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Study Now, Pay Later: 15 Student Loans in the Philippines

Venus Zoleta

Venus Zoleta

Last updated June 30, 2023

The pandemic may be over, but its economic consequences are here to stay for a little longer. On a microeconomic level, many individuals still struggle to fight the lingering impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

In the education sector alone, Filipino students continue to miss important opportunities due to financial woes. While scholarships and grants are among the obvious remedies to students’ financial incapacities, most of them have rigorous academic requirements that not everyone can satisfy. Thankfully, there’s a more inclusive alternative: student loans.

In this guide, you’ll learn how this kind of financial assistance works. We’ve also listed down a few reputable organizations that offer student loans in the Philippines.

What is a Student Loan?

A student loan is an amount borrowed to pay for the cost of a 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.

Scholarships, Grants, and Student Loans: What’s the Difference?

student loans philippines - scholarships vs grants vs loans

All these terms refer to financial aid for students to pay off higher education expenses. Although scholarships, grants, and student loans may sound the same, these three are entirely different from each other.

For a clearer view, below is an explanation for each type of financial assistance for students in the Philippines.

📚 Scholarships

In essence, scholarships are based on either the student’s academic performance or skills. For instance, Jennifer is a scholar because she was a member of the university’s volleyball team, while Gerald is a scholar because he consistently maintains high grades in his subjects.

You may have a scholarship during your first year in college, but you might lose this once your grades fall below the required rating. Scholarships can also be given in full or per semester, depending on the terms of the aid. Government agencies, LGUs, and higher education institutions usually sponsor scholarship programs.

📚 Grants

A grant refers to the amount provided to a student in the form of cash. Grants may or may not be based on academic performance. Some sponsors consider the applicant’s economic status.

For instance, you can have a grant of ₱50,000 worth of college funds. This may or may not cover the costs for the entire school year but may be used to pay for tuition and other school expenses.

📚 Student Loans

Student loans are entirely different from grants and scholarships because the amount borrowed needs to be paid back. Whether it’s a government student loan in the Philippines or a loan from the bank, students should return the money according to the terms and conditions indicated in the loan agreement.

So how are such loans considered a form of financial aid? Although you need to pay off the money in the future, the loan eases your current financial burden. Use the loan amount to study and graduate, then start repaying after a specified loan term, or after you earn your degree and land your first job.

Advantages of Applying for a Student Loan

student loans in the Philippines - why get one

Applying for a tuition fee loan is one of the most practical options students and parents can consider. Here are a few reasons why.

👍 Cheaper Than Other Types of Loans

Student loan interest rates start as low as 0.50% each month, which is way lower compared to personal loan interest rates of 0.69% and above. Some government student loans also don’t charge application fees, which can be a huge relief for those who are trying to cut education costs.

👍 No Credit Score Required

Contrary to credit card and personal loan applications, most student loans don’t check on your or your parent’s credit scores. This means you’ll have a higher chance of approval once you’ve submitted the correct documents and complied with the requirements.

👍 Easy Repayment Terms

Although a few loans for students should be paid by the end of the current semester, most tuition loans in the Philippines allow borrowers to pay off the amount after graduation, when they’re already working.

👍 Helps You Focus on Your Studies

Instead of you and your parents worrying about making payments, student loans give you peace of mind, allowing you to focus on your studies and plan your career.

👍 Opens a Wide Range of Opportunities

The rewards you’ll reap will manifest not only financially but also in other ways. For example, taking out a personal loan or a student loan will train you to manage your personal finances properly. You’ll learn the importance of repaying your debt on time and fulfilling your monthly obligations. 

It can also be a good start to building your credit history, so you can apply for bigger loan amounts for a business and other investments in the future.


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Disadvantages of Applying for a Student Loan

Student loans are not entirely harmless. While they offer some great benefits, they can be more detrimental than useful if mismanaged. Here are some of the disadvantages of getting a student loan.

👎 Starting Your Adult Life in Debt

Student loans can put you at a disadvantage fresh out of college. It will especially be a bigger burden to you if you struggle to find a job right away or get stuck in one that pays very little. 

Interest may also accumulate if you don’t prioritize settling your debt. You might end up struggling to make ends meet or even fall into a debt trap if you don’t manage your finances well.

👎 Forces You to Put Off Other Life Goals

Debt can cripple you financially and leave you with no choice but to live paycheck to paycheck. If you don’t have enough cash coming in, you might also struggle to save for your other life goals while paying off your debt. Getting your own house or traveling abroad will be completely out of the picture until you’ve settled all your financial obligations.

👎 Your Credit Score Will Drop if You Can’t Pay

Defaulting on your student loans will significantly impact your credit score, which in turn will affect your ability to apply for credit cards, car loans, and mortgages down the line.

Where Can I Apply for a Student Loan?

Government agencies, banks, private lenders, and schools in the Philippines offer student loans. For this list, we’ve narrowed down your options to 15 educational 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 philippines - ched student loan program

The Student Loan Program (SLP) of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is one of the educational assistance subsidies under Republic Act No. 10931. Other programs include Free Higher Education, Tertiary Education Subsidy, and Free Tech-Voc Education and Training.[1]

CHED’s SLP falls under the Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST), which has replaced the now defunct Study Now, Pay Later Program (SNPLP) that ran until 2018.

This student loan program is made to support Filipino students who need financial aid for their education. Students can use the loan proceeds to pay for their tuition fees, books, supplemental learning materials, school allowance, and other school-related fees.

As this type of loan is short-term, students are expected to settle their loan obligations within a year. Otherwise, they won’t be able to graduate.

Key Features of the CHED Student Loan

Here are some key information about this loan.

  • Maximum loanable amount: ₱60,000 (per program cycle)
  • Interest rate: 0% (if paid within the loan term or academic year)
  • Loan term: Up to 12 months 

CHED Student Loan Requirements

To be eligible for CHED’s educational loan program, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Filipino citizen
  • Undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in state universities or colleges (SUC), CHED-recognized local universities and colleges (LUC), or quality-assured private higher education institutions (HEI)
  • Enrolled in a program that is in the CHED registry
  • Did not avail of the SLP during their undergraduate studies and are now either pursuing graduate studies (including Medicine and Law) or reviewing for their licensure exams 

To be prioritized for CHED’s loan program, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Not qualified for a Tertiary Education Subsidy
  • Not part of the Listahanan 2.0
  • Student from a private HEI or Technical-Vocational Education and Trainings (TVET) center
  • Applying for the SLP for the first time

Make sure to prepare the following documents when applying for the CHED Student Loan Program (SLP):

  • Certificate of registration or enrollment
  • Income tax return of the applicant (if employed), or other proof of family income
  • Income tax return or other proof of family income of the co-maker
  • School ID of the applicant
  • Government-issued ID of the co-maker
  • 1x1 photo of the applicant
  • 1x1 photo of the co-maker

How to Apply for a CHED Student Loan

To apply for the CHED Student Loan Program, follow the steps below.

  1. Fill out the Student Loan Program Short-Term (SLP-ST) application form.
  2. Submit the filled-out form to your HEI office, along with the other requirements.
  3. Wait for your HEI to process and deliberate on your application. If you are deemed qualified by your school, they will endorse your application to UniFAST coordinators, who will subject your application to more rounds of evaluation.
  4. If your application is approved, you will receive a notice through your HEI from the UniFAST central office.
  5. You will be asked to accomplish and sign your loan documents, which will be submitted back by the HEI to the UniFAST coordinators.
  6. You will then open a bank account with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).
  7. Wait for the loan proceeds to be credited to your DBP account.

How to Repay Your CHED Student Loan

You will receive your student loan proceeds during the enrollment period or at the beginning of your semester. You have 12 months to settle your loan from the date of receipt.

There are two ways you can pay for your CHED student loan:

  • Pay directly over the counter at any DBP branch nationwide
  • Pay through your HEI, which shall remit your payment to UniFASt at any DBP branch nationwide

🎓 SSS Educational Assistance Loan Program

Launched in 2012, the Educational Assistance Loan Program (EALP) enables SSS members to borrow money to pay for their beneficiary’s college education.[2]

Only one EALP beneficiary is allowed per member-borrower. Beneficiaries can be the member-borrowers themselves, their child (legitimate, illegitimate, or legally adopted), 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.

The SSS Educational Assistance Loan is funded on a 50-50 basis by the National Government and the SSS.

Key Features of the SSS Educational Assistance Loan

Here are some key information about this loan.

  • Loanable amount:
    • For four-year degree courses: Up to ₱20,000 per term (maximum of ₱160,000 full allocation or eight semesters, 12 trimesters, or 16 quarters)
    • For five-year degree courses: Up to ₱20,000 per term (maximum of ₱200,000 full allocation or 10 semesters, 15 trimesters, or 20 quarters)
    • For two-year technical/vocational courses: Up to ₱10,000 per semester/trimester (maximum of ₱40,000 or four semesters for semestral programs, or a maximum of ₱60,000 or six trimesters for trimestral programs)
  • Interest rate: 6% per year (to be applied only on half of your loan amount—i.e., the amount funded by SSS)
  • Repayment terms:
    • For degree courses: Up to five years
    • For technical/vocational courses: Up to three years

SSS Educational Assistance Loan Requirements

To qualify for the SSS Educational Assistance Loan Program, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Member-borrower must be below 60 years old
  • Member-borrower must not be 65 years old or older at the end of the repayment term
  • Monthly basic salary or income of ₱25,000 or below
  • At least 36 posted SSS contributions (six of which should be posted within the last 12 months before the month of the loan application)
  • Up-to-date in the payment of member loans amortizations (i.e., no overdue payments for salary or housing loans)

Once you’ve determined that you’re eligible for the loan, prepare the following documents for a  seamless application process:

  • Accomplished SSS EALP application form[2]
  • Member-borrower’s SSS ID or two valid IDs (original and photocopy)
  • Assessment or billing statement issued by the beneficiary’s school
  • Proof of relationship to the beneficiary (i.e., birth certificate, baptismal certificate, or marriage certificate)
  • Photocopy of the stamped SSS E1 form of the beneficiary
  • Proof of monthly income:
    • Latest payslip or certificate of employment and compensation (original and photocopy), if employed
    • Latest BIR-stamped ITR, if self-employed
    • Notarized Affidavit of Income, stating that your actual monthly salary is not more than ₱25,000, if self-employed or voluntary
    • Notarized Affidavit of No Income or Affidavit of Source and Amount of Monthly Income

How to Apply for an SSS Educational Assistance Loan

The process of applying for an SSS educational assistance loan is simple and straightforward. Just follow these steps:

  1. Go to the nearest SSS branch.
  2. Submit the SSS EALP application form along with the other requirements outlined above.
  3. Wait for updates about the status of your loan.
  4. Once your loan is approved, claim your check at the Administrative Section of the branch where you applied for the EALP.

How to Repay Your SSS Educational Assistance Loan

You will receive your billing statement either through postal mail or email in the month following the consolidation of your EALP. See the terms below per program type:

  • For semestral programs: Start paying 18 months from the release of your last loan check
  • For trimestral programs: Start paying 15 months from the release of your last loan check
  • For quarterly programs: Start paying 14 months and 15 days from the release of your last loan check

To repay your loan, just follow the steps below:

  1. Fill out the Member Loan Payment Return Form (SS Form ML-1). 
  2. Make sure to indicate “educational loan” under Payment Type.
  3. Go to any SSS branch or SSS-accredited bank to make your payment.

Alternatively, you can also pay for your loan through salary deduction. Discuss this with your employer to get more clarity on the process.

🎓 GSIS Education Loan 

Under its Ginhawa for All (GFAL) program, which aims to ensure the general welfare of people who work in the government, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) offers an Educational Loan that essentially enables students to study now and pay later.

The loan is open for active GSIS members who have children and/or relatives who are pursuing an undergraduate course in a private or public university. What’s good about this loan is that repayments begin only in the sixth year after the loan approval, when the student beneficiaries have finished their studies and started working.[3]

Key Features of the GSIS Education Loan 

Here are some key information about this loan:

  • Loanable amount: Up to ₱100,000 per school year (maximum of ₱500,000 for a five-year college degree)
  • Interest rate: 8% per year
  • Loan term: 10 years with a maximum grace period of five years

GSIS Education Loan Requirements

To qualify for the GSIS Educational Loan, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Active GSIS member with at least 15 years length of service
  • Has updated monthly premium contributions for both personal share and government share
  • Has a clean government record (i.e., no administrative and/or criminal case)
  • Agency status is not “suspended”
  • No overdue GSIS loan/s
  • Not on leave of absence without pay at the time of application
  • With the appropriate net take-home pay (NTHP) as required under the General Appropriations Act

If you’re a qualified borrower, you can nominate a maximum of two beneficiaries, as long as they meet the following criteria:

  • Filipino citizen and resident of the Philippines
  • Related to the borrower up to the third degree of consanguinity or affinity
  • Student enrolled in an undergraduate course (with a maximum of five years)

Prepare the following required documents to make the application process more seamless:

  • Accomplished application form filled out by both borrower and co-maker
  • Photocopy of the student’s latest tuition assessment form (original copy to be presented)
  • Photocopy of the school ID with three signature specimens found on the same page (if unavailable, any valid IDs showing the date of birth, picture and signature of the student)

How to Apply for a GSIS Education Loan

There are two ways you can apply for a GSIS Education Loan: via eGSISMO and via email.

How to Apply for a GSIS Education Loan via eGSISMO
  1. Create or log into your eGSISMO account.
  2. Go to Loans Application and choose GFAL-EL.
  3. Upload the required school documents along with a photo of you holding your valid IDs.
  4. Confirm the Loan Agreement and click Save.
  5. Await for the confirmation in the email and a loan counseling session via video call.
  6. Submit the original copy of the documents you’ve previously submitted via eGSISMO.
How to Apply for a GSIS Education Loan via Email
  1. Fill out the Educational Loan application form. 
  2. Save the form either as a JPEG or PDF file. 
  3. Fill out and scan your UMID card.
  4. Email all required documents to your GSIS handling branch.
  5. Wait for an email from GSIS about your tentative loan computation and loan counseling session via video conference.
  6. Submit the original copy of documents that you have previously submitted through email.

🎓 Pag-IBIG Multipurpose Loan

There’s technically no such thing as a Pag-IBIG student loan—but since Pag-IBIG’s multipurpose loan covers a wide range of financial needs, it can be used to aid students in paying for their school fees and other expenses. Loan proceeds are released through a check or the borrower’s disbursement card.

Key Features of the Pag-IBIG Multipurpose Loan

Here are some key information about this loan:

  • Loanable amount: Up to 80% of the member’s Pag-IBIG regular savings
  • Interest rate: 10.5% per year
  • Loan term: From 24 to 36 months (with a deferred first payment)
  • Processing time: Two days

Pag-IBIG Multipurpose Loan Requirements

To qualify for the Pag-IBIG educational loan, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • An active Pag-IBIG member
  • With at least one monthly membership savings within the last six months before the date of the loan application
  • With at least 24 paid contributions under the Pag-IBIG regular savings program
  • Has no defaulted accounts (if with an existing Pag-IBIG loan)

Before applying for a Pag-IBIG multipurpose loan, make sure to prepare the following documents: 

  • Accomplished application form
  • Valid ID
  • Proof of income
  • Photocopy of the payroll account or disbursement card

How to Apply for a Pag-IBIG Multipurpose Loan 

To apply for a Pag-IBIG multipurpose loan, you’ll need to submit the duly accomplished application form and the supporting documents through your employer or personally at the nearest Pag-IBIG Fund branch.

Alternatively, you may also apply online via Virtual Pag-IBIG. Just upload your completed application form along with the other required documents.

You can get the loan proceeds on the scheduled date of fund release. 

How to Repay Your Pag-IBIG Multipurpose Loan

There are various channels through which you can repay your loan amortizations. If you’re employed, you may opt for a salary deduction arrangement with your employer. If you want to make advance payments and closely monitor your payment transactions, you may do so by going to the Virtual Pag-IBIG website.

You also have the option to go the traditional route of visiting any Pag-IBIG Fund branch near you to settle your transactions. Alternatively, you may also check out Pag-IBIG’s accredited collecting partners—you may either go to their nearest outlet or visit their online payment channels.

The same payment options are available to you if you’re self-employed or an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW).

🎓 LANDBANK I-STUDY Program

student loans philippines - landbank i-study

LANDBANK, a government-owned financial institution, launched I-STUDY, a financial assistance program that provides short-term loans and term loans to cover education-related costs. I-STUDY stands for Interim Students’ Loan for Tuitions towards Upliftment of Education for the Development of the Youth.[4]

The loan has two purposes: to help parents cover tuition or enrollment-related fees or aid them in purchasing electronic gadgets for online distance learning.

Eligible students include Filipinos who are not over 50 years at the time of the application and are qualified under the admission and retention requirements of institutions recognized by DepEd, CHED, or TESDA. Furthermore, non-scholar students or those who are not current beneficiaries of the Universal Access for Quality Tertiary Education Act of 2017 (R.A. 10931) are welcome to apply for the program.

Key Features of the LANDBANK I-STUDY Loan

Here are some key information about this loan:

  • Maximum loanable amount: ₱300,000 per borrower (inclusive of a ₱50,000 allowance per student to finance the purchase of gadget)
  • Interest rate: 5% per year
  • Fees and charges:
    • Penalty for failure to pay the loan: 24% per year
    • Loan processing fee
    • Documentary stamp tax
  • Loan term
    • For short-term loan: One year (via a 360-day promissory note)
    • For term loan: Up to three years (including a one-year grace period on the principal)

LANDBANK I-STUDY Loan Requirements

If you’re a Filipino parent, guardian, or student of legal age with an established repayment capacity and credit history, then you’re eligible for this loan. Make sure to prepare the following documents before processing your application:

  • 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 borrowers: Business permit and latest ITR
  • Student’s proof of enrollment
    • 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 a LANDBANK I-STUDY Loan

Submit the student loan requirements to the nearest LANDBANK lending center. The loan proceeds shall be credited directly to the bank account of the school. But if the loan’s purpose is for the purchase of electronic gadgets, the lump sum will be directly credited to the borrower's LANDBANK account.

How to Repay Your LANDBANK I-STUDY Loan

If you availed of the short-term loan, you should pay your loan principal and interest on the maturity date of your promissory note.

If you applied for the term loan, you should pay for the interest quarterly during the grace period. You can pay for the principal plus interest in equal monthly installments after the one-year grace period.

🎓 UnionBank Personal Loan

Apply for a UnionBank personal loan via Moneymax

The personal loan from UnionBank is a type of unsecured loan that you can use to fund any personal emergency, including education-related expenses. Any salaried or self-employed professional can apply for this loan.

Key Features of the UnionBank Personal Loan

Here are some key information about this loan:

  • Loanable amount: ₱100,000 to ₱2 million
  • Interest rate: 26.9% to 30.9% per year
  • Fees and charges:
    • Disbursement fee: ₱1,750
    • Documentary stamp tax: ₱1.50 per ₱200 of the loan amount
    • Monthly late charge: ₱500 or 6% of the overdue amount, whichever is higher
  • Payment terms: One to five years
  • No collateral or guarantor needed

UnionBank Personal Loan Requirements

To be eligible for this loan, you must meet the following criteria:

  • 21 to 65 years old
  • Filipino resident or a local resident foreigner with a valid Philippine billing address
  • With a Tax Payer's Identification Number (TIN)
  • With a minimum gross annual income of ₱250,000

Prepare the following requirements to complete your application:

  • Accomplished loan application form
  • Valid government-issued ID with photo and signature
  • Proof of income
    • For employed borrowers: Certificate of employment with salary, latest two-month payslips, and latest ITR with BIR stamp
    • For self-employed borrowers: Latest ITR and latest audited financial statements of the business
  • Documentation for foreign nationals
    • Valid passport or Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR)
    • Proof of local residency 

best personal loan - unionbank

🎓 BPI SIP Loan for School

BPI credit cardholders may avail of a special installment plan (SIP) using their card. No need to submit any document to the bank or go through a tiring loan application process. This BPI student loan can be used to pay not just for tuition but also for other school expenses.

Key Features of the BPI SIP School Loan

Here are some key information about this loan:

  • Loan amount: From ₱3,000 up to your available BPI credit card limit
  • Add-on rate: As low as 0.75% monthly for 24 months
  • Service fee: ₱300
  • Loan terms: Three to 24 months

BPI SIP School Loan Requirements

Are you a BPI credit cardholder of good standing? Do you have any of the following credit cards? If yes, then you’re eligible to apply for BPI’s school loan.

  • Rewards Card
  • Gold Rewards Card
  • Petron BPI Card
  • Edge Card
  • Amore Cashback Card
  • Amore Platinum Cashback Card
  • Signature Card

As for the BPI student loan requirements, there’s not much you need to prepare if you’re already eligible. Just take note that if your application requires you to submit supporting documents, make sure that the dates in those documents are not more than three months prior to the date of your loan application.

How to Apply for a BPI SIP Loan

To avail of a BPI educational loan, just go to any BPI branch near you to activate the installment plan. You may also simply use your BPI credit card when paying for tuition at a BPI-accredited school. 

How to Repay Your BPI SIP Loan

You can make payments through fixed monthly installments as indicated in your SIP Loan Charge Form and/or Statement of Account (SOA). You'll be credited immediately on the next billing date until the loan is fully paid.

If you don't have a BPI credit card yet, you can apply through Moneymax:

Credit Card Minimum Annual Income Requirement Annual Fee Key Features
BPI Rewards Card
BPI Rewards Card
bpi rewards
₱180,000 ₱1,550 1 BPI Point for every ₱35 spend
Petron BPI Card
Petron BPI Card
petron bpi
₱180,000 ₱1,550 
  • 3% fuel rebate at Petron 
  • ₱200 fuel voucher welcome gift
BPI Amore Cashback Card
BPI Amore Cashback Card
bpi amore cashback
₱180,000 ₱2,050  4% cashback on supermarkets, 1% on drug stores and utilities, 0.3% on other local spend
BPI Edge Card
BPI Edge
bpi edge card
₱180,000
₱110 monthly
1 BPI Point for every ₱50 spend
BPI Gold Rewards Card
BPI Gold Rewards
bpi gold
₱480,000 ₱2,250
  • 1 BPI Point for every ₱35 spend
  • Up to ₱10 million free travel insurance
BPI Amore Platinum Cashback Card
BPI Amore Platinum Cashback Card
bpi amore platinum cashback
₱1 million ₱5,000 4% cashback on restaurants, 1% on supermarkets and other shopping stores, 0.3% on everything else
BPI Platinum Rewards Card
BPI Platinum Rewards Card
bpi platinum rewards
₱1 million ₱4,000 2 BPI Points for every ₱30 local spend and ₱20 foreign currency spend online or abroad 
BPI Signature Card
BPI Signature Card
bpi signature
₱1.2 million ₱5,500
  • 2 BPI Points for every ₱20 spend
  • 50% off Signature Exclusives

🎓 Bukas Tuition Installment Plan

student loans philippines - bukas tuition installment plan

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.[5]

Key Features of the Bukas Education Loan

Here are some key information about this loan:

  • Loanable amount: from ₱10,000 to ₱100,000
  • Interest rate: 1.9% per month (but interest rates may vary per school)
  • Service fee: 4.5% of the loan amount
  • Loan term: Three to 12 months

Bukas Education Loan Requirements

To be eligible for a Bukas tuition installment plan, you should meet the following requirements:

  • Filipino citizen
  • At least 18 years old
  • Are enrolled or will enroll at one of Bukas’s partner schools as an undergraduate or postgraduate student 
  • Has a source of income (can be yours or your co-borrower’s or both)

Take note that your co-borrower must also be a Filipino citizen at least 18 years of age.

How to Apply for a Bukas Education Loan

Applying for a Bukas tuition loan is easy and convenient as everything is done online. Just follow these steps to apply for a loan:

  1. Register for an account on the Bukas.ph website (app.bukas.ph/register).
  2. Set up your student profile. Make sure to reach profile level 3 to be eligible for a tuition installment plan.
  3. Fill out an online application form. You’ll also need to upload an image of each requirement. 
  4. Wait for a message from Bukas about your loan approval via call, text, or email.
  5. Once your application is approved, you'll need to review and confirm your details again.
  6. Wait for your loan proceeds to be disbursed to your school.

How to Repay Your Bukas Education Loan

The deadline for your first monthly installment will be at least 30 days from the confirmation of your installment plan. Check your disclosure statement to find your specific installment repayment schedule. 

You can also track your monthly dues on your Bukas account. Just go to your payment dashboard and click on the My Installments tab.

You can choose among many payment options to repay your loan. These are Bukas’ partner payment gateways:

  • GCash
  • Maya
  • Bayad Center
  • DragonPay
  • UnionBank

Depending on your chosen payment gateway, you can do your transactions either online or over the counter.

🎓 InvestEd Student Loan

InvestEd is a social enterprise licensed as a lender by the SEC. It provides student loans for different purposes, including tuition payments, gadget purchases (e.g., laptops, tablets, and smartphones for online classes), rent, board exam fees, school allowances, and payments for thesis-related expenses.

InvestEd makes education loans more accessible through an easy online application process and customizable payment plans. 

Students approved for the InvestEd education loan also receive digital one-on-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.

Key Features of the InvestEd Student Loan

Here are some key information about this loan:

  • Loanable amount: ₱5,000 to ₱40,000 
  • Interest rate: 2.42% to 2.67% per month
  • Late payment fee: ₱500
  • Start of payment: Two to 12 months after
  • Loan term: Six to 28 months

InvestEd Student Loan Requirements

To qualify for an InvestEd student loan, you must meet at least the following criteria:

  • Filipino citizen or resident of the Philippines
  • At least 18 years old
  • Enrolled in a university in the Philippines
  • In the last two years of college

You will be asked to provide the following once you’re deemed eligible to take out a loan:

  • Current enrollment and academic status
  • Address and location
  • Valid government-issued IDs
  • Proof of identity of the loan guarantors

How to Apply for an InvestEd Student Loan

Applying for an InvestEd student loan can be done fully online. Just follow these steps:

  1. Create an account on the InvestEd website and fill out an online application form. 
  2. Wait for two to five days to receive the results of your student loan application.
  3. If you qualify, you’ll undergo a quick phone interview with a loan officer to verify your information and give you a sample loan computation. 
  4. An InvestED representative will ask you to submit documents such as a valid government-issued ID, proof of address, and proof of academic status.
  5. You will be asked to sign an agreement to join the InvestEd community.
  6. Wait for your loan proceeds to be disbursed to your school or preferred vendor.

How to Repay Your InvestEd Student Loan

As InvestEd offers customizable payment plans, you may choose to repay immediately or after graduation. InvestEd will initially give you a repayment plan to follow, but you may request to get it adjusted to shorten your loan term and minimize your interest fees. InvestEd prioritizes requests for adjustments to keep students from incurring unmanageable debt.

🎓 University of the Philippines Diliman (UP Diliman) Student Loan Program

UP Diliman may have lower tuition fees compared to other premier universities in the Philippines. However, the fact remains that this school has a lot of underprivileged students who need financial backing. 

The university offers a Student Loan Program with five types of loans available—namely, the SLAS Appeals and Tuition Loan, Short Term Cash Loan, UPAA Sacramento & Vicinities USA Student Loan Fund, CHED-Centers of Excellence (COE) Student Loan, and the CHED-Student Assistance Fund for Education (SAFE) Loan.[6]

Key Features of the UP Diliman Tuition Fee Loan

Here are some key information about this loan.

  • Loanable amount: 
    • SLAS Appeals and Tuition Loan: Up to 100% of the tuition
    • Short Term Cash Loan: Up to ₱3,000 per semester
    • UPAA Sacramento & Vicinities USA Student Loan Fund: Up to ₱5,000 per semester
    • CHED-Centers of Excellence (COE) Student Loan: Up to ₱5,000 per semester
    • CHED-Student Assistance Fund for Education (SAFE) Loan: Up to ₱5,000 per semester

UP Diliman Tuition Loan Requirements

Requirements vary per loan type, but prepare the following basic requirements:

  • 1x1 ID photo
  • UP ID (if not available, any valid/government ID)
  • GSIS/SSS ID (or any valid ID) of parent / relative as co-debtor
  • Validated UP Form 5
  • True Copy of Grades or CRS printout of grades
  • Good moral certification from Office for Student Ethics
  • Student’s enrollment in CHED-identified COE courses in UP Diliman

How to Apply for a UP Diliman Tuition Fee Loan

To apply for a student loan, go to the Student Loan Board, Office of Scholarships and Grants, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City. The representatives there can enlighten you about the loan application process.

You may also send an email to osgstudentloan.upd@up.edu.ph, or contact this number: (02) 8981-8500 loc. 4505.

🎓 University of the Philippines - Los Baños Student Loan Board Program   

If you’re studying at UPLB, you can apply for the SLB Program, a loan offered by the university’s Office of Scholarships and Grants. Successful applicants are allowed to defer registration payment of up to 80% of the assessed fees during enrollment.

Nevertheless, you can enjoy a 100% loan provided that your request to avail of such is approved by the Chancellor. For you to be eligible for this loan tier, you must not have any outstanding balance from the SLB Program. You also should not be a current beneficiary of the Cash Loan Assistance Program (CLAP) except for the CHED-SAFE loan. 

Key Features of the UPLB Student Loan

Here are some key information about this loan:

  • Loanable amount: Up to 80% of the total assessed fees
  • Interest rate: 6% per year

UPLB Student Loan Board Program Requirements

To qualify for the UPLB tuition fee loan, you must be an undergraduate or graduate student taking up a degree program at UPLB. You also must not have any outstanding loans, unless you’ve secured a Chancellor-approved promissory note beforehand.

Prepare the following requirements when applying for a loan:

  • Updated personal information in UPLB’s Student Academic Information System (SAIS)
  • Accomplished application form
  • Scanned copy of the student’s co-debtor’s valid ID (with clear picture and signature)
  • Electronic signature of the co-debtor
  • If applying for a 100% loan: formal letter addressed to the university’s Chancellor that details the reason for the request and the specific date of loan settlement

How to Apply for the UPLB Student Loan Board Program

To apply for the loan, simply fill out the application form found on the official website of UPLB Office of Student Affairs.[7]

How to Repay Your UPLB Student Loan

To settle your tuition loan, follow these steps:

  1. Request a Statement of Account (SOA) through the Tuition Loan Google form.[7]
  2. Follow the step-by-step payment guide in your SOA form to settle your payment. You may choose to make your payment online or over the counter.
  3. Submit your confirmation slip for verification and posting to your SAIS account.[7]

🎓 De La Salle University (DLSU) Student Loan Program 

DLSU offers a short-term interest-free loan facility aptly called the Student Loan Program or SLP. The SLP is designed solely to cover the cost of tuition and fees for a given term. Unlike other student loan programs, DLSU’s SLP doesn’t release the loan as cash. Instead, it applies the loan directly as payment for tuition and fees.

Undergraduate students may apply for the loan once every academic year. It must be noted that applications for the succeeding terms will be subject to evaluation and availability of funds.

Key Features of the DLSU Student Loan

Here are some key information about this loan:

  • Loanable amount: Up to 100% of the total tuition and fees indicated on the Enrollment Assessment Form (EAF)
  • Interest rate: None but a 1% interest will apply in case of late payment

DLSU Student Loan Program Requirements

Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in DLSU with at least one term and no unsettled loans with the university are eligible to apply for this loan.

Before applying for a loan, prepare the following documentary requirements:

  • Accomplished application form
  • Scanned copy of the updated Enrollment Assessment Form (EAF)
  • For undergraduate students: Two original copies of SLP Promissory Note with parent’s signature
  • For graduate students: Two original copies of SLP Promissory Note with student’s signature and letter of reference from a full-time faculty member of the university

How to Apply for the DLSU Student Loan Program

Follow these steps to apply for a DLSU student loan.

  1. Fill out the online application form found on the DLSU website.[8]
  2. Attach all requirements. 
  3. Wait for your loan to be assessed, approved, and processed.
  4. Go to your My.LaSalle (MLS) account to check the reference number of your loan.

How to Repay Your DLSU Student Loan

You can start repaying your loan at the end of the 12th week of your loan term. To remit your payments, follow these steps:

  1. Request a referral slip from the Office of Admissions and Scholarships (OAS).
  2. Wait for the OAS to email you the DLSU bank details together with the referral slip.
  3. Make your payment at any DLSU-accredited bank.
  4. Email the photocopy of your proof of payment to scholarships@dlsu.edu.ph.

🎓 Mapua University Student Financial Assistance Program (STUFAP)

The Center for Scholarships and Financial Assistance (CSFA) of Mapua University’s Student Financial Assistance Program (STUFAP) aims to provide monetary aid to financially challenged students. The loan can be used to defray education-related expenses like tuition fees, books, projects, thesis writing expenses, graduation fees, and board and lodging costs.

Key Features of the Mapua University Educational Loan

Here are some key information about this loan.

  • Loanable amount: Up to ₱8,000
  • Interest rate: 0% 
  • Loan terms
    • Loans 4,000 and below: Payable within two years from the date of graduation
    • Loans above 4,000: Payable within five to 10 years from the date of graduation

Mapua University Educational Loan Requirements 

To be eligible for a Mapua student loan, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Enrolled as a third, fourth, or graduating college student
  • No existing government scholarship grant
  • Attended the orientation on STUFAP with the CSFA
  • Willing to comply with the program’s rules and regulations
  • Has a co-borrower (i.e., parent/s, relatives, or any person who is a GSIS or SSS member and a guarantor working at Mapúa University)

Submit the following requirements when applying for a loan:

  • Accomplished STUFAP loan application form[9]
  • Accomplished loan agreement signed by the student borrower, his/her parent/guardian, and co-borrower
  • Photocopy of the parents’ ITR or Affidavit of Non-Filing of Income Tax (Note: The parents’ combined annual income should not exceed ₱200,000)
  • Photocopy of Certificate of Matriculation (CM)
  • Photocopy of proof of utility billing (must include parents’ name and address)
  • Photocopies of IDs of all signatories 

How to Apply for a Mapua University Educational Loan

To apply for a Mapua Educational Loan, follow this process:

  1. Fill out the STUFAP loan application form and loan agreement form.[9]
  2. Submit the loan requirements along with the application form and loan agreement form to your school’s CSFA Coordinator.
  3. Wait for updates about the status of your application.

How to Repay Your Mapua University Educational Loan

You are expected to repay your loan within two to five years if your loan amount is below ₱4,000. For loans above ₱4,000, payment shall be made within five to 10 years after you have graduated from college.

As a borrower, you and your co-borrower must issue post-dated checks to cover your loan amortizations based on the agreed amortization schedule. You must issue the PDCs before your graduation; otherwise, your graduation will be put on hold. 

🎓 Digido Cash Loan

Digido is an SEC-registered online lender that offers financial solutions to Filipinos with minimal documentation required. While it doesn’t have a student loan per se, it offers an easy cash loan to students who meet its eligibility criteria.

Key Features of the Digido Cash Loan

Here are some key information about this loan:

  • Loanable amount: Up to ₱25,000
  • Interest rate
    • For new customers: 0%
    • For regular customers: Depends on the term and amount of the loan, but does not exceed 1.5% per day

Digido Cash Loan Requirements

To be eligible for a Digido Loan, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Filipino citizen 
  • 21 to 70 years old 
  • With a stable source of income (students with part-time or freelance jobs are welcome to apply)
  • With a working mobile phone 

Also, make sure to prepare the following documentary requirements:

  • Valid government-issued ID
  • Proof of income (i.e., pay slip, certificate of employment, etc.)
  • Proof of address (e.g., a credit card billing statement or utility bills)

How to Apply for a Digido Cash Loan

To get started, follow these steps:

  1. Register an account on the Digido website. 
  2. Submit your requirements.
  3. Choose how you will receive the loan proceeds.
  4. Sign the contract with Digido to confirm your consent to obtain the loan online.
  5. Wait for your confirmation code via a text message or a telephone call. 
  6. Wait for your loan proceeds to be transferred to you via your nominated method.

How to Repay Your Digido Cash Loan

Digido is partnered with many payment gateways, so you can repay your loan in the most convenient way available to you. Some of DigiDo’s partner banks and merchants include AUB, BPI, Chinabank, Cebuana Lhuillier, 7-Eleven, LBC, M Lhuillier, Robinsons Bank, Security Bank, UCPB, and UnionBank, among others.

🎓 International Student Loans for Filipino Students in the US and Canada

student loans philippines - international student loans

International Student Loans is a financing platform and loan comparison tool that provides additional funding options to international students in the United States and Canada. Filipino students who meet the requirements can apply for international school loans to cover education-related expenses like tuition fees, books, insurance, transportation, room and board, and other school-related costs.[10]

If your parents are OFWs, you may also check out the different OFW loan options that your family can take out to help fund your education.

Key Features of the International Student Loan

Here are some key information about this loan:

  • Loanable amount: Up to the total cost of education, as determined by your school
  • Interest rate: Depends on loan option and lender

International Student Loan Requirements

To be eligible for an international student loan in the Philippines, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Not a US citizen or permanent US resident 
  • A student attending an eligible US or Canadian college or university
  • Has a creditworthy cosigner who is either a US citizen or a non-citizen permanent resident

How to Apply for an International Student Loan

Just follow these steps to find the right international student loan for you:

  1. Go to the International Student Loans website and provide the required information.
  2. Review and compare a list of student loans.
  3. Choose an international student loan that’s most suitable for you.
  4. Send your application online.

How to Choose and Apply for a Student Loan in the Philippines

student loans philippines - how to apply

Here are the steps to get an education loan to cover the cost of your tuition and other school expenses.

Step 1. Research on Student Loan Offers

Unlike personal loans and payday loans, student loans are not popular among Filipinos, so it helps to do your research on the different Study Now, Pay Later programs in the Philippines available for college students.

Step 2. Compare Student Loans in the Philippines

Private lenders and government institutions offer different interest rates. Student loans from the government are inexpensive in terms of fees but may require you to undergo a tedious application process. Sometimes, the struggle is worth the money you can save.

However, there are times when your access to resources limits you to student loans from banks and other private lenders. You should always take time to weigh all your options because practicality cannot be measured by savings alone.

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. Look for these features in particular:

  • 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.

Step 3. Ask for a Sample Computation

Whether you love or hate math, you have to compute the monthly installment to know if you 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.

Compute the cost of the full loan against the loan term, interest rates, and fees. Make sure there are no hidden charges. Applications for most student loans in the Philippines are free. 

Some fixers may offer to facilitate easy loan applications and may ask for money in return. Beware of individuals who pose as staff of any government agency or private institution offering the student loan. These may ask for a commission to scam you.

Step 4. Prepare Your Supporting Documents

Most college students are considered of legal age, but some lenders require the guidance of a parent or an older relative to serve as the guarantor for the loan. Parents may not apply as the primary borrower, but they can be responsible for their children’s unpaid college loans, especially if they consented as a guarantor. 

Some documents you should initially prepare:

  • Student ID
  • Birth certificate
  • Parent’s marriage certificate
  • Form 137 or high school card
  • Clearance from the previous school
  • Certificate of graduation
  • Parent’s ID
  • Parent’s income tax return (ITR)

Step 5. File Your Student Loan Application

Once you have all the requirements ready, submit your application to the student loan provider. Depending on the lender, you can apply for a tuition loan either online or in person at the provider’s office.

Tips to Remember When Applying for a Student Loan

student loans philippines - tips when applying

Here are some quick tips to help you pick the right student loan and facilitate faster student loan approval.

✔️ 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.

✔️ Maintain a Good Academic Performance

Remember that some lenders check borrowers' grades in the previous year to see if they’re capable of focusing on their studies and using the loan for educational purposes only. Your academic performance can also be used to evaluate your sense of responsibility as a borrower.

✔️ Check for Legitimate Links and Websites

Almost all transactions can be done online. To protect your privacy and personal information, make sure you’re transacting through a legitimate website. Some scammers may use your identity to make fraudulent transactions.

✔️ Talk to Your Parents About the Loan Application

Involve your parents or guardians in your decision-making. Discuss your plans to apply for an educational loan in the Philippines with them. Their wisdom and experience can help you make a good decision when it comes to selecting the right school, choosing the appropriate course, and applying for the best student loan with the lowest interest rates.

Even better, consult someone who's knowledgeable about student loans, such as a lawyer, accountant, or finance professional. 

Final Thoughts

Student loans can ease the burden of paying for your education. Don't let your financial situation stop you from achieving your dreams. Legitimate student loans in the Philippines help students continue their college education and focus on their studies instead of worrying about how to fund their education.

In case you want other funding options, check out the list of personal loans below. Compare your options and apply through Moneymax!

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Monthly Add-on Rate

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Sources:

Venus has almost 20 years of combined experience in content marketing, SEO, corporate communications, and public relations. Most of her career was spent creating informative articles on personal finance and digital marketing. She also invests in stocks, mutual funds, VUL, and Pag-IBIG MP2. Venus graduated cum laude with a Journalism degree from the University of the Philippines Diliman. A hardcore Hallyu Tita, she loves bingeing Korean shows on Netflix while bonding with her cats. Follow Venus on LinkedIn.

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