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264,000 blacklisted by PTPTN and rising
Published on: Thursday, November 17, 2016

Kuala Lumpur: Some 6,000 people are being blacklisted by the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) daily due to failure to repay student loans.

This year alone, 264,000 names have been blacklisted and the list is growing.

As of September, a total of 1.9 million borrowers owe PTPTN RM18.3 billion.

Of this figure, 739,000 borrowers have yet to pay a single sen.

The names of those blacklisted by PTPTN are forwarded to the Immigration Department and borrowers with outstanding debts are barred from leaving the country.

PTPTN chief executive officer Wan Ahmad Wan Yusoff told the New Straits Times that in an effort to ensure borrowers repaid their loans, the corporation had started updating the blacklist each day.

"So, for those who are on the blacklist, you know that you haven't been paying your debts.

You need to check it every day because we keep the list updated daily.

"So far, 31 per cent of the 264,000 borrowers have started contacting us to settle their debts, which is good news.

"Please start paying. Don't wait until your names are on the blacklist because there are a lot of implications, like not being able to leave the country or get loans."

In the 2017 Budget, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced a 15 per cent discount on outstanding debts for full settlement, a 10 per cent discount for payment of at least 50 per cent of outstanding debts made in a single payment, and a 10 per cent discount for repayment through salary deduction or direct debit in accordance with the repayment schedule.

In light of this, Wan Ahmad said, borrowers should grab the opportunity as it could ease the burden of debt incurred.

Aside from that, borrowers can either pay half of their debts or discuss with PTPTN's officers for a payment plan.

"Sometimes, borrowers say they can't afford to pay their debts but they can afford to travel overseas for vacation.

"It is your responsibility to pay off your debt.

"Be considerate and think about the new students. They could be your children or younger siblings.

Don't you want them to have the same opportunity to study in universities like you?"

The NST on Monday front-paged a report that travellers' failure to check their status before leaving the country was one of the reasons for the long queues for passport checks at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

It was reported that the Immigration Department had barred 707,304 individuals from leaving the country due to unsettled payments.

PTPTN borrowers made up the bulk of the number, with more than 260,000 defaulters, a fourfold increase from last year.

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