New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Friday that several state banks will modify student loan payments and waive bank fees for those affected by Superstorm Sandy, providing much-needed relief for many students affected by the storm.
Students in affected areas could be eligible for loan relief under a 90-day grace period, from Oct. 27 to Jan. 25. To qualify, students must reside in the Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk or Westchester counties, according to Gannett News Service.
"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," Cuomo said in a statement. "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."
The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation will also reverse notifications to credit reporting agencies and suspending collection calls to further assist student loan borrowers, according to Gannett News Service.
On Thursday, Cuomo estimated that damages and economic losses from the storm will cost the state $33 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Cuomo also announced Friday that some state banks — including M&T Bank, Apple Savings, Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh, Emigrant Savings Bank and New York Community Bank — have agreed to waive fees and penalties for customers affected by Sandy until at least Nov. 15.
"Thousands of New Yorkers' lives have been disrupted by the storm — including their usual financial obligations and activities," Cuomo said in a statement, according to Gannett News Service. "As a result, some people may have late payments or be forced to incur other bank fees and penalties."