Despite the Singapore tertiary education being subsidised, the tuition fees keeps adjusting upwards every year and students often need some help financing their education.
Fortunately, there are several tuition fee loans that you can take up.
But before we get to the list of tuition fee loans available to students in Singapore, we first answer the fundamental question, “what is tuition fee loan” so that you know exactly what we are talking about and we also tell you how to apply for it.
What Is A Tuition Fee Loan?
A tuition fee loan is a type of loan offered to students to help them pay off their tuition fees. Students studying in Singapore can apply for it, but the amount you get depends on the course you’re taking and the school you attend.
It helps to take up the loan because the tuition fee loan interest rate is very low and does not compare to other loan types.
Second, you get a longer loan repayment period that is delayed to up to two years following your graduation, which is unlike other loan types that demand immediate principal and interest repayment.
In this way, your studying becomes more comfortable and you can pay the loan later, with friendly repayment terms.
Unfortunately, tuition fee loans are not offered to students enrolled in private schools. But, these students can still take out a study loan from one of the licensed enders in Singapore.
Tuition Fee Vs Study Loan
A tuition fee loan is different from a study loan. A tuition fee loan is one that covers a significant percentage of the fees payable for polytechnic students and Singaporean university students, covering only tuition fees.
A study loan is a loan that covers only a small proportion of the fees payable for Singaporean university and polytechnic students and also allocates some amount per year as living allowance.
A study loan is availed to students who find themselves struggling with a gross monthly per capita income of $2700 or less, even after taking up the tuition fee loan. The study loan covers the remaining fees and also helps the students with their living arrangements.
But, before you apply for study loans, note that they typically have a shorter repayment period compared to tuition fee loans.
How Does It Work?
Regarding how the tuition fee loan works, polytechnic students receive up to 75% of the subsidized fees payable while university students who are Singapore citizens receive up to 90% of the subsidised fees payable.
You may apply for the tuition fee loan at any time during the duration of your course and the loan does not attract any interest until after the graduation.
The maximum loan tenure for loans taken by polytechnic students is 10 years and the maximum tenure for loans taken by university students is 20 years.
Tuition Fee Loans In Singapore
Here’s a table summarising the details of each of the tuition fee loans available in Singapore
|Tuition Fee Loan||Admin Fees And Interest Rates||Things To Note|
|Ministry of Education (MOE)Tuition Fee Loan||No admin fees|
4.75% annual interest rate
|Maximum loan amount|
The repayment starts two years after the graduation date
|CPF Education Loan||No admin fees|
2.5% annual interest rate (is the prevailing CPF Ordinary Account interest rate)
|Maximum loan amount:|
The repayment starts one year after graduation
|OCBC Education Loan||2.5% admin fee|
4.5% annual interest rate
|Maximum loan amount:|
The repayment starts the month after the loan is disbursed. Students can start paying the interest only while still studying and continue on for up to a year after graduating
|POSB Further Study Assist||2.5% admin fee|
4.38% annual interest rate
|Maximum loan amount:|
Repayment starts the month following the loan disbursement
|CIMB Education Loan||2% admin fee|
4.78% annual interest fee
|Maximum loan amount:|
The repayment starts the month following the loan disbursement. You may start paying the interest only while studying
|Maybank Education Loan||Check quotation for admin fee|
4.45% annual interest rate
|Maximum loan amount:|
The repayment starts in the month following the loan disbursement. You may pay only the interest for the first 36 months
How To Apply
Students apply for the tuition fee loan depending on the institutions of higher learning they are enrolled at:
- Nanyang Technological University (NTU) students can apply to OCBC or DBS
- National University of Singapore (NUS) students can apply to OCBC or DBS
- Singapore Management University (SMU) students can apply at the university
- Other students can approach DBS or Lending Bee
Eligibility And Requirements
Here’s the eligibility criteria and the requirements needed to apply for some of the popular loans available to students in Singapore:
MOE Tuition Fee Loan
The MOE tuition fee loan, also called the tuition grant, is a program ran by the Ministry of Education (MOE) to assist students to pay their education fees.
Only students in local institutions of higher learning like polytechnics, universities and the Institute of Technical Education can apply for it.
- You are a student attending a polytechnic full-time
- You are a student enrolled in an undergraduate or postgraduate program at an autonomous institution
- You are a student enrolled in a part-time undergraduate program at an autonomous institution and are a Singapore citizen
The MOE tuition fee loan pays for up to 75% of the subsidised costs for polytechnic students. It also pays for up to 90% of the subsidised tuition fees for university students who are Singapore students.
The MOE tuition fee loan is valid for the entire length of the course and does not attract any interest during the period of study up until your graduation. The maximum tenure for the polytechnic level loan is 10 years while that of the university level is a maximum of 20 years.
- SMU students should contact the university
- NTU and NUS students can approach OCBC or DBS
- Other students may approach Lending Bee or DBS
SMU Tuition Fee Loan
Undergraduate Singaporean students can apply for this loan and get 90% coverage of all their tuition expenses.
- Students in undergraduate programs must be enrolled full-time
- Undergraduate students able to pay the full fees may not apply
- See the application form to see other undergraduate student types who are not eligible
- 21-60 years old
- Should not be bankrupt or be a student undertaking full-time education
- Must not have more than two unpaid student loans, including the current loan
- Singaporean if guaranteeing a Singaporean student
- If applicant is a permanent resident, guarantor can be Singaporean or a permanent resident
- If applicant is a foreigner, guarantor can be of any other nationality
The SMU tuition fee loan repayment starts after securing employment or two years after graduating, whichever comes first. The minimum tuition fee loan repayment amount is $100 per month and the maximum loan tenure is 20 years.
NTU Study Loan
The NTU study loan, also called the NTU tuition fee loan, is differentiated by the part-time and the full-time programmes.
The part-time NTU tuition fee loan is available to part-time undergraduates who need help paying off their tuition fees.
- Be a part-time Singaporean student taking their first undergraduate degrees
- Is also a recipient of the maximum tuition fee loan that covers 90% of the tuition fees
- Have a monthly household income per capita of $2,700
The study loan is meant for both domestic and foreign undergraduates that need help covering part of their tuition fees and living costs. Students are only covered for the first three years of their enrolment in the Biomedical Sciences & Chinese Medicine program. The loan is unsecured and is only granted to students who fully meet the eligibility criteria.
- Should have one or more schemes alongside this one (Mendaki Loan, Tuition Fee Subsidy, Tuition Fee Loan, CPF Education Loan Scheme, or Post-Secondary Education Account)
- Have a monthly per capita income of $2,700 for Singaporean or permanent resident students
- Have a monthly per capita income of $1,200 for international students
- The repayment for loans taken for either the full-time and part-time programmes start six months after beginning work or six months after graduation, whichever comes first. The repayment period for interest-free loans is up to five years and the period for interest-bearing loans is 20 years.
DBS Tuition Fee Loan
DBS differentiates the loans issued to university and polytechnic students.
For university students, the loan covers up to 90% of the subsidised tuition expenses. The DBS tuition fee loan interest rate is only applied after your graduation. The loan remains interest-free for the course of your education program.
- Students in any of Singapore’s local universities or NIEs that do not fall under the following categories can take up the loan:
- Students enrolled for self-financed courses
- MENDAKI students receiving the entire tuition fee subsidy
- Students that use their CPF funds to pay for the discounted tuition expenses
- Students that receive scholarship from the statutory board, school, or government to cover their tuition fees
- Permanent resident or non-Singaporean student that pays their full tuition
- Aged 21-60 years
- Is not bankrupt and has not been discharged
- Is a Singaporean standing for a Singapore citizen applicant
- May be a permanent resident, international student or Singapore citizen
- The maximum repayment duration for the tuition fee loan DBS is 20 years, and it begins two years after graduation. You can repay the loan in a single amount or in monthly instalments of at least $100
Polytechnic students get up to 75% of the subsidised tuition fees and it remains interest free throughout the course of the studies.
After the graduation, the loan starts earning interest at the average rate offered by OCBC, DBS, and UOB.
- Full-time diploma students enrolled at the local polytechnics that are not in any the following categories can apply for the loan:
- MENDAKI students receiving the full tuition fee support
- Students’ tuition expenses are covered by the government, school, or statutory board
- Students using their CPF funds to pay the discounted tuition expenses.
The guarantor requirements for polytechnic students is similar to that of university students.
Students have a maximum repayment period of 10 years and the repayment begins a year after graduation. You may repay the loan in one sum or in equal instalments of at least $100.
Easily Get A Tuition Fee Loan In Singapore
Several institutions in Singapore offer tuition fee loans, but the money offered may fail to sufficiently cover your needs, or you may fail to meet their requirements.
If this is the case, Lending Bee will offer you a tuition fee loan at a very low interest rate. Our application and approval process is fast without too many requirements.
The repayment period is also prolonged, to ensure that you have the easiest time repaying your loan. Apply for a tuition fee loan here and we will get back to you promptly.
About Ashley Sim
Calling herself a “professional multi-tasker”, Ashley worked as a relationship manager in a bank for five years. She left her job just before the pandemic happened and became a freelance writer for about a year. Now, she’s making the most of her love for writing and knowledge of the banking and financial industry in her role as a content marketing lead. She hopes to help people make better financial decisions through her content and campaigns.