Student Loan in Nigeria — How to Apply and Important Things to Know


You can now apply for a Student loan in Nigeria, study without any fear of dropping out because of financial problems, and pay back when you have a paying job or business two years after your NYSC. 

This student loan scheme is powered by the Federal Government of Nigeria, not by any private loan platforms.

For context, Nigeria has up to 18% rate of dropout students due to Finance and in 2023, it was projected that this figure will rise to 50% because of the school fees hike across higher institutions in the country and the continuing harsh economy.

In June 2023, President Tinubu signed the Student Loan Act into law. However, what was supposed to be good news to Nigerians turned into totally different news because of the strict eligibility criteria to access the loan.

Following this, the presidency postponed the launch of the Student loan scheme ‘indefinitely’ to make some corrections.

Student Loan in Nigeria signed into law by President Tinubu
President Tinubu Signing the Student Loan Act

In April 2024, the President amended the Student Loan Act, and this time, the harsh eligibility criterion is now removed, paving the way for interested students in higher institutions.

For instance, one of the previous criteria to access a student loan says the family earning history must not be more than N500,000 per year, also the loan applicants must provide guarantors in the high-rank civil services among others.

These criteria sidelined the students from poor backgrounds in Nigeria. For instance, it is quite impossible for a family not to earn a total amount of N500k per year.

According to President Tinubu, the poor should have access to quality education for a brighter future, hence this amended Student Loan Act.

To pursue this goal of quality education for Nigerian youths, the federal government set up a corporate entity called the Nigeria Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) to manage everything that has to do with student loans in Nigeria. 

The Nigerian Student Loan Act tasks NELFUND with receiving, managing, and investing funds to provide loans to Nigerians pursuing higher education, vocational training, and skills acquisition programs. Also, the agency will be able to sue and be sued, can own properties, etc.

How do I Qualify for a Student Loan in Nigeria?

  • Applicants must be a Nigerian citizen
  • Applicants must be enrolled in a Public higher institution (university, polytechnic, college of education)
  • Students who are pursuing vocational skills may be eligible as the federal government understands that not everybody likes University education

How to Apply for the Nigerian Student Loan

The application process is simple, the interested student will obtain the student loan form, fill it and submit it to his/her school.

The application form will be acknowledged by the Student Affairs officer and the principal officer of the school (e.g. Vice Chancellor for Universities).

As of writing this piece, the government is still working on launching the student loan scheme so that students can start applying. So there is no information about where exactly to obtain the student loan application form, maybe offline in school or through a website.

(This post will be updated when the information is available, you can subscribe to our newsletter to be notified)

Nigerian Student Loan Repayment

You are expected to pay back the loan 2 years after you complete your NYSC.

The baseline for repayment is 10% of the applicant’s income. The applicant wishes he could clear the loan at once or tell his employer to deduct more than 10% of his income for the student loan repayment.

But what will happen if the applicant is unable to pay back after two years of NYSC? Well, nothing will happen provided you haven’t been employed and then, you can simply request for loan repayment extension which involves a court affidavit.

According to the Act, a Nigerian student loan defaulter will not be punished except if the applicant committed an act of felony — simply put if the applicant provided false information during the application or repayment process.

Also, the loan can be forgiven, meaning that the government can give an applicant the grace not to repay. Also in case of death, the loan will be forgiven.

How Much Can a Nigerian Loan Applicants Access?

The successful applicants will have access to N250,000 per semester and that’s N500,000 per session.

But will that be enough?


The average school fees in government-owned schools in Nigeria is N150,000 per session depending on the student’s faculty.

If a student pays N150,000 as school fees out of N500,000, the applicant still has N350,000 to take care of other bills such as accommodation, books, and upkeep.

Are Private School Students Eligible for Student Loans in Nigeria?

The answer is No. Only students in government-owned higher institutions are eligible.

When explaining why private school students are not allowed, the Chairman of the House of Representatives, Committee on Students’ Loans said if anyone sends his children to a private institution, then the need for a loan is minimal.

He further stressed that the school fees that one student in a private university pays, will cater to many students in public school.

How is the Government Planning to Fund the Student Loan in Nigeria?

The student loan funding will be from 1% of revenue entering the Federation account.

And how big is the one percent?

In 2023, a total of N12.37 Trillion was generated as revenue. One percent of that is N123.7B which is over $90m per year.

Note that this figure is not current but just to know how much the Nigerian government plans to spend on Student loans.

Stephen Gbolagade
Stephen Gbolagade
Stephen is a Frontend engineer, technical writer, owner and part-time blogger here at Gbolamedia, incoming data scientist, an enthusiastic cynophilist, and a curious introvert. Stephen is currently available for full-time, part-time or contract-base role. Contact him here: on WhatsApp or check him on Linkedin


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