Best Education Loans in Singapore 2020

For many students, education loans are essential in order to pay for university and obtain a degree. To help you find the best financing, we've analysed hundreds of data points and identified the most affordable study loans depending on your preference for university location, fee structure and more.

Best Education Loan Promotion: Maybank Education Loan

Consider this if you are able to obtain the bank's promotional rates

Early Repayment Fee 1% of loan prepaid
Late Payment Fee 3% min $30
Age 18 & Above
Maybank Education Loan
Processing Fee2%
Interest Rate4.45%
Tenure1-8 Years
Max PrincipalS$200,000 or 8x monthly income of guarantor
Annual Income Requirement of GuarantorS$30,000

Maybank's current promotion makes it the cheapest education loan for most students. The bank's promotional interest rate of 4.45% p.a. and a processing fee of 2%, are among the cheapest available. Additionally the bank offers its promotion to students that study locally or abroad. Maybank also provides loans of up to S$200,000 or 8 times the borrowers monthly income, making it a great choice for those that require a large study loan.

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Best Education Loan for Local Studies: OCBC FRANK Education Loan

Consider this if you require an education loan for a local university

Early Repayment Fee 1% of loan prepaid
Late Payment Fee S$50
Age 17 & Above
OCBC FRANK Education Loan
Processing Fee2.5%
Interest Rate4.50%
Tenure1-8 Years
Max PrincipalS$150,000 or 10x monthly income of guarantor
Annual Income Requirement of GuarantorS$24,000

Considering the total cost of a student loan, which includes both processing fees and interest payments, OCBC's FRANK Education Loan is one of the best options available in Singapore. The bank charges the lowest available interest rate for education loans at 4.5% and a reasonable processing fee of 2.5%. It also has one of the allows students to borrow up to S$150,000 or 10 times their monthly income, which allows for large loans than other banks. The table above summarizes all the main features of OCBC FRANK Education Loan for those who are interested.

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Best Student Loan for Overseas Studies: OCBC FRANK Education Loan

Consider this if you require a study loan for university outside of Singapore

Early Repayment Fee 1% of loan prepaid
Late Payment Fee S$50
Age 17 & Above
OCBC FRANK Education Loan
Processing Fee2.5%
Interest Rate4.50%
Tenure1-8 Years
Max PrincipalS$150,000 or 10x monthly income of guarantor
Annual Income Requirement of GuarantorS$24,000

OCBC's FRANK Education Loan is also the cheapest student loan for international studies. Due to its low interest rate of 4.5%, the total cost of OCBC's study loan is the cheapest option for financing studies outside of Singapore. The bank also allows students to borrow up to S$150,000 or 10 times their monthly income, which allows for large loans that may be necessary for expensive universities abroad. The table above summarizes OCBC's FRANK Education Loan.

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Best Education Loan for Low-Income Students: Maybank Education Loan

Consider this if you require a student loan with a low minimum income requirement for part-time studies

Early Repayment Fee 1% of loan prepaid
Late Payment Fee 3% min $30
Age 18 & Above
Maybank Education Loan
Processing Fee1.5% - 2.0%
Interest Rate4.50% - 4.78%
Tenure1-8 Years
Max PrincipalS$200,000 or 8x monthly income of guarantor
Annual Income Requirement of GuarantorS$30,000

Maybank's Education Loan stands out due to its lowest minimum income requirement for part-time students seeking education financing. It is also one of the cheapest student loans for local studies, due to its low interest rate of 4.78% and processing fee of 2%. The bank offers an even lower rate of 4.5%, to students that attend its list of selected institutions. Finally, the bank offers some of the largest education loans in Singapore, with a maximum loan size of S$200,000 or 8 times the borrowers monthly income. Please see our table below for a detailed breakdown of the product.

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Study Loan With the Lowest Penalty Fees: POSB Further Study Assist

Consider this if you need a student loan and are worried about making on-time payments

Early Repayment Fee N/A
Late Payment Fee S$30
Age 17 & Above
POSB Further Study Assist - Preferred Institutions
Processing Fee2.00%
Interest Rate4.38%
Tenure1-10
Max PrincipalS$80,000 or 10x combined monthly income of you and your guarantor
Annual Income Requirement of GuarantorS$24,000

POSB Further Study Assist is a unique education loan in Singapore. On one hand, it can actually be slightly cheaper than OCBC FRANK Education Loan if you attend one of its preferred institutions. However, it has a maximum loan limit of only S$80,000, which can be quite limiting for a lot of prospective students who are trying to fund their tuition and other expenses during school.

With that said, POSB's study loan can be a great option for students who want the flexibility to be a bit late on their monthly payments or even repay their debt early without penalty. It imposes no early repayment penalty fee, while others will usually charge a 1% fee on the amount you prepay. Make sure that your school is included in POSB’s list of preferred institutions to qualify for its low-cost program. Otherwise, this loan could be one of the most expensive ones you can find in Singapore. Below is a table detailing POSB Further Study Assist’s characteristics.

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Our Top Picks For the Best Interest-Only Study Loans in Singapore

For people who prefer the option of delaying the process of repaying their student loans as long as possible, many banks provide an option of "interest only" study loans. This means that the borrower only needs to pay the interest portion of the loan until their study is over (usually about 4 years). For people who may not have the ability to pay more than a few hundred dollars back to the bank per month while attending school, this option can allow them to focus on their studies and worry about repaying their debt after they graduate and get jobs. However, this also means that the borrower ends up paying more over time.

Best Interest-First Student Loan: OCBC FRANK Education Loan - Graduated

Consider this if you require an interest-servicing education loan

Early Repayment Fee 1% of loan prepaid
Late Payment Fee S$50
Age 17 & Above
Loan of S$25,000 over 6 YearsOCBC FRANK - StandardOCBC FRANK - GraduatedOCBC FRANK - Graduated Plus
Monthly instalment During SchoolS$397S$94S$94
Monthly instalment After SchoolS$397S$1,091S$2,134
Total costS$4,198S$6,314S$6,864

OCBC's Graduated FRANK education loan is the cheapest interest-only student loan available in Singapore. It's interest rate of 4.5% is the lowest available and its processing fee of 2.5% is only slightly higher than the lowest in the market. OCBC's graduated student loan allows for up to 4 years of interest-servicing. The bank also offers a Graduated Plus option that offers an interest-only period of up to 5-years. Aside from the method of repayment, the other terms associated with OCBC's Graduated FRANK education loan are identical to the standard payment option we mentioned above. Below is a demonstration of how monthly payments and total cost differ for standard option and interest-only option.

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Best Deferred Interest Study Loan: RHB Education Loan - Deferred Repayment

Consider this if you are unable to make any repayments while you study

Early Repayment Fee 1% of loan prepaid
Late Payment Fee 10.7% on overdue amount
Age 21 - 62 (at loan maturity)
Loan of S$25,000 over 6 YearsRHB - StandardRHB - GraduatedRHB - Deferred Repayment
Monthly instalment During SchoolS$400S$100S$0
Monthly instalment After SchoolS$400S$1,094S$1,391
Total costS$4,305S$6,544S$7,157

RHB is unique because it is the only bank that allows borrowers to pay nothing while they study at university. The bank offers a deferred repayment structure that allows students to begin repaying their loans after they've completed their studies. While this may sound very attractive to students with very little income, it is important to know that this type of loan is generally much more expensive than standard and interest-first loans. Therefore, this type of loan is best best for students that cannot afford to make any regular repayments during school, but not other students.

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Best Moneylender Education Loan For Bad Credit: Friday Finance

Consider this if you have bad credit and want a small, short-term education loan

Early Repayment Fee None
Late Payment Fee N/A
Age 18 & Above
Friday Finance At a Glance
EligibilitySingaporean Citizen/PR, 21-65 years of age
Administrative FeeStarting at 2%; 50% refunded when loan is fully repaid on-time
Loan DurationUp to 18 months
Interest Rate1-3%
Max PrincipalAnnual Income < S$20,000: S$3,000; Annual Income > S$20,000: Max 6x Monthly Income
Early Repayment FeeS$0

Friday Finance educational loans are good for students who may have low credit, since they do not have a minimum credit score required for application. It is also good for those who want flexible repayment schedules during their studies, as they work with you to help pay back your loan in weekly or monthly installments. To encourage on-time payments, Friday Finance will even refund you 50% of the administration fee when your loan is paid in full.

Moreover, Friday Finance offers free Personal Loan Protection Insurance in the event of an accident, meaning that you could get a repayment delay or waiver depending on the severity of the situation. However, please note that Friday Finance may not be the best option if you require a large loan that requires years of repayment since their loan tenure cap is 18 months. Thus, it may be a better option for students that require a smaller loan that they expect to pay back within a year while building their credit. To that extent, it may also be a good option for students in private schools like Kaplan or SIM GE who are pursuing shorter degrees or diplomas.

Study Loan From Your School: DBS, OCBC and UOB

Some public universities and polytechnics in Singapore also provide a loan of their own, through DBS, OCBC and UOB. These loans are typically quite cheap & do not charge interest or require repayment until after graduation. Interest rates are an average of DBS, OCBC and UOB’s prime lending rates. This study loan can be used to pay up to 90% of the subsidized tuition fees (or 75% for polytechnics).

Typically, students who are enrolled in a local university, NIE or polytechnic is eligible for such a loan if they do not fall into any category below:

  • Students receiving any Government/Statutory Board/any school scholarships which cover tuition fees
  • Students receiving full Tuition Fee Subsidy from MENDAKI
  • Students using CPF savings for payment of 100% of the subsidized tuition fees
  • Students on self-funded courses

Below is a list of links to the local institutions and links to their student loan pages for people who are interested in finding more information:

How to Choose an Education Loan

When it comes to choosing an education loan, it helps to start by deciding whether you are better suited for a standard payment or deferred payment loan structure. Standard repayment education loans are a good fit for those that have significant savings or financial support. These loans cost more during the student's university tenure, but less in the long run.

Student Loans - Standard PaymentProcessing FeeInterest Rate During SchoolInterest Rate After SchoolMonthly Instalment During SchoolMonthly Instalment After SchoolTotal cost
CIMB Education Loan2%5.39%5.39%S$407S$407S$4,816
Maybank Education Loan2%4.45%4.45%S$396S$396S$3,907
OCBC FRANK Education Loan2.5%4.50%4.50%S$397S$397S$4,198
POSB Further Study Assist3%5.88%5.88%S$413S$413S$5,479
POSB Further Study Assist - Preferred Institutions2%4.38%4.38%S$395S$395S$3,974
RHB Education Loan2%4.78%4.78%S$400S$400S$4,306
Maybank Education Loan - Overseas Studies2%4.88%4.88%S$401S$401S$4,389
RHB Education Loan - Overseas2%4.88%4.88%S$401S$401S$4,389

On the other hand, other education loans allow students to pay just the interest on their study loan, but do not require them to repay the principal until after graduation. This typically works best for those that are unable to make significant loan repayments during their schooling years. The downside to these loans is that they are usually significantly more expensive, in terms of total interest cost throughout the loan tenure. Finally, some universities offer competitive loan offerings, so those are always worth considering.

STudent Loans - Interest ServicingProcessing FeeInterest Rate During SchoolInterest Rate After SchoolMonthly Instalment During SchoolMonthly Instalment After SchoolTotal cost
CIMB Education Loan - Interest Servicing Repayment2%5.99%5.39%S$125S$1,101S$7,918
OCBC FRANK Education Loan - Graduated2.5%4.50%4.50%S$94S$1,091S$6,314
OCBC FRANK Education Loan - Graduated Plus2.5%4.50%4.50%S$94S$2,134S$6,864
RHB Education Loan - Graduated2%4.78%4.78%S$100S$1,094S$6,544
RHB Education Loan - Deferred2%4.78%4.78%S$0S$1,319S$7,157

Cost Comparison of Student Loans

Ultimately, it is essential to compare the total borrowing cost of each loan. Below, we have prepared a graphical comparison of student loans according to their costs. Cost includes both the processing fee and interest payments over the course of the life of a study loan. We assume that each monthly payment is paid on time (no early or late payments), and that the loan is taken out at S$25,000 for 6 years.

Comparing the total cost of education loans from major banks in Singapore in terms of total interest cost, categorized by interest type, payment method and domestic vs. overseas study, assuming a loan of S$25,000 over 6 years
Cost Comparison of Education Loans in Singapore
William Hofmann

William is a Product Manager at ValueChampion Singapore, focusing on banking and SMEs. He previously was an Economic Consultant at Industrial Economics Inc.

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