Students Loan Trust introduces paperless application system

BY: Emmanuel Bonney
• Nana Kwaku Agyei Yeboah — Chief Executive Officer of the SLTF
• Nana Kwaku Agyei Yeboah — Chief Executive Officer of the SLTF

The Students Loan Trust Fund (SLTF) has introduced a paperless students loan application system to make it easier and convenient to access the fund.

The online application system also allows students to check their application status and upload documents.

“This new system allows scanning of uploaded documents for viruses and capturing electronic signature and fingerprint of students.

“Notifications, checking of loan balance, checking of loan statement, and repayment of the students loan can now be done by students and borrowers via the paperless students loan application system or the Students Loan Mobile App,” the Chief Executive Officer of the SLTF, Nana Kwaku Agyei Yeboah, said in an interview with the Daily Graphic.

Application

The paperless application, he said, had a mobile version dubbed the Students Loan Mobile Application which could be downloaded through the android system.

“Students interested in applying for the loan must meet the requirements of the loan: an applicant must be a Ghanaian, must have been offered admission to study an accredited tertiary institution in Ghana, and must be pursuing an accredited undergraduate programme, and must have a valid Ghana Card Number, an active mobile phone number and personal email address. Applicant must also have an E-zwich account,” he said.

Old system

The old application system, Nana Yeboah said, which had the paper applications system component had some challenges which included data capturing errors, difficulty in identifying illegible handwritings, delays in capturing data, cost of printing application forms and courier services, storage space and delays in processing loan applications.

However, he said the paperless students loan application system allowed students to conveniently apply for the loan anytime, anywhere and on any device.

“The application is responsive, user friendly and makes the loan application process easier and faster, thus saves time,” he said.

Students Loan Trust Fund

The SLTF currently disburses loans to over 35,000 students in 105 tertiary institutions across the country.

As part of reforms to make accredited tertiary education more accessible to the majority of qualified Ghanaian students, the Government of Ghana passed the Students Loan Trust Fund Act, Act 820 (2011) for the efficient and effective disbursement of financial resources to tertiary students. The trust fund has the responsibility to recover loans from students after the completion of their tertiary education.

Indebtedness

About 20,000 former beneficiaries are yet to settle their indebtedness to the Students Loans Trust Fund (SLTF) after the completion of their studies in tertiary institutions in the country.

The students, who owe GH¢44 million, are part of the 55,000 borrowers due to repay their loans.

Out of the number, 35,000 of them have started repaying while the rest are yet to start repayment or make any plans of repayment.

To recover the debt, the Fund has embarked on an aggressive media campaign to ensure that all debtors settle their obligations to the fund.