1. CPF Education Scheme
The CPF Education Scheme allows you to utilise your parents’ or spouses’ Ordinary Account (OA) savings to pay for up to 100% of your approved course fees.
Repayment for the withdrawn amount plus interest into the payer’s OA have to be made in cash (not debited from your CPF) and will begin one year after you graduate or leaves the institution. The interest rate is pegged to the CPF OA interest rate, which is at 2.5% at the time of writing (March 2021) and is lower than most education loans offered by banks.
To be eligible for the CPF Education Scheme, you’d need to meet the following criteria:
- Enrolment in local institutions (NTU, NUS, SMU, SIT, SUTD, SUSS, NAFA, Lasalle, Institutions under the Polytechnic-Foreign Specialised Institution (“Poly-FSI”) Framework.
- Full-time subsidised courses
2. MOE Tuition Fee Loan
The MOE Tuition Fee Loan is offered by the Singapore government to help students who require assistance to pay the tuition fees. This loan is available to all students in polytechnics and autonomous universities (excluding those enrolled in NAFA and Lasalle).
It covers up to 75% subsidised fees payable by polytechnic students, and up to 90% of the subsidised Singapore Citizen fees payable by university students. In addition, you’ll not be charged any interest while you are still studying.
3. Bank loans
If you don’t qualify for either the CPF Loan Scheme or MOE Tuition Fee Loan, your next best option may be to take up a loan from a bank.
To take out an education loan as a personal loan, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old. If you’re younger than 21, you’ll need a guarantor, co-applicant or sponsor who is of age and meets the minimum income requirement, which typically ranges from $12,000 to $30,000.
The amount you’re allowed to borrow is also dependable on your guarantor’s income. If he/she is unable to meet the income criteria individually, you can also apply with two guarantors to quality with their combined income.