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Posted: Thursday | December 08, 2005

Students’ Loan Bureau to Launch Online Loan Application System in January 2006

-Move designed to increase efficiency and eliminate last minute rush and bottle-neck in application process!

Applying for a loan with the Students’ Loan Bureau (SLB) will become considerably easier for thousands of tertiary students when the Bureau opens its new loan application cycle on January 16, 2006 for the 2006/2007 academic year.

A state-of-the-art online web-enabled application system called ‘SLB Online’ will bring the SLB’s services nearer to the student-borrower, particularly those in rural Jamaica, by significantly reducing the time spent in line submitting applications in the Bureau’s offices.

Students may access ‘SLB Online’ by logging on to www.slbja.com, and following the simple instructions to fill out and submit their applications. A special application tutorial has also been built into the system to provide additional assistance.

Once the applicants have completed the form online, it will be checked by the SLB. Applicants will be notified in the event of any discrepancies, and guided to make the necessary corrections and resubmit. “Applicants who apply online will only be required to come to the SLB’s offices to submit the supporting documents required for the application process”, says the SLB’s Executive Director, Lenice Barnett.

The new web-enabled loan application system will also seek to fix the perennial problem of last minute application by borrowers; but the Bureau is quick to add that the system will only work if students use it. “It would be our desire for all our clients to apply online, and to make the last-minute April rush on the Bureau a thing of the past”, continued Mrs. Barnett.
Notwithstanding, the SLB is encouraging new and returning students to apply early, and not to wait until they received matriculation grades.

In the meantime, the SLB will be launching an extensive public education programme to explain the features and functionalities of the Online Application process.

The SLB has been spending the last few months ‘ironing out’ the chinks in the new system, and has described the SLB Online innovation as a key customer service initiative designed to meet the growing demand for financing for tertiary education.

The SLB anticipates that there will be a considerable increase in loan applications for the new academic year, and wants students to avail themselves of the added convenience and improved service that the system brings.

Total SLB expenditure on loans in 2005 moved to over $802 million for nearly 6,000 students, while grant-in-aid to assist with cost of living expenses of the neediest of tertiary students reached $78.7 million, as the SLB widened the approval net for more students in the face of rising tuition fees and the general socio-economic difficulties being faced by many students.

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