Buy a home in these states to get student loan debt relief

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Many Americans said they have to delay major life milestones because of their student loans, but in some states, buying a home could help pay off your debt.

While student loans are usually a barrier to home entry in some states, in others they can help borrowers qualify for specific home-buying assistance programs and ease the debt burden, the report for The Hill said. Some states, looking to attract new residents, offer to pay off student loans in exchange for moving there. Several other states have student debt relief programs but require borrowers to have a degree in dentistry, medicine, nursing, or law.

These are the states where anyone with a degree can apply to their program for student loan forgiveness:

Kansas

Kansas will pay up to $15,000 for anyone with a college degree to apply as long as they are new to the area. Borrowers who move into one of the 90 counties designated as “Rural Opportunity Zones” can receive student loan repayment assistance and/or 100% state income tax credit, according to the Kansas Office of Rural Prosperity. 

Maine 

The Maine Finance Authority’s student debt relief program will pay $2,500 in refundable tax credit value per year or $25,000 lifetime value for payments made on your student loans. To qualify, you need to have gotten your degree (associate, bachelor, or graduate) after 2007 from any accredited school in the world and have been a Maine resident during the tax year that had an earned income of $11,934 or more. 

Maryland

Maryland’s Smartbuy 3.0 program offers student loan borrower repayment assistance. The program offers eligible participants a maximum of $40,000 or up to 15% toward purchasing a home. Borrowers have to have a $1,000 minimum of student loan debt, have a college degree, have a maximum household income of $92,500 or $154,420, and must purchase a home from an approved lender. 

If you’re ready to shop around for a mortgage loan, you can use the Credible marketplace to help you easily compare interest rates from multiple mortgage lenders and get prequalified in minutes.

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Students living here get a bigger share of student loan relief

President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive up to $10,000 in federal loans per borrower making less than $125,000 a year (couples making less than $250,000) and up to $20,000 per borrower for those who used Pell Grants in college, eliminating about $441 billion in outstanding student debt, was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year. 

In the wake of this decision, the Department of Education announced changes to its income-driven repayment (IDR) plans that could collectively forgive up to $39 billion in federal student loan debt.

Under the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan, borrowers could see monthly payments lowered to zero dollars, monthly costs cut in half and those who make payments could save at least $1,000 a year, the White House said in a statement. 

The plan calculates the monthly payment amount based on a borrower’s income and family size, according to the Department of Education. That means that for those earning $32,800 a year or less, which translates to roughly $15 an hour, their monthly payment would drop to $0 immediately. 

Georgia, Maryland and Louisiana are expected to have the highest average federal student debt forgiveness for borrowers, with an estimated average of more than $54,000 forgiven per borrower, according to the index, according to a recent Scholaroo index.

These are the top 10 states that will get a bigger slice of Biden’s $39 billion student loan forgiveness pie per borrower, according to Scholaroo:

  1. Georgia $55,206
  2. Maryland $54,824
  3. Louisiana $54,292
  4. Utah $53,807
  5. Colorado $53,658
  6. Hawaii $53,373
  7. Florida $53,343
  8. Alaska $52,990
  9. South Carolina $52,370
  10. Tennessee $51,143

Borrowers with private student loans won’t qualify for federal loan forgiveness but could ease their burden by refinancing to lower their monthly payments. An online tool like Credible can help you compare student loan refinancing rates before you apply to help find the best deal for you.

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Student loan payments may push some to accumulate debt

Once student loan payments resume, some borrowers (28%) are worried that the additional stress to their monthly budgets might force them to take on more debt, according to a recent survey by Achieve.

During the 41-month student loan payment pause, 45% of respondents said they paid off other debt. However, 65% took on new debt during this timeframe – from credit card debt and car loans to unforeseen medical expenses, the survey said. When asked how the end of the forbearance program will affect their finances, 61% believe it will have a significant or moderate negative impact.

“After more than three years, many consumers are now bracing for significant adjustments to their household budgets,” Achieve Cofounder and Co-CEO Andrew Housser said. “Many will even have to delay major life plans and milestones in order to manage their student loans, existing debts and other day-to-day expenses.”

If you’re having trouble making payments on your private student loans, you won’t benefit from these state programs as they are geared toward federal student loan relief. You could consider refinancing your loans for a lower interest rate to lower your monthly payments. Visit Credible to get your personalized rate in minutes.

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