STUDENTS' LOAN: All You Need to Know About NELFUND and FAQs

updated 08 Jul, 2024

Did you know that the Students' Loan is open to all students of public tertiary institutions in Nigeria but that the first phase of the loan is for students studying / desiring to study in federal higher institutions, with other phases to be announced in due course?

The Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) is a pivotal financial institution established under the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) (Repeal and Re-enactment) Act, 2024, which was signed into law by the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Federal Government of Nigeria on 3 April 2024, marking a historic step towards ensuring sustainable higher education and functional skill development for Nigerian students and young people.

The primary objective of NELFUND is to provide financial support to qualified Nigerians for tuition and other fees, charges, and upkeep during their studies in approved tertiary academic institutions and vocational and skills acquisition institutions within Nigeria.

NELFUND operates as a body corporate with the power to sue and be sued, acquire, hold, and dispose of property for its functions. It is governed by a board of directors comprising representatives from relevant ministries, regulatory bodies, and participating agencies, including the Federal Ministries of Finance and Education, among others. The management operations are distinct from governance functions, with a management team led by a managing director, Akintunde Sawyerr, responsible for the day-to-day operations.

On July 7, 2924, NELFUND announced that students from the 36 state-owned tertiary institutions that had applied for the student loan can now apply. 

According to NELFUND, "The management of these (36) institutions have successfully submitted their student data to the NELFUND Student Verification System (SVS). We urge all other state-owned tertiary institutions to submit their complete student data to the NELFUND Student Verification System timely to enable their students benefit from the scheme," the statement as posted in its official X (formerly Twitter) handle reads.

The institutions whose students can now apply for the loan as listed by NELFUND are as follows:

1. Adamawa State University, Mubi
2. Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri
3. Borno State University
4. Mohammet Lawan college of Agriculture, Borno State
5. Edo State University, Uzairue
6. Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti
7. Gombe State University
8. Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe University, Imo State
9. Imo State University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Umuagwo
10. Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, Zaria
11. Yusuf Maitama Sule University, Kano
12. Umaru Musa Yar’adua University, Katsina
13. Katsina State Institute of Technology and Management
14. Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero
15. Confluence University of Science and Technology, Kogi state
16. Lagos state university of education
17. Lagos State University
18. Nasarawa State University, Keffi
19. Tai Solarin University of Education, Ogun state
20. University of Medical Sciences, Ondo
21. Osun State University
22. University of Ilesa, Osun State
23. GTC, ARA Osun State
24. GTC, Gbongan Osun State
25. GTC, Ijebu-Jesa Osun State
26. GTC, Ile-Ife Osun State
27. GTC, Inisa, Osun State
28. GTC, Iwo, Osun State
29. GTC,OSU Osun State
30. GTC, Otan Ayegbaju Osun State
31. Osun State College of Education, Ila-Oragun
32. Government Technical College Ile-Ife
33. Osun State College of Technology
34. Taraba State University, Jalingo
35. Umar Suleiman College of Education, Gashua, Yobe State
36. Zamfara State University, Talata Mafara

Below are responses from NELFUND to applicants' Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the Students’ Higher Education Loan initiative established by the Federal Government.

1. What is the Students Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act, 2024?

The Student’s Loan Act is an Act of the Parliament that makes it possible for Nigerian students to access zero interest loans to enable them pay for institutional charges and upkeep to any higher institution of their choice within Nigeria.

2. Is the Student’s Loan the same as the Nigerian Education Bank?

No. The Student’s Loan Act has repealed the Nigerian Education Bank Act and established a framework for providing zero interest loans to eligible Nigerian students who desire to study at any institution of higher education.

3. Who administers the loans to the students?

The loans will be administered by the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND), which is the body established by law to carry out the day-to-day activities of the Fund. It is headed by a Managing Director, appointed by the President of Nigeria.

4. Is the loan open to all tertiary institutions?

The Loan is open to all public tertiary Institutions. The first phase of the loan is open to only students studying/desiring to study in federal higher institutions in Nigeria. The other phases will be announced in due course.

5. Who is eligible to apply for loans under this Act?

Students who have secured admission into all Public Nigerian universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, or vocational schools, with a proof of admission that includes Name, Date of Birth, Admission, JAMB number, Matriculation number, and BVN. All new and existing students within the institution above can apply for the loan.

6. Can a Direct Entry Student into higher institutions apply for the loan?

Yes, but such student must have a JAMB number.

7. Will the loan be available for all students or only applicants?

All full-time students are eligible for the loan but only applicants will benefit from the loan.

8. How much loan are students allowed to apply for?  

That would be determined by the institutional charge of each Institution. The loan will cover the cost of institutional charges and upkeep if required by the student. The institutional charges will be remitted directly to the applicants’ institutions and the upkeep will be paid to the applicant on a monthly instalment basis.

9. Will the applicant be required to make any payment before the loan is disbursed?

No payment is required before the disbursements of the loan.

10. Is there an interest payable on the loan?

Zero interest on the loan.

11. Is the loan open to every student?

The loan is open to new and existing full-time students in tertiary institutions.

12. How are loan applications processed, and what is the disbursement timeline?

Applications are done online. Applicants are required to input specific personal details that include: i. Name of Institution of study; ii. Admission Number; iii. JAMB Number; iv. Date of Birth; v. NIN; and vi. BVN. NELFUND will disburse within 30 days of approval of successful applications.

13. Is there age limit for applicants?


14. Who is responsible for the loan repayment?

The beneficiary of the loan is responsible for the repayment of the loan.

15. Is the loan applied for only once?

The loan will be applied for every academic session by the student.

16. How do applicants know their application is approved?

Applicants will receive a notification and the status of the loan application can be seen in the applicant’s profile on the portal.

17. When is the loan due for repayment?

The loan is due for repayment 2 years after the completion of NYSC.

18. What happens if a beneficiary does not have job after two years post-NYSC?

The beneficiary should notify NELFUND by sworn court affidavit every 3 (three) months after two years post NYSC if still unable to gain employment.

19. How will the loan repayment process work?

Ten percent (10%) of the beneficiary’s salary will be deducted at source by the employer. Self-employed beneficiaries are required to remit 10% of their monthly profit to the Fund. You are at liberty to seek to repay beyond the statutory 10% monthly repayment by your employers/by self if you are self-employed.

20. What if I have the money to pay back before I get a job

You can repay once you have money to pay back, even before you gain employment.

21. How do I repay when I am relocating abroad?

You will contact the NELFUND and sign an agreement with modalities to repay.

22. Do students require a guarantor to access the loan?

The students’ loan has no requirement for a guarantor.

23. What are the consequences of defaulting on the loan?

Deliberate default could result in penalties, legal action, and potential damage to your credit score.

24. Is there any appeal process when an application is denied?

A complaint can be raised from the portal, or you can send an email to the NELFUND.

25. Are there any documents to upload during the application process?

Yes. Scanned admission letter for new students (compulsory), scanned Student Identification Card (optional).

26. Under what circumstances would NELFUND deny an application?

if such an applicant is:

• Proven to have defaulted in respect of any previous loan granted by any license financial institution;

• Found guilty of submitting fake/fraudulent documents and dismissed for exam malpractices by any school authority; and

• Convicted of fraud and forgery, drug offences, cultism, felony, or any offences involving dishonesty;

SUMMARY: Repayment involves 10% deduction from salary or self-remittance. Early repayment is allowed. Relocating abroad requires an agreement with NELFUND. No guarantor needed. Defaulting incurs penaIties. Appeals possible. Required documents: admission letter, ID. Denial reasons include past defaults and misconduct.

SOURCES: Wikipedia | NELFUND Nigeria @NELFUND 

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