Is Study Loan Really Enough?

This article assumes local currency RM4 equals USD1 as the currency is getting worse.

Most of the students who go to public universities in Malaysia applied for study loan (pembiayaan pendidikan) provided by National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN). Most of the students pursuing a diploma would get RM15,000 (USD 3,750) for the whole study period, which most were on a timeframe of 3 years consisting 6 semesters. This means the students will have RM5,000 (USD 1,250) each year, and RM2,500 (USD 625) for each semester. From this RM2,500, the study charge of around RM500 (USD 125) up to RM1,500 (USD 375) or maybe more will be deducted first and the remaining will be used by the students on the 5 months or 6 months semester. This varies on university and courses taken.

Taking myself as example, RM530 (USD 133) is the charge for each semester, it means it leave me with only RM1970 (USD 493) for 5 months, because I live in campus for 5 months each semester and go back home for the other month. Dividing that, I have RM394 (USD 99) each month. From that money, I need to substract some money for mobile internet plans as there's no WiFi as pointed in my other post here. The plan I use is Celcom monthly 5GB priced at RM30 (USD 7.50) plus additional late night internet subscriptions for additional quota as 5GB will never be enough for me. The late night internet is weekly subscriptions of 10GB quota which could only be used from 1AM to 7AM and priced at RM7 (USD 1.75) per week, hence it is RM28 (USD 7) per month. Adding these two, the amount I pay for internet every month is RM58 (USD 14.50) and the quota I get is 45GB. That would be enough when I control my internet usage in campus, back at home I will almost always use 100GB a month with the unlimited-quota 1Mbps subscription (paid by parents, mentioned in last paragraph).

From the RM394 (USD 99) that I have for each month, I need to subtract for internet at RM58 (USD 14.50) thus leaving me with RM336 (USD 84.50) for the use in each days in a month. If it is the first month of the semester, there might be needs to buy some tools or books, and the monthly money needs to be readjusted. Normal students will eat trice a day but I don't know how they manage their money, maybe they don't need much mobile internet like me, as I'm a student of computer science. Most of the foods priced at RM5 (USD 1.25) on each meal, eating trice a day would be RM15 (USD 3.75) daily and approximately RM 450 (USD 113) a month, exceeding the monthly balance I have. Hence, I only eat twice a day, lunch & dinner. This means I use RM10 (USD 2.50) daily and approximately RM300 (USD 75) a month. I still have a balance of RM36 (USD 9) if nothing bad happened, but no one knows what would happen. Sometimes there's something needs to be pay, like additional electrical charges, or faculty activity charges.

This means study loan is enough for me. Even if it's not enough, no one could help me anyway as my parents having enough difficulties with their medium-class salary of RM1,200 (USD 300) per month and needs to pay many kinds of bills. This includes the home internet of 1Mbps I mentioned earlier, which also carries landline in its package at price of RM68 / USD17 per month, as it is student's package registered back in 2010 when I was in form two of secondary school. Normal price of 1Mbps internet without student package is charged at bloody RM116.60 / USD 29.15 per month and yes, it's 1Mbps, it's not 10Mbps, leave alone 100Mbps.

Luckily the BR1M program is still continuing after few years since it's introduced back in 2012 and my parents do get them as obviously their salary is under RM3,000 (USD 750) per month which is the fine line between poor/medium and rich people. Watch this video for quick info about BR1M program, it's in English:

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