Thailand’s teachers accumulate combined debts of ฿1.4 trillion
Over 900,000 teachers, or 80% of all teachers in Thailand, owe a combined total of about 1.4 trillion baht, with teacher savings cooperatives being the biggest creditors, accounting for 890 billion baht. The second largest creditor is the Government Savings Bank (GSB), accounting for 349 billion baht of the amount owed by the teachers.
Deputy Government Spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek said today (Saturday) that the government acknowledges the debt problem of the teachers and has been trying to solve it through the Ministry of Education and other agencies.
She said that the efforts have been successful, to a certain extent, using debt refinancing, reduction of interest rates and the use of the teachers’ welfare funds as surety for loans extended.
About 360,000 teachers used their social welfare fund as a guarantee when applying for loans from teacher savings cooperatives or the GSB.
She disclosed that about 70 teacher savings cooperatives have reduced their interest rates by 0.3%, which has benefited about 400,000 teachers, by reducing their total debts by about 2.2 billion baht.
Debt refinancing, by consolidating a teacher’s diverse debts into a single amount under one creditor, such as a teacher savings cooperative or other finance provider, will help reduce the amount of the monthly debt repayment, allowing teachers retain a minimum of 30% of their monthly salaries as take-home pay.
Rachada said that, so far, about 40,000 teachers, with combined debts of over 58 billion baht, have registered to enter the government’s debt resolution program, adding that about a quarter of them have had their debt problem resolved through refinancing.
The Ministry of Education, in cooperation with the GSB and teacher savings cooperatives, will launch a debt resolution exhibition in Kamphaeng Phet province on October 4th, for teachers who are interested in solving their debt problems with the government’s help.