From now on, all a student in tertiary institutions needs to access loans from the Students Loan Trust Fund (SLTF) are admission letter and the Ghana Card. No need for a guarantor. This followed the launch of the ‘No Guarantor Students Loan Policy’ by the Vice- President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, last Wednesday at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
The Vice President, at the launch in Kumasi, said the policy was aimed at ensuring that all Ghanaian tertiary students gain easy access to financial support for their education.
Dr. Bawumia said the guarantor-free loan application for students is part of benefits derived from the digitalization process being undertaken by the government for economic growth.
According to the Vice President, the global economy today is sustained by digitization “If you don’t digitalize, you can forget it.”
He expressed confidence in the Ghana Card as document that provides all the data on the students to take a decision about their loan as well as all the information necessary to recover the loan.
Prior to this policy, getting a guarantor for student loans was a difficulty. The Executive Director of SLTF, Nana Kwaku Agyei Yeboah, admitted that only a few qualified students secured the loans to pursue their education.
He explained the policy would help more students to access financial help for their tertiary education.
Dr. Bawumia indicated that an echo-system was being built around the Ghana Card such that it contained all the information one needed on the passport, including digital address, would be embedded in the card.
“The Ghana Card number is now your National Health Insurance Scheme number, your Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) number, and Tax Identification Number (TIN), and from July we will link all your bank accounts to your Ghana Card number,” he said.
The President of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), Dennis Appiah Larbi-Ampofo, happy about the new policy, however, expressed worry that the loans accrued interest while students were still in school and, therefore, suggested that the loans should start accruing interest after students had completed school.