Student loans 1 August 2023

Best New Mexico Student Loans for 2023

As a New Mexico student, you have many loan options available, including federal and private student loans. Here are the best New Mexico student loans for 2023.

Best New Mexico Student Loans for 2023

With more than 70,000 students attending college in New Mexico, many students need to borrow money to fund their tuition. The average student loan debt in New Mexico is $37,580, more than the 2023 national average of $28,950.

There aren’t many unique New Mexico student loans to help students pay for college. However, there are federal student loans available to students who attend college in South Carolina, as well as private lenders that provide loans for students in all U.S. states.

We look at loans in New Mexico, where to get them, the best private lenders, and the federal loans that are available.

New Mexico Educational Assistance Foundation (NMEAF)

The New Mexico Educational Assistance Foundation is a non-profit lender founded in 1981. It offers student loans for New Mexico residents or students attending a college or university in New Mexico, with low interest rates starting at 4.39% APR.

NMEAF offers graduate student loans, parent PLUS student loans, University of New Mexico student loans, New Mexico State University (NMSU) student loans, and out-of-state student loans. To qualify for a private student loan from NMEAF, students must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be enrolled at least half the time in a qualifying educational program
  • Be a New Mexico resident or attend a college or university in New Mexico
  • Have a credit score of 680 or above (or the cosigner, if applicable)
  • Have an annual income of at least $30,000 (or the cosigner, if applicable)

Private Student Loans in New Mexico

If you’re just looking for private student loan options, we recommend these lenders:

LenderScholaroo ratingFixed rates starting (APR)Variable rates starting (APR)

College Ave

Best overall

Visit website
4.7/54.44%5.09%

Citizens Bank

Best for cosigner policies

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4.5/54.43%6.03%

Earnest

Best for borrowers with fair credit

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4.4/54.45%5.32%

Sallie Mae

Best for borrowers with cosigners

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4.1/54.50%5.99%

MPOWER

Best for international students

Visit website
4.0/514.75N/A
Lender

College Ave

Best overall

Scholaroo rating
4.7/5
Fixed rates starting (APR)
4.44%
Variable rates starting (APR)
5.09%
Visit website
Lender

Citizens Bank

Best for cosigner policies

Scholaroo rating
4.5/5
Fixed rates starting (APR)
4.43%
Variable rates starting (APR)
6.03%
Visit website
Lender

Earnest

Best for borrowers with fair credit

Scholaroo rating
4.4/5
Fixed rates starting (APR)
4.45%
Variable rates starting (APR)
5.32%
Visit website
Lender

Sallie Mae

Best for borrowers with cosigners

Scholaroo rating
4.1/5
Fixed rates starting (APR)
4.50%
Variable rates starting (APR)
5.99%
Visit website
Lender

MPOWER

Best for international students

Scholaroo rating
4.0/5
Fixed rates starting (APR)
14.75
Variable rates starting (APR)
N/A
Visit website

1. College Ave

Best overall

Apply now

College Ave

4.7
Scholaroo Rating
Fixed Rates Starting (APR)4.44%
Variable Rates Starting (APR)5.09%
Why We Like ItPros and ConsEligibility RequirementsRepayment Terms

College Ave, established in 2014 and headquartered in Washington, is known for its direct and individualized approach, which makes it an appealing choice for borrowers. This lender specializes in providing custom private student loans and refinancing options for undergraduate and graduate students as well as parents.

College Ave offers competitive interest rates, starting as low as 4.44% AOR, and they can cover up to the full cost of attendance certified by your school. The repayment terms are flexible, with options spanning up to 15 years. Borrowers have the choice of full deferment, $25 monthly payments, or interest-only payments.

After making 24 full and consecutive payments, borrowers can request a cosigner release, providing them with increased financial independence and autonomy.

Pros

  • Soft credit check
  • Fixed rates from 4.44%
  • Flexible repayment terms
  • Cosigner release policies

Cons

  • No information regarding credit requirements on the website
  • Should be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Must be at least 16 years old (18 years for refinancing loans)
  • Must be attending at least part-time an accredited college or university
  • Deferred payments – no payments for up to six months after graduation
  • Flat $25 monthly payments during school and up to six months after graduation
  • Interest-only payments while in school and up to six months after graduation
  • Repay the full amount during school

2. Citizens Bank

Best for cosigner policies

Apply now

Citizens Bank

4.5
Scholaroo Rating
Fixed Rates Starting (APR)4.43%
Variable Rates Starting (APR)6.03%
Why We Like ItPros and ConsEligibility RequirementsRepayment Terms

Citizens Bank is one of the largest banks in the U.S. and was founded in 1828. The bank offers private student loans and refinancing, as well as personal and business financing products. Citizens Bank offers multi-year approvals, enabling students to fund their four-year stay in college with only one application.

Undergraduate loans start at 4.43% APR with repayment periods of up to 15 years. Getting a quote takes a few minutes and doesn’t require a hard credit check.

Private student loans from Citizens Bank are available from $1,000 up to the total cost of education. Cosigners are optional and there are no origination fees, no application fees, and no penalty fees for early repayment.

Pros

  • Interest rate and AutoPay discounts
  • Multiple repayment options
  • Flexible co-signer release terms
  • Multiyear approvals

Cons

  • A 5% late payment fee applies
  • Must have a minimum annual income of $12,000 ($24,000 for refinancing loans)
  • Must have a reasonably strong credit score (typical approvals are done for borrowers with a score of at least 740)
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or international student
  • Immediate option, repayment starts as soon as the funds are disbursed
  • Interest-only payments while in school and during the six months after graduation
  • Deferred payments while in school and during the six months after graduation

3. Earnest

Best for borrowers with fair credit

Apply now

Earnest

4.4
Scholaroo Rating
Fixed Rates Starting (APR)4.45
Variable Rates Starting (APR)5.32%
Why We Like ItPros and ConsEligibility RequirementsRepayment Terms

Founded in 2013, Earnest is a leading fintech lender that initially offered student loan refinancing, before expanding its products to include private student loans. One of Earnest’s notable strengths lies in its commitment to transparency regarding loan requirements, ensuring that students can easily determine their eligibility.

Earnest’s loan options feature flexible repayment periods, which can extend up to 15 years. Borrowers have the choice between full deferment, fixed repayments, or interest-only payments, providing them with versatility in managing their finances. The interest rates for their loans start at 4.45% APR, and students can secure loans covering up to 100% of their school-certified cost of attendance.

Although there is a nine-month grace period, Earnest does not offer a cosigner release option, which may be a drawback for some borrowers.

Pros

  • Flexible repayment options
  • Quick online eligibility check
  • No late payment penalties
  • Nine-month grace period
  • AutoPay discounts

Cons

  • No cosigner release policies
  • A minimum credit score of 650
  • Student or cosigner must earn at least $35,000 per year
  • Three years’ worth of credit history
  • Full-time enrollment at an accredited college or university
  • Deferred payment while in school with a nine-month grace period after graduation
  • Interest-only payments while in school with full payments after graduation
  • Fixed $25 monthly payments while in school with full payments after graduation
  • Full payments while in school

4. Sallie Mae

Best for borrowers with cosigners

Apply now

Sallie Mae

4.1
Scholaroo Rating
Fixed Rates Starting (APR)4.50%
Variable Rates Starting (APR)5.99%
Why We Like ItPros and ConsEligibility RequirementsRepayment Terms

Since its start in 1972, Sallie Mae has become one of the most recognized private student loan lenders in the US. It has a wide range of loan options for undergraduates, graduates, parents, and those pursuing career training.

Sallie Mae provides up to 100% of your school-certified cost of attendance. For borrowers seeking cosigners, Sallie Mae stands out by offering the fastest route to cosigner release.

Their multiyear advantage ensures favorable approval chances for current borrowers who have cosigners. Starting at an interest rate of 4.50%, Sallie Mae’s loan options come with flexible repayment terms, which can extend up to 20 years.

Borrowers can also enjoy a 0.25% interest rate reduction for enrolling in automatic payments. Sallie Mae provides several deferment options, including full deferment, $25 monthly payments, or interest-only payments.

Students are granted a six-month grace period before repayment begins, and for those with cosigners, cosigner release is made available after making 12 payments.

Pros

  • Multiple deferment options
  • Fixed rates start at 4.50%
  • Can cover 100% of your school attendance cost
  • Part-time students are eligible

Cons

  • Does not offer student loan refinance
  • A strong credit score in the mid-600s
  • Employment history
  • Must be a U.S citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a permanent U.S. address
  • Have a Social Security Number
  • Must have no open bankruptcies
  • Deferred repayment – no payments while in school, and during the grace period
  • Fixed repayment – $25 payments while in school, and during the grace period
  • Interest-only payment while in school, and during the grace period

5. MPOWER

Best for international students

Apply now

MPOWER

4.0
Scholaroo Rating
Fixed Rates Starting (APR)14.75%
Variable Rates Starting (APR)N/A
Why We Like ItPros and ConsEligibility RequirementsRepayment Terms

MPOWER Financing, established in 2014 and headquartered in Washington, provides private student loans to both local and international students. These loans are especially attractive to students since they don’t necessitate a cosigner or a strong credit record.

Another benefit of MPOWER is that borrowers can get a 1.5% interest rate reduction with six automatic on-time payments, proof of graduation, and proof of employment.

MPOWER loans come with fixed APRs starting at 14.75% and loan terms go up to 10 years. The maximum loan amount is $100,000 and there is a 5% origination fee.

Pros

  • 0.25% interest rate discounts for enrolling in autopay
  • Funds up to 100% of a borrower’s education expenses
  • Available to international students
  • Doesn’t require a cosigner
  • Doesn’t require good credit history
  • No prepayment penalty

Cons

  • Charges a 5% origination fee
  • Only fixed-rate loans are available
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, DACA recipient, refugee, or asylum-seeker
  • Must be enrolled at an eligible school
  • Should be an undergraduate or graduate student
  • Be within two years of your graduation date
  • Interest-only payments while in school with full payments after a six-month grace period

Federal Student Loans for South Carolina Students

When you need funding for your tuition, Federal student loans from the U.S. Department of Education should be your first option. There are many benefits to taking out a federal student loan, including:

  • Lower rates: Federal student loans typically have lower interest rates than private student loans, allowing you to save money over the term of the loan and have lower repayments.
  • Flexible repayment plans: There are different repayment plans available, including income-driven repayment options that fit your individual needs.
  • Loan forgiveness: Depending on your repayment plan and eligibility, you may qualify for federal student loan debt forgiveness.

You need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine whether you qualify for a student loan, and what type of loan you may get. The FAFSA is free and you can apply online.

There are different types of federal student loans:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans: The government pays the interest on the loan while the student is in school or during a deferment. These loans are aimed at undergraduate students with financial need.
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans: The student is responsible for paying interest throughout the life of the loan. These loans are aimed at both graduate and undergraduate students.
  • Parent PLUS Loans: The borrower pays the interest and these loans require a credit check. Parent PLUS loans are available to parents of dependent undergraduate students.
  • Grad PLUS Loans: These loans are similar to Parent PLUS loans but available to graduate students.
  • Direct Consolidation Loans: This allows borrowers to consolidate multiple federal student loans into one loan. It makes payments easier, but keep in mind that it might lead to loading some benefits associated with the original loan(s).

Student Loan Alternatives in New Mexico

If you’re a New Mexico resident with existing student loans and looking for alternatives, you can consider student loan forgiveness programs. You can also look at student loan refinancing to potentially lower your payments while saving on interest.

Here’s a list of scholarships in New Mexico along with tips on how to win a scholarship, eligibility requirements, and how to apply.

FAQs

What is the average student loan debt in New Mexico?

The average student loan debt in New Mexico is $37,580, more than the 2023 national average of $28,950. New Mexico residents have a combined student loan debt of $7.8 billion.

Which student loans qualify to be forgiven in New Mexico?

If you struggle to make federal student loan payments and meet specific qualifications, your loans may be forgiven, canceled, or discharged. Read more about how to get student loans forgiven and which loans qualify‌ for forgiveness.