Student debt? Buy a house in these states and get relief

(NEXSTAR) — For the first time since March 2020, millions of federal student loan borrowers will be making regular payments on their loans, and interest will be accruing. Though the Biden administration’s attempt to erase millions in student debt was halted by the Supreme Court, there are still a number of ways to get debt relief.

Among those? Buying a house.

Depending on where you live, or where you’re willing to move to, you could see your debt erased.

Who qualifies for $0 student loan payments?

There are a number of states that will help you pay off your student loans should you buy a home in their region.

Ready to move? Here’s where to look.


Within the Sunflower State are more than 90 counties designated as “Rural Opportunity Zones,” or ROZ. Those who move into one of those counties can receive student loan repayment assistance and/or 100% state income tax credit, according to the Kansas Office of Rural Prosperity.

Administered by the Kansas Department of Commerce, the student loan reimbursement assistance offers up to $15,000 in aid over five years.

To qualify, you need to have a new permanent address in one of the counties, moved in after the county began participating in the program, have a degree before moving, and an active loan balance in your name. You can receive up to $3,000 per year, disbursed in the fall, and must provide proof that you used the money toward your loans. Applications are currently being accepted through September for participating counties.

Kansas also offers forgiveness for healthcare workers and rural physicians.


Want to live and work in Maine? You’re halfway to qualifying for its Student Loan Repayment Credit, administered by the Maine Revenue Service.

Via the program, you can receive $2,500 in a refundable tax credit value every year, or $25,000 in a lifetime value, for payments made on your student loans.

When will the fall colors peak near me?

To qualify, you need to have gotten your degree (associate, bachelor, or graduate) after 2007 from any accredited school in the world and have been a Maine resident during the tax year that had an earned income of $11,934 or more. If approved, you would receive reimbursement for the months you lived in Maine and made payments.

The program is undergoing some changes; more details and updated information can be found here.


If living on the East Coast is for you, don’t overlook Maryland’s SmartBuy 3.0 program. Homebuyers with at least $1,000 in student debt can qualify, according to the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development.

Through the program, eligible participants can receive financing of up to 15% of the home purchase price for the borrower to pay off their student debt with a max payoff amount of $40,000. You’ll need to get financing through an approved Maryland SmartBuy lender.

Eligibility requirements can be found on Maryland’s state website.

If you aren’t looking to relocate, there are other state-offered student debt relief programs, according to The College Investor.

In nearly every state — Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin — there is student loan support for healthcare workers.

In others — like Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, and Texas — there are repayment programs for teachers. Some also provide loan repayment assistance to those with legal degrees, especially if they work in the public service field. That includes Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.

The Biden administration is also encouraging borrowers to apply for a new federal repayment plan, known as the SAVE Plan, noting that some may qualify for $0 monthly payments.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to Oklahoma City.