Students, do you know everything there is to know about taking study loans in Malaysia?

Get a clearer picture of taking study loans in Malaysia!

Everything, everywhere, price rises. While things are getting unaffordable, some people might not be able to undertake the costs of tertiary education. Luckily enough, various options are available for us to finance our education in Malaysia.

The most common types of financial aid are: 

  1. Scholarships (need not have to repay)
  2. Study loans (need to repay and usually with interest)
  3. Waiver of tuition fee by the educational institutions

Generally, some criteria would be considered in the application like academic achievement, participation in co-curricular activities, performance during interview, socio-economic status and family’s background. If you are not able to get scholarship or the waiver of tuition fee by the educational institutions, education loans are always the best alternative to them. 

There are mainly three types of loans for undergraduate students in Malaysia: 

1. Bank Education Loans

If you seek to get a larger loan amount for your further studies, bank education loans is a good choice. It offers maximum RM200,000 loan amount which is relatively high among other education loans. In addition, bank education loan is open for applicants studying in either local or foreign universities. The age limitation is up to 65-year-old and the tenure is 15 years.On the other side, it usually offers a higher interest rate -7.1% p.a while PTPTN is only 1% p.a. 

2. Government Education Loans

Government education loans usually provide lower interest rates, some of them even have 0% interest rates just to help people who are lack of financial supports to pursue their studies. Besides, it allows for extended delay of payment for those who are earning a very low income, applicants are allowed to pay off their loans 6 months after their graduation date. Yet, it provides lower loan amount
compare to bank education loans.

There are few types of government education loans available:

  • Perbadanan Tabungan Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional (PTPTN)

As for interest rates, PTPTN provide 1% p.a. flat “Ujrah” (new PTPTN loan applicants) and 3% p.a. fixed for existing loanholders. Additionally, PTPTN allows applicants to make their repayment 6 months after their graduation date. PTPTN loan also offer repayment exemption for students that obtained their Bachelor Degree with First Class Honour and with documents submitted successfully!

Yet, the loan amount is not as high as the ones that are offered by banks, and the amount that you get depends on your institute of education, education levels, your courses and financial background. Applicants have no direct control of the loan amount. Furthermore, PTPTN is only applicable for universities who register themselves as Institusi Pengajian Tinggi Awam (IPTA) or Institusi Pengajian Tinggi Swasta (IPTS), not for students from overseas universities. Besides, the age of applicants is limited to 45 years old only.

  • Skim Prihatin Pendidikan 1 Malaysia (SPP1M)

SPP1M served as a “top up” fund to students’ existing fund or scholarship. This allows applicants to make up the remaining amount that is not covered by PTPTN or other loans. For instance, you your education fees is RM40,000 and you only got total loan amount RM 35,000, SPP1M will lend you the rest which is RM5,000. Nevertheless, this is only applicable for students from local universities on SETARA 11 list or from QS top 100 international universities. Plus, students need to maintain their Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) above 2.0 out of 4.0 or 3.0 out of 5.0 in order to get the loan.

  • Social Security Organisation (SOCSO)

SOCSO appeared to be the loan that has a relatively high age limitation that up to 50-year-old and a long tenure for repayment which is
25 years. It also provides loan amount maximum RM100,000.  Like PTPTN, SOCSO is applicable for those who register themselves at Institusi Pengajian Tinggi Awam (IPTA) or Institusi Pengajian Tinggi Swasta (IPTS). 2% fixed interest rate is charged for taking this loan, which is considered higher compare to PTPTN.

  • Public Service Department (JPA)

JPA has the highest loan amount RM250,000 compare to other government loans with no interest charged. This is the preferred choice for students who want to study abroad as it is not applicable for local universities. On the other side, it has the lowest age limitation which is 25 years old. Needless to say, you have to complete some procedures which are required by them in order to get this loan

  • AMMA Foundation

The AMMA Foundation is a non-profit charitable organisation that offers study loans with no interest charged. Like PTPTN, they allow you to make your repayment 6 months after your graduation date, with a minimum of RM300 per month. 

It is harder for applicants to get this loan as candidates for this loan are selected through an interview process, which involved intense competition. Also, the maximum amount you can borrow is not high (Maximum RM27,000 for Degree and Maximum RM 21,000 for Diploma).

3. Private Education Loans

Some private companies offer study loans like Koperasi Jayadiri Malaysia Berhad (KOJADI). They provide a maximum loan amount of RM35,000 for Degree, RM50,000 for Master. For those who are having course that is less than 2 years and borrow RM30,000 and below involved no interests charged. If not, they will charge you interest accordingly.

On the other hand, the interest charged is higher than government education loans, 7.8% for new members and 6.8% for existing members.
I’m a beneficiary of PTPTN and scholarship holder, and I would recommend students to take the initiative to search for the loans that you are qualified and the one that suit you the best. Although some students may find the process of taking study loan is a bit time consuming, the benefits that we got from taking loans and getting scholarships definitely worth all the “hard work”.

Let’s see what other beneficiaries say:

“I think PTPTN is really helpful for those who are facing financial problem especially students from a well-off and big family. It takes quite long time to get the payment each time though.” -Felicia

“The requirements of the result that scholarship sets for students can keep me improve on my studies and activities in order to reach the goal and target. Getting PTPTN loan also reduce the financial burden of my family. ”-Jessie

All in all, education loans are different from each other by their age limitations, tenure, maximum loan amount, interest rates, and also the loan providers (public vs. private). Hope you guys will find the most suitable way to finance your studies and never stop pursuing your dreams!

• Check out for scholarships that available in Malaysia. 
• Check out for more information about PTPTN.