UG Students can now repay loans using MMG App
DPI/GINA, Guyana, Monday, June 5, 2017
The Ministry of Finance has partnered with the University of Guyana and the GuyanaTelephone and Telegraph Company to offer current and former students, an easier option to repay their student loans. The partnership is described by Minister of Finance Winston Jordan as another in a series of initiatives, to have students repay their debts in a fast and secure manner.
The Minister noted that during the Jubilee Independence Anniversary celebrations, several options were put in place to have errant loan defaulters repay their debts. He said it was regrettable that many did not take advantage of the offer. This has resulted in the Government being left with a huge number of outstanding student loans, he explained.
At the launching of the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph’s (GT&T) Mobile Money Guyana (MMG) system that will allow the repayment of student loans by cellular phones, the Finance Minister said that approximately G$10 billion worth of 28,936 loans issued since 1994, 20, 301, remain outstanding. He is hopeful that loan defaulters would take advantage of the new payment option.
He stated, “I don’t think there has been a significant dent to what I gave at the last time….There was some exuberance at the offer but it didn’t get the kind of response that we were hoping for where a significant dent would have been made. We did get some money in but it’s not significant to what is owing.”
The Jubilee Offer gave defaulters a 75 per cent reduction in the accumulated arrears of interest if they had paid their indebtedness, no later than August 31, 2016 or a 50 percent reduction in accumulated arrears of interest if borrowers had brought their accounts up to date by September 30, 2016.
The Finance Minister says he is currently working with Western Union to facilitate payments for those former students residing overseas and this will be launched soon. The criteria for issuing loans and potential guarantors, is also being restructured, so as to facilitate easier payments.
The MMG agreement was described as a very simple process by GT&T’s Chief Executive Officer Justin Nedd. He explained that, “All current and past students have to do to repay their tuition loans is to enter their UG registration number, the amount they would like to pay and press send. The new option adds to the facility already being used by thousands to pay various utility bills. The GTT CEO described the new plan as just one of the many ways the company is using technology to improve the lives of Guyanese. The Mobile Money Guyana Application, is also in keeping, with a call by President David Granger, to use technology to extend the reach of financial services to underserved and un-served communities.
Among those present at today’s event were Minister within the Ministry of Finance Jaipaul Sharma, University of Guyana Vice Chancellor Ivelaw Griffith and staffers of UG and GTT.
By: Paul McAdam