The National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) will soon allow a minimum repayment of RM50 per month for study loans as part of its effort to recover outstanding debts amounting to millions of ringgit from loan defaulters.

Apart from allowing the minimum repayment, PTPTN also has decided to only charge one per cent for service fee for the loan amount beginning this year, compared to four per cent previously.

Speaking at a briefing with Labuan Education Department officials and school teachers on Wednesday, PTPTN chairman Datuk Dr Mohamad Shahrum Osman said loan defaulters must contact the nearest PTPTN branches nationwide for further information on the matter.

He said the relaxation on repayment rates was given after considering the higher percentage of loan defaulters, which stood at about 49 per cent.

Shahrum said only 51 per cent of the total students given loans had come forward to repay their loans.

PTPTN, he said, allocated a total of RM3.4 billion yearly for study loans.

He also urged parents to open an account for their children studying at matriculation colleges and sitting for their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) with the National Education Savings Scheme (SSPN) to enable them to obtain easier study loan approval from PTPTN.

“We are recommending parents to open an account as early as possible for their children’s education fund in SSPN, and not at the last moment,” he said.

PTPTN was aware that there was still a high number of local students who have yet to open an account with SSPN, making them difficult to get loan approval faster.