Loan help for students struggling after Sandy


| mhayes@queenscourier.com |

Governor Andrew Cuomo is lifting the burden that Sandy placed upon students struggling to pay off school loans, allowing storm victims a grace period to get back on their feet.

“We are working to provide New Yorkers recovering from Sandy with as much relief and support as possible,” said the governor.

Cuomo directed the New York State Higher Education Services (HESC) to grant temporary loan relief to the students living in areas devastated by the storm, allowing them a 90-day grace period.

“Anyone in the declared disaster areas having difficulty at this time, we want to help them,” said Kathy Crowder, HESC spokesperson. “If they cannot pay or are having stress in trying to make those bills at this time, we don’t want this to be an additional burden.”

Halting student loans for these three months will only extend the length of payment, not the monthly dollar amount. However, because additional time will be added, interest on payments will continue to accrue, according to Crowder.

If requested, students in Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Rockland Suffolk and Westchester are eligible. The grace period started October 27 and runs through January 25, 2013. All members of the military who have been called to help in Sandy’s aftermath will also be eligible.

To begin the process of a temporary suspension of student loans, call 1-866-991-HESC (4372) or email dept736@hesc.nyc.gov.