COVID-19 Budget: Study loan payments suspended for 1 year for uni, poly students

SINGAPORE - 2012/11/03: The Nanyang Technology University - School of Art, Design and Media building was conceived as natural extensions of the earth. The highlight of the building is the verdant green roof which blends with the ground contour. Apart from its visual impact, the  iconic turfed roofscape is also an outdoor communal space. Environmentally, the green roof helps to lower the building temperature as well as the surrounding areas.. (Photo by John S Lander/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Nanyang Technology University (PHOTO: John S Lander/LightRocket via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Graduates who have taken study loans at autonomous universities and polytechnics will have their loan repayments and interest accrual suspended for one year.

This was announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat during his Resilience Budget speech in Parliament on Thursday (26 March), as part of additional support measures taken by the government to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

No interest levied on outstanding loan

The loan repayments and interest accrual of the Tuition Fee Loan (TFL), Study Loan (SL) and Overseas Student Programme Loan (OSPL) will be suspended from 1 June this year to 31 May 2021.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) said in a media release on Thursday that all repayments due will be suspended, and no standard or penalty interest will be levied on any outstanding loan.

These loans, which provide financial support for students enrolled at the autonomous universities and polytechnics, are interest-free during the course of study, with interest accruing only upon graduation.

Loan repayments commence between six months and two years after graduation, depending on the type of loan taken.

All individuals with outstanding TFL, SL and OSPL will be automatically granted the suspension. They include graduates who have already started on their loan repayments and students with outstanding government loans who will be graduating during the suspension period.

Individuals who wish to continue repaying their loans can do so by informing their respective institutions and agent banks to make the necessary arrangements.

Fees will not be increased for one-year duration

Besides the suspension of study loans, all fees for Singapore citizens enrolled at MOE kindergartens as well as government and government-aided schools will not be increased for a one-year duration, between 1 April this year and 31 March 2021.

This suspension of increase in fees will also apply to tuition and miscellaneous fees for Singapore citizens enrolled in government-subsidised programmes at the polytechnics and the Institutes of Technical Education.

The deferment of fee increases does not apply to Singapore permanent residents and international students.

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