What is a student loan?
A student loan refers to the money you borrow from public or private institutions to fund your education. You have to pay the lender the principal amount borrowed together with interest.
Student loans in the Philippines are similar to their Western counterparts such that you can repay the loan either before or after you finish your studies. But whereas US Federal student loans have a 10-year loan term under the Standard Repayment Plan, lending institutions here have different repayment terms.
There are student loans in the Philippines that you can repay within one year (CHED UniFAST short-term loan), within 5 years (SSS Educational Assistance Loan Program), or within 10 years (GSIS Educational Loan).
Furthermore, we are more familiar with scholarships or financial assistance to fund our education. So unlike in the West, student loans are not that popular here. They only started to get traction as different institutions began initiating affordable and inclusive student loan programs.
Where can I apply for a student loan in the Philippines?
Student loans can come from different sources. For this article, we’re going to explore the student loan programs offered by the government, non-government banks, and institutions as well as student loans available in specific universities and for specific courses.
Student Loans in the Philippines Offered by Government Institutions.
1. CHED Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) Student Loan Program.
Description: As an institution that promotes tertiary education to the youth, CHED offers short-term student loans to support:
- College students
- Graduates who will review for their licensure exam
- Graduate students
- Medical students
- Law students
- Must be a Filipino undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in any of the State University Colleges (SUCs), or CHED-recognized Local University Colleges (LUCs) and private Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
- Have not availed of the loan program during their undergraduate studies (For graduates who will review for their licensure exam as well as postgraduate, law, or medical students).
- Pursuing a program accredited by CHED
Loan Amount: Maximum of Php 60,000
Interest Rates, Charges, and Fees:
- If the loan was paid on or before the end of the semester: No interest (0%)
- If the loan was not paid on or before the end of the semester: 6% or the prevailing interest rate in the Philippine Dealing System for a term of one year, whichever is lower, from the time the short term loan was availed.
Loan Repayment Terms:
The loan can be paid within one year. Loan repayment can be done over the counter at any Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) branch. The student can also direct the payment to the school which will then remit the payment to any DBP branch.
- Accomplished and signed Student Loan Program Application Form
- Recent 1” x 1” ID picture of the applicant and co-maker
- School ID of the applicant
- Certificate of Registration or Enrollment
- Income Tax Return (ITR) of the applicant (if employed) or other proof of family income
- Government-issued ID of the co-maker
- Any of the following (for the guarantor or co-maker): Latest Income Tax Return (ITR) filed; Certificate of Tax Exemption from the BIR; or copy of latest contract or any of proof income (For children of OFWs and seafarers)
How to Apply for CHED Unifast Student Loan Program.
- Fill out the Student Loan Program Application form. You can download the form here. Paste your 1” x 1” picture and your guarantor in the form.
- Submit documentary requirements to your school. Your school will then pre-screen your loan application and will endorse it to Unifast regional coordinators.
- Wait for the notice of approval or disapproval from the UniFast Central Office. Once your application is approved, you need to accomplish and sign the loan documents and submit them to your Higher Education Institution (HEI).
- Wait for DBP list of approved student beneficiaries. UniFast is the one that will provide the list of DBP-approved student beneficiaries.
- Open a DBP account. The DBP credits the loan proceeds to your DBP account or HEI account.
Other information: For inquiries, please contact CHED UniFAST through [email protected]
2. Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) Educational Loan.
For the GSIS member-borrower:
- Must have served the government for at least 15 years
- Must have a net take-home pay of at least Php 5,000 (after deduction of monthly premium contributions and loan amortization)
- Must not be on leave of absence without pay
- Has no pending administrative case
- Has no past due GSIS loan
For the student-beneficiary:
- Must be related to the GSIS member-borrower to the third degree of consanguinity or affinity
- Pursuing a four or five-year course in a public or private educational institution
Loan Amount: Maximum of Php 100,000 per academic year.
Interest Rate: 8% per annum.
Loan Repayment Terms:
- The loan can be paid for 10 years
- Paid in monthly installments
- Collection of payments will only start on the 6th year of the loan, meaning you are not required to pay anything for the first five years
- Duly accomplished Application Form endorsed by the borrower’s authorized agency officer
- Latest Tuition Fee Assessment Form (Photocopy)
- Photocopy of the school ID (front and back) with three signatures of the student-beneficiary or any valid government-issued ID (with photo, signature, and birthdate of the student)
How to Apply for Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) Educational Loan.
You may apply through the e-GSISMO or GSIS website. You can also submit your application to the drop boxes placed in various GSIS Offices.
- In the event that the member-borrower or student beneficiary dies or becomes totally disabled, the loan would be assumed paid, thanks to the redemption insurance
- For more information, you may contact the agency through their website or email address, [email protected]
3. Social Security System (SSS) Educational Assistance Loan Program (EALP).
Description: This loan helps SSS members finance the educational expenses of their student beneficiaries which could be their child, spouse, or sibling. The member-borrower can also avail of the loan to support his/her own studies.
- Below 60 years old
- Monthly income salary of Php 25,000 or below
- Has at least thirty-six (36) posted monthly contributions, six of which were in the last twelve months prior to the month of application
- Has no overdue SSS loan
For student beneficiaries:
- Must be a child (legitimate, illegitimate or legally adopted), legal spouse, or sibling of the member borrower
- Has no full-tuition scholarship
- Must take a course administered by CHED, TESDA, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, or any institutions recognized by the government
- Maximum of Php 20,000 per program term
- For 4-year degree programs: Maximum of 8 semesters / 12 trimesters / 16 quarters availments or a maximum of Php 160,000 full allocations.
- For 5-year degree programs: Maximum of 10 semesters /15 trimesters / 20 quarters availments or a maximum of Php 200,000 full allocations.
- For 2-year Vocational or Technical Course: Maximum of Php 10,000 per semester
Interest Rate, Charges, and Fees:
- Interest rate: 50% of this loan is funded by the National Government while 50% is funded by the SSS. The National Government portion of the loan has 0% interest while the SSS portion of the loan has a 6% per annum interest rate based on diminishing principal balance until completely paid
- Maintenance Charge: 2% of the principal loan which shall be included in the amortization
- Penalty: 1% per month for any unpaid amortization
Loan Repayment Terms:
- Repayment starts after 18 months for semestral programs; 15 months for trimestral programs; or 14 months and 15 days for quarter programs from the month of the last release
- The loan is payable up to: five years (for 4 and 5-year degree programs) or three years (for Technical/Vocational courses)
- Payment is made through any SSS branch or SSS accredited banks
- Valid ID
- Accomplished EALP Application form
- Assessment billing from the school
- Proof of monthly Income of the member-borrower
- Proof of relationship to the beneficiary
How to Apply for Social Security System (SSS) Educational Assistance Loan Program (EALP).
- Secure a copy of the EALP Application Form. You may download it here.
- Submit application form and documentary requirements. You can submit them to the nearest SSS branch.
4. Student Loans in the Philippines Offered by Non-Government Banks and Institutions.
1. InvestEd Student Loan.
Description: InvestEd has helped students from different universities through their inclusive and easy loan application. Aside from lending money to students, they also coach the borrowers on how to manage and pay their loans.
- Filipino citizen
- At least 18 years of age
- Must be in the last two years of college
- Enrolled in any university in the Philippines
Loan Amount: May range from Php 10,000 to Php 100,000, depending on students’ financial needs, year level and other factors.
Interest Rates, Charges, and Fees:
- Interest Rate: 2.3% to 2.9% monthly
- Service Fee: 22% of requested loan amount, or Php 3000 (whichever is higher)
Loan Repayment Terms:
The InvestEd Basic Plan allows borrowers to begin repayment once they have graduated. Repayment plans are open for adjustments to assure students will be able to pay their loans.
Monthly payments can be done through any of the following:
- Online and offline bank payments
- Bayad centers
- Convenience stores
- Online Application Form
- If you’re qualified for the loan, InvestEd will request documents about your: Enrollment status, address and Philippine Government Identity, and loan guarantors’ identity
How to Apply for InvestEd Student Loan.
- Apply Online. You may access their online application here. After submitting your application, you will be notified within 2 to 5 days if your application has been approved
- Phone Interview. A loan officer will contact you to verify your information and provide you a sample loan computation.
- Submit Requirements. You will be asked by InvestED to submit documentary requirements to process your application.
- Sign the loan agreement and select your preferred disbursement channel and schedule. You will be notified to sign the loan agreement and select the means of accepting the loan amount.
- InvestED has its Investee Success Program that provides borrowers with tips and strategies in pursuing their careers. You will be part of the Investee Success Program once you’ve qualified for the loan.
- Unfortunately, InvestED can only support select degree programs.
- You may visit this FAQ section to learn more about InvestED Student Loans.