Sunday , March 26 2023

Repayment Study Loan pilot project extended

The Daily Herald writes that the Education Implementation Service DUO will extend the pilot project in the Caribbean Netherlands this year for repayment of student-loan debts accumulated in the Netherlands. Under the pilot, former students from Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius can make use of a local account at Maduro and Curiel’s Bank MCB for repayment of their debts. Residents of the Caribbean Netherlands who have studied in the European Netherlands, and who have a student debt, usually incur extra expenses while complying with their payment obligations because they have to transfer their payments to a foreign bank account. In addition, they run a risk with exchange rates. Therefore, a pilot was started in 2013 under which the repayment of student loans was made easier and cheaper as debtors could transfer money to the account of a local bank without extra transaction costs.
This year, the exchange rate will be fixed in January and will apply to the entire calendar year. Judging from the results of an interim-evaluation the pilot seems to be successful. Former students will save transactions costs and have more clarity regarding payment of the monthly amount at a fixed amount in US dollars. Because more former students are complying with their obligation to pay back on their loans in regular instalments, DUO is also saving on issuing payment reminders. A side-effect of the pilot is that the yield of refunded study debts has increased. The pilot can only be evaluated when all 2013 receipts have been processed. This will take place during the course of this month. It was, however, already decided to extend the pilot until December. At this moment, only Caribbean Netherlands residents can participate in this pilot. Those who already participated in 2013 have received a notification about the extension. Former students who are not yet participating will receive a letter inviting them to register for participation. New participants can register by sending an email with their name, address and correspondence number by January 31.

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