Freezing student loan interest rate not an option now: minister

The library at Delft University. Photo: Depositphotos.com

It will not be technically possible to freeze the interest rate on student loans next year at this year’s rate, education minister Robbert Dijkgraaf has told MPs.

A majority of MPs had voted in favour of freezing the interest rate during the post budget debates in September. Students who left university or college five years ago are currently paying 0.46% interest but that will rise to 2.56% in 2024 because of the rise in capital market rents.

However, the minister said that adapting the IT systems by January would be impossible and that January 2026 is the earliest date this could be done. Nor would it be possible to pass legislation making the change legal in time, he said.

Dijkgraaf has agreed to look into the issue in more detail in relation to a second motion passed last week which called for a reduction in the student loan interest rate.

That would be funded by cuts in the 30% ruling paid to a small number of international workers, according to the amendment drawn up by MP Pieter Omtzigt.

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