17 Jan 2006

American Samoa Development Bank to enforce student loan collection

11:15 am on 17 January 2006

Since the start of the American Samoa government student loan programme in 1996, the Development Bank of American Samoa has issued a total of 489 loans with a combined worth of US$8 million.

But since the programme was created, loan repayments have never been enforced.

But that's now changing.

The Development Bank is now advising all student loan recipients of the bank's intention to enforce loan collection based on terms and policies established by the Student Financial Aid Board, and laws of American Samoa.

Acting DBAS president Utu Abe Malae says students signed promissory notes to repay their loans at three per cent interest.

The bank is working with the Attorney General's Office and Student Financial Aid Board to determine a method of forgiving a portion of the loans in lieu of service rendered to the community.

The bank is asking students who have borrowed from the Student Loan programme and have either completed their education, or have discontinued their studies to advise the bank of their degree programme status and current residence address.

Utu said if students didn't voluntarily supply information the bank would have to secure the information in some other way.

He added that maintaining a good credit report was a goal students would find useful to them in the workplace whether here or in the United States.