PETALING JAYA: About 1.3 million PTPTN borrowers listed under the Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) have a black mark on their credit rating because they failed to service their study loans on time, if at all.
National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) deputy chief executive officer (policy and operations) Mastura Mohd Khalid said that once blacklisted in CCRIS, one’s credit rating could take a nosedive as one could be deemed a “bad paymaster”.
This can lead to financial institutions denying the person loans or other credit facilities.
She added that all PTPTN borrower would be listed in CCRIS once it was time for them to start paying back, which was six months after graduation.
“Once someone is supposed to start repaying, we will list their names in CCRIS,” she told The Star yesterday.
Since it was formed in 1997 until July this year – a period of almost 20 years – there are 2.49 million PTPTN borrowers.
PTPTN offers loans from diploma studies to PhD level.
However, having one’s name on CCRIS is a neutral thing in itself, as anyone who has a credit card, mortgage, vehicle loan, or any form of borrowing from licensed financial institutions will be listed on this database administered by Bank Negara Malaysia’s Credit Bureau.
“As such, having one’s name on CCRIS does not amount to a ‘punishment’, and those who regularly repay PTPTN need not worry if they are listed in CCRIS as their record would be clean,” said Mastura.
“CCRIS is a database used by financial institutions to evaluate those who apply for loans. If they are good paymasters, then their loan applications will be approved,” she said.
Mastura revealed that since PTPTN started to use CCRIS in 2015, more defaulters have come forward to negotiate for a more lenient repayment mode.
However, PTPTN has yet to resort to listing defaulters under the privately-operated Credit Tip Off Service (CTOS).
Depending on course and institution, maximum loan amounts can vary from RM4,750 to RM30,000 per year.
Mastura also said that borrowers were supposed to start paying back their loans six months after graduation even if no notice was sent from PTPTN.
The PTPTN website states that the notice will only be sent on the seventh month after graduation.
Since its inception, she said that 1.2 million borrowers had either fully paid up, or were servicing their loans.
Other than using CCRIS, PTPTN is also going after defaulters by entering their names on the Immigration Department’s list of people who are barred from leaving the country, a practice that began in 2008.
As of now, 111,001 people have been barred from travelling out of the country because they have failed to make payments for their PTPTN loans.
Mastura said since the travel blacklist was put in place, about 40% of defaulters had approached PTPTN to renegotiate their repayment, or to settle the outstanding amount owed.
However, she reminded defaulters that they should give PTPTN at least seven working days to remove their names from the travel blacklist.
PTPTN is also not averse to taking defaulters to court.
Mastura urged borrowers to service their loans once they received their first pay cheque.
“If your pay is too low, you can approach us to restructure your loan,” she said, adding that this would just mean a longer repayment period.
Last month, PTPTN chairman Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah also had announced full loans could no longer be provided because of the poor rate of repayment, as only RM8bil was recovered out of RM56.4bil released since 1997.