The Students Loan Trust Fund (SLTF) has set up a new digital payment platform to help recover loans from borrowers living outside the country as part of its diaspora recovery drive.
Introduced in December last year, the platform named ‘Pay Engine’ would enable borrowers in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and other places, to pay back their loans using their Visa and Master cards.
The Chief Executive Officer of the SLTF, Nana Kwaku Agyei Yeboah, told the Ghanaian Times that since the addition of the platform to the Funds repayment options, “more people are paying.”
He said the platform was the latest of measures introduced by the Fund to make loan repayments easier for borrowers irrespective of their location in the world.
He said the newly introduced “no guarantor” system which makes Ghana Card a requirement for the loan would also make it easier to trace borrowers and recover debts.
“This is because with the Ghana card, we have their biometric information and the Ghana card is linked to all the major databases. So if, for instance, the student is going in for driver’s license we can track him,” he said.
Mr Yeboah said while the fund relied on the Controller and Accountant General Department to recover loans from those who work in government institutions, there was a dedicated desk to track those in the private sector.
Touching on the ongoing call for applications for loans, he said the fund was expecting about 70, 000 students to apply under the “No Guarantor”, system launched last year June.
“Last year even though the system was launched in June we have seen a quantum increase. We were anticipating 45,000 students but we paid about 32,000 students,” he said.
With more applicants expected for this academic year and the loans pegged between GH¢1, 500 to GH¢3, 000, Mr Yeboah encouraged more students to apply for loans, assuring them of fairness in the selection of beneficiaries.
“Our system is transparent. There is nothing hidden. All we know is that your application has come and you are a Ghanaian and you have all the requirement for the loan.
“There is no room for bias because we do not know who are beyond your Ghana card information. The needs assessment is not to discriminate but to ascertain their vulnerability and the level the quantum of money one qualities for,” he said.
Mr Yeboah said the guarantor system was changed because it was a big obstacle to students, because they needed a guarantor who should be a contributor to Social Security and National Insurance Trust pensions.
Under the “no guarantor policy” applicants only need to be Ghanaians who had gained admission to accredited tertiary institutions and possessed Ghana card to apply to be eligible for selection.