What Is A Tuition Fee Loan And How Does It Work In Singapore?
March 16, 2023
Are you looking for ways to pay your tuition fees but need the funds? If so, consider taking out a tuition fee loan.
A tuition fee loan is a loan taken out to cover the costs of tuition fees for a specific course or program of study. In Singapore, tuition fee loans are provided by the government and private banks. This article will explore what is tuition fee loan and how it works in Singapore.
What Is A Tuition Fee Loan?
A tuition fee loan is a type of financial assistance offered by the government to eligible students who need help paying for their full-time or part-time degree and diploma courses in a local university or institute of higher learning.
The loan covers tuition fees, miscellaneous fees, and other approved charges, and it is meant to help students achieve their academic goals without worrying about financial constraints.
Repayment of the loan begins after the student has completed their studies or is earning above a certain income threshold.
The loan is offered with low-interest rates and flexible repayment plans, making it a popular option for students who need financial assistance to pay for their education.
Tuition Fee Loans In Singapore
MOE Tuition Fee Loan
In Singapore, the Ministry of Education (MOE) provides the MOE Tuition Fee Loan, which provides Singaporean and Permanent Resident students with loans to pay their tuition fees.
MOE can only give this loan to students in local institutions such as the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), polytechnics, and universities.
The good thing about this loan is that it is interest-free and only requires the student to start making tuition fee loan repayment once their course is completed.
How Does It Work?
- Covers up to 90% of the subsidised tuition fees for university students
- For polytechnic students, the loan covers up to 75% of the tuition fee.
- The loan is interest-free, and repayment is only required once the course is completed.
- The maximum tenure for repayment is ten years for polytechnic students and 20 years for university students, with interest only applicable after graduation.
Eligibility And Requirements
- Full-time students at polytechnics or independent universities in subsidised undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
- Singapore citizens enrolled in part-time subsidised undergraduate programs at independent universities.
NTU Tuition Fee Loan
This loan is meant for local and international students studying at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. The Tuition Fee Loan provides coverage for up to 90% of the subsidised tuition fees for Singaporeans pursuing a similar program, excluding compulsory miscellaneous and hostel fees.
Eligibility For Full-Time Students
Regardless of your family income, all undergraduates pursuing their degree, whether Singaporean, SPR or international, are eligible for the loan.
However, if you’re pursuing Biomedical Sciences & Traditional Chinese Medicine programs, you will only receive coverage for the initial three years of their program. Non-subsidised international students are also not eligible for financial aid.
Eligibility For Part-Time Students
Singaporean part-time students pursuing their initial undergraduate degree are eligible to apply. Those who opt for a part-time program due to financial constraints can also benefit.
- Repayment options for the loan include one lump sum or equal monthly payments, starting no later than two years after interest accrues or upon obtaining employment, whichever occurs first.
- The minimum monthly repayment is $100, with a maximum repayment period of 20 years.
- Suppose you leave the university before completing their program. In that case, the loan balance becomes immediately payable, though you may make repayments through monthly instalments based on individual circumstances as permitted by the university.
DBS Tuition Fee Loan
The tuition fee loan DBS is offered by DBS Bank and is open to Singapore citizens. Permanent Residents enrolled in full-time or part-time diploma and degree courses at local institutions such as universities, polytechnics, and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).
However, this loan is different for polytechnic and university students.
DBS offers university students a loan of up to 90% of their tuition fees. The tuition determines the loan amount for the university course.
Unless they fall into one of the following categories, all students pursuing education at local universities or NIE are eligible for this tuition fee loan:
- Tuition-free government/statutory board/school scholarship recipients
- MENDAKI recipients of full tuition fee subsidies
- Students who use their CPF funds to cover their reduced tuition costs
- Individuals who are enrolled in self-financed courses
- Students who are not Singapore citizens or permanent residents must pay the full tuition
Unlike many loan programs, there is no minimum income or age requirement for eligibility.
The loan repayment period is limited to 20 years, beginning no later than two years after graduation. You can repay a lump sum or in equal monthly instalments of at least $100.
DBS offers polytechnic students a loan of up to 75% of their tuition fees. The tuition determines the loan amount for the polytechnic course.
This loan is available to all full-time, subsidised diploma students enrolled at a local polytechnic unless they fall into one of the following categories:
- Receiving tuition-free government, statutory board, or school scholarships
- MENDAKI is providing full tuition subsidies.
- Using CPF savings to cover the entire cost of subsidised tuition.
- There are no income or age requirements.
This loan has a maximum repayment term of ten years, with payments beginning one year after graduation. You can make the repayments in full or in equal monthly instalments of at least $100..
How It Works
The DBS Tuition Fee Loan interest rate is 0 throughout the student’s educational program.
Only after their studies are completed will the loan be charged at the average prime rate of DBS, OCBC, and UOB.
Study Loan In Singapore
A study loan is a form of financial aid designed for students who have exhausted the limit of their tuition fee loan and have a monthly household income of $2,700 or less. This loan provides funding for any remaining fees that need to be paid.
When choosing a student loan, you will repay in the future; it is important to consider and compare the loan terms with your estimated repayment capacity.
Two of the most popular study loans in Singapore are:
- NTU Study Loan
- OCBC Student Loan
NTU Study Loan
The NTU Study Loan is offered to both local and international NTU students. Part-time and full-time programs differentiate it. The loan amount offered also differs according to these programs.
Local and international NTU undergraduate students who require financial assistance for tuition or living costs may apply for an NTU study loan.
However, the loan is only available to students enrolled in the first three years of the Biomedical Sciences & Chinese Medicine program. International students who pay unsubsidised tuition are not eligible for financial aid programs.
Only those who meet the requirements for eligibility will be given the loan, which is not guaranteed.
The student must have one or more of the following schemes to be eligible:
- Subsidised tuition
- Loan to Mendaki
- Loan for Tuition
- Account for Postsecondary Education
- CPF Education Loan Program
Moreover, Singaporeans must have a monthly family income of $2,700 per person, whereas international students must have a monthly household income of $1,200.
The loan is only available to Singaporeans pursuing their first undergraduate degree and must be held concurrently with a maximum tuition fee loan of 90% for part-time students. Furthermore, the per capita monthly household income is $2,700.
OCBC Student Loan
OCBC Bank offers three distinct student loan options:
Frank Education Loan
They are designed for students studying at overseas and local private institutions with an Annual Effective Interest Rate of 5.17%. Repayments are made monthly, consisting of principal and interest.
Repayments commence with the payment of interest while studying and then move on to principal and interest once the course of study is completed. The Annual Effective Interest Rate is 5.06%.
Graduated Plus Loan
Repayments begin with the interest payment while studying and one year after graduation, then move on to principal and interest from the third year onwards.
The annual effective interest rate is 5.01%. The loan duration covers the entire study term.
Tuition Fee Loan Vs Study Loan
Students in Singapore may be eligible for tuition fee loan (TFL) and study loan (SL) to assist with the cost of their studies.
TFL covers up to 90% of the subsidised tuition fees, while SL can finance the balance and up to $3,600 (maximum) per annum to help with daily living expenses. However, these loans do not cover annual fees, in which case you will apply the Living Allowance (LA) to offset these fees before the net amount is paid to the student.
Find The Best Loan In Singapore
Knowing what is tuition fee loan, how it works, and the eligibility criteria are important to make an informed decision.
Tuition fee loan can help students with their tuition fees and is a viable option for those who cannot pay their fees upfront. It is important to understand the terms and conditions before taking a tuition fee loan and to make sure that payments are made on time.
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