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Finding education loans

If you are already pondering how you will find money for the expenses attached to the new school year which begins in September, some of the cheapest loans we found were from credit unions with a limited population such as the University of the West Indies credit Union which loans a maximum of J$150,000 for UWI and University of Technology (UTECH) students.

The interest rate is 8 per cent on the reducing balance and repayment period is two years. Of course the amount - $150,000 is not enough for two years of university, but as we say in Jamaica, every mickle mek a muckle. After two years you can apply again.

In general, remember to check for special community/industry loans and don't forget to check your local credit unions, churches and benevolent societies. You can never tell what they might have available unless you ask.

A student who takes the UWI credit union loan will begin paying $7,937 monthly 30 days after disbursement. He or she must have a source or income or guarantor pay until can repay. The guarantor will have to come in with documents proving this.

This credit union also offers larger loans which must be six times what you have in shares. At 17 .5 per cent . A rep said that the maximum given depends on collateral available. Students who can come up with Motor vehicle aged 2000 onwards, savings account, investment policies, land and house titles worth the value of their needs will be able to access this.

The Jamaica Teachers Association lends to its members a maximum $200,000, interest rate 23 per cent on the reducing balance. Two guarantors are required. For regular loans which exceed this amount, - up to ten time shares - you will need collateral. Regular loans can be as low as s 18 percent on the reducing balance.

The Jamaica Defence Force Credit union offers an education loan special is designed to assist members with back to school expenses of up to $200,000. The package is available for both adults and children for tuition fees, school books and other school related expenses.

Requirements include 10% of Loan Amount, the parents Last 2 pay Slips, a Picture ID
School Voucher, Proforma-Invoice for books to be purchased.

The City of Kingston credit union offers a maximum of $200,000 for its education loan. The amount attracts 24 interest on the reducing balance and is repayable in two years. Payment is expected one month after the money is disbursed and will be $11,631.64 monthly

Churches Credit union lend to r persons who are not working but going to school, but they will need a Guarantor who will be responsible for the monthly payments.

For unsecured loans of as Maximum $300,000.00, applicants will need -15% of the amount in shares and membership of 5 years and above. If they have been members for less than five years they will need 25 percent of the required amount in their shares.

The repayment term is 2 years and the interest rate is 37.5%p.a.

Secured loans are unlimited and require ten percent of the amount in shares and collateral valued to cover the remainder.
Collateral can include property, Motor vehicle, Insurance Policy, Cash.
The interest rate is 18.5% p.a. and the repayment Term - 60 months

Churches special education loan requires a letter of Acceptance from Educational Institution and/Bank Voucher, Proof of Income: Salary Verification Letter & Last 2 Pay Advice or Audited Financial Statement (self employed persons), Valid ID, Credit References and Character references where applicable. The applicant will also need a passport Size Photograph. The Last month's rent/mortgage receipt, Last month's utility bill and salary Deduction forms.

The bank of nova Scotia states that all of their loans can be used for educational purposes .These include Scotia Plan Loans - secured or unsecured , Home Equity loan and Scotialine.... In keeping with the Bank's lending policy, we provide loans to people who can show proof of being able to repay - self employed or employed.
National commercial bank, Kerine Hamilton of National Commercial Bank notes that the institution does not have a packaged education loan but our existing loan facilities can be used for further education or your child's education.
Unsecured Facilities include NCB Reward Loan, NCB Payroll Plus & NCB Signature Line
Secured Facilities include NCB Home Equity & NCB Cash Secured Loans. NCB has in the past offered discounted loans to teachers and civil servants.

The student loan bureau offers full tuition loans at 12 per cent with a moratorium that covers the period of study.

It is noted on its website that in excess of 6,000 students apply for loans annually, and on average 88% of these are successful in accessing an SLB loan. The claim is also made that 8 out of every 10 student who applies for financing from the SLB are successful.

Contact the SLB at :

The Students' Loan Bureau
5th Floor, North Tower
NCB Towers,
2 Oxford Road
Kingston 5.
Tel: 876-754-2559
Toll Free: 1-888-991-2603

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