All is set for the Students Loan Trust (SLT) to start next academic year. Consequently, the SLT has directed fresh students admitted to accredited tertiary institutions who wish to be considered for the loans to call at any Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) branch office to register to obtain social security numbers if they do not already have them.
Prospective beneficiaries are also to ensure that they have active bank accounts in their names, preferably with a bank which is networked and has a branch close to their institutions of study.
The 2006/2007 academic year for tertiary institutions begins in August this year.
The new trust, which is expected to benefit more than 30,000 fresh students from accredited tertiary institutions in the country, will operate concurrently with SSNIT scheme until the latter is phased out.
The Head of the Students Loan Department of SSNIT, Mr Richard Asamoa-Mensah, who made this known in an interview in Accra yesterday, said, “More modalities have been put in the current trust to make it workable”.
SSNIT has consistently complained that the management of the Students' Loan Scheme has, over the years, taken a huge portfolio of its primary responsibility of managing pensions.
That concern prompted the government to find an alternative in the SLT, which will be managed by the government, thereby relieving SSNIT of that responsibility.
One significant feature of the SLT is that students will no longer be required to present guarantors to endorse their applications for the loan before benefiting from it.
That will make the new trust more accessible, since it will save students the headache of searching for guarantors who are increasingly becoming reluctant to help students because of their fear that the students will not repay the loans.