This post if part of the Financial Information Month 2016: Student Loan Series. During the Month of October, I will be sharing information about Caribbean Student Loans, stories from borrowers and highlighting the missed opportunities to address the current issues with Student Loan System in the Eastern Caribbean.
Today I am sharing a Kittitian student loan borrower’s experience with a student loan from the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank Limited. The borrower requested to remain anonymous and I have respected that request. Here is this borrower’s Caribbean Student Loan Story.
Question 1: What best describes your experience with having a Caribbean Student Loan?
It has been a nightmare!
Question 2: When you first took out your student loan, what was your understanding of what you signed up for?
Question 3: Was it clear to you what the interest rate was, the amortization method used, how interest would accrue while you were in school & during the repayment period?
Question 4: Were you the first in your immediate family/ household to go to college and take out a Caribbean Student Loan?
I was told [that if] I paid interest only while in school I would not [have accrued] interest in my loan until graduation. The opposite happened, they charged me interest still.
Question 5: Did anyone in your family have a student loan who could provide guidance and tips to help you navigate your own student loan?
Question 6: Share your experience navigating your student loan? What information was provide to help you understand your loan? Describe your experience communicating with your lender, and the customer service you received.
Question 7: Since having your student loan, how easy or difficult has it been to request disbursements, payment status or account balance information from your lender?
Question 8: What have you found the most effective way to communicate with your lender?
Dealing with someone or your family knows personally.
Question 9: Is there any aspect of your student loan that you are still unclear of today (e.g. how payments are applied to your balances, how many payments you have left of how to pay off your loan faster, how to get your loan out of default, how to resolve an ongoing dispute)?
Question 10: Have you had any disputes with you lender related account transactions, outstanding principal or interest balances, fees or payments not applied as you expected?
Question 11: Have you faced the situation of not being in a position to pay your required monthly payment? If so, did you request temporary relief from payment and was there clear information about how to seek out and be approved this relief?
Question 12: What did you wish you had known about Caribbean student loans before you took one out?
Question 13: What advice would you give to someone who is considering taking out a Caribbean student loan?
Question 14: Share any other thoughts you have about Caribbean student loans or your lender.
This is quite a story! I really wish this borrower did not have to go through this. Experiences like these highlight how serious the challenges are and confirms exactly why we need this Student Loan Series.
What has your experience been with your student loan? I would love to feature your story. Your can submit your story all throughout out the Month of October 2016. Just click the below to join the regional and diasporic conversation!
Submit Your Story