The Further Studies Made Affordable (FSMA) financial instrument (BOV Studies Plus+) is a new financing solution providing a pot of €5.5 million, targeted for individuals seeking further studies. This soft loan product is being offered on the market through the collaboration between the Malta Development Bank, Bank of Valletta and the Managing Authority for EU Funds. The Financial Instrument is financed under the Operational Programme II – “Investing in human capital to create more opportunities and promote the wellbeing of society” which is co-funded by the European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020.
This study loan facility is aimed at individuals who are seeking to undertake full time, part time or distance learning study courses leading to a Diploma (MQF 5), Bachelors (MQF 6), Masters (MQF 7) or Doctorate (MQF 8) level qualification, or internationally recognised certificates. Loans under this facility can be up to a maximum of €100,000 with a term of up to 15 years including a maximum moratorium period of 5 years. Students will benefit from a subsidy on all the interest payments during the moratorium period which is being financed through a grant, and an attractive interest rate thereafter. Due to the guarantee of 80% provided by the MDB, no collateral or up-front contribution will be requested from the student.
The FSMA represents an important milestone for the MDB being the first financial instrument funded from Structural Funds with the MDB acting as the implementing body. The financial instrument involves a combination of a grant element on the interest rate subsidy during the moratorium and a guarantee element managed by the MDB which the commercial bank can leverage up by a multiple of 5.
Link to the Q&A provided by Bank of Valletta which can be accessed from this link.
Links to media coverage: