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CIMB Education Loan Review: A Decent Backup Loan?

CIMB's study loans are not among the cheapest available in Singapore and should be viewed as backup options to other loans.

CIMB Education Loan Review: A Decent Backup Loan?

CIMB's study loans are not among the cheapest available in Singapore and should be viewed as backup options to other loans.


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  • Great alternative when denied an education loan for other banks
  • High maximum loan amounts


  • Not the most affordable education loan

CIMB's study loan interest rates are higher than other banks in Singapore, making its loans more expensive than those of other lenders. It does, however, charge a low processing fee of 2% and offer student loans as large as S$200,000. For these reasons, CIMB's education loans are decent backup options for borrowers that are unable to obtain cheaper study loans in Singapore.

Summary of CIMB Education Loans
High Interest Rates: EIR 5.22% - 8.57%
Low Processing Fee: 2.0%
Flexible Loan Principal: S$1,000 - S$200,000 or 8 times monthly income
Low Minimum Income Requirement: S$24,000

Table of Contents

What Makes CIMB's Education Loans Stand Out to Borrowers

CIMB charges 4.78% for education loans with standard payment structures, which is one of the highest interest rates for student loans in Singapore. This makes its loans much less affordable than other options. While CIMB does offer education loans of as large as S$200,000, it charges much higher interest rates for these large loans than those of its competitors that also offer large loans, such as Maybank. The table below outlines the costs associated with CIMB's standard repayment education loans.

Total Cost of CIMB's Student Loans - Standard Repayment

TenureProcessing FeeMonthly Rest Interest RateEffective Interest RateMonthly PaymentTotal Cost
1 Years2.0%4.78%8.57%S$1,711$532
2 Years2.0%4.78%6.77%S$876S$1,024
3 Years2.0%4.78%6.13%S$598S$1,528
4 Years2.0%4.78%5.81%S$459S$2,032
5 Years2.0%4.78%5.61%S$376$2,560
6 Years2.0%4.78%5.48%S$321S$3,112
7 Years2.0%4.78%5.39%S$281S$3,604
8 Years2.0%4.78%5.32%S$252S$4,192
9 Years2.0%4.78%5.26%S$229S$4,732
10 Years2.0%4.78%5.22%S$210S$5,200
Assuming loan of S$20,000, total cost includes impact of fees

CIMB charges an even higher interest rate of 5.99% for its interest-first loans while you are in school and 5.39% after you have graduated. This rate is much higher than other lenders, such as OCBC which charges 4.5% for all of its education loans. Due to its high costs, we recommend that borrowers consider CIMB as a backup option to less expensive alternatives.

Total Cost of CIMB's Education Loans - Graduated Payment Structure

TenureProcessing FeeMonthly Rest Interest RateEffective Interest RateMonthly Payment During StudiesMonthly Payment After StudiesTotal Cost
5 Years2.0%5.39%6.44%S$100S$1,716S$5,392
6 Years2.0%5.39%6.34%S$100S$881S$5,944
7 Years2.0%5.39%6.27%S$100S$603S$6,508
8 Years2.0%5.39%6.21%S$100S$465S$7,120
9 Years2.0%5.39%6.15%S$100S$382S$7,720
10 Years2.0%5.39%6.11%S$100S$326S$8,272
Assuming loan of S$20,000, 4 years interest-only, total cost includes impact of fees

Who Can Apply: Eligibility Criteria

Consider this if you are unable to obtain another education loan
  • Early Repayment Fee
    • 1% of amount prepaid
    • Late Payment Fee
      • S$80
      • Age
        • 16 & Above

        Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents ages 16 to 50 are eligible for CIMB's education loans. Applicants that are less than 21 years old, earn less than S$24,000, are applying for an interest servicing loan or are applying for a loan of more than 8 times their monthly income must apply with a guarantor. Guarantors must earn S$24,000 in order to be eligible. Eligible applicants are can apply for loans of S$1,000 to S$200,000 or 8 times their monthly income, whichever is lower.

        Other Charges and Fees

        CIMB charges a 2% processing fee which is the lowest fee rate charged by lenders in Singapore. It also charges cancellation, early prepayment and late repayment fees, which are standard for education lenders in Singapore. It does however provide unlimited free cashier's orders. It's late payment fee is slightly higher than those of other banks; however, we strongly recommend that all borrowers carefully plan their loan payments in order to avoid these fees and minimise the total cost of their loan.

        Processing Fee2%
        Cancellation Fee1%
        Early Prepayment Fee1% of loan prepaid
        Late Payment Fee$80
        Cashier OrderFree

        How to Apply: Application Process

        Students interested in CIMB's education loans must complete an application form and submit supporting documentation. In particular, applicants must submit documents proving their income, residency and enrollment at the university. To prove their income salaried employees must submit their latest 3 months' computerised payslip, latest 12 months' CPF contribution history statement or latest Income Tax Notice of Assessment. Commission-based earners are required to submit their last 2 years' computerised commission statements or their last 2 years' Income Tax Notice of Assessment. Finally, self-employed applicants or guarantors must submit their last 2 years' Income Tax Notice of Assessment.

        Other Required Documents:

        • NRIC (photocopy front & back) for applicant & guarantor (if applicable)
        • Letter of acceptance from educational institution
        • Birth certificate or marriage certificate (if applying with guarantor)

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        William Hofmann

        William is a Product Manager at ValueChampion Singapore, helping consumers and SMEs find the best banking products through comprehensive analysis of data. He previously was an Economic Consultant at Industrial Economics Inc, where he conducted a variety of research and economic analyses. He graduated from University of Vermont with degrees in Economics and Psychology. His work has been featured on a variety of major media such as the Straits Times, the Business Times, the Edge, DailySocial, the Entrepreneur and more.