Published: October 3, 2020 | Updated: October 7, 2020 | Posted by: Venus Zoleta | Loans
Short on cash for tuition this school year? If you can’t get a scholarship or financial support from relatives, an alternative way to fund your college education is to borrow money from a reputable lender. This is where student loans come into play.
Student loans have never been more important for financially challenged families in the Philippines. During the pandemic, educational expenses are rising due to spending on laptops and other equipment, home internet service upgrade, and other costs of homeschooling. Tuition increases could also happen. Not to mention that some parents have lost their job and, hence, the capacity to finance their children’s education.
Whether you’re a student or a parent looking for financial assistance, know that there are good education loans for students to choose from in the Philippines.
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A student loan is money borrowed to pay for the cost of college education. Also called an education loan, tuition loan, or tuition installment plan, this type of loan usually covers tuition and other school fees, books and supplies, allowances, student accommodations, and other school expenses.
Students who need financial assistance (or their parents and guardians) may apply for student loans in the Philippines.
Unlike scholarships and grants, student loans must be paid back in monthly installments, plus interest, over the entire loan term. Some lenders allow student-borrowers to fully repay their loans after they graduate or find a job.
Government agencies, banks, and private lenders in the Philippines provide student loans. For this list, we’ve narrowed down your options to 10 education loans with the best features. Some of them charge low interest, reducing the cost of borrowing. Others have an easy and quick online application for students who need to pay for their tuition urgently.
Here are the best student loans in the Philippines for students who need financial aid.
The Student Loan Program for Tertiary Education-Short Term (SLPTE-ST) is the government’s financial assistance program under the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (Republic Act 10931). The loan can be used to pay for tuition, books, school materials, school fees, allowance, or review expenses for PRC licensure exams.
The CHED student loan has the lowest cost of borrowing among student loans in the Philippines. Student borrowers who pay off their loan within the semester would not have to pay interest.
Submit the requirements to the office that’s in charge of receiving student loan applications in your university. Your school will then forward your student loan application to the Commission on Higher Education for approval.
Once you’re approved, CHED will endorse your application to the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), which will require you to open a DBP account at its nearest branch.
The Educational Assistance Loan Program (EALP) enables SSS members to borrow money to pay for their beneficiary’s college education.
Only one EALP beneficiary is allowed per member-borrower. Beneficiaries can be the member-borrowers themselves, their child, their legal spouse, or their sibling (for unmarried members only)—as long as they’re not full scholars enjoying free tuition and other school fees. They should be enrolled in any undergraduate course offered by schools accredited by CHED, TESDA, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, and other government agencies.
Present the original copy and submit the photocopy of the requirements to the nearest SSS branch. Once the loan is approved, you may claim your check at the Administrative Section of the branch where you applied for EALP.
Currently, there’s no online application for SSS EALP—it’s not included in the E-Services of My.SSS portal. Thus, you need to personally file your EALP application at an SSS office.
GSIS offers two student loan programs for its members who need to borrow for the school expenses of their children, nieces, or nephews.
One is an education loan for the tuition and other school expenses of GSIS member-borrowers’ beneficiaries enrolled in an undergraduate course of a private or public university. Repayments begin only in the sixth year after the loan approval, when the student-beneficiaries have finished their studies and started working.
The GSIS computer loan is for members who need to buy a laptop and other equipment for their beneficiaries’ online classes.
Contact GSIS through its call center hotline or official Facebook page to inquire about its education loan and computer loan programs.
The Pag-IBIG Multipurpose Loan or Pag-IBIG Salary Loan helps members cover a wide range of financial needs, including their beneficiary’s tuition and other school fees. The loan amount is released through check or the borrower’s disbursement card.
I-STUDY is a student loan program from LANDBANK that was recently launched to help parents who are struggling to finance their children’s education due to unemployment and other effects of the pandemic.
LANDBANK offers two types of student loans under the I-STUDY program: the short-term loan for pre-school, primary, and secondary school students and the term loan for college students. The loan amount is released directly to the school’s account to cover the tuition and other enrollment-related fees of the borrower’s beneficiary.
Qualified students for the program are Filipinos aged 30 and below, of good moral character (as certified by the school), and who are not a current beneficiary of free tuition and other school fees under RA 10931 or any scholarship program.
The I-STUDY program will be available only for School Years 2021 to 2022.
Submit the student loan requirements to the nearest LANDBANK lending center. Once your loan is approved, you’ll be required to open a LANDBANK deposit account where the funds will be credited. Additional documents should also be submitted to the bank before the loan amount is released and after enrollment.
BDO is one of the banks with low-interest rates on personal loans in the Philippines. You can get a BDO personal loan to finance your child’s or your own education.
OFWs who need to borrow for their children’s tuition and other school fees enjoy even lower interest rates through the BDO Kabayan secured loan. Annual rates range from 17.06% to 17.08% (0.78% to 0.84% monthly add-on rates). To qualify for the BDO secured loan for OFWs, a BDO savings account or time deposit with at least PHP 15,000 deposit is the required collateral.
Submit the personal loan requirements at any BDO branch.
Citibank offers a low-interest personal loan with flexible payment terms and a high loan amount limit. Applicants can also get approved in as fast as 24 hours. Such features make the Citi personal loan ideal for borrowing money for college tuition payment.
BPI credit cardholders may avail of a tuition installment plan using their card. No need to submit any document to the bank or go through a tiring loan application process. The loan can be used to pay not just for tuition but also for other school expenses.
Simply use your BPI credit card when paying for tuition at a BPI-accredited school. You’ll be billed your monthly amortization over a period of up to 12 months based on your chosen loan term.
Bukas is an education financing company licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that provides student loans for college students in the Philippines. Students of Bukas’ partner schools such as FEU, CEU, Mapua University, and Lyceum of the Philippines may avail of a Bukas student loan.
This tuition loan is easy to obtain through online application with a 1 to 3-day processing time. It’s also flexible when it comes to repayments, as borrowers can start repaying their loan 30 days after application.
Register for an account on the Bukas.ph website (app.bukas.ph/register), complete your profile, and fill out an online application form. You’ll also need to upload an image of each requirement. Wait for a text message from Bukas about your loan approval.
InvestEd is a social enterprise licensed as a lender by the SEC. It provides four types of student loans for different purposes: tuition payments, gadget purchases (e.g., laptops, tablets, and smartphones for online classes), allowance, and payments for thesis-related expenses.
InvestEd makes education loans more accessible through an easy online application process and customizable payment plans. Student-borrowers may choose to repay immediately or after graduation.
Students approved for the InvestEd education loan also receive digital one-one-one coaching to guide them through repayment and provide them with tips and tools for graduating from college and starting a career. It’s the only student loan in the Philippines that offers a coaching program to borrowers.
Create an account on the InvestEd website and fill out an online application form. Within two to five days, you’ll receive the results of your student loan application.
If you qualify, you’ll undergo a 20-minute phone interview with a loan officer. An InvestED representative will ask you to submit documents such as valid government-issued ID, proof of address, and proof of academic status.
Once approved, your loan amount will be released via your mobile wallet or bank account. For tuition and gadget loans, the funds are paid directly to the school or equipment supplier/merchant.
Here are some quick tips to help you pick the right student loan plus tips for a faster student loan approval.
Students are easy prey for illegal lenders because of their lack of knowledge and experience. Never transact with lenders that charge a very high interest rate. Research the company’s background and check if they have a lending license from the SEC.
Your birth certificate issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) always comes in handy in your scholarship and student loan applications. This document is usually required and accepted as proof of identity.
Other valid IDs students can easily get are NBI clearance, barangay clearance, police clearance, and postal ID.
To ensure you won’t be burdened with loan repayments you can’t afford, study each of your options carefully and then compare its features with other student loans.
Particularly, look for these features:
Whether you love or hate math, you have to compute the monthly installment to know if you (or your parent) can afford it. Check the lender’s website for a sample computation of monthly amortization. If it’s not available online, inquire through the lender’s customer service hotline or social media account.
Involve your parents or guardians in your decision-making. Even better, consult someone who’s knowledgeable about student loans, such as a lawyer, accountant, or finance professional. Their opinions can guide you through choosing the best loan for you.
Borrowing money eases the burden of making a big upfront payment for tuition and other school fees. As such, legitimate student loans in the Philippines help students continue their college education and focus on their studies instead of worrying about their educational expenses.