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PTPTN asks EPF and taxman to share borrowers’ info

The National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) has asked the Employees Provident Fund and Inland Revenue Board for assistance on borrowers’ details and data.

PTPTN chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan said the cooperation would not only help PTPTN to speed up its policy-making process, but would also enable the corporation to verify the information provided by borrowers at the same time.
The information comprises the borrower’s occupation, salary, phone number and e-mail address.

“We also urge all PTPTN borrowers who have accrued an outstanding balance after the one-year grace period to update their personal information, or it will be understood that they do not wish to delay their repayment.

“If it is not done within the stipulated time, we will assume that they don’t wish to delay the repayment of their loans and they will not be included in new policies with regards to the matter,” he told reporters here yesterday.
Borrowers have until July 25 to do so.

Wan Saiful said the information would help PTPTN identify those who earn less than RM4,000.

As part of its GE14 manifesto, the Pakatan Harapan government has pledged to allow fresh graduates who earn less than RM4,000 to delay settling their loans.

However, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik announced last month that borrowers who fall within this income group will have to continue paying their loans for now until the Government has worked out a way to fulfil its manifesto pledge.

Wan Saiful said PTPTN was facing difficulty in obtaining income details due to the Personal Data Protection Act 2010.

“We have sent a request to the agencies and the Finance Minister to assist us with this information,” he added.
Meanwhile, Amellia Ong, 25, described PTPTN’s call to update borrower’s personal information as a “fair policy”.

“It will help the Government identity applicants who may not be able to repay their loans and are genuinely interested in deferring it.

“I also think it’s fair because with PTPTN’s action of removing defaulters from being blacklisted, they are providing borrowers with an avenue which allows those who earn less than RM4,000 to update their information if they are keen to defer their repayment,” said Ong, who is a Certificate in Legal Practice student.

Advertising executive Jesslyn Tan said the decision would ensure only those earning below RM4,000 are exempted from immediately repaying their loans.

She added that providing the information requested by PTPTN is a justifiable action, even if it has to be completed within the next nine days.

“It is not that hard to update your personal information and this is all a matter of priority,” she said.

Borrowers can update their information on the corporation’s official portal, www.ptptn.gov.my, under Pengemaskinian Maklumat Pendapat.

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New facility to help 80,000 PTPTN borrowers

Some 80,000 borrowers are set to benefit from the National Higher Education Fund Corporation’s (PTPTN) new “overlapping” facility.

Existing borrowers who apply for a second PTPTN loan won’t be listed in Bank Negara’s Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS), nor will they be banned from travelling overseas.

The “overlapping” facility, which benefited 32,213 borrowers, was introduced on April 6 last year, said PTPTN chairman Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah.

“For example, a student who owes RM15,000 for his diploma, now applies for RM21,000 for his degree.

“So, the new total owed is RM36,000. This lump sum will only be due six months after he graduates with a degree.

“His name will not be listed in CCRIS and he won’t be blacklisted by the Immigration Department,” he told a press conference here yesterday.

From Aug 15 this year, some 45,866 borrowers who applied for a second loan before the “overlapping” facility was introduced will also benefit from the policy.

He said this was part of PTPTN’s efforts to help borrowers who wanted to continue studying but were unable to settle their first loan.

He, however, said a total of 545 borrowers had yet to benefit from the “overlapping” facility.

This was because they were still under the conventional financing scheme.

These borrowers must convert their scheme to the syariah-based ujrah scheme to enjoy the new facility. They can do so by calling Careline PTPTN (03-2193 3000).

Dr Shamsul said PTPTN had collected half of the amount targeted for 2017.

“We’ve collected RM2bil and are confident of meeting our RM4bil target for the year.”

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10% discount on your PTPTN loan

National Higher Education Fund Corporation borrowers can now apply for and make loan repayments via direct debit arrangements with 17 banks.

PTPTN chairman Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah said borrowers would also be entitled to a 10% discount should they adopt this method of repayment.

At a press conference here yesterday, he said even though direct debit was available since last November through a partnership with Bank Islam and MyClear, the application process was tedious.

“Back then, borrowers had to come to our counters to complete the application for direct debit, and even a minor mistake could cause the application to be rejected,” said Shamsul, who added that online application was faster and took only three working days to process.

Shamsul said depositors of the National Education Savings Scheme (SSPN-i) could also use direct debit to increase their savings.

PTPTN chief executive officer Wan Ahmad Wan Yusoff advised borrowers who wanted to make deductions for the current period to apply for their accounts to be debited before the 20th day of the month.

“Otherwise, deductions will take place on the 10th of the following month,” he said.

Wan Ahmad pointed out that 52,000 or 1.4% of borrowers opted to repay through direct debit since April 18, while 41% still preferred to make over-the-counter repayments.

Shamsul Anuar said PTPTN was targetting a collection of RM4bil this year, on the back of RM49.8bil in total disbursements to date.

“As of April 30, as many as 32,003 borrowers have enjoyed the 10% discount for repaying through direct debit, which involved a total repayment of RM19.49mil, with discounts totalling RM1.95mil.

“Through this upgrade, PTPTN is hoping to reduce over-the-counter repayments, which will in turn increase repayments through direct debit by 10%,” he added.

In his Budget 2017 speech, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that a 15% discount would be given to those who paid the outstanding amount all at once.

Those who pay off at least 50% of the loan in one lump sum would get a 10% discount on the amount paid.

The offer for discount would be valid until December, and was open to all 1.97 million PTPTN borrowers.

Source: The Star (7June 2017)

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PTPTN uses CCRIS to ensure that loan takers settle their dues accordingly

It’s an acronym that loan takers of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) should be aware of.

CCRIS, or the Central Credit Reference Information System, has a list of their names to ensure that these borrowers repay their loans accordingly.

“If they are good paymasters, borrowers will have a good record (in the CCRIS). They will have no problem when they apply for new loans.

“Their names will be taken off the list once they have fully settled their PTPTN loans,” PTPTN deputy CEO (Policy and Operations) Mastura Mohd Khalid said.

CCRIS is a database used by financial institutions to evaluate those who apply for loans.

She said all PTPTN borrowers would be listed in the CCRIS once it is time for them to start paying back, which is six months after graduation.

Mastura said PTPTN started to use CCRIS in June 2015.

When a borrower accumulates more than 12 months of PTPTN arrears, she said their names would be sent to the Immigration Department which would bar them from leaving the country.

“Having your name on the CCRIS does not amount to a ‘punishment’. Instead, it is a tool that ensures borrowers are disciplined in repaying their loans,” Mastura said.

PTPTN has provided various means to make it more convenient for borrowers to settle their loans.

On April 1 last year, the corporation announced the option of repaying the loans through online withdrawals of the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) Account II.

Of the RM680mil PTPTN collected in January and February, repayment through this option made up 12.9% or RM87.94mil.

Mastura said this was done in 48,911 transactions.

Currently, the amount of arrears owed to PTPTN is about RM7.8bil.

“I believe borrowers would choose to repay their loans through their EPF Account II to clear the arrears before they restructure their loan to ensure they have a clean record in the CCRIS,” she said.

Prior to the option of online withdrawal from their EPF accounts, borrowers had to take out their savings by filling up forms at EPF offices.

In a statement on Friday, PTPTN chairman Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah said: “There is indeed a significant increase in the amount of repayment received through borrowers’ EPF account II in October, November and December 2016.

“This came up to more than RM100mil each month.

“Overall, from RM3.4bil in repayments received last year, only 32% of it was repaid through borrowers’ EPF Account II.”

Shamsul’s comments was in reference to EPF’s 2016 annual report, which stated that withdrawals for “education” was at RM1.4bil last year, up 152% from RM578mil previously.

EPF chief executive officer Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said much of the increase was due to the settlement of education debts, adding that he was watching this trend closely.

“A lot of the increase primarily has been for the settlement of education debts.

“This is because of PTPTN’s big push to get their borrowers to pay up,” Shahril said at a briefing on Thursday.

Source – The Star (24 April 2017)

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PTPTN may set up airport counters for defaulters barred from leaving country

The public has requested that the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) sets up counters at airports in the country to help prevent borrowers being barred from leaving the country for unsettled loans.

PTPTN chief executive officer Wan Ahmad Wan Yusoff said the PTPTN counters would assist borrowers who discover that they have been barred from travelling abroad at the last minute.

“They want to be able to negotiate with PTPTN and make payments on the spot.

“PTPTN is seriously considering the suggestion, as it a step towards ensuring that borrowers make their repayments on time,” he said

However, he also noted that it is ultimately the borrower’s responsibility to maintain their loan payments.

“On our side, we need to consider all options that will enable us to collect loan payments so that other students can also borrow from PTPTN.

“PTPTN has loaned out approximately RM47 billion to 2.25 million students to date, disbursing about RM5 billion a year,” he told reporters after attending the National Conference on Lifelong Learning (LLL) 2016 today.

The conference was organised by the Ministry of Higher Education in collaboration with University of Malaya Centre for Continuing Education (UMCCed).

Wan Ahmad said PTPTN had started discussions with relevant authorities to get their consent on the suggestion.

He said there have been many cases where borrowers had their overseas travel plans ruined, as PTPTN notifies the Immigration Department to stop defaulters from leaving the country.

PTPTN borrowers are advised to check their account status online at least seven days before they travel abroad, during which they can settle matters with PTPTN should they find themselves on the PTPTN blacklist.