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Education is a crucial part of one’s life. However, tertiary education can be expensive and financially challenging for some. Despite that, you can get help for it.
In Malaysia, there are many financial aid options available for students to consider, such as
- bank loans and
- student loans ( like the PTPTN loan!).
Here are 13 commonly asked questions about this education loan:
1. What is PTPTN?
PTPTN stands for Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional. It is a government institution providing study loans for Malaysian students to fund their tertiary education.
This loan is many students’ top choice due to its low interest rate and flexibility in repayment methods. Depending on individual cases, PTPTN loans offer students a full or partial loan to fund their studies.
2. Who is Eligible to Receive a PTPTN Loan?
To be eligible for the PTPTN loan, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be a Malaysian citizen
- Be below 45 years old at the time of application
- Applicants must pass SPM with credit in 3 subjects
- Must be offered entry to a public or private university/polytechnic/community college in Malaysia
- Courses offered must be approved by the Ministry of Education registered with PTPTN, and recognised by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA).
- The remaining period of study upon application must exceed one year.
- Open an SSPN-i/SSPN-Plus account before applying for a PTPTN loan.
3. Can I Apply for PTPTN Online?
Yes, you can apply for PTPTN online with these 4 quick and easy steps:
- Open an SSPN-i (Skim Simpanan Pendidikan Nasional) account at Maybank, Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad, Bank Rakyat or RHB Bank, Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN), Agrobank and CIMB Bank.
- Open a savings account that PTPTN specifies for the institution you are enrolling at.
- Buy a PIN from your local BSN for RM5. However, remember that this PIN is only valid for 6 months.
- Fill in the online application on the official PTPTN website. Be sure to fill in your details with the necessary documents accurately. Any misses could affect your application’s result.
Further reading: How to Apply for PTPTN? Your Easy 2023 Step-by-Step Guide
4. What is the Interest Rate for the PTPTN Loan?
All PTPTN loans will be subject to a flat PTPTN interest rate of 1% annually. This interest facilitates the administrative and management costs.
For example, if you take a PTPTN loan worth RM45,000 with a repayment period of 15 years, the total interest rate you have to pay monthly is RM37.50, which amounts to a total repayment of RM287.50 per month.
5. What Happens After I Submit My Application?
Will your status be updated immediately? Nope. It will take 7 working days after the closing date for your status to be updated. After that, you will have 14 days from the approval date to submit the signed agreement and requested documents to a nearby PTPTN office.
To be included in the attachments are
- your photocopied I/C (both sides),
- your university offer letter,
- your exam transcript,
- your parents’ salary slip (or related supporting income document),
- your SPM certificate, and
- 2 pieces of revenue stamps (a.k.a. ‘Setem Hasil’), which you can buy from a nearby post office for RM10 each.
*Note: Do check with your university to have everything ready.
6. When Will I Receive the Loan Money?
It usually takes 21 working days for the loan money to be credited into your bank account. After handing over the signed loan agreement and the requested documents, PTPTN will release the funds to you.
7. When Do I Start Paying Back the Loan?
Your PTPTN loan repayment starts 12 months after you have completed your studies, leaving you with enough time to secure a stable job/income.
However, if you do not have a job after the given time frame, you may request a deferment of repayment.
If you graduate with first-class honours for your course, your loan will become a “scholarship”, and you will not need to pay it back. As such, you may need to prepare other supporting documents for your exemptions, such as
- your academic transcript
- your accredited MQA certificate
- your first-class honours degree
*Note: Remember that first-class honours CGPAs differ from courses and institutions. Be sure to check with your university about your CGPA.
8. Can I Pay Back My PTPTN Loan Earlier?
Yes, you can. You are expected to start repaying your PTPTN loan 12 months after completing your studies. However, you can also start repaying your loan as soon as you graduate.
You will be at an advantage as you will not incur interest charges for that time.
9. How Long Does it Take to Pay Back the PTPTN Loan?
The repayment period of the PTPTN loan is determined by the amount borrowed and will be shown on your loan offer letter.
Here is a general overview of the loan repayment period:
Total Loan Amount
Estimated Monthly Payment (incl. interest)
Loan Repayment Period
Less than RM10,000
RM10,000 – RM20,000
RM92 – RM183
RM127 – RM256
RM40,000 – RM60,000
RM200 – RM300
10. Can I Use PTPTN for My Studies Overseas?
No, the loan only covers local public and private universities, polytechnics, and community colleges.
11. Can I Use PTPTN for My Masters Studies?
Yes, you can use your PTPTN loan for your Master’s studies.
If you want to take up a Master’s degree, do note that only postgraduate studies at public universities are eligible for it.
12. Can I Apply for a PTPTN Loan if I am on Scholarship?
Yes, you can still apply for the PTPTN loan even if you are a scholarship recipient.
Some scholarships offered are only partial. With this loan, you can use it to cover tuition fees and other study or living expenses.
You can search here for scholarships that also allow you to apply for one.
13. What if I Can’t Pay for the Loan?
If you know you cannot repay the loan, avoid taking it.
In recent years, the government has imposed severe sanctions on those who fail to repay their loan on time in response to the increasing number of PTPTN loan defaults.
One of the measures taken by the government is to blacklist loan defaulters in the Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS). The CCRIS stores the financial information of Malaysian borrowers with their credit scores.
Having this blacklist means you will immediately be rejected when you apply for housing loans, personal loans and even credit cards. In addition, you also could be prevented from leaving the country.
If you have difficulty repaying the loan, talk to PTPTN officers about restructuring your repayment.