Educational loan program offered

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Families in need of financial assistance to be able to continue sending their students to school amid the coronavirus-induced economic crisis may now avail of a lending program recently rolled out by the Land Bank of the Philippines that aims to benefit those from preschool to college who plan to enroll this coming school year.

The Interim Students’ Loan for Tuition toward Upliftment of Education for the Development of the Youth (i-Study), will allow parents, guardians, or benefactors of students in private schools to borrow an amount equivalent to one school year, or two semesters – or up to P150,000 per student – according to a report by Landbank president-chief executive officer Cecilia Borromeo to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, its press release said.

Loans under the program, which cannot exceed P300,000 per eligible borrower, carries a fixed interest rate of 5 percent per year.

Short-term loans payable within one year are available for pre-school, primary, and secondary school students under the program, while term loans payable up to a maximum of three years, inclusive of a one-year grace period on the principal amount are available for tertiary level students.

This program will not only help families who have kids they want to send to school, but will also assist private schools and downstream industries to sustain and continue their operations, Borromeo said.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier assured parents that he will open Landbank to them to assist in continuing the education of their children even amid the economic woes triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Landbank also launched in May this year a lending program targeting private schools hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis.

An initial batch of over 60 private educational institutions has expressed interest in tapping Landbank’s Access to Academic Development to Empower the Masses towards Endless Opportunities (Academe) lending program.

As of Aug. 19, the Landbank board, chaired by Dominguez, has approved the application under the Academe program of four institutions for loans with a combined amount of P330 million.

The P3-billion Academe program aims to extend credit to private high schools, private technical-vocational education training institutions, colleges, and universities with the goal of encouraging students to enroll under a “study now, pay later” setup by allowing their parents to issue promissory notes for their academic fees, the press release said.

These promissory notes will then be refinanced or rediscounted under the program, with schools allowed to borrow as much as 70 percent of the sub-promissory note per semester and subject.

However, schools can only borrow up to a certain maximum amount based on the net borrowing capacity of the institution.
The lending program is available until June 30, 2021.

Loans under the program carry an interest rate of 3 percent per annum and are payable based on the maturity of the sub-promissory notes but not to exceed three years, the press release added.*

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