The Social Security System (SSS) has widened the field of eligible members for SSS educational loans to help more workers and beneficiaries borrow enrollment funds for college, technical and vocational courses for the upcoming second semester that will start in November.
SSS Assistant Vice President for Lending and Asset Management Ma. Luz Generoso said members with a basic monthly income of P15,000 or below now qualify for the Educational Assistance Loan Program or “Educ-Assist.” The cap on monthly income was previously pegged at P12,000.
“Members just need to submit an employer’s certification of monthly income or a copy of their latest pay slip or pay envelope as part of the requirements. We expect a fresh batch of applicants for Educ-Assist loans in time for second semester enrollment,” she said.
To qualify, members must have at least a total of 36 monthly premiums, three of which should be within 12 months prior to application. Interested borrowers must also have up-to-date SSS loan payments, or a maximum of three unpaid amortizations for those with overdue loans.
Generoso said the maximum loanable amount per semester or trimester is P15,000 for college degrees and P7,500 for voc-tech courses. The loan may be used for tuition and miscellaneous expenses of members, their legal spouse or children, while siblings of unmarried members can also be loan beneficiaries.
“The Educ-Assist program enables SSS to support the beneficiaries’ education all the way until they graduate. SSS members can avail of loans of up to P15,000 every semester or trimester, and loan repayment will only start a year after graduation,” Generoso said.
The SSS offers P7-billion in educational loan funds under the Educ-Assist facility, which consists of P3.5 billion from SSS and another P3.5 billion from the national government (NG). Members’ loans are funded by SSS and NG on a 50:50 basis.
“The SSS portion carries a six percent annual interest based on diminishing principal balance until fully paid, while the national government share charges no interest,” she said. “A member can designate only one beneficiary, and no substitution of loan beneficiary is allowed.”
The Educ-Assist facility has drawn over 7,000 availments since its launch last May 2012. So far, the SSS has disbursed a total of P85.27 million for Educ-Assist loans, about P83 million of which were for the education of over 6,800 college students.
Generoso said those who have already borrowed for the first semester must file an application for the subsequent release of their loan for the second semester. Members have to file their application for subsequent loan releases every semester or trimester.
“Upon graduation of these Educ-Assist beneficiaries, the country will benefit from a more knowledgeable and skilled workforce, which is the main rationale for this loan facility,” she noted. “It is government’s investment in people to ensure productive employment of current and future workers.”
Application forms are downloadable from the SSS website at www.sss.gov.ph. Members can make inquiries at the SSS call center at 920-6446 to 55, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or join the “Philippine Social Security System” Facebook page. – Sigfredo Ibay (sss.gov.ph)