Graduate Finance Program Rollout – Phase 1
The Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. Terrance Drew, recently provided an update on Phase 1 of the Graduate Finance Project (GFP), which is being rolled out by the St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP)-led administration. This initiative is part of the SKNLP’s POST COVID RESET campaign projects, which aim to provide relief to students and their families who faced financial and economic hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to PM Dr. Drew, the government has been working to fulfill the promises made during the general election campaign in August 2022. One of these commitments is the GFP, which will reduce loan interest rates at the Development Bank of St. Kitts Nevis (DBSKN) by 5 percent. Additionally, each student loan holder will receive a $15,000 credit to use towards servicing their loan at the Development Bank.
The Graduate Finance Project officially commenced on April 6, 2023, with the theme “Removing Financial Barriers to Education.” Under the first phase of the GFP, new students in St. Kitts and Nevis will be eligible for student loans with a 5 percent interest rate. These student loans (#ad) will have a maximum amount of ECD 100,000 and a duration of four years and three months, followed by a 15-year repayment term.
During the loan period, students will also receive an ECD 15,000 credit to help service their loans, effectively eliminating interest payments for the initial 4-year, 3-month period. The 5 percent interest rate will apply after this time frame.
Once the lower interest rate takes effect, students’ monthly payments will need to cover both the principal and interest. With an interest rate of 5 percent for the remaining 10 years and 9 months of the 15-year repayment term, graduates can expect to pay between EC$1,000.00 and EC$1,500.00 per month. The Prime Minister has stated that under this new policy, students could save up to EC$50,000.00 or more over the life of the loan.