Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the fund, Nana Kwaku Agyei Yeboah
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the fund, Nana Kwaku Agyei Yeboah

Students loan defaulters start repaying as more names are published

Persons indebted to the Students Loans Trust Fund (SLTF) have begun taking steps to settle their indebtedness following the publication of names and photographs of 20 defaulters last week.

According to the SLTF, some of the defaulters had started paying up while others had entered into some arrangement with it to pay the money they owed.

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“We have payments being made. Some too have come to restructure their payments, but we are taking it on a case by case basis. For some people, there is no way you can allow them to restructure their payment, they have to repay everything because it has taken them too long to settle their indebtedness. So far, the response is very encouraging and I pray that we would not take a drastic action of going to court,” the Head of the Public Relations Unit of the SLTF, Mr George Ferguson Laing, said in an interview with the Daily Graphic on Monday.

More names

Mr Laing indicated that 20 more names of loan defaulters were to be published in the Daily Graphic yesterday as part of the ongoing efforts to get them to repay the loans.

That, he said, would bring to 40 the number of names of defaulters published so far. 

After the publication of the details of the second batch of defaulters, he said the SLTF would wait for about two weeks; a sort of amnesty, to give them the opportunity to redeem themselves after which it would take a decision on whether to go ahead or not.

Mr Laing said if the debtors failed to repay after the grace period, the SLTF would take court action against them.

Text messages

Since the publication last week, he said the trust fund had adopted several methods, including sending text messages to not only the defaulters but to their guarantors as well, in an effort to get debtors to repay the loans that they took.

“We are using all the means of communications available to us to try and get to the defaulters in order to avoid going to court. It is not something we enjoy doing. We are putting a human face to the situation and that is why we are calling on them to pay back the loans they took for others to also benefit from them,” he said.

Last week the SLTF published in the Daily Graphic names and photographs of some persons who have defaulted in repaying the loans they took while pursuing their tertiary education.

The first batch of 20 defaulters whose details were published in the November 21, 2019 edition of the Daily Graphic was part of the over 20,000 defaulters who have not made any efforts to repay the loans.

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Students Loan Trust disburses GH¢20.4m to applicants

SLTF Act

“The publication is in accordance with the Students Loan Trust Fund Act 2011, Act 820 Section 2(1-7),” the SLTF said.

 The procedure for recovery of loan in Act, Section 26 (3), for instance said: “If the borrower or the guarantor fails to repay or make satisfactory arrangement to repay the loan in accordance with the demand notice, the board shall publish the name of the borrower or the guarantor in a state-owned daily newspaper”.

Defaulters

More than 55,000 people owe the Students Loan Trust Fund (SLTF) GH¢75 million, representing default in the repayment of the loans students took to cushion themselves while in school.

Out of the number, about 35,000 have made some form of payment, leaving more than 20,000 who have not paid anything at all, after the two-year grace period for repayment elapsed.

The debt in the names of those who have not paid anything at all stands at GH¢35 million.

With some of the debts dating as far back as 2012 from the first batch of beneficiaries who took the loan in 2006, the fund managers had warned the borrowers that they would begin to publish the names and pictures of the defaulters in the national dailies in the coming weeks.

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