SLF receives bumper loan repayments

SLF receives bumper loan repayments

Student Loan Fund manager Chainarong Katchapanan
Student Loan Fund manager Chainarong Katchapanan

Former students saddled with loan debts have repaid a record-breaking 31 billion baht to the Finance Ministry's Student Loan Fund (SLF) over this fiscal year, the fund's manager said on Thursday.

The amount received so far in the 2019 fiscal year is 20% more than that on the previous year, fund manager Chainarong Katchapanan said, calling the rise “remarkable”.

The record high was a result of both compulsory and voluntary approaches to making debtors clear their debts, he said.

For the first time former students, now working in state and private agencies, had money taken from their salaries at source, Mr Chainarong said.

The government has also encouraged thousands of debt defaulters to repay loans through incentives.

“We've offered to reduce the fine by 85%,” Mr Chainarong said. “This turned out successful as it encouraged 40,000 debtors to make repayments.”

Since its establishment in 1995, the SLF has become a key state financial aid tool, which has lent 607 billion baht to more than 5.6 million students.

The government starts collecting on the loans once students graduate.

At present, according to Mr Chainarong, only around 1.1 million have repaid their debts, while more than 3.6 million are in the process of paying back their loans.

In the 2020 academic year, the government plans to increase the living cost allowance for each borrower by 600 baht a month, he said.


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