BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, March 16, 2023 (SKNIS) – Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew said that the education of the nation’s youth is of critical importance if St. Kitts and Nevis is to remain competitive.
“We have to educate our people. If our people are not given the opportunities to be educated St. Kitts and Nevis cannot survive in this world,” he said.
Based on this philosophy of the Dr. Drew-led Administration, the Prime Minister, while appearing on Freedom FM’s Issuesprogramme on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, disclosed the good news to students undertaking tertiary education and those who desire to pursue higher studies that the interest rate on student loans accessed through the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis (DBSKN) will soon be reduced to five (5) percent per annum.
“I am saying today that we will reduce student loans to five percent, and I want to announce that it will not only be on new loans, but it will also be on existing student loans. What does that mean? It means that if you have a student loan of nine percent, when [the new rate kicks in] you come in and you will go from nine percent to five percent, meaning that your monthly payments will be significantly reduced,” said Prime Minister Drew, who is also the Minister of Finance.
The Prime Minister said this was discussed on Wednesday during a meeting he held with the Financial Secretary Mrs. Hilary Hazel and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, Mr. Shavon Douglas.
Prime Minister Dr. Drew stated that the intention of this rate reduction is to ensure that graduates can live and plan for better lives upon the completion of their studies. The date when the reduction in the interest rate on student loans will take effect is expected to be announced soon.
“Parents send their children away to study. People save their money to go away; they come back and because of the high-interest rates and the terms of these student loans they live at home until they’re 40 because they can’t afford to have a mortgage, can’t afford sometimes to get a vehicle, and so, you might ask ‘is going to study a punishment or is it supposed to give you some sort of an advantage. And that is why we are saying we have to reduce student loans and we are going to reduce them to five percent and that is going to help our people,” said Dr. Drew.
The honourable Prime Minister hinted that his administration is also looking to introduce another measure that will make accessing student loans even more attractive.