Maryland Student Loans: Debt Stats, Repayment, and Refinancing

Updated on April 7, 2024

At a Glance

  • Average student loan debt in Maryland: $39,505 (60% federal, 40% private loans).
  • Prestigious universities contribute to high tuition fees and student debt.
  • Maryland offers repayment programs (Janet L. Hoffman LARP, John R. Justice Grant) and alternative solutions (SmartBuy, SmartWork).
  • Consider refinancing for lower interest rates; seek professional advice for optimal decisions.

Are you a student in Maryland burdened with student loan debt? If so, you’re not alone! In this article, we’ll dive into the debt statistics, repayment programs, and refinancing options available in the wonderful state of Maryland. Whether you’re looking for ways to manage your loans or seeking financial assistance, we’ve got you covered. So sit back, relax, and let’s explore the world of Maryland student loans!

Facts on Maryland Student Loans 

Student loan debt can feel overwhelming, but gaining a better understanding of the facts can help put things into perspective. In Maryland, the average student loan debt amounts to a staggering $39,505 encompassing both federal and private loans. Luckily, Maryland offers a range of repayment programs and options to alleviate the burden.

When it comes to student loan debt in Maryland’s largest counties, from Anne Arundel to Prince George’s, the numbers can vary. Each county presents its own unique set of challenges and opportunities. For a comprehensive look at the student loan debt landscape in Maryland, read on!

What Drives High Student Loans

Let’s start by examining the breakdown of student loan debt in Maryland. Of the $39,505 average debt, approximately 60% is composed of federal loans, while the remaining 40% is made up of private loans. This distribution highlights the significant role that federal loans play in financing higher education in the state.

One factor contributing to the high average student loan debt in Maryland is the cost of tuition. The state is home to several prestigious universities and colleges, such as the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University, which come with a hefty price tag. Tuition fees, coupled with the cost of living, can quickly add up and result in substantial student loan debt.

However, it’s important to note that not all students in Maryland graduate with the same level of debt. The average debt varies across different institutions and fields of study. For example, students pursuing degrees in medicine or law may accumulate significantly higher debt compared to those in other disciplines.

Maryland Student Loan Repayment Programs

Residents of Maryland have several options when it comes to loan repayment programs. The most popular include the following: 

Janet L. Hoffman Loan Assistance Repayment Program (LARP)

If you’re a lawyer committed to public service, then the Janet L. Hoffman Loan Assistance Repayment Program (LARP) might be the perfect solution for you. LARP offers assistance in repaying your student loans, allowing you to focus on making a difference in the lives of others while alleviating the burden of debt.

John R. Justice Grant

The John R. Justice Grant provides student loan repayment assistance for individuals employed as public defenders or prosecutors. By helping to manage your student loan debt, this program supports those who tirelessly work within the criminal justice system.

Maryland Dent-Care Loan Assistance Repayment Program (MDC-LARP)

The Maryland Dent-Care Loan Assistance Repayment Program (MDC-LARP) is here to help you tackle your student loan debt. This program offers financial assistance for eligible dentists practicing in underserved areas of Maryland, ensuring everyone has access to quality dental care.

Maryland Loan Assistance Repayment Program for Foster Care Recipients

Maryland recognizes the unique challenges faced by individuals who grew up in foster care. That’s why they offer the Maryland Loan Assistance Repayment Program specifically designed to provide financial support to former foster care recipients. This program not only helps alleviate student loan debt but also creates opportunities for a brighter future.

Maryland Loan Assistance Repayment Program for Physicians

Physicians in Maryland can breathe a sigh of relief with the Maryland Loan Assistance Repayment Program for Physicians. This program aims to address the shortage of healthcare professionals by offering financial assistance for doctors who choose to practice in underserved areas of the state. With this support, physicians can focus on providing vital medical care without the weight of debt holding them back.

Other Repayment Options in Maryland

Borrowers in Maryland should explore all available options and carefully consider their circumstances before deciding on a repayment plan. Consulting with a financial advisor or loan counselor can provide valuable guidance and help borrowers make informed decisions.

That being said, let’s delve into the repayment programs and options available to Maryland borrowers. The state recognizes the burden of student loan debt and has implemented various initiatives to assist borrowers in managing their loans effectively.

Maryland Loan Assistance Repayment Program (MLARP)

One good program is the Maryland Loan Assistance Repayment Program (MLARP), which provides financial assistance to individuals working in specific fields, such as healthcare and education. Through MLARP, eligible borrowers can receive loan repayment assistance in exchange for committing to work in designated shortage areas or underserved communities.

Income-Driven Repayment Plans

In addition to MLARP, Maryland offers income-driven repayment plans that adjust monthly loan payments based on the borrower’s income and family size. These plans aim to make loan repayment more manageable by ensuring that borrowers’ monthly payments are affordable and proportionate to their earnings.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program

Maryland borrowers may also qualify for loan forgiveness programs. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, for instance, forgives the remaining loan balance for borrowers who have made 120 qualifying payments while working full-time for a qualifying employer, such as a government or non-profit organization.

In the end, student loan debt in Maryland is a significant financial burden for many borrowers, with an average debt of $39,505. However, the state offers a range of repayment programs and options to alleviate this burden. By understanding the breakdown of debt, exploring available assistance programs, and seeking professional advice, Maryland borrowers can navigate their student loan repayment journey with greater confidence and ease.

Alternative Options for Loan Forgiveness

If you find yourself in a position where you are unable to pay off debt or do not meet requirements, there are several options for you to try, including the following: 

Maryland SmartBuy

Are you dreaming of homeownership but struggling with student loan debt? Look no further than Maryland SmartBuy! This innovative program helps you pay off your student loans while simultaneously becoming a homeowner. With Maryland SmartBuy, you can finally achieve both financial freedom and the home of your dreams. 

Maryland SmartBuy purchases your home and pays off your outstanding student loan debt. In return, you agree to work with the state as a full-time employee for a set period. It’s a win-win situation – you get rid of your student loan debt, and the state gains dedicated professionals.

Maryland SmartWork

Are you a recent graduate struggling to find a job due to student loan debt? Maryland SmartWork is here to lend a helping hand. This program offers employers a financial incentive to hire recent graduates burdened by student loans.

With Maryland SmartWork, you can kick-start your career while receiving assistance in managing your student loan debt. It’s a win-win for both graduates and employers – graduates gain valuable work experience, while employers can attract talented individuals to their workforce.

How to Refinance Maryland Student Loans

If you’re considering refinancing your Maryland student loans, you’re on the right track to achieve financial freedom. Refinancing allows you to secure a lower interest rate, potentially reducing your monthly payments and saving you money over the life of your loan.

To refinance your Maryland student loans, start by researching various lenders and their refinancing options. Compare interest rates, repayment terms, and any associated fees. Don’t forget to consider any federal benefits or loan forgiveness programs you may lose by refinancing with a private lender.

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary information, reach out to your chosen lender and begin the application process. Remember to have your financial documents ready, as well as any required credit checks or income verification. With a little patience and perseverance, you’ll be on your way to a brighter financial future!

Note: Refinancing is not always a good idea, so be sure to research how it could impact your loan situation before going this route.

The Bottom Line

And there you have it, a comprehensive guide to Maryland student loans and everything you need to know about debt stats, repayment programs, and refinancing options. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey, and Maryland has a range of resources available to help you tackle your student loan debt. So take a deep breath, explore your options, and start conquering those loans!

If you need more ideas, check out our guide to grants that can be used for paying off student debt! And if you’d like to learn more about the the tax implications of student loan forgiveness, check out our guide.

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Rohit Mittal

Rohit Mittal is the co-founder and CEO of Stilt. Rohit has extensive experience in credit risk analytics and data science. He spent years building credit risk and fraud models for top U.S. banks. In his current role, he defines the overall business strategy, leads debt and capital fundraising efforts, leads product development, and leads other customer-related aspects for the company. Stilt is backed by Y Combinator and has raised a total of $275M in debt and equity funding to date.

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