YEREVAN, October 14./ARKA/. Areximbank-Gazprombank Group is offering student loans in Armenia.
Armenia’s government launched a student loan program in spring 2013. The bank joined this program in summer and extended its first loans as early as in September, the bank’s press office says.
Anyone has the right to education in the 21st century, but not everybody can afford it, said the chief specialist of the retail lending operations department Eduard Karapetyan. It is encouraging the government decided to start a student loan program in higher schools, he said.
Since the beginning of the program, the bank provided loans to students of the State Engineering University of Armenia, the National Agrarian University and the Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University.
Some banks were extended loans to student s even before, but under much worse terms, Karapetyan said. The state program is subsidizing the loan interest as well. For instance, the government pays off up to 3% in interest on the loan for exemplary students as compared to 2% for the others, he said.
The guarantor for the loan should not be paying off his own large loans at the time, he said.
“For instance, if you want to take a student loan for your son, but you are paying off your own loan, these payments should not exceed 40% of your salary”, he said. If all required documents are available, the loan can be extended in a day or two, he said.
According to Karapetyan, student loans are less risky compared to other consumer loans.
“Investments in our kids, in their education and development are the most important investments, and they will, no doubt, pay for themselves”, he said.
Under the government program, loans are extended to student in the age of 16-30 for bachelor or master courses for a maximum of 10 years. Students pay off only interest during the first four years. The original loan amount and the interest is paid in equal parts upon completion of the course.
Student loans are provided at 12% per annum, interest accrues on the outstanding balance. Maximum loan amount is 1,800,000 drams, 450,000 drams per year. There should be two guarantors for the loan, individuals or legal entities with stable monthly income. One of the borrower’s parents must be among guarantors (the third guarantor if he or she is unemployed). –0--