Head of Public Relations at the Student Loan Trust Fund, George Fergurson Laing, has revealed that the fund would publish names and details of beneficiaries who have refused to pay back their loans this week.
In an interview with Univers News on the current state of the fund, George Fergurson Laing stated that the refusal of some borrowers to pay the loans prevents other people in need of financial aid, and as such, the fund would ensure that the loans are paid.
“Here is a situation where some have taken the loan to finance their tertiary education and are now working but refuse to pay the loan because they think it is government money. However, this means you are denying somebody else the opportunity to access tertiary education. So we are cracking the whip on this section of borrowers. This week you will see that we are going to publish the details of some of these borrowers, and it’s one of the steps that the law requires us to take before prosecution. And so we are going to do that. We are going to publish their names and other details, including how much they owe, in the national dailies.”
He also added that aside from the publication of the names of beneficiaries who had failed to pay back, requlsiqant borrowers who have also refused to own up would be prosecuted under the Trustee Incorporation Act of 1962, Act 106.
“The economy is not doing as well as we wish, and it’s a global problem. This means that individuals are also suffering, and as such, people will need financial aid more than ever in these times, so we are also fully implementing our Acts, and our Acts give us the mandate to prosecute recalcitrant borrowers. It is an action that so far we have refrained from taking, but we all know the times we are in.”
George Fergurson Laing, however, advised borrowers who are not able to pay back the loan to contact the fund on how their repayments can be restructured or rescheduled in order to avoid embarrassment.
“The embarrassment of having your name and other details published in the national dailies is something any responsible citizen would not want to happen to them, and as such, we have also been constantly saying that if you have a genuine reason why you are unable to repay your loan or make regular payments, you need to contact the fund. We will sit down with you and look at how best we can help reschedule or restructure your payments.”
Additionally, he announced that the fund has dedicated the month of May to public education on loan repayment and recovery and has also introduced new payment platforms such as Pay Angels, through which people outside the country can pay.
“We have designated the month of May for public education on repayment and loan recovery, so we are reminding people that in order for the fund to remain viable, we need to pay back for a new generation of students to benefit from financial aid. We are also taking advantage of this to introduce to our borrowers some new payment platforms, for example, in the UK, US, Europe and Canada, we have started a partnership with Pay Angels so you can repay your loan using the Pay Angel platform.”
Story by Kuuku Osei- Badioo | univers.ug.edu.gh