Study Now, Pay Later: How to Get a Student Loan in the Philippines

Published: October 3, 2020 | Updated: October 7, 2020 | Posted by: Venus Zoleta | Loans


Student Loans in the Philippines | Moneymax

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[1]. 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.

What is a Student Loan?

student loans in the philippines - what is a student loan?

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.

Read more:

Where Can I Apply for a Student Loan?

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.

CHED Student Loan Program

student loans in the philippines - ched student loan program

Key Features:

  • Who can apply: All Filipino undergraduate, graduate, medicine, and law students enrolled in public and private universities in the Philippines
  • How much you can borrow: Up to PHP 60,000 per academic year
  • Interest rates:
    • 0% – If the loan is fully paid on or before the end of the semester
    • 6% – If the loan is not fully paid by the end of the semester
  • How long you can repay the loan: One year

The Student Loan Program for Tertiary Education-Short Term (SLPTE-ST) is the government’s financial assistance program[2] 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.

CHED Student Loan Requirements:

  • Three copies of accomplished SLPTE-ST application form[2]
  • Photocopy of the applicant’s Certificate of School Registration
  • Parents’ or applicant’s (if employed) income tax return (ITR), payslips, certificate of employment, audited financial statements, or other proof of family income
  • Co-maker’s ITR or other proof of family income
  • Photocopy of the co-maker’s valid government-issued ID
  • Photocopy of the applicant’s school ID
  • Two 1×1 ID photos of the applicant and co-maker

How to Apply for CHED Student Loan

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.

SSS Educational Assistance Loan Program

student loans in the philippines - sss educational assistance loan program

Key Features:

  • Who can apply: SSS members below 60 years old with a monthly income of PHP 25,000 or below and at least 36 posted SSS contributions (six of which are posted within the last 12 months before the month of the education loan application)
  • How much you can borrow:
    • For four/five-year degree courses: Up to PHP 20,000 per semester
    • For two-year technical/vocational courses: Up to PHP 10,000 per semester
  • Interest rate: 6% per year
  • Fees and charges:
    • Maintenance charge: 2% of the loan balance
    • Penalty for late payment: 1% per month for any unpaid amortization
    • Check replacement service fee: PHP 300
  • How long you can repay the loan:
    • For degree courses: Up to five years
    • For technical/vocational courses: Up to three years

The Educational Assistance Loan Program (EALP)[3] 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.

SSS EALP Requirements:

  • Accomplished SSS EALP application form[3]
  • Valid IDs
  • Assessment/Billing statement issued by the beneficiary’s school
  • Proof of relationship to the beneficiary (i.e., birth certificate/baptismal certificate/marriage certificate)
  • Any proof of monthly income:
    • Latest payslip or certificate of employment and compensation
    • Latest ITR or BIR Form 2316
    • Notarized Affidavit of No Income or Affidavit of Source and Amount of Monthly Income

How to Apply for SSS Educational Assistance Loan

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 Education Loan and Computer Loan Programs

Key Features:

  • Who can apply: Active GSIS members with permanent status and at least 15 years in government service
  • How much you can borrow:
    • Education loan: Up to PHP 100,000 per school year
    • Computer loan: Up to PHP 30,000
  • Interest rate: 6% per year
  • How long you can repay the loan:
    • Education loan: 10 years with a grace period of five years
    • Computer loan: Three years

GSIS offers two student loan programs[4] 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.

How to Apply for GSIS Student Loan

Contact GSIS through its call center hotline or official Facebook page to inquire about its education loan and computer loan programs.

Pag-IBIG Multipurpose Loan

student loans in the philippines - pag-ibig multipurpose loan

Photo from Pag-IBIG Fund website

Key Features:

  • Who can apply: Active Pag-IBIG members with at least 24 paid contributions and sufficient proof of income
  • How much you can borrow: Up to 80% of the member’s Pag-IBIG regular savings
  • Interest rate: 10.5% per year
  • How long you can repay the loan: 24 months with a grace period of two months

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.

LANDBANK I-STUDY Program

student loans in the philippines - landbank i-study program

Key Features:

  • Who can apply: Filipino parents and guardians with established repayment capacity and credit history
  • How much you can borrow: Up to PHP 300,000
  • Interest rate: 5% per year
  • Fees and charges:
    • Penalty for failure to pay the loan: 24% per year
    • Loan processing fee
    • Documentary stamp tax: PHP 1.50 per PHP 200 of the loan amount
  • How long you can repay the loan:
    • For short-term loan: One year
    • For term loan: Up to three years, including a one-year grace period on the principal

I-STUDY is a student loan program from LANDBANK[5] 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.

LANDBANK I-STUDY Requirements

  • Accomplished loan application form
  • Borrower’s valid ID
  • Borrower’s proof of income
    • For employed borrowers: Certificate of employment, latest three-month payslips, and latest ITR
    • For self-employed: Business permit and latest ITR
  • Proof of billing address and payment record from at least two utility/service companies
    • For incoming students: Enrollment form/admission slip with school ID
    • For continuing students: Latest enrollment or registration form
  • Form 138/Certified True Copy of Grades for the previous semester attended
  • Certificate of Good Moral Character issued by the school
  • Schedule of payment of school fees and other enrollment-related expenses for the semester or school year

How to Apply for LANDBANK I-STUDY Program

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 Personal Loan

student loans in the philippines - bdo personal loan

Key Features:

  • Who can apply: Filipinos and foreign residents in the Philippines aged 21 to 70 with at gross annual income of at least PHP 180,000 (employed) or PHP 400,000 (self-employed)
  • How much you can borrow: Minimum of PHP 10,000
  • Interest rates: 25.98% to 26.76% per year (1.25% to 1.30% monthly add-on rate)
  • How long you can repay the loan: Six to 36 months

BDO is one of the banks with low-interest rates on personal loans in the Philippines. You can get a BDO personal loan[6] 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.

BDO Personal Loan Requirements

  • At least two valid IDs
  • Proof of income:
    • For employed borrowers: Latest ITR plus latest full-month payslips or certificate of employment and compensation
    • For self-employed: Latest ITR, audited financial statements for the last two years, and DTI Certificate of Business Name Registration

How to Apply for a BDO Personal Loan

Submit the personal loan requirements at any BDO branch.

Citi Personal Loan

student loans in the philippines - citi personal loan

Key Features:

  • Who can apply: Filipinos and foreign residents in the Philippines aged 21 to 65 with a taxpayer identification number (TIN), credit card, and minimum gross annual income of PHP 250,000
  • How much you can borrow: PHP 100,000 to PHP 2 million
  • Interest rate: 26.9% per year
  • Fees and charges:
    • Disbursement fee: PHP 1,750
    • Documentary stamp tax: PHP 1.50 per PHP 200 of the loan amount
    • Monthly late charge: PHP 500 or 6% of the overdue amount, whichever is higher
  • How long you can repay the loan: One to five years

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 SIP Loan for School

student loans in the philippines - bpi sip loan

Key Features:

  • Who can apply: Parents with BPI credit cards whose children are enrolled in BPI’s partner schools[7]
  • How much you can borrow: Up to your available BPI credit card limit
  • Interest rate: 16.22% to 31.32% per year
  • How long you can repay the loan: Three to 12 months

BPI credit cardholders may avail of a tuition installment plan[7] 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.

How to Apply for BPI SIP Loan

Simply use your BPI credit card when paying for tuition at a BPI-accredited school[7]. You’ll be billed your monthly amortization over a period of up to 12 months based on your chosen loan term.

Bukas Tuition Installment Plan

student loans in the philippines - bukas tuition loan

Key Features:

  • Who can apply: Filipino undergraduate and graduate (masters, doctorate, law, and medicine) students enrolled in Bukas’ partner schools and with a guardian or guarantor aged 21 and above. Parents may also apply on behalf of qualified students.
  • How much you can borrow: Up to 100% of your tuition, laboratory fees, miscellaneous fees, and other enrollment fees
  • Interest rate: 1.5% per month
  • Fees and charges:
    • Service fee: 3% of the loan amount
    • Late payment fee: 5% of the overdue amount
  • How long you can repay the loan: 12 months

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[8].

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.

Bukas Education Loan Requirements

  • School ID
  • Tuition/Assessment form issued by the school
  • Guardian’s/Guarantor’s valid ID, proof of residence, and proof of income

How to Apply for Bukas Student Loan

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 Student Loan

student loans in the philippines - invested tuition loan

Key Features:

  • Who can apply: Filipino students 18 years old and above who are enrolled in a university in the Philippines and in their last two years of college
  • How much you can borrow: PHP 10,000 to PHP 100,000 (depending on student’s financial need and other factors)
  • Interest rate: 27% to 35% per year (2.3% to 2.9% per month)
  • Service fee: 22% of the loan amount or PHP 3,000, whichever is higher
  • How long you can repay the loan: Customized loan repayment plan based on the student’s needs and financial situation

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.

How to Apply for an InvestEd Student Loan

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.

Read more: Building Your Child’s Tuition Fund: A 5-Step Guide for New Parents

Tips for Students Applying for an Education Loan

student loans in the philippines - tips for student loan programs

Here are some quick tips to help you pick the right student loan plus tips for a faster student loan approval.

1. Don’t Fall for Loan Sharks

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[9].

2. Get Your PSA Birth Certificate

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.

3. Compare Student Loans in the Philippines

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:

  • Low interest rate, low fees, and no hidden charges – These will lower your cost of borrowing.
  • Loan amount – Compute how much you need to borrow and check if it’s within the range that the lender is willing to lend.
  • Loan term – How soon can you fully pay off your student loan? If you need a long time for repayments, look for a lender that offers a longer term. Consider getting a student loan that allows you to start paying after you graduate or get a job.

4. Ask for a Sample Computation

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.

5. Seek Advice and Opinions

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

Get the right loan for any purpose with Moneymax!

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