NYHELPs Borrowers in the Military

Borrowers in active military duty status may be eligible for an interest rate cap and/or a military deferment.

6 Percent Interest Rate Cap

In accordance with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) you may be eligible for a 6 percent interest rate cap. The interest rate cap is only for the period during active military service and applies only to the debt incurred prior to active duty. Your monthly payments will continue to be required unless you also apply for a military deferment - see below:

Military Deferment

During periods of Military Deferment, payment of principal and interest will be postponed for the duration of the borrower’s active duty status in a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces or their federal mobilization for active duty as a member of the National Guard. All outstanding unpaid interest will be added to the principal balance (capitalized) at the end of the active duty period when the loan(s) will enter repayment. Military deferments for borrowers in active military duty status may extend the term of the loan.

Cosigners who are members of the military and in active duty status may be eligible for a limited deferment during the student borrower's in-school and grace period. Such deferment for cosigners shall not extend the term of the loan.

To apply for the 6 percent interest rate cap and/or a Military Deferment, contact Firstmark Services at 888-538-7378, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Firstmark Services, Attn: Private Loans, P.O. Box 82522, Lincoln, NE 68501-2522.

You will need to provide a copy of your military orders or a letter from your Commanding Officer with documentation of the following:
  • Active duty start date
  • Expected period of active duty
  • Anticipated date of separation from active duty

Military Discharge

A NYHELPs loan may be discharged if the borrower dies while on active military duty.

Contact HESC or Firstmark for more information.

HESC: 866-312-9449 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Firstmark: 888-538-7378 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Problems Repaying Your NYHELPs Loan?

Don’t wait to seek help. If you anticipate a problem repaying your NYHELPs loan, or are having trouble making your monthly payment, HESC’s Delinquency Resolution Team is available to help you avoid or resolve delinquency. Contact HESC and explore your options with a Team Member.

There may be several repayment options available to help you.

Bankruptcy

Contact either HESC or Firstmark Services immediately to discuss your account if the student, borrower, or cosigner has filed for bankruptcy.  

HESC: 866-312-9449 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Firstmark: 888-538-7378 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you file bankruptcy and you are able to prove undue hardship in court, your loan may be discharged.

Cosigner Liability and Release

Cosigners are equally liable for the repayment of the loan(s) for which they cosigned.

If a cosigner release option is available, a cosigner may be released from his/her responsibility. 

Additional Information

Additional information regarding NYHELPs loan repayment is available here.