All You Need to Know About the MOE Tuition Fee Loan Scheme

The government of Singapore tries to make quality tertiary education affordable for and accessible to all the deserving students in the country. With this aim, it offers a number of loans and grants. One of the most popular loans available to Singaporean students at the tertiary education level is the Tuition Fee Loan Scheme offered under the aegis of the Ministry of Education (MOE).

Under this scheme, eligible polytechnic students can borrow up to 75% of the subsidised tuition fee. Under the same scheme, full-time undergraduate students from local universities can borrow up to 90% of the subsidised tuition fee. The repayment period can be stretched up to 20 years. You can pay in one lump sum or in monthly instalments. Instalments can be as little as S$100.

No Interest Before Graduation, Convenient Repayment Options: Is This Loan Really Useful?

Here are some of the reasons why you might actually love this scheme:

Funded by the Government: This loan scheme is funded by the government and administered by the respective institutes of education. Hence, it is safe and transparent.

High Borrowing Limit: As discussed already, you can borrow:

  • Up to 90% of the subsidised tuition fee payable by a Singaporean if you’re a full-time undergraduate student in a local public university.
  • Up to 75% of the subsidised fee payable by a Singaporean if you’re a full-time diploma student at a polytechnic.

In addition, you might also be eligible for additional assistance in the form of a Study Loan, also funded by the government. This could offer you living expenses up to S$3,600 p.a. and up to 20% of the subsidised tuition fee.

Attractive Interest Offers: No interest will be charged until you graduate. Upon graduation, you’ll have to pay interest at nominal rates.

Long Tenure: The maximum loan tenure available to eligible polytechnic students is 10 years and the maximum tenure available to university students is 20 years.

Multiple Repayment Plans: Repay the loan in one lump sum or in equal instalments every month. You’ll have the liberty to choose your repayment plan in accordance with your preference.

Small Instalment Amount: If you choose to repay the loan in monthly instalments, you can pay as little as S$100 per month until the dues are settled.

Multiple Repayment Modes: You can choose DBS or OCBC as the financier for this loan. Depending on the choice of your repayment plan, you could choose repayment channels such as internet banking, direct debit, cash, cheque, and more.

What You Should Know About Interest Charges and Rates

No interest will be charged till the time you’re studying. Upon completion of the course, interest will be levied. The interest rate will be calculated using the monthly-rest basis, assuming a 365-day year. It will be the average prime lending rates offered of OCBC, UOB, and DBS, on the first day of each quarter. Interest will accrue every month.

The banks also have the right to determine rates using other methods, if they so choose, from time to time. Currently, the interest rate is 4.75% p.a. Depending on your time of graduation and institute of study, interest charges will be levied accordingly.

Enjoy This Loan If You Are a Student of the Following Local Institutions of Tertiary Education

Are you a student of one of the accepted institutions? Contact the Office of Financial Aid in your seat of learning to learn more about the loan. You could also contact DBS or OCBC for more information. The institutions are as follows:

  • NIE
  • Singapore Polytechnic
  • Nanyang Technological University
  • SIM University
  • National University of Singapore (NUS)
  • Ngee Ann Polytechnic
  • Singapore University of Technology and Design
  • Nanyang Polytechnic
  • Republic Polytechnic
  • Temasek Polytechnic
  • Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT)

Consider the Following Carefully: Repayment Must Begin Within 2 Years From Graduation

Here are some of the important points that you need to take note of before you file your loan application:

  • This loan won’t pay for your living expenses, accommodation expenses, or study materials.
  • Only two loan financiers are available. They are DBS and OCBC. Moreover, it may so happen that your university is tied up with one of the lenders and not both. For example, the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) has appointed DBS to be the administrator of this loan. NUS or NTU, on the other hand, allow their students to choose either DBS or OCBC as their loan financier.
  • Repayment must start within 2 years from the date of graduation.
  • Late payment will attract an additional interest rate of 1% per month.
  • Full or partial early loan redemption may be possible. However, you may have to give the bank/university a written intimation some time before the actual date.
  • If you quit before the completion of your study programme, the entire outstanding loan balance will become due with immediate effect. Whether you can make the payment in instalments or at one go, will depend on the terms imposed by your institute of higher education.
  • Not all study programmes may be eligible. You’ll have to refer to the website of your respective institute to check which programmes will be considered.

Want to Apply? Check the Criteria Here Before You Do So

You may be eligible for this loan irrespective of your nationality, provided you satisfy the following general criteria:

For Full-Time Undergraduate Students at Public Universities or Full-Time Diploma Students at Local Polytechnics:

  • You’re not receiving full tuition fee subsidy from MENDAKI.
  • You’re not using CPF savings to pay for 100% of the subsidised tuition fee.
  • You’re not enrolled in a self-funded education programme.
  • You’re not receiving a scholarship, fee subsidy, or grant that covers your full subsidised tuition fee.
  • You’re not an international student paying full fees i.e. you have received a tuition fee grant.
  • There is no minimum age or income criterion for you.

Your guarantor:

  • Should be aged between 21 years and 60 years.
  • Should not be an undischarged bankrupt.

In addition, the following conditions will apply:

  • Are you a Singaporean? Your guarantor must be a Singaporean, too.
  • Are you a permanent resident of Singapore? Your guarantor can be a PR or citizen of Singapore.
  • Are you a foreigner? There is no restriction on the nationality of your guarantor.

Your institute might have additional eligibility requirements. Please refer to its website to learn more.

Enjoy a Convenient Application Process

Here’s how you can apply:

  • Download the relevant application form from your institute’s website.
  • Download the Letter of Admission if you’re a new student.
  • Visit the financing bank with the completed form and letter of offer (new student) or student ID card (existing student).
  • Ask your guarantor to accompany you.
  • Both you and your guarantor should carry NRIC/passport for identification purposes.
  • Carry any other supporting document that’s relevant.

Please note that the application period and deadline is set by the respective institute. If you’re a needy student looking for soft financing, this loan can be a great option for you. This tuition fee scheme can give your hopes and ambitions the much-needed wings to fly. Make the most of it.

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