Romanian gov't raises guarantee ceiling for education loan

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The Romanian government decided on Thursday to raise to one billion lei (243 million U.S. dollars) the level of the guarantee ceiling for this year's "Invest In You" program in 2019, which provides the beneficiaries with zero-rate loans for schooling.

"For the level of the ceiling, consideration was given to the evolution of the program and the related aspects of its implementation, as well as to the high degree of use of the ceiling within only three months of the program's operation in 2018," explained the government.

Beneficiaries of the "Invest In You" program are young people aged between 16 and 26, with Romanian citizenship, domiciled in Romania, in the education system or undergoing specialized courses authorized by the Education Ministry. People aged between 26 and 55 also qualify if they are in the education system or are undergoing professional reconversion courses.

The amount of credit can be up to 40,000 lei for for the youngsters, while for those aged above 26, the amount can be up to 35,000 lei. All of them may benefit an additional 20,000 lei if they are employed or engaged during the program, and the money can be used for education, health or sports.

The duration of the loan will be ten years or less, including a grace period of up to five years. For the credit, the beneficiary will be accompanied by at least one debtor if he is not employed.

The interest rate on the loan, as well as the costs of the analysis and management fees, will be borne by the state budget.

"Invest In You" is a program launched by the government last March and funds have been made available since Oct. 15. For the year 2018, the first year of the project, the total ceiling of the guarantees that could be issued was 600 million lei.

Three months after its launch in October 2018, 2,400 applications have been submitted, with more than 1,350 approved, according to data provided by the government. (1 U.S. dollar=4.11 lei)

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