Studying in Singapore is not cheap, though the education system in this country is one of the best. And honing your knowledge allows you to find higher-paying jobs easily.

The problem, as always, is money.

If you want to get through your studies more seamlessly, find out what is tuition fee loan and how this financial package can help.

We will take you through examples, comparisons with study loans, and several tuition fee loan offers in Singapore. You’ll learn about their offers, eligibility requirements, and more. That way, you can make the best decision for your needs.

Keep reading below.

What Is A Tuition Fee Loan?

A tuition fee loan is a financial package specifically designed for students with outstanding tuition fees. To benefit from this type of loan, you must be a student in Singapore.

Your loan package will be personalised according to your school and study course. That said, there are many benefits of getting this type of loan:

  • The tuition fee loan’s interest rate is lowerthan other financial packages.
  • The term is longer, giving you enough time to take care of your financial obligations.

Remember: Tuition fee loans are offered just for public schools. Private university students must apply for a study loan.

How Does It Work?

There are different tuition fee loans in Singapore, covering different amounts of your tuition (living expenses are not included). However:

  • The tenures vary between ten and twenty years.
  • You may begin repaying the loan during your studies without any interest. Other tuition loans allow you to start repaying them after you have graduated.

Tuition Fee Vs Study Loan 

Study loans are financial packages that the Singapore government has created specifically for students who cannot pay for their studies. You can apply for this loan to:

  • Help you reimburse the tuition fee loan if you are studying part-time.
  • Help you pay for tuition expenses and cover living costs if you are enrolled full-time at a private or public school.

The key benefit of a study loan is helping students from low-income families benefit from top-notch education. That is why many students apply for it, thus reaching their educational goals.

Here are some examples:

NTU Study Loan

  • You must start repaying the NTU tuition fee loan within six months of graduating or finding work.
  • The maximum tenure is five years (for interest-free loans) and 20 years (for interest-bearing loans).

For full-time students: 

  • Domestic and foreign undergraduates are eligible.
  • Can cover living costs as well as tuition fees.
  • Students in Biomedical Sciences and Chinese Medicine are covered for their first three years.

For part-time students:

  • Only Singapore students are eligible.
  • You must be on your first undergraduate degree.
  • You must also have the maximum Tuition Fee Loan of 90%.
  • Your household income per capita must be below $2,700.

OCBC Student Loan

  • Frank Education Loan: For students at private institutions in Singapore or abroad. You can choose between three repayment plans.
  • Frank Tuition Fee Loan: For students enrolled in a public university. You will not pay any installments or interest during your studies.
  • Frank Study Loan: Best for NUS students with a Tuition Cost Loan Fund. You can get an extra 20% discount and a maximum of $3,600 per year for living expenses.

Tuition Fee Loans In Singapore 

As mentioned above, there are different tuition fee loans you can opt for. We analyse them below, taking you through their features, how they work, and how to apply.

MOE Tuition Fee Loan

You can also find the tuition loan from the Ministry of Education (MOE) under the name of tuition grant. This government scheme addresses students enrolled at local schools and offers:

  • A maximum of 75%: For polytechnic students, regardless of nationality
  • A maximum of 90%: For University students. Only Singapore citizens can apply in this case.

Here are the advantages:

  • You can use this loan throughout your studies.
  • The tuition fee loan repayment does not include interest until after you have graduated.
  • The maximum tenure lasts between 10 years (polytechnic students) to 20 years (university-level).

SMU Tuition Fee Loan

The SMU tuition fee loan is one of the most advantageous if you are a full-time undergraduate student. The reason is that you can get up to 90% subsidised with this loan.

Note: If you take the SMU tuition fee loan, you must start repaying it within two years after graduating or getting a job – whichever is first.

  • The minimum installment is $100/month.
  • The maximum loan tenure is 20 years.

However, you must repay the full loanif you withdraw.

DBS Tuition Fee Loan

The tuition fee loan DBS offers is distinct for university and polytechnic students. Here are the similarities:

  • The DBS tuition fee loan’s interest rate is zero before graduation.
  • Afterwards, the interest rate is charged at BDS, OCBC, and UOB average prime rate.
  • You can repay the loan in a lump sum or installments.
  • The minimum monthly payment is $100.

Let’s see the differences:

DBS Tuition Fee Loan For University/NIE

  • It covers up to 90% of your tuition.
  • You can repay this loan within 20 years.
  • You will start repaying this loan within two years after graduating.

DBS Tuition Fee Loan For Polytechnic

  • It covers up to 75% of your tuition.
  • You must repay this loan within a maximum of ten years.
  • You must start reimbursing the sum within a year after graduating.

How To Apply 

Applying for these tuition loans is seamless:

  • Singapore Management University (SMU) students: Via the institution
  • Nanyang Technological University (NTU) or National University of Singapore (NUS) students: DBS or OCBC
  • Other students: DBS

Eligibility And Requirements

Requirement conditions vary depending on the type of tuition fee loan:

MOE Tuition Fee Loan

If you want to apply for this type of loan, you must be enrolled:

    • Full-time: At any polytechnic school or subsidised undergraduate or post-graduate programs at an autonomous institution. You can apply for this type of loan regardless of your nationality.
  • Part-time: At anysubsidised undergraduate course in an autonomous institution. You can only apply for this loan if you are a Singaporean citizen.

SMU Tuition Fee Loan

  • Full-time undergraduate students are eligible.
  • You are not eligible if you are an undergraduate paying the full fees.
  • Other exceptions are included on the application form.

If you need a guarantor for the SMU tuition fee loan, this person must also meet some eligibility requirements:

  • Age between 21 and 60 years old
  • Not bankrupt
  • Not a full-time student
  • May only guarantee a maximum of two student loans
  • Nationality:
    • Singapore citizen: For Singapore citizen applicant
    • Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident (PR): For Singapore citizen or PR applicant
    • Any nationality: For foreign applicant

DBS Tuition Fee Loan For University/NIE

You are eligible for this loan if you are enrolled in a local university or NIE. Besides, you must not:

  • Have any scholarship, either from the government, school, or statutory board, for these tuition expenses
  • Be a MENDAKI student with a full Tuition Fee Subsidy
  • Use your CPF funds to get a discount on your tuition fees
  • Pay for any courses yourself
  • Be a PR or foreign citizen paying full tuition

Luckily, this DBS tuition fee loan does not impose a minimum limit for your age or income.

The guarantor’s eligibility conditions include:

  • Age between 21 and 60
  • Not an undischarged bankrupt
  • Nationality:
    • Singapore citizen: For Singapore citizen applicant
    • Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident (PR): For Singapore citizen or PR applicant
    • Any nationality: For foreign applicant

DBS Tuition Fee Loan For Polytechnic

Eligible students must be full-time sponsored diploma students in a local polytechnic. Besides, you must not:

  • Benefit from a preexisting scholarship that covers your tuition fees.
  • Be a MENDAKI student with full Tuition Fee Support.
  • Use your CPF account to reimburse discounted tuition fees.

Luckily, DBS does not impose a minimum age or income for this loan package either. The guarantor’s eligibility requirements are the same as above.

Choosing The Right Tuition Loan

Choosing the right tuition loan should be based on your specific situation. Check the eligibility conditions based on your school, nationality, and income level. Then, consider whether you need help with living expenses or not.

Need extra help?

Credit 21 can help you with personalized solutions, regardless of your credit score, nationality, or employment status. Check out more of what we can do for you here.