During the past seven years, every single baht from retired teacher Somjit na Soongnoen’s monthly pension of more than Bt30,000 has gone towards repayment of debt.
“I owed Bt1.2 million to the Nakhon Ratchasima Teacher Savings Cooperative and Bt1.5 million to the Funeral Help for Teachers/Educational Personnel from Friends loan project,” the retiree disclosed.
He initially did not expect the funeral help loan project to become a big burden because at the time he applied for assistance, the interest rate was only 3 per cent per annum.
“But now the interest rate has increased to 8 per cent,” he complained.
So even after retiring as a teacher, Somjit finds himself compelled to work to cover his living expenses. He now runs a small grocery shop and also doubles up as a stationery dealer.
Kanokpij Thanyakij, a 45-year-old teacher, said she needed to earn more than Bt60,000 a month to repay not just her own but also her parents’ debts on top of living expenses.
“My salary is Bt45,000 a month only. So, I’m now doing some farming for extra income and also preparing my own lunch so that I don’t have to buy any,” she said.