Would accessing a HELP Loan obligate the applicant to be employed with the government on completion of studies? And if so, what is the stipulated period?
It is expected that after the completion of studies, students will undertake employment in the public or private sector for a period in accordance with the final loan quantum and the proposed repayment period.
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As an unemployed student, would I need a co-signer to obtain a HELP Loan?
Students 18 years and over who are unemployed will not require a co-signer for the HELP Loan. However, it is expected that two referees will be submitted with the application.
If the cost of my programme exceeds the maximum amount dispersed within the three year period, would I be considered to possibly receive additional funds?
Generally funding will cease after three (3) years of study for most programmes. However, exceptions may be made in areas of study which are considered strategic to national development.
Would funds be distributed directly to the relevant institutions or to the individual applicants?
All tuition and academic fees will be paid directly to the relevant institution while living allowances, transportation, accommodation and other costs will be paid to the students in three instalments over the academic year.
Does continuity depend on the applicant’s academic performance on prior academic performance?
At the end of each academic year, the Funding and Grants Administration Division of the Ministry is entitled to receive progress and performance reports on the students from the tertiary level institutions and continued financial support will depend on the student’s academic performance.
Do applicants have to re-apply for the HELP Loan each year, or is it dispersed over the three year period without applying again?
Students will be required to re-apply for loans on an annual basis.
What are the repayment options for the HELP Loan?
The repayment period shall not exceed ten years and students are expected to make principal and interest payments directly to the bank.
Is there a grace period after completion of studies that is given to applicants before repayment begins?
Students who are unemployed will be given a period not exceeding 6 months after completion of studies before commencing repayment of the loan including interest which will be calculated on the reducing balance.
Should I have full acceptance to the institution before accessing the HELP Loan, or can I apply before an official acceptance letter is given?
Students must be citizens of Trinidad and Tobago who have been accepted and are enrolled in approved tertiary level programmes in any of the approved public or private tertiary institutions within Trinidad and Tobago and the CARICOM region.
Are there any mitigating circumstances that would result in a HELP Loan being denied approval?
In determining the amount of a loan, consideration shall be given to the following:
- The certified cost of the programme of study including books and other related expenses,
- The location of the educational institution,
- The student’s or his/her family’s current financial resources,
- The ability of the student to repay the loan from their expected income on completion of study,
- Delinquency in repayment of the Student Revolving Loan Fund and the University Students Guaranteed Loan Fund.