay down your student loan debt
‘Ensuring students are able pay for college and not saddled with debt is critical for both their individual success and the continued economic growth of New York State,’ said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
According to the Institute for College Access and Success, 61% of New York students graduated with a $27,822 average student loan balance in 2014. The New York governor’s office estimates that 7,100 recent graduates will take advantage of this program in the next year, and is the first state to offer loan forgiveness on the basis of income. It also expects over 24,000 people to be enrolled in the program by 2020, with a cost of about $41.7 million.
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that 35 other states have similar programs based on employment in specific industries and geography. The intention of these programs is to encourage people to work and serve in communities that need their help, and specifically focuses on professions such as teaching, social work and health care.
To learn more about the program, visit the New York State Higher Education Services website here.