Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation Ronald Jones has given the assurance that outstanding loan payments, due to the Student Revolving Loan Fund (SRLF), will be collected.
Speaking at the Staff Awards Dinner of the Fund, where he applauded the hard work of the staff and management of the statutory entity, Jones said the fund which has been in existence for 40 years has become “innovative and responsive to the needs of applicants”.
He stated that in addition to the hard work of the staff and management, additional features have been added to make the fund a viable option for Barbadian students who have no other financial options.
“The loan limit increased from $30,000 to $50,000 and then in 2010 to $100,000. In addition, other features such as lending for persons studying part-time and online; alternative security besides two guarantors; the increasing of the maximum age for applicants from 35 to 50 years and the reduction of the interest rate to four per cent are all in an effort to ensure that more Barbadians could benefit,” he added.
However, the minister also stressed that the existence of the Loan Fund is highly dependent on the “ability and willingness of its beneficiaries to repay their loans,” while also giving the assurance that the Fund will continue to fulfill its responsibility to collect outstanding loan payments and encouraging debtors to recognise their responsibilities as well.
“As indicated in its name, the Student Revolving Loan Fund was created to be a revolving fund. It is incumbent on all Barbadians who have benefitted from loans from the Fund to keep it sustained by honouring their legal and moral obligation to pay back, in a timely manner, thereby ensuring that other Barbadians are extended the same opportunity to fulfill their academic aspirations,” Jones said.