Student debt graphics board. New York state will freeze state-owed student loans.  MAIALISA/FLICKR VIA CC BY SA 2.0

New York state is temporarily freezing the collection of state-owed student loan and medical debt to relieve the financial burden from the coronavirus, according to a press release sent out by the Governor’s office on March 17.

The freeze will last until April 16 and applies to medical debt from state-funded hospitals, such as Stony Brook University Hospital, and student debt from New York State’s public higher education systems, the State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY).

“This new action to temporarily suspend the collection of debt owed to the state will help mitigate the adverse financial impact of the [coronavirus] outbreak on individuals, families, communities and businesses in New York State, as we continue to do everything we can to slow the spread of the virus,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wrote in the press release.

After the 30-day freeze concludes, the Attorney General’s office will determine if the state will extend the program.

New Yorkers with state-owed debt in other capacities can apply for temporary debt relief by filling out an application and providing proof of financial hardship caused by the state’s response to, or the health effects of, COVID-19.

“New Yorkers need to focus on keeping themselves safe and healthy from the coronavirus, and therefore can rest assured that state medical and student debt referred to my office will not be collected against them for at least 30 days,” New York Attorney, General Letitia James, wrote in the press release.


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