Proposed Program Would Pay First Two Years Of Recent New York Graduates’ Student Loans

With the average graduate now leaving college with more than $28,000 in student loans, it can be difficult to envision just how one might manage to land on their feet. If you happen to be a resident of New York and attended an instite of higher education within the state’s borders, repaying those debts could be a bit easier under a recently proposed student loan repayment program.

Newsday reports that the proposed Get On Your Feet Loan Forgiveness program would pay the first two years of college loans for thousands of qualified local graduates.

“We have a crisis in this country of kids coming out of college — high debt and low wages,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “The cost of education has skyrocketed and the job market in some cases has plummeted, and that disconnect is affecting an entire generation.”

Under the proposed $41.7 million program, students graduating in 2015 or later would be eligible if they are a New York State resident, attend a school within the state, continue to live in New York and make $50,000 or less a year.

Graduates must also be enrolled in the federal government’s income-based Pay As Your Earn (PAYE) program. That program allows borrowers to pay 10% a year of their discretionary income in monthly installments.

Once a student is enrolled in Cuomo’s proposed program, the state would pay the difference between what the federal government covers under PAYE and their remaining loan payment after a six-month grace period.

According to Newsday, a New York graduate with $20,000 in student loan debt making $35,000 a year would face an annual debt of $2,554 in a typical 10-year student loan. Enrolling in the federal PAYE program would cut that cost to $1,225 a year. If Cuomo’s proposal passes and the graduate meets all program requirements, the remaining payment would be wholly eliminated for the first two years.

While the New York legislature must approve the proposal, Cuomo estimates that by the time the program is fully implemented – beginning in the 2019-20 academic year – more than 24,000 graduates would be eligible to receive assistance.

Nancy Zimpher, chancellor at the State University of New York, tells Newsweek that the program would likely help the state just as much as it would help recent graduates.

“This proposal provides yet another incentive for SUNY alums to stay in New York State after graduation and help us build a skilled workforce that will drive the state’s economy,” she says.

State proposal would pay some college loan debt [Newsday]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.