We didn’t see it coming, that’s probably the worst of it. When you know something’s coming you have time to prepare for it. And that includes the physical necessities, like battening down the hatches, so to speak, and stocking up on survival food, as well as coming to have an emotional and mental readiness. But when we’re caught off guard the way the East Coast recently was, all kinds of things that are a normal part of the daily grind tend to get lost in the chaos. That’s exactly what happened with many New Yorkers’ student loan payments in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
Hurricane Student Loan Relief Required
According to Elsa Magee, the Acting President of the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation: “More than 80 percent of our borrowers with delinquent or defaulted student loans reside in and around the New York City metropolitan area.”
In response to the problem, Governor Cuomo announced this past Friday the granting of temporary student loan relief to New Yorkers affected by the superstorm. Relief is in the form of a 90-day grace period ranging from October 27, 2012 to January 25, 2013, affecting all student loan payments that have or will become due in that time. The Governor has directed HESC to reverse all delinquency or default notifications that have gone out since October 27.
New Yorkers living in Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester counties are eligible for the grace period at their request. Importantly, this student loan relief effort also extends to members of the military struggling with student loan payments as a result of being called to active duty to assist in the aftermath of the disaster. To request student loan relief, affected borrowers should contact HESC by calling 1-866-991-HESC (4372) or by emailing Dept736@hesc.ny.gov.
United Through Struggle
As horrible as it is when disaster strikes so unexpectedly, it’s heartening to see the way hardship brings people together. “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.”
Borrowers who are in further need of assistance in figuring out how to make student loan payments, you are fortunate to have a number of student aid organizations in your corner. Even without a natural disaster on your hands, sorting through piles of detailed information on how best to manage your student loans is an exhausting business, but there’s no need to suffer through it, when help is so close at hand.