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Repaying Student Loans

Now you have completed your education it is time to start paying for it. Easier said than done. But the following information may make paying back your student loans just a little bit easier.

Repayment Starts Immediately
Students have a maximum of 15 years to repay loans provided by the Student Financial Assistance Agency (SFAA) and the interest accrued. Loan repayment by monthly installments will begin immediately after the completion of the course of studies, or after studies were terminated before the scheduled completion.

Application for Repayment Deferral
Borrowers may apply to the SFAA to defer their loan repayments if they are in financial difficulties, embark on further studies, or have a serious illness, subject to the SFAA’s discretion. Interest charges may be accrued on the outstanding loan unless the borrowers qualify for interest-free deferrals.

Reducing Repayment Cost
Borrowers may reduce interest costs by repaying their student loans in a shorter time than the maximum 15 years allowed. In addition, an annual administrative fee is payable to the SFAA until the loan is fully repaid, so borrowers can achieve savings by repaying their loans early.

To change the payment schedules from the standard monthly installments, or make a lump sum repayment, borrowers need to apply in person or in writing to the SFAA.

Borrowers may monitor the status of their student loan accounts online on the SFAA’s website.

Payment Default
If borrowers fail to meet their repayment obligations by the due dates, surcharges may be payable. The SFAA may begin legal action against defaulters and their indemnifiers to recover loans, surcharges and additional costs. Loan defaults will be recorded in the borrowers’ consumer credit data, which will affect their ability to borrow from other financial institutions. Staying on top of student loans from the start is one of the smartest financial decisions you can make.

Loan Write-off
The SFAA has strict conditions on loan repayment and will only consider writing off loans in exceptional circumstances, such as the death or severe disability of the borrower.

Repayment of Non-government Student Loans
If you obtained a student loan from another provider, the repayment terms may be different from those of the SFAA’s. Please check with your loan provider about the terms and conditions to ensure you meet the repayment schedules.

Source: Student Financial Assistance Agency