NMEAF Student Loan Review 2020: Helping New Mexico Students Finance their Studies

Founded in 1981, NMEAF has been providing private student loans ever since. Its primary ambition is to broaden access to higher education in New Mexico, to build a qualified and educated workforce in the state.

Loans for applicants with a credit rating of at least 680 Best for
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    Why Get a Student Loan from NMEAF?

    For those eligible, it’s possible that a loan with this organization could provide the funds necessary to continue education past the secondary level. There are some standout benefits, such as the wide variety of repayment options, and the reasonable maximum loan amount of $100,000.

    What Student Loans does NMEAF offer?

    There are four main options available.

    1. Graduate Student Loans - For those pursuing a master’s degree
    2. NMSU Student Loans - For students of New Mexico State University
    3. UNM Student Loans - For students attending the University of New Mexico
    4. NM Out of State Student Loans - For New Mexico residents studying out of state

    Certain criteria apply to each option:

    • 4.85% - 6.35% Fixed Interest Rate
    • Terms up to 10 years (or 25 years for loans above $30,000)
    • No origination fee
    • A minimum loan is $2,000
    • A maximum loan is $20,000 per year and $100,000 overall
    • A co-signer will be required for applicants with a credit rating of less than 
    • No disbursement fee

    It’s worth considering that whilst fixed APRs offer some financial stability, many industry competitors provide much lower APRs on a variable basis.

    Who can apply?

    Applicants must meet the following criteria:

    • A US citizen/permanent resident
    • Enrolled at least half time
    • A New Mexico resident or studying in New Mexico
    • At least 18 years old
    • An annual income of at least $30,000, unless applying with a co-signer
    • A credit rating of at least 680, unless applying with a co-signer

    With such a high credit score required, most applicants will require a co-signer. Unfortunately, it’ll take 24 months of consecutive timely payments before they can be released from their financial obligation.

    Repayment Options

    The information provided isn’t substantial, so be sure to contact NMEAF directly before making any final decisions on a loan application. For some of these options, a repayment estimation tool is available on the website.

    • Standard - Repayments begin immediately. Higher monthly payments, but least expensive overall.
    • Graduated - Monthly fees increase every two years. Ideal for those who expect their income to rise after graduation.
    • Extended - Terms of up to 25 years. Only available to those with loans of over $30,000.
    • Income-based - Payments based on the monthly income of your entire household.
    • Income-sensitive - Terms can be extended to 15 years. It’s more expensive overall as interest continues to accrue during the extension. Monthly payments can be reduced depending on how your income changes.

    Pros and Cons


    • Multiple repayment options
    • Reasonable maximum loan amount
    • No origination fee


    • High credit rating required
    • Only fixed APRs available


    NMEAF has more repayment options than some competitors, but requires a high credit rating, and only offers fixed APRs. Consider Wells Fargo, for student loans with variable APRs as low as 3%. It’s also worth checking out RISLA, for far more generous loans of up to $250,000.