Published On: Fri, Aug 22nd, 2014

Bussemaker: “Problems in Curaçao with repayment student debt”

minister-bussemaker-in-de-klasWILLEMSTAD - Over two thirds of the former students, who have studied in the Netherlands and who are now living in Curacao, have had delays in in repaying their student loans last year. Therefore, over 2,800 of the approximately 4,100 former students who have to repay have to deal with a debt collector. The other former students are complying with their repayment. This is stated in a letter, which was sent by the Dutch Minister of Education, Jet Bussemaker to the Members of Parliament of Curaçao, who have asked her about the large debt of the former students.

According to Minister Bussemaker there are several reasons for this. Those involved, make too little appeal to the capacity control, which means that people have to pay less if they don’t earn enough to repay the regular amount. There is also a problem with the communication between the student and the implementing organization for education DUO, even though employees of the service have given information to the former students on the island.

The deployment of debt collectors in Curacao, according to the Minister, is often perceived as unjust, because they are authorized to seize a large portion of the income of the former student. The Minister has modified the contract with the debt collectors. Moreover, she also gives those who have arrears the opportunity to meet with the debt collectors to reach a settlement. They have to stop the normal repayment to DUO for three years. Furthermore, the Minister will also request a research to see whether it is better to make the repayments in local currency.

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