P20B GSIS loan program for college learning opened

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THE Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has offered a P20 billion study-now, pay-later program to help fund the college education of its beneficiaries’ kin.

In a statement, the government employees’ insurer divulged that it is expanding the GSIS Financial Assistance Loan-Educational Loan (GFAL-EL) program to help its members whose children want to go to college.

Rolando Ledesma Macasaet, GSIS president and general manager, said they launched the program in response to the call of President Rodrigo Duterte to provide credit support to education in light of the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We will allow GSIS members who have at least 15 years of government service to avail themselves of an educational loan for their kin in college. The loan has a term of 10 years, but we will not require them to pay anything in the first five years. They don’t have to worry about the tuition of their children for the first five years,“ Macasaet said in a statement posted on the GSIS website.

Under the GFAL-EL, the maximum amount that a member can borrow per academic year is P100,000, covering tuition and other school fees. The interest rate is only eight percent.

Beneficiaries

A GSIS member may nominate up to two student-beneficiaries under the education loan program. The two must be related to the member up to the third degree of consanguinity or affinity and enrolled in a four- or five-year course in a private or public academic institution.

The loan proceeds will be directly paid to the school under the students’ accounts every semester or trimester until the beneficiaries finish their courses.

Members, including special members, who have at least 15 years of service may apply for the loan. They must not be on leave of absence without pay; have no pending administrative or criminal case; and have no past due GSIS loans, including housing loans.

The members must also meet the required net take-home pay of P5,000 after deduction of their monthly premium contributions and loan amortizations, and their agencies must not be on suspended status.

“The loan has an insurance cover to protect the interest of the borrowers and their student-beneficiaries. Thus, it will be deemed fully paid in case the member or the student dies or becomes permanently and totally disabled,” Macasaet said.

Requirements

The documentary requirements for GFAL-EL are a properly filled-out application form signed by the member and duly endorsed by his or her agency’s authorized agency officer; a photocopy of the latest tuition fee assessment form; and a photocopy of school identification card with three signatures of the student-beneficiary.

If the school ID is not available, the borrower may submit any valid government-issued identity card with photo, signature and date of birth of the student. If the member has a second student-beneficiary, the same documents must be submitted.

The Commission on Higher Education (Ched) reported that 3,408,815 students officially enrolled in the school year 2019-2020.

Of the number, the Ched said 1,575,645 were enrolled in public colleges and universities while 1,833,170 were enrolled in private higher education institutions. (JKV)