May 31 deadline for SLB application
New and returning tertiary students are being reminded that the deadline to apply for Students' Loan Bureau (SLB) funding is May 31.
Applications for the Targeted Loan (used for undergraduate study and repaid after completion) are to be done online at the SLB website, www.slbja.com.
Public education and public relations manager at the SLB, Olivia Briscoe, explained that the process is simple, adding that students are required to have a Tax Registration Number (TRN).
She noted that for first-time applicants, "Once you register and put in your name, TRN, your email address, and created a password, you will be sent a confirmation email for you to activate your application."
Briscoe added that following this process, new applicants will be sent a list of the required documents to take along with them for an interview.
She stated that the interview, which is mandatory, should be scheduled by the applicant online, adding that returning students are not required to set appointments, as they may visit the bureau at any time from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Additionally, she said that the first interview is for the applicant only, and does not require guarantor documents nor the presence of the guarantor.
Applicants are required to bring along their acceptance letter, birth certificate, passport photograph, a government-issued identification, and TRN card.
In addition, persons whose parents are public-sector employees will be required to submit income verification documents for members of the household.
Several options available to SLB applicants
Returning Students' Loan Bureau (SLB) applicants are able to register by using the email address and password created previously.
According to public education and public relations manager at the SLB, Olivia Briscoe, documents are not required by May 31, reiterating that this date only refers to the online submission of the application.
Loans from the SLB are available to all Jamaicans who are entering or are enrolled in a tertiary institution.
Briscoe noted that in the last academic year, the bureau approved 99.6 percent of all applications.
"The SLB is 100 per cent dedicated to the financing of tertiary education, as it is our only product. We focus on tuition financing and one of our biggest advantage is that our interest rates are lower than other commercial financial institutions," she stated.
The public education and public relations manager also highlighted the loan options available at the bureau, including a pay-as-you-study loan at six percent interest rate; as well as the targeted facility that is repaid after the completion of school at 7.8 per cent interest on the reducing balance.
She listed other benefits of utilising the SLB's facilities, including the ability for students to access unsecured loans up to a million dollars, as well as the favourable repay-ment terms.
"Sometimes you get up to as much as 20 years to repay the loan, depending on the course of study," Briscoe explained.