How to Get Student Loans in the Philippines

Last Updated – Aug 12, 2021 @ 3:09 pm

In 2019, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) launched a program that offers short-term loans to college students (public and private) for funding their studies.

Aside from the said program, several private companies have already established similar online loan platforms that include student loans. Options like these can help provide much-needed assistance to financially-challenged individuals looking to pursue tertiary education. 

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at how student loans work and where to apply for one including the steps and requirements. 

What is a Student Loan?

A student loan is a type of loan issued to borrowers who need funds to pay for college. These funds can be used for paying tuition fees and other related school expenses such as books and educational material, thesis, gadgets and tools, allowances, accommodations, and living expenses.

Just like a regular loan, a student loan needs to be repaid on a regular/installment basis with interest. Some platforms offer borrowers the option to repay the loan after graduation. 


Pros and Cons of getting Student Loans in the Philippines

What are the advantages and disadvantages of getting a student loan? Let’s take a look at the main benefits along with the potential downsides of getting one.

Pros:

  • Makes higher education possible for financially-challenged families of students
  • Can provide funding for allowance, fees, projects, and all other school-related expenses
  • Provide an additional source of money to make enrollment to private universities possible 

Cons:

  • Like a regular loan, you have to pay it back with interest
  • Fees and other similar charges might be applied 

Related: Best Credit Cards for Students in the Philippines


Where to get Student Loans in the Philippines

In this section, we’ll provide a more detailed look at some of the best student loan options available right now.

We’ve included all the key details such as loan terms and maximum amounts as well as the steps and requirements on how to apply. 


InvestEd

InvestEd is a social enterprise that offers student loan programs for helping underprivileged students. The company also incorporates mentoring and coaching in their programs to help participants become successful in school and assist them through the repayment process.

Maximum Loanable Amount

Loans start at Php10,000 up to a maximum of Php100,000

Requirements:

  • Be a Filipino citizen or resident of the Philippines
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Must be in last two years of college
  • Must be enrolled in a university in the Philippines
  • Your current enrollment and academic status
  • Your address and location
  • Your Philippine government identity
  • Identity of loan guarantors

How to Apply for an InvestEd Loan

  1. Visit their website and sign up for an account.
  2. Complete the application form.
  3. You will receive confirmation within the next 2-5 days.
  4. Steps for applying for an actual loan will be provided along with the confirmation (if approved)

Interest Rates

InvestEd applies a 2.3% to 2.9% interest per month (27% to 35% per annum) to the outstanding loan. A service fee of 22% of your requested amount or Php3,000 is applied (whichever is higher). Note that borrowers can opt to pay for the loan after graduation. 

InvestEd Loan Term Duration

Payment terms for an InvestEd loan are up to 48 months. Borrowers do have the option to pay after graduation and can also make repayments prior (InvestEd offers various repayment terms for added flexibility)


Bukas.ph

Bukas is part of ErudiFi Group, a company with programs that are focused on educational financing in Southeast Asia. If you are enrolled with one of their partner universities and colleges, you can apply for a loan for up to Php100,000 payable in 12 months.

Maximum Loanable Amount

Loans start at Php10,000 up to a maximum of Php100,000

Requirements:

  • Be a Filipino citizen or resident of the Philippines
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Must be enrolled as an undergraduate or postgraduate student at one of their partner schools
  • Contact details and guardian’s contact details
  • Guarantor’s contact details and proof of income

How to Apply for a Bukas.PH Loan

  • Visit their website and enter your mobile number to begin registration.
  • Complete the online registration. 
  • You will receive an OTP to verify your mobile number. Enter it to complete your registration.
  • Note that you have to provide all required information (up to profile level 3) to be approved for an installment plan.

Interest Rates

Bukas applies a 1.5 monthly interest rate and a 3% origination fee that will be embedded within the monthly payments. 

Bukas.PH Loan Term Duration

All loans are payable in 12 months but borrowers do have the option to pay in advance should they want to.


LandBank I-STUDY

LANDBANK launched the I-STUDY (Interim Students’ Loan for Tuitions towards Upliftment of Education for the Development of the Youth) Lending Program to help eligible students cover the tuition and other enrollment-related fees. 

Maximum Loanable Amount

Parents and guardians can loan for tuition fee payments equivalent to one (1) school year or two (2) semesters, or up to P150,000 per student but not more than P300,000 per eligible borrower. Included in the maximum loanable amount per borrower of P300,000 is a loan amount of up to P50,000/student to finance the purchase of gadgets.

Requirements:

  • Duly accomplished loan application Form
  • For employed parents, Certificate of Employment or Contract of Employment, Copy of 3 months latest payslip, Latest BIR-filed Income Tax return
  • For self-employed parents, Copy of Business Permit, Latest BIR-filed Income Tax Return, and Valid Government-issued ID
  • Proof of billing address and payment record from at least utility/service companies
  • Admission slip or Enrollment Form with Student ID issued by an educational institution or technical vocational institution (for incoming student) or proof of enrollment (present or latest enrollment or registration form for continuing student)
  • Form 138 or Certified True Copy of Grades during previous semester attended
  • Certificate of Good Moral Character from the dean or guidance counselor or any authorized personnel from the school
  • Schedule of payment of school fees and other enrollment-related expenses for the subject school semester or school year, as the case maybe, duly certified by the registrar or authorized personnel of the educational institution

How to Apply for a Landbank I-STUDY Loan

  1. The borrower must have a Landbank deposit account (will used for the loan repayment through debits)
  2. Prepare the necessary documents (see list above).
  3. After having completed the enrolment assessment made by the schools, student loan applicants may submit their applications together with the complete pre-loan processing documents to the nearest LANDBANK Lending Center.

Interest Rates

Landbank applies a fixed 5% interest per annum for the entire term of the loan. 

Landbank I-Study Loan Duration

  • Short-term loan – payable within 1 year via 360-day promissory note (PN)
  • Term Loan – payable up to a maximum of 3 years inclusive of 1 year grace period on the principal

CHED Student Loan Program (UniFast)

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has partnered with the Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act to offer a short-term SLP to pay for tuition, books, tools, equipment and other school expenses.

This loan option is available for student borrowers enrolling in a state university and colleges (SUCs), CHED-recognized local universities and colleges (LUCs), or private higher education. 

Maximum loanable amount: 

P60,000 for every school year for the Short-Term Student Loan Program (SLP).  

Requirements: 

  • Accomplished SLPTE-ST application form (3 copies). 
  • Certificate of School Registration (1 photocopy) 
  • Parent’s (or applicant if employed) ITR, payslip, COE, Audited FS (financial statements), and proof of income; the co-maker’s ITR along with a photocopy of government-issued ID if applicable.
  • 2 1X1 applicant’s ID 
  • Photocopy of school ID 
  • To earn a free higher education, the applicant should enroll in schools accepted by the CHED program or a state university or college; entrance exams are gratis. 
  • Applicants should have a GWA (General Weighted Average) of 93 to 95 percent to get the Half Scholarship. 
  • Applicants should have a GWA of 96 parents and above to get the Full Scholarship. 
  • Applicants are selected and ranked based on the eligibility requirements and availability of slots. 

How to Apply: 

  • Interested parties can submit their application online through the CHED website. 

Interest rates: 

  • Zero interest rate if the student pays on or before the end of the semester. 
  • Six percent per annum or the prevailing interest rate as mandated in the Philippine Dealing System for one year if the student failed to pay on or before the end of the semester. 

Loan term duration: 

  • One year (1) but renewable. 
  • Students who failed to pay on time will need to submit an appeal letter duly attested by their guardians or parents explaining their financial incapacity addressed to their respective officials. If found meritorious, the student will be able to register and re-apply for the loan.

SSS Educational Assistance Loan Program 

The SSS has created a program to help students. The Educational Assistance Loan Program helps fund the educational needs of members’ beneficiaries by letting them borrow money from their accounts and pay it back with interest.

The Social Security System is helping out its members even more now that they have come up with a terrific new way to fund education for all children in need. You can take loans out of your account so long as you borrow on behalf of someone else, which will be paid back over time at a meager rate while also earning some extra cash off the top.

Maximum loanable amount:

  • P20,000 per semester for four or five-year degree courses. 
  • P10,000 per semester for technical or vocational (one to two year) courses. 

Requirements:  

  • SSS Education Loan Application Form. 
  • 2 Valid IDs or Member-borrower’s SSS ID. 
  • Billing statement from the beneficiary’s school. 
  • SSS E1 form of the beneficiary (photocopy). 
  • Proof of income (payslip, certification of income, ITR, or notarized affidavit of income).

How to apply: 

  • Present all necessary documents to any SSS branch near you. 

Interest rates: 

  • Six percent per year
  • Unpaid amortizations will have a penalty of one percent per month. 

Loan term duration: 

  • One to three years for technical or vocational courses.
  • Five years for degree courses. 

GSIS Education Loan and Computer Loan Programs 

The GSIS’ Education Loan Program offers financial assistance to those with children or dependents pursuing tertiary education. It’s often dubbed as the ‘study now pay later,’ where students can access funds for their degrees and then use them at a time of convenience, rather than having everything upfront.

The GSIS Computer Loan is another program to help GSIS members and their families to purchase a computer unit for their children’s online class. 

Maximum loanable amount: 

  • For GSIS Education Loan: up to P100,000 per every school cycle. 
  • For GSIS Computer Loan: up to P30,000

Requirements: 

  • Educational Loan Application Form 
  • Tuition Assessment or Enrollment Form 
  • One (1) photocopy of school ID with three signatures; the ID must include the bearer’s picture, signature, and birthdate. 

How to apply: 

  • Visit any GSIS branch near you, along with the necessary documents. 
  • Online applications are accepted through email, eGSISMO, or dropbox. 

Interest rates :

  • Eight percent per year for GSIS Education Loan (a grace period of 5 years and will only start paying on the sixth year onwards).
  • Six percent per year for GSIS Computer Loan until fully paid. 

Loan term duration: 

  • Ten years for GSIS Education Loan. 
  • Three years for GSIS Computer Loan. 

Pag-IBIG Multi-purpose Loan

The Pag-IBIG Fund Multi-Purpose Loan is the lifesaver that you need when in dire financial straits. It can be processed within two days, with no credit check process required. 

Maximum loanable amount: 

Up to 80% of the member’s current Pag-IBIG Regular Savings. 

Requirements: 

  • Multi-purpose Loan application form (one (1) original copy) 
  • One photocopy of valid ID. 
  • Proof of Income (payslip, COE, ITR, bank statements or passbook, certificate of engagement, certified true copy of Transport Franchise for LGU tricycles, LTFRB PUVs)

How to apply: 

  • Submit all necessary documents to any Pag-IBIG branch near you. 
  • Get the STL Acknowledgement Receipt. 

Interest rates: 

  • 10.5% per annum

Loan term duration: 

  • Two to three years with a grace period of 2 months. 

BDO Personal Loan 

The BDO Personal Loan provides a quick and easy way to borrow money for your child’s education. Easy and affordable terms are available so that you can get more from your loan. 

Maximum loanable amount: 

PHP 10,000 

Requirements: 

  • 21 to 70 years old upon loan maturity. 
  • Filipino citizen (if foreigner, must show residency in the Philippines). 
  • A minimum gross fixed annual income of PHP 180,000 (salaried employees) to PHP 400,000 (self-employed or professionals). 
  • Have least two years in business operation. 
  • Proof of income (COE, payslips, ITR, audited financial statements for the past two years for self-employed or professionals)
  • Two (2) valid IDs with photo, signature, and birthdate. 

How to apply: 

– Submit all necessary documents to a nearby BDO branch. 

Interest rates: 

– 1.25 to 1.30 percent per month with payment terms in 6, 12, 18, 24, and 36 months. 

Loan term duration: 

  • Six months up to 36 months.

Citi Personal Loan 

Apply now for a Citibank Personal Loan to help with emergency expenses or fill in the gaps for your child’s educational needs. Take out the hassle of waiting in long lines by applying online at your convenient time and place. 

Maximum loanable amount: 

Up to P2,000,000 

Requirements: 

  • Accomplished application form (online form available) 
  • One (1) valid ID with photo and signature. 
  • Proof of income (latest ITR, one (1) month payslip, audited financial statements

How to apply: 

  • Prepare all the necessary documents and check for loan eligibility on the Citibank Philippines website. 
  • You may also visit any Citibank branch near you and personally submit all the requirements. 

Interest rates: 

  • Effective Interest Rate (EIR) as indicated in the disclosure statement. (e.g. 32.05 percent for a sample amount of PHP 200,000 to be repaid at 36 months and 26.9 percent ACR) 

Loan term duration: 

  • 1 to 5 years

Affiliate Disclosure: We’re an affiliate of Citibank. We earn through commissions when people sign up for any of Citibank’s products using our link (above). The earnings we get from the commissions is solely used to maintain this website, but if you’d prefer for us to stay poor, here’s the non-affiliate link 🙂


BPI SIP Loan for School

BPI credit cardholders now have the chance to take their education a step further with this tuition installment plan. This plan allows you to pay for tuition and other school expenses by paying in installments over time without going through all of that troublesome paperwork.

The program is available not just at the university level but also to undergraduates who want more than just classes on hand and much-needed textbooks.

Maximum loanable amount: 

Up to the credit card holder’s credit limit. 

Requirements: 

  • Should be a BPI credit card holder with at least 12 months of good standing record. 

How to apply: 

  • Existing credit cardholders can ask for this with their affiliated BPI branch; banks may ask for additional supporting documents may be asked. 

Interest rates: 

  • 0.59% monthly add-on rate  

Loan term duration: 

  • 12 months up to 36 months 

UpFinance 

Students looking for alternate loaning sources can find numerous credit and financial institutions offering affordable payment terms in Upfinance.

To help Filipinos get the best rate for their loans, Upfinance is a gold mine of credible and legitimate institutions that provides student loans.

Maximum loanable amount: 

It Varies per institution. The loanable amount ranges from P1,000 – P1,000,000

Requirements: 

  • Application form from respective banks or other financial institutions. 
  • Extract from your school of choice. 
  • Proof of income from co-maker or parents (COE, payslips, ITR, audited financial statement) 

How to apply: 

  • Search for the best institution that covers the amount you need and requirements; some banks have online forms applicants need to fill out. 
  • Keep all documents scanned and ready, including school information and expected graduation; send this along with the application form online. 

Interest rates: 

  • varies per institution. 

Loan term duration: 

  • 1 month up to 48 months

How to get a Student Loan in the Philippines 

You have 3 main options for getting a student loan. Government-sponsored loan programs, banks, and online lending companies are currently the most popular choices for anyone looking to borrow money for college education.

Here’s a quick rundown of what each of them offers.

  • Government-sponsored loan programs

UniFAST, SSS, GSIS, and Landbank offer student or educational loans to eligible applicants. These cover allowances and other related university expenses.

To apply for a government-sponsored student loan, you need to submit the loan application form together with school-related documents (certificate of registration and ID) and ITRs/proof of income of the co-maker. 

  • Online Lending Companies

Online Lending institutions like InvestEd and Bukas.PH offers student loans up to Php100,000 and provides flexible and transparent repayment terms.

Application is convenient since you can complete application forms and submit all requirements through their website and approval typically just takes days for qualified applicants. 

  • Banks

Most banks offer personal loans to existing account holders who can opt to use them to fund their child’s education. Among all three options here, they offer the maximum loanable amount.

Do note that these are mainly personal loans that can come with high-interest rates so make sure to check the details with your bank before applying for one. 


Tips for Students before getting student loans

1. Borrow only what you need

It might be tempting to borrow an amount for more than what you really need it for, but remember that you have to pay it back with interest.

Repayments will be more manageable and can be completed faster if the loan is not too high.

2. Borrow from legitimate sources only

Don’t fall for loan sharks who charge ridiculously high interest and don’t have a valid lending license from the SEC.

Make sure to check the company’s profile and check reviews before applying for a loan.

3. Know your repayment options

Loan companies offer several options for repayment so borrowers can have more flexibility in making repayments.

Choose a repayment scheme that is optimized for both your current and future financial status so that repaying your loan won’t be too much of a burden.

4. Learn about the loan’s interest rates and fees

Not all student loans are equal, and most will differ based on interest rates and any potential fees. The most important thing to consider is the interest rate since it’s essentially the price you pay for borrowing money.

Before taking a loan, compare interest rates and ask if there are any associated fees. You’ll feel much safer taking a loan if you’re fully aware of its terms.

5. Know the grace period

There will be times that money is especially tight and making the repayment simply won’t be possible on time.

A grace period will let you comply with the designated repayment schedule without incurring any penalties even if you make a late payment (as long as it’s within the approved grace period).

6. Make extra repayments whenever possible

During times when you have extra money (windfall cash, bonus, etc.,), It might be a good idea to make that extra repayment or two (or one considerably large payment) to significantly reduce your total loan.

Ask your loan company for adjustments if you plan on doing extra repayments so they can recalculate the repayment schedule and interest.

About Amiel Pineda

Amiel Pineda is the Head of Content at Grit PH. Prior to freelancing full-time, he worked in the financial services industry for nearly a decade. He also writes on his personal blog, Homebased Pinoy, where he shares tips and guides as a work-from-home freelancer.

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Comments

  1. says

    There are a number of methods for getting student loans in the Philippines, including scholarships, grants and bank loans. Do not pay your tuition before talking to potential lenders.
    Start with your school’s financial office or administration – they may be able to give you information on what type of loan available at that institution.

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