BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More than 9,000 Marylanders with student loan debt will receive tax credits to put toward their balance, Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday.

Nearly $9 million was awarded, with 5,145 applicants who attended in-state institutions receiving a $1,067 credit and 4,010 applicants who attended out-of-state institutions receiving a $875 credit, the governor’s office said.

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Since launching in 2017, more than 40,600 residents have received a credit through the Maryland Student Loan Debt Relief Tax Credit Program, and the state has dispersed nearly $41 million, according to Hogan’s office.

“Programs such as this allow for greater opportunities for our students and expanded options to assist with student loan debt, especially during this time when people are being squeezed by higher costs,” Hogan said.

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Marylanders who have incurred at least $20,000 in undergraduate or graduate school debt and still have at least $5,000 outstanding are eligible to apply for the credit.

The credit is claimed on income tax returns. Anyone who owes taxes will have the credit applied to their balance.

Recipients must provide proof the credit was used to pay down the applicable student loan debt.

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The Maryland Higher Education Commission prioritizes applications from residents who did not receive a credit the previous year, were eligible for in-state tuition, attended an institution in Maryland, and have “higher debt burden to income ratios,” according to a website on the 2021 credit.

CBS Baltimore Staff