State officials announced Wednesday that they will further extend federal student loan repayment relief -- through June 30 -- to borrowers affected by superstorm Sandy.
The move extends the previous loan relief by the New York State Higher Education Services Corp., which was granted in November to storm-affected borrowers on Long Island and in New York City and Westchester County, including members of the military who were called to assist in the aftermath of the Oct. 29 storm.
Those borrowers were eligible, upon request, for a 90-day grace period on their student loan payments.
"The state recognizes that many New Yorkers who were impacted by Sandy are still struggling, and continue to need relief and support," Elsa Magee, acting president of HESC, said in a statement. "This extension will give impacted families a meaningful period during which they can focus on rebuilding and restarting their lives."
In addition to the suspension of collection efforts, the U.S. Department of Education also directed federal student loan servicers to extend the 90-day forbearance period for affected borrowers in repayment on their loans and to grant forbearances to newly identified borrowers who were affected, through June 30.
Also extended is 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.
Borrowers should contact HESC to request a temporary suspension by calling 866-991-HESC (4372) or by emailing Dept736@hesc.ny.gov.
For Sandy victims, a specific option has been added to the toll-free number.