Teacher appeals to 30 former students to repay student loans

Teacher appeals to 30 former students to repay student loans

Ms Wipha (second from left) at the briefing on Wednesday. (Photo from Tikky CM Peo Facebook)
Ms Wipha (second from left) at the briefing on Wednesday. (Photo from Tikky CM Peo Facebook)

A teacher has appealed to 30 of her former pupils to repay their student loans since she is their guarantor and now her house and land are to be seized.

Ms Wipha, whose surname was not disclosed, told Thai media about her plight during a press conference at a hotel in Pathum Thani’s Khlong Luang district on Tuesday.  Her fellow teachers attended to give her moral support.

The teacher said while she was teaching at a school in Kamphaeng Phet province, she guaranteed loans from the government's Student Loan Fund (SLF) with the principal of around 10,000 baht each for 60 students studying at Mathayom Suksa 4 and Mathayom Suksa 5 during 1998-99. She later went to the SLF and learned that some 30 of the 60 students did not repay their debts after they completed their education.

She was now facing lawsuits in loan default cases involving more than 20 students and she had no information on the students'  repayment records, said Ms Wipha.

In 2008, she was made the director of a school at Doi Mae Ramat mountain in Tak province. She had to ride her motorcycle from the mountain to Kamphaeng Phet provincial court on several occasions to testify in the cases.

“I taught my students to do good deeds and hoped they would be socially responsible after they finished their study.  However, what I get now is different. I want my students whose loans I guaranteed to know the heavy burden I'm shouldering. I want those who are now employed to help ease the burden. I don’t know the legal execution procedures in seizing my assets.

"Unless the borrowers repay the debts, the interest rate will keep increasing and I have to shoulder the burden. My house and land will be confiscated. I earlier went to the houses of some borrowers to appeal them to repay their debts, but they only told me they had no money. I'm in the dark now and have no idea what to do next because the parents of the students also told me they had no assets that they could sell to repay the debts,’’ said Ms Wipha.

Earlier, SLF manager Chainarong Kajchapanan said the fund planned to press charges against 120,000 people who failed to repay their student loans in the past five years. He made the statement at the launch of the fund’s new debt-payment channel, in which debtors were now allowed to get their instalments paid using the QR code system, on June 5.

The average debt these 120,000 former students owe the SLF is 100,000 baht each, he said.

Since 1996, the SLF has lent 570 billion baht to 5.4 million students, about 800,000 of whom have already paid off their debts while another 50,000 have either died, become disabled or eventually been assigned to the non-performing loan group, he said.

Of the 4 million debtors currently active in the system, 1 million are good debtors while more than 2 million have missed their debt payments in the past decade.

Of the latter group, 1.2 million have already been sued by the SLF over combined debts of 48 billion baht, he said.


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