Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) to grant temporary student loan relief to New Yorkers who were affected by Hurricane Sandy. If requested, New Yorkers in Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Rockland Suffolk and Westchester counties are now eligible to receive a 90 day grace period, from October 27th, 2012 to January 25th, 2013, in order to repay their student loan payments. All members of the military who have been called to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy will also be eligible.
We are working to provide New Yorkers recovering from Hurricane Sandy with as much relief and support as possible, said Governor Cuomo. Those who lost homes or are still without power should not be burdened with the added worry of being late on their student loan payments. The grace period we are providing will give these New Yorkers some breathing room to focus on rebuilding and restarting their lives after the storm.
In addition to the suspension of collections efforts, other actions to assist impacted student loan borrowers will include the suspension or reversal of delinquency or default notifications made by HESC to credit reporting agencies, the suspension of referrals for administrative wage garnishment and the suspension of collections calls to federal student loan borrowers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut who are delinquent in their federal student loan payments.
More than 80 percent of our borrowers with delinquent or defaulted student loans reside in and around the New York City metropolitan area, said Elsa Magee, Acting President of HESC. This is another component of the Governors overall effort to assist those who have been adversely impacted by Sandy.
Borrowers should contact HESC to request a temporary suspension by calling 1-866-991-HESC (4372) or by emailing Dept736@hesc.ny.gov. A specific option has been added to the toll free number for Sandy victims.