Graduate Finance ProjectStatement by Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis Honourable Dr. Terrance DrewThursday 6th April 2023

It brings me immense pleasure to announce the official rollout of the Graduate Finance Project.

During the 2022 election campaign, the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party pledged to ensure that meaningful change and development is fostered in education within the Federation.

As of today, Thursday 6th April 2023, the interest rate on student loans accessed through the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis (DBSKN) for new students has been reduced to five (5) percent per annum. The intention is to ensure that graduates can live and plan for better lives.

The Graduate Finance Project offers 5% interest on a maximum of EC$100,000.00 for a grace period of four and a quarter years (4 years, 3 months), with a fifteen (15) year repayment term. It also includes an EC$15,000.00 credit to all student loan holders to service their student loan during that period, which eliminates the payment of interest for the 4 years, 3 months.

A lower interest rate reduces the lifetime costs of college. Under this new policy, students will now save up to EC$50,000.00 or more.

Typically, students return from their studies to high-interest rates and terms that delay important life events such as building their own homes or purchasing a vehicle, and so, choose to remain at home with their parents to help ease the financial strain they have acquired. It can be challenging for someone to handle both a mortgage payment and a student loan payment. Having the debt can also make it hard to qualify for a mortgage in the first place.

Homeownership is one of the largest builders of wealth, so delaying the purchase of a home can have a major effect on a student borrower’s ability to increase his or her wealth.

The reduction of the student loan interest rate to five percent, in addition to the credit offer will ease the student finance complex.

We understand the financial strain that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore, it is our aim to ensure that students who desire to pursue higher education receive the necessary financial support they require.

Education is the key to a progressive and successful nation.

It is indeed a New Day and a Better Way for students with this new Graduate Finance Project.

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