DUO offers local bankaccount for repayment of student debts

The Daily Herald writes that Education Implementation Service DUO again offers former students from Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius the possibility in 2015 to use a local account with Maduro and Curiel’s Bank (MCB) and its subsidiary Windward Islands Bank (WIB) for the repayment of their student debt.

Residents of the Caribbean Netherlands, who have studied in the European Netherlands and have a student debt, normally speaking, have to incur extra cost to meet their payment obligations, because they have to transfer their payments to a foreign bank account. In addition, they run a currency risk. Therefore, a pilot was started in 2013, making the repayment of student debts easier and cheaper. Under the pilot, debtors are able to transfer money to an account at a local bank without extra transaction cost. The exchange rate is set in January, and is valid throughout the calendar year.

Judging from the results in 2013 and 2014, the pilot is deemed a success, Government Service Caribbean Netherlands stated Monday. Under the scheme, former students save transaction cost and have more clarity regarding the payment of the monthly amount, which is a fixed amount in US dollars. As the payment behavior of former students improves, DUO also saves cost on, for instance, sending payment reminders, it was stated.

DUO is currently investigating the possibilities for local repayment for former students on Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten. At the moment, only residents of Bonaire, Statia and Saba can use the possibility of repaying locally.

Former students, who participated in the pilot in 2014, have been notified that it is assumed they would also like to make repayments locally in 2015. New participants can register by January 31 at the latest by sending an e-mail with their name, address and correspondence number to: cn-debiteuren@duo.nl. The e-mail should state as subject “Local payment 2015.”

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