The Student Loan Trust Fund (SLTF) has observed an increase in the application for loans this year due to the 50 percent increase in the monies loaned to students from last year.
The fund has as of Tuesday disbursed at total of 74 million cedis to 13 thousand beneficiaries and will soon start disbursing loans to about 5,000 applicants before the end of the year.
In 2017, the fund disbursed 55 million cedis to over 12 thousand applicants.
Speaking to the Goldstreet Business in an interview in Accra on Tuesday, Mr. Nana Kwaku Agyei Yeboah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the SLTF said presently, there are 32 thousand beneficiaries on the SLTF portfolio.
He stated that the monies loaned to beneficiaries of the scheme presently ranged from GH¢1,500.00 to GH¢3,000 per academic year.
Recovering the Loan
Commenting on recoveries, he stated that the fund was doing quite well as 62 per cent of borrowers who are due for re- payment have either finished or started paying their loans.
“There are 51 thousand beneficiaries who are due to make payments this year, these are borrowers who completed their university education two years ago and out of the number, 21 thousand of them are paying,” he said.
Mr. Yeboah said the fund was making efforts to reach out to the remaining 30 thousand beneficiaries to re-pay their loans, adding, “the SLTF is targeted at recovering 30 million cedis of loans this year but has been able to retrieve 20 million cedis and hopes to recover the remaining 10 million before the end of the year,”
He explained that the government was poised to sustain the fund to ensure that no individual is left out on education due to financial difficulties because “education is a right and what the government seeks to do with the fund is to educate Ghanaians to be productive citizens”.
The CEO explained that the fund was a social intervention program and was not set up as a profit-making venture.
He stated that it was difficult for borrowers to default in repayment of the loans due to the flexible re-payment package which spans for eight years.
Prospects for the Fund
Mr. Yeboah said the fund has been established as an institution for the future and was ready to meet the demands of more borrowers who would want to access the fund after their free Senior High School (SHS) education after 2020.
He said the fund was putting systems in place to beef up recovery noting that, ‘if you take the loan, it is your patriotic duty to pay so that unborn Ghanaians would also be able to access the loans for their education’.
He said the fund was also serving warning notices in the national dailys’ to ensure that persons who are due for payments but have not made any commitments, will begin to pay.
Borrowers who apply for the loan are eligible to the loan for their entire period of study in school in every academic year.
The State of the Fund
Mr. Yeboah said presently, the fund was in a good state and ready to give loans to needy students in tertiary institutions.
The fund has since its inception in 2006, given loans to over 110,000 Ghanaians to enable them go through tertiary education without difficulties.
He said the fund has also created a mobile application to make payments easy for borrowers within and outside the country.
By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey