SSS eases rules on education loans
More members will be able to avail themselves of the Social Security System (SSS)’s educational assistance program after the guidelines were further liberalized.
SSS president and chief executive officer Emilio de Quiros Jr. said members earning P25,000 and below per month are now eligible for Educ-Assist loans, replacing the previous monthly limit of P15,000.
“Members can now borrow up to P20,000 per semester or trimester, up from the previous limit of P15,000 for college degrees., “The loans must be used to pay for tuition and miscellaneous fees and are intended to help students from low-income families. “The SSS has disbursed over P195 million so far in Educ-Assist loans to thousands of student-beneficiaries all over the country. We have already earmarked about P590 million, or 11 percent of the total fund allocation, for these students so that they can complete their chosen course, and we expect availment to increase further as a result of the revised guidelines.”
De Quiros said a married SSS member can now designate up to two loan beneficiaries: the member himself or herself, and his or her spouse or legitimate or illegitimate children.
“It is now possible for a married couple, who are both qualified borrowers, to support the education of up to four children through Educ-Assist loans,” he said.
De Quiros said unmarried members remain entitled to one loan beneficiary.
“Unmarried members can use the loan to help their siblings pursue their studies and lighten their parents’ financial burden at the same time,” he said.
Under the new guidelines, members can borrow up to P20,000 per semester or trimester, up from P15,000 for college degrees. For vocational-technical courses, SSS increased the maximum loanable amount to P10,000 from the previous cap of P7,500 per semester or trimester.
SSS has allotted P7 billion for the Educ-Assist fund, consisting of P3.5 billion in national government subsidy and P3.5 billion in SSS counterpart funding. Another significant change is the relaxed contribution requirement, under which SSS members with a minimum of 12 posted contributions, including at least one paid contribution within the past three months prior to the date of application, are now allowed to borrow. Members without any contribution for the past three months can pay and present the proof of payment to SSS. Loan repayment will start one year after the beneficiary’s graduation or the date of last loan release.
Borrowers for college degree programs have five years to repay the loan, while those who borrowed for voc-tech courses are given three years.
By: Zinnia dela Peña and Iris Gonzales