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New York State Now Accepting Applications For Student Loan Debt Relief

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- New York state has begun accepting student loan forgiveness applications for students who attended college in the state in the past year.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week that the state began accepting applications for the Get On Your Feet loan forgiveness program on Thursday, Dec. 31. The program allows for up to 24 months of federal student loan debt relief to recent college graduates living in the state.

"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," Cuomo said last week. "With this program, we are telling recent graduates: if you invest in New York's future, we will invest in yours."

The governor's office said multiple studies have shown that helping students pay for college is critical to ensuring their future success. Students with debt are less likely to start a small business or buy a home, and the consequences of defaulting on a loan can be devastating, Cuomo's office said.

The Get On Your Feet program supplements the federal Pay As You Earn repayment program, and allows eligible college graduates living in New York state to pay nothing on their student loans for their first two years out of school, Cuomo's office said.

To qualify, applicants must have earned their degree from a college or university in New York state no earlier than December 2014, have an adjusted gross income of less than $50,000 a year, and be enrolled in the federal Income Based Repayment plan or Pay As You Earn Plan.

Recipients will have a maximum of 24 payments, equal to their monthly student repayment amount, paid by the program on their behalf, the governor's office said.

Applications are accepted year-round, the governor's office said.

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