If you’re a recent college graduate in New York state and you’re struggling to pay back your student loans, you might be able to receive some help from the state.
The state will pay up to two years of student loan bills for residents who have failed to land their dream job and are currently earning less than $50,000 a year and live in the state.
The “Get on Your Feet” program was ushered in by the Cuomo administration and is available to anyone who graduated after December 2014 from a college or university in New York.
You must be enrolled in an income-based repayment plan with the federal government. Those plans typically cut your bill by 10% or 15% of your discretionary income, but are only an option for those with a lot of debt and little earnings.
The state will cover your monthly bill on federal loans. If you borrowed from a private lender, you’re out of luck.
The program started on December 31 and you can apply online.
“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 Cuomo.
While New York is the first state to offer an income based program, 35 other states offer help based on the industry you work in and where you live. Typically you can receive help if you live in an area where you help underserved communities.
Cuomo’s office expects 7,100 recent graduates to take advantage of the program. By 2020, the state expects upwards of 24,000 grades to be enrolled in the repayment program. The cost of the program will eventually balloon to $41.7 million.
In 2014, the average amount of student loan debt for recent New York graduates was $27,822, according to the Institute for College Access and Success.