BUDGET 2014-2015: Phillips announces changes in SLB policy
The Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips has announced changes to the Students’ Loan Bureau (SLB).
Opening the Budget debates a short while ago, Phillips said among the changes will be the method of calculating interest on loans.
He said it is expected that they will make it easier for students to qualify for loans and which will reduce the overall delinquency rate.
SEE POLICY CHANGES AT THE SLB:
*The interest due on outstanding loans to the SLB will not be calculated any longer in the current add on basis but on the reducing balance basis.
This will reduce the monthly payment for beneficiaries who pay.
*The time to start the loan repayment for particular target groups such as nurses, pharmacists, and mechanical engineers will be extended to include the time before they are licensed to practise their profession instead of December when their courses are finished.
*The SLB will be implementing a two-tiered system of interest rates so that the interest rate during the moratorium period will be lower than the interest charged during the payment period.
This will reduce the monthly payments for the beneficiaries.
*Guarantors previously could not be older than 60 years of age this rule is now being relaxed and guarantors may be accepted beyond the age of 60 on a case by case basis depending on their financial capabilities and providing they fulfill the other stated.
*The SLB is also relaxing the rule whereby one guarantor could only provide a guarantee for one student. Now an individual with the financial means will be able to provide guarantees for up to a maximum of three students provided that he/she proves to be financially capable.
Phillips says the provision of $2 billion by the Government in addition to expected collections and funds in hand will meet the demand projected at $4.8 billion.
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