GOVERNMENT Savings Bank (GSB) has set aside Bt5 billion for holders of state welfare cards to take out loans that help them learn new skills or find additional work to boost family incomes.
GSB president Chatchai Payuhanaveechai said that so far, 1.4 million card holders have requested loans from the bank under the plan.
The go-ahead for the loan scheme came after the Cabinet resolved to provide assistance for 11.4 million low-income earners who have registered for state welfare.
The bank will extend the loans at no more than Bt50,000 per person and they will have a flat interest rate of 0.75 per cent per month. The loans must be repaid in terms of three to five years on a monthly basis.
For example, if a welfare card holder borrows Bt10,000, the minimum monthly instalment will be Bt242. For a loan of Bt50,000, the minimum instalment will be Bt1,200 a month.
The loan must be used to finance new occupations or additional occupations, including those in trade and services. The card holders must be aged 20 years or older and have Thai nationality. The combination of a card holder’s age with the total instalment period must be no more than 70 years.
The Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation will guarantee the loans.
If a card holder is already a GSB customer, they can request a loan under the scheme and the bank will assess their repayment capability.
The loan rate for the scheme is less than that of GSB’s People Bank Project, which charges 0.75 per cent a month in the first year and 1 per cent a month thereafter.
Chatchai denied rumours that GSB had extended non-guaranteed loans and that the loan amount had been Bt50,000, with each monthly instalment at Bt200.
Chatchai warned that welfare card holders should not believe such rumours.