Parliamentary Replies

February 05, 2018

Study loans granted to international students

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong, Non-Constituency Members of Parliament

Question

To ask the Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) (a) what is the rate of default in the repayment of study loans taken out by foreign students from our banks and other local institutions in each of the past five years; (b) what actions have been taken to effect recovery against such defaulters; and (c) what is the rate of cases where full recovery has been made through such enforcement actions.

Response

1. To ensure that our Singaporean students are not denied a tertiary education due to their financial circumstances, the Government provides loans to students at our publicly-funded tertiary institutions. These loans are also extended to international students who need some assistance.

2. On average, over the last five years, 3.9% of the total outstanding Government loans taken up by international students is in default and deemed unrecoverable, after exhausting all recovery efforts. For international students who default on their loans, they can face adverse consequences should they apply to work or reside in Singapore.

3. Commercial banks also offer study loans but based on the data reported by banks to the Credit Bureau, study loans granted to foreigners was less than 0.0001% of the total banking assets in Singapore. As they make up only a very small share of total banking system exposure, MAS does not collect the data on these loans, including the default rate.