There are far too many individuals who owe the National Student Loans Company and are delinquent in their payments of student loans.
This was disclosed by Camillo Gonsalves during the Budget 2024 presentation in Parliament last night.
Gonsalves announced that the National Students Loans Company, the successor of the Student Loan Committee had made the decision following extensive consultations, to reduce the existing interest rate from 6 percent to 4.5 percent.
He said that the National Student Loans Company had a loan portfolio of EC$32 million with 744 active accounts with 187 current students accessing EC$5.4 million worth of loans.
“This will undoubtedly be welcome news to the students and families currently taking advantage of this programme, as well as those who have been faithfully repaying their loans,” Gonsalves said.
However, he said that it had also been agreed that the National Student Loans Company ought to do more to address the unacceptably high rate of delinquencies within the programme – and especially since many individuals were employed.
“Recent analysis indicates that far too many of the delinquent borrowers are gainfully employed persons – many within the civil service – who have simply decided not to repay their loans,” the finance minister said.
As a result, he added that beginning this year, various measures will be taken to remind those delinquent borrowers that repayment of student loans were not optional.