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iStock.com/mj0007

Recent grads in New York are getting a break on student loans.

New York state recently started offering a loan forgiveness program that provides up to 24 months of relief for federal student loan debt.

What’s the program?

Called the “Get on Your Feet Loan Forgiveness Program,” it aims to help out recent grads with federal student loans. Those individuals may be struggling to find a job or having trouble paying off their loans with their current salary.

The program went live on Dec. 31 and offers up to 2 years of relief for federal student loan debt.

If you’re financing college through a personal loan, check out the loan rates at Bankrate.com.

“Ensuring students are able pay for college and not saddled with debt is critical for both their individual success and the continued economic growth of New York State,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

The program’s requirements

There are some restrictions on who can participate in the loan program. For starters, you’re only eligible if you live in New York state, graduated from a New York college or university and earn less than $50,000 per year.

And you must be enrolled in a federal-income repayment plan, which typically caps payments to 10% of your discretionary income, according to the Get on Your Feet New York State program site.

The program also requires that applicants:

• Be a U.S. citizen.
• Graduated from a New York State high school or have a New York high school equivalency diploma.
• Have no higher than a bachelor’s degree at the time of application.
• Apply within 2 years of receiving an undergrad degree.
• Be current on all federal or New York state student loans.

Notably, this program is only for those with federal student loans. If you have a personal loan, you’re still obligated.

Such personal loans are private student loans that are funded by banks, credit unions, or other types of lenders. Your ability to qualify for and borrow a private student loan may be based on numerous factors that can include your credit history, whether or not you choose to have a co-signer, your co-signer’s credit history, your choice of school, and your course of study.

If you’re augmenting a federal student loan with a personal loan, consider the rates at Bankrate.com.

Where to apply

More than 2,500 graduates from the class of 2015 already have applied through the program. By 2020, it’s expected that more than 24,000 grads will be participating, according to a program press release.

If you’re interested, you can apply through the New York State Higher Education Services Corp.

Follow me on Twitter: @MitchStrohm