The majority of students attending college need the assistance of long-term financing through federal or private student loans or a combination of the two. Student loans allow borrowers to take out a lump sum of money to pay for the cost of earning a degree, instead of using money out of savings, college funding accounts, or other sources of lending.
In 1981, the state legislature of New Mexico established the New Mexico Educational Assistance Foundation, or NMEAF, to increase access to financial assistance for residents of the state as well as non-residents attending college in the state. The NMEAF operates under the name of New Mexico Student Loans.
Through New Mexico Student Loans, eligible borrowers have the option to access low-cost loans to help fund their education endeavors. New Mexico residents attending an undergraduate or graduate level program in any state may utilize New Mexico Student Loans for their financing needs. Students from other states who plan to attend a college or university in New Mexico may also use New Mexico Student Loans to gain access to financing. Borrowers must be enrolled in school at least half-time, be a U.S. citizen, and meet qualification requirements including credit score and income guidelines to be eligible for a student loan through the organization.
Private Student Loans with NMEAF
Private student loans offered through NMEAF or New Mexico Student Loans are available to student borrowers who may not be eligible for federal student loans to help fund their education. New Mexico Student Loans offers low-cost, fixed-interest rate student loans to borrowers who meet eligibility requirements, with a variety of repayment plans available. The interest rate for a New Mexico Student Loan ranges from 5.48% up to 6.98%, depending on the type of repayment program selected at the time of loan funding. Borrowers who select immediate repayment have the option of receiving the lowest possible interest rate.
Private student loans available through New Mexico Student Loans have three distinct repayment plans. First, borrowers may opt for immediate repayment of a new student loan, requiring full principal and interest payments on a monthly basis, 45 days after the loan is funded. Borrowers may also select an interest-only repayment plan which requires interest payments, not principal, on the loan balance 45 days after the loan is funded. Deferred repayment is also available, allowing borrowers to begin repayment only after they leave school. For the last option, interest does accrue on the loan balance which ultimately increases the total cost of borrowing. Students may borrow a minimum of $2,000 and a maximum of $20,000 through New Mexico Student Loans, with a lifetime maximum of $100,000.
As with other private student loan lenders, New Mexico Student Loans requires an application to start the process. The application for a private student loan with NMEAF is submitted online, and it includes questions about the borrower’s credit history, current income, and total need for education financing. Income must be at least $30,000 at the time of application, and the minimum credit score is 680. Should borrowers not be eligible to qualify for a New Mexico Student Loan based on their individual information, a co-signer may be used to help strengthen the application.
Benefits of New Mexico Student Loans
New Mexico Student Loans offer several discounts for students who are responsible with their student loan repayments. First, enrolling in automatic repayment provides a 0.25%, and New Mexico Student Loans also offers a 0.25% interest rate reduction for students who graduate from their selected degree program. The private student loan lender also offers an interest rate reduction of 0.25% once 24 consecutive, on-time payments have been received.
New Mexico Student Loans also benefits borrowers who qualify due to its non-profit status. Because the organization is not a private bank lender pursuing profits, the organization has the ability to provide lower-cost loans with fixed interest rates to eligible students.
Additional Resources Through New Mexico Student Loans
The NMEAF was established to provide New Mexico residents and students attending school in the state a broader understanding of their options when it comes to financing their education. Because of this driving mission, the organization is not only a provider of private student loans through New Mexico Student Loans but also a proactive partner with colleges and universities throughout the state. Through these partnerships, NMEAF is able to offer additional resources to students and their families surrounding the topics of saving, planning, preparing, and paying for higher education costs. Through the NMEAF website, current and prospective student loan borrowers have access to a variety of resources that are available at no additional cost.