Student Loan in Nigeria – Everything You Need to Know

Education has become an integral part of Nigerian households, regardless of their socio-economic status. With the rising costs of education, securing a student loan has become a crucial financial tool for many students. President Bola Tinubu’s recent enactment of the Access to Higher Education Act, 2023, is a significant stride towards providing interest-free education loans to Nigerian students pursuing tertiary education.

What is a Student Loan?

A student loan is a specially designed financial tool to help students cover the costs associated with education. It differs from other loans in that it offers lower interest rates and flexible repayment schedules, making it more accessible to students.

The Student Loan Act in Nigeria:

The Student Loan Act, also known as the Education Loan Act, establishes the Education Loan Fund to assist Nigerians in financing their higher education. This fund is set up to allow students to repay the loan in manageable installments, beginning two years after they complete the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program.

Sources of Funding:

The Education Loan Fund is financed through various channels, including a percentage of government profits from mineral resources, taxes, levies, and duties collected by federal agencies, as well as education bonds and endowment fund schemes. Additionally, donations, gifts, grants, and revenue from other sources are welcomed to support the initiative.

Administration of the Fund:

The fund is held in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and overseen by an 11-member special committee, chaired by the CBN governor. The committee includes representatives from various educational, financial, and labor sectors.

Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for the loan, applicants must be enrolled in government-owned tertiary institutions, and their annual income or family income must be less than N500,000. Additionally, they must provide two guarantors who meet specific criteria, ensuring the responsibility of loan repayment.

Repayment Structure:

The Act does not specify a limit on loan amounts or a fixed timeframe for repayment. Repayment begins two years after the completion of the NYSC program. Beneficiaries are required to remit 10 percent of their income or monthly profits to the Fund. Defaulting on repayment may result in fines, imprisonment, or both.

How to Apply for a Student Loan:

Applicants should follow these steps to apply for an education loan:

  1. Submit applications to the CBN-governor-headed committee through respective banks.
  2. Include a cover letter signed by the head of their institution.
  3. Provide a copy of their admission letter.
  4. Submit at least two guarantor letters.
  5. Include two passport photographs of each guarantor.
  6. Provide evidence of employment and employer details.

Banks Offering Student Loans:

  1. Access Bank Student Loan
    • Features, Requirements
  2. GT Bank Student Loan
    • Features, Requirements
  3. First Bank FirstEdu Loan
    • Features, Requirements
  4. Federal Government Education Loan


Accessing student loans in Nigeria has become more streamlined with various options available from reputable banks and government initiatives. These loans serve as vital tools in ensuring that all students, regardless of financial background, have the opportunity to pursue higher education. By carefully considering the options available, students can make informed decisions about their financial future.

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