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  • The Students’ Loan Bureau (SLB) grace period for repayment of loans by borrowers has been extended from six to 14 months.
  • This was announced by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, during his opening presentation in the 2020/21 Budget Debate, which got under way in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (March 10).
  • Dr. Clarke said the extension will apply to tertiary students graduating as at the end of the 2018/19 academic year, and all future borrowers.

The Students’ Loan Bureau (SLB) grace period for repayment of loans by borrowers has been extended from six to 14 months.

This was announced by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, during his opening presentation in the 2020/21 Budget Debate, which got under way in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (March 10).

Dr. Clarke said the extension will apply to tertiary students graduating as at the end of the 2018/19 academic year, and all future borrowers.

“Students will now have 14 months from graduation to begin repaying their student loan at the low rates that exist, of four and five per cent. All students who graduated in June last year, who would have ordinarily been required to begin repayment in January [2020], will now have until September 2020 to do so,” he explained.

Dr. Clarke was addressing a post-Budget press briefing at the Finance Ministry in Kingston on Wednesday (March 11).

The Minister noted that the extension represented a 133 per cent increase in the timeline.

“I think you’ll agree with me that a one-time increase of 133 per cent in anything is quite a momentous jump, which will make a big difference to all those who graduated last year… 2019… and all those who are going to graduate in 2020, going forward,” he said.

The Minister said it is anticipated that the change will enable the SLB to continue to fulfil its mandate of “sustainably increasing access to tertiary education in Jamaica”.

Meanwhile, Dr. Clarke advised that the Good Standing Benefit has been applied to 75 per cent of eligible loans, and developers have since fixed the variances observed with the remaining 25 per cent of the portfolio.

The Good Standing Benefit is applicable to accounts in the repayment phase and are maintained on a current basis or are up to 30 days past due.

It is also applicable to beneficiaries who are still in school (moratorium loans) and maintain a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.5 for the prior academic year.

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