Former students have failed to pay back RM2.74 bil in PTPTN loans

Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching says there is a drop in PTPTN loans, from RM3.9 billion in 2014 to RM2.45 billion in first nine months of this year.

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) has so far collected RM13.86 billion or 68.62% of money owing to it from 1.5 million borrowers, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching said as of September this year, PTPTN loans were given to 2,963,345 borrowers, with a total loan amount of RM54.37 billion.

“However, 373,975 or 19.65% have still not repaid loans amounting to RM2.74 billion,” she said when replying to a question from Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir (PH-Johor Bahru) on the number of borrowers and amount of PTPTN loans given to new borrowers each year until 2023.

Teo added that the PTPTN had conducted a holistic study on the new policy for PTPTN loan repayments after taking into account the funds for new borrowers and the repayment period as well as affordability of the borrowers.

The results of this survey would be tabled at the Cabinet meeting for approval.

Teo said PTPTN had retained the list of borrowers’ names in Bank Negara’s Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) to ensure that borrowers continue to repay the loans consistently.

In a related development, she said the funds needed for loans to new and current students for the years 2019 until 2023 amounted to RM15 billion or RM3 billion a year.

As of September this year, PTPTN paid out RM2.4 billion to new and old students, adding that the RM3 billion projected annual payment was reasonable.

Replying to a supplementary question from Akmal on the government’s efforts to ensure that tertiary students are not burdened by education debts, Teo said the ministry encouraged parents to plan by saving for their children’s higher education.

“To avoid huge loans, parents should make early financial plans by participating in the SSPN-i (National Education Savings Scheme) provided by PTPTN,” she said.

She said the scheme was an initiative of the previous government, but added that it was an effort to encourage them to make early financial plans for their children’s higher education,” he said.

She added that based on statistics since the scheme was launched in 2014, up till September this year, withdrawals in the SSPN-savings scheme totalled RM53 million and had increased to RM210 million.

“At the same time, I see a drop in PTPTN loans.

“In 2014, expenses for new borrowers amounted to RM3.9 billion and as of September, withdrawals totalled RM2.449 billion.

“There was a drop in PTPTN withdrawals while SSPN-i increased. We will encourage parents to save so that they are not dependent on loans,” she said.