FijiFirst General Secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says various banks have shown interest in refinancing student debt and 50% of the students' debt owed to the government will be written off if students pay it off under the accelerated repayment incentive.
For example, if you are a new graduate with a student debt of less than $20,000 and settle 50 percent of the loan balance in less than 2 years, you will be entitled to a waiver of 50 percent which is $10,000.
According to Sayed-Khaiyum’s 2022/2023 National Budget address, the government had $581 million in outstanding TELS debts.
The FRCS and TELS have signed an MOU to ensure that loans are paid as fairly as possible and with the full co-operation of employers.
Sayed-Khaiyum had said that they will be acquiring specific provisions employed in New Zealand that obligates an employer to notify TSLS on Government funded students recruited for employment.
He had said the banks are willing to come forward to refinance loans for students so that they can take advantage of the 50 percent discounts.
While speaking outside the Saint Stephens building after the FijiFirst Party filed their candidate nominations, Sayed-Khaiyum says some political parties are going around and saying they will forgive student debt if they have debt at the moment.
He says the student debt since 2013 from universities is probably $600 to $700 million.
Sayed-Khaiyum questioned if those that have paid their loans will be refunded and why should those that vote now have their debt forgiven.
He adds there are also hidden traps that parties are not addressing.
The FijiFirst General Secretary says any policy announced needs to have sustainability and the model the FijiFirst has is sustainable.
Sayed-Khaiyum says Fiji has a young population and asks will these new policies benefit future generations.
The general elections will be held on the 14th of next month, while pre-polling starts in selected areas on the 5th of next month.
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