Education Loan Authority collects $1.8M in default loans

Education Loan Authority collects $1.8M in default loans

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Education Loan Authority has collected nearly $1.8 million in outstanding loan payments since last June, according to ELA Chairman Miriam Emmanuel yesterday.

Emmanuel made the revelation as she was contributing to the 2020/2021 budget debate.

She noted that as of June 2019, the authority’s outstanding balance stood at $131, 731,964.

However, as of March 2020, that balance has decreased to $129,933,372.

The Education Loan Authority was introduced under the Christie administration in 2001.

The minister stated that records indicate that student loan payments have been in default since then.

More than 4,000 loans and approximately more than $100,000 million in funding were issued between 2001 and 2009.

However, by 2009, the program had accumulated over $100 million in delinquent payments.

Of those loans, 3,938 totaling $42.56 million were awarded in New Providence, 669 totaling $7.41 million in Grand Bahama, and 126 totaling $1.39 million in the Family Islands.

The authority has been challenged with recouping debts since its inception in 2001, with successive administrations threatening legal action against delinquent loan holders.

Back in June, Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd announced the government’s intent to garnish the wages of public servants with outstanding debt.

In December, the authority published a listing of delinquent accounts in a local daily today.

Emmanuel advised that the authority also reinstated an incentive program earlier last year and as of December 620 borrowers paid off their loans with a collection of $3, 223,348.

She said as of December, the authority’s portion of the loans team portfolio stood at $84, 564, 362, which represents 2,057 loans.

Additionally, the Scholarship and Education Loan Division portfolio stands at $47, 328,486 or 954 loans, which represent the accumulation of interest and principle.

Emmanuel yesterday urged individuals who are delinquent in payments to the authority to Emmanuel yesterday urged individuals who are delinquent in payments to the authority to handle their accounts at their earliest opportunity.