Tue | Sep 18, 2018

Lower SLB rates for children of public servants

Published:Friday | March 13, 2015 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell

The children of public-sector workers will enjoy interest rate at one per cent lower than the rates normally charged to applicants of the Students' Loan Bureau (SLB).

Finance and Planning Minister Dr Peter Phillips who opened the 2015/2016 Budget Debate yesterday in Parliament, said the administration was implementing this reduction for the children of public-sector workers because of the sacrifices they made when they signed on to an agreement to forgo wage increases.

"It's in recognition of the fact that the public-sector worker has endured wage restraint for five years," said Phillips.

The finance minister also announced additional benefits to be gained by the children of public-sector workers. He said the processing fees for applications for students' loans will be reduced by 35 per cent.

Additionally, public-sector workers applying for students' loans will be allowed to access the loan with one guarantor based on satisfactory assessment. At present, two guarantors are required.

Phillips also disclosed a 'Pay As You Study' (PAYS) facility being introduced by the SLB which will target parents, guardians, working students or relatives who can afford the monthly deductions from their salary while studying.

Lowest interest rate

He said the benefits include the lowest interest rate for a tuition loan, a longer repayment time and smaller monthly payments.

Applications can be made online and persons who qualify are being encouraged to access the facility.

Phillips also reported that applications for students' loans have increased significantly over the last four years and that the level of compliance has improved.

Applications have moved from 9, 972 in 2010-2011 to 15,297 in 2013-2014.

Phillips told his parliamentary colleagues that the increased compliance is attributed to initiatives implemented by the student loan body.

The SLB collected $1.56 billion for the 11 month period April 2014 to January 2015, at a monthly average of $142 million. This compares with the $1.27 billion collected for fiscal year 2013-2014, a monthly average of $106 million.