If you’re a student who’s about to graduate, one of your biggest concerns would be your student debts/loans, if there are any. Ideally, once you start working, you’d like to clear off your loans bit by bit. But education isn't cheap, and paying your loans off can take a while. Now we've all heard of the popular National Higher Education Fund Corporation, more commonly known as Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional or PTPTN.
For the last few years, PTPTN has decided to waive a student’s debt if they manage to secure a first class honours degree. While this is great news, students who qualify for it sometimes miss out on it...and that’s because it's not given automatically.
You’ll need to send an application to PTPTN
Being eligible for this student loan waiver doesn’t mean you’ll immediately get it. Instead, you’ll need to put in an application once you know you’ve met all the criteria. Up until January 2019, PTPTN opened this to first class degree holders from any income group. However, at present, it’s only offered to students in the B40 and M40 categories.
So, what are the requirements you’ll need to fulfill?
- Attended a full-time Bachelor’s degree course. If your course was a combination of a diploma and degree course, you’ll still need to pay back the diploma part of it and will only get an exemption for the degree bit.
- Obtained a First Class Degree for said course. What qualifies as a first class degree would depend on your university, so make sure to check with them. This course must be the one stated in your offer letter. If you had changed your course halfway or taken another course altogether, you will not be eligible.
- If you took the course at a private higher education institution, it must be accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency ((MQA). The accreditation must have been given before or while you were taking the course, not after.
- Completed your degree in the set time frame stated in your PTPTN loan offer letter.
- Your PTPTN loan doesn’t clash or overlap with other loans and scholarships.
- Must apply for this exemption within 12 months of your graduation/convocation ceremony.
- Submit all the required documents.
How/where to apply?
Speaking of documents, you’ll need to ensure you have the following documents all complete:
- A copy of your First Class Degree scroll/certificate or an equivalent that mentions the same
- A verified copy of your exam results transcript
- A verified copy of the Sijil Perakuan Akreditasi from MQA if you took the course at a private institution.
- A letter verifying that you have obtained a First Class Degree if this is already not mentioned on your scroll.
- A letter verifying the date of completion of your course if this isn’t mentioned on your scroll or transcript.
From 1st January 2019, copies of any of these additional documents may be required, depending on which apply to you.
- Latest pay slip
- A statutory declaration to confirm your income (you can get a Commissioner of Oaths to help you with this)
- Latest assessment tax statement
- Latest EPF statement. If you aren’t an EPF contributor, you’ll need to get a letter confirming this
- Pension statement
- PERKESO statement
- Death certificate
- Divorce certificate
- Statutory declaration for undetected cases
- Statutory declaration for guardians
It’s a pretty long list, we know. But don’t worry because as we mentioned, not all of these will apply to you. To find out which ones you need, you can contact PTPTN via their live chat. Do note that these documents will need to be verified by an officer before submitting them.
Once you’ve gotten all the required documents, you can proceed to apply for the exemption online on PTPTN’s website. It can take about 60 days for them to get back to you, and bear in mind that your application may be rejected if you don’t fulfill all the requirements/haven’t sent in the right documents or any other reason PTPTN deems fit.
You can also refer to their FAQ page on this for more in-depth answers.
If you’re a fresh grad who’s looking to be more financially conscious with how you spend your money, you might enjoy the article below:
7 Money Mistakes You Can Learn From Millennials (And Never Repeat)