FOR UNIVERSITY GRADUATES
No loan repayment for one year; poly grads eligible too
RECENT Singapore Management University graduate Ben Toh, 27, is glad he will soon get a one-year respite from making payments on his $18,000 tuition fee loan - given the grim economic climate.
The Ministry of Education is suspending the repayment of tuition fee and study loans for polytechnic and university graduates from April 1.
Mr Toh, a management associate at a private equity firm, is the sole breadwinner providing for his elderly parents. He is also helping to pay off an estimated $30,000 to $40,000 of a loan on the family's four-room HDB flat.
He completed his degree in 3-1/2 years, instead of the usual four, to start earning earlier.
'In view of the poor economy and bleak job market, I am worried about my future and job security. As such, I am happy to defer my tuition fee repayment until next year...It gives me time to save up some funds,' he said.
WHAT'S NEW IN THIS BUDGET
- Payment of tuition fees and study loans will be suspended from this April 1 to March 31, 2010.
- During this period, graduates will not be charged interest on outstanding loans.
- Repayment will be automatically suspended even for those already servicing the loans.
This article was first published in The Straits Times.