11 July 2024

The government will lose about 6 billion baht in revenue per year if students with loans from the student loan program are exempted from paying interest and fines, in case of default, according to Deputy Government Spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek.

The House of Representatives recently approved, by a majority vote, a draft Bill on the student loan fund, which seeks to exempt interest on loans extended to students, as well as fines in case of repayment default. The draft bill will next be deliberated in the Senate.

According to Rachada, the government has extended 702.31 billion baht in loans to 6,284,005 students since the student loan program was launched in the 1998 academic year, after the cabinet agreed on January 16th, 1996 to create the student loan fund, which is a legal entity.

Of these, about 1.6 million students have fully repaid their loans, about 3.5 million are in the process of repaying their loans after their completion of studies, 986,668 are still studying and 68,787 have died or become disabled.

For the 2022 academic year, an estimated 38.8 billion baht in new loans have been extended to 638,132 students. Over 27 billion baht had been repaid by students during the academic year as of September 20th.

Rachada said that, apart from the 6 billion baht interest and fine revenue loss per annum, the student loan fund has management fees, estimated at about 2 billion baht per year.

She also disclosed a list of 25 universities with the best records of loan repayments by students.  Among them are Phayao University, Silpakorn University, Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna, Naresuan University, Chiang Mai University, Mae Fah Luang University, Mahidol University, Prince of Songkhla University, Thammasat University, Kasetsart University, Technology Suranaree University, Burapha University and Chulalongkorn University.