Burdened with student debt? Don’t despair; you are certainly not alone.
Nationally, 44 million people have student loan debt, totaling nearly $1.5 trillion dollars — easily surpassing the total of credit card debt, according to the website Student Loan Hero. In Maryland, the average amount of student debt is more than $27,000. Fifty-four percent of college students who graduated from a Maryland college or university in 2016 came out of school with student loan debt, according to The Institute for College Access and Success.
This debt affects the life choices graduates make. Studies show that millennials with college debt are living at home with their parents longer, waiting longer to get married and start a family, and are waiting an average of seven years longer to purchase their first home.
That’s where Maryland SmartBuy can help. Started in 2016, the Maryland SmartBuy program helps those with as little as $1,000 in student loan debt purchase their first home.
The program works by paying off student debt during the purchase of the home through special Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) financing. Maryland SmartBuy involves the purchase of move-in-ready homes currently owned, and designated for sale through the program, by the State of Maryland.
Beginning on August 6, Maryland SmartBuy 2.0 will provide an opportunity for homebuyers to purchase any home in Maryland that meets MMP guidelines while still paying off student debt. This limited-time program provides up to $30,000 in student debt relief.
Take steps now to take part in this exciting opportunity! Visit our website atMMP.Maryland.gov/SmartBuyto learn how.
Maryland SmartBuy is part of Governor Hogan’s SmartStart initiative, a comprehensive series of programs designed to make a college education more affordable and provide relief to Marylanders burdened by student debt. In addition to SmartBuy, the program includes:
- Maryland SmartWork will offer Maryland state employees working in specified shortage areas – such as correctional officers, nurses, and IT workers – the opportunity to receive state assistance to repay their student loans. Current state employees working in those areas that are paying down their children’s student loans also qualify for this benefit.
- Maryland SmartSave is an extensive resource of financial aid programs in the form of grants, scholarships, and other awards to help pay for furthering education. Financial aid can come in the form of grants, work, student loans, parent loans, scholarships, and other awards.
For more information, visitSmartStart.Maryland.gov.