The Complete Guide to PTPTN Loan in Malaysia

How to apply for PTPTN loan and what are the requirements? More on PTPTN loan amount, interest rate and scholarship waiver for first class honour in this guide.


Education is without a doubt the most powerful investment you can make for your future.

If you have big dreams but find yourself with limited financial resources, there's always a way to fund your university degree through scholarships and study loans. And one of the most accessible study loans in Malaysia is the PTPTN loan that's aimed to support Malaysian students in furthering their education beyond secondary school.

Here's a comprehensive guide to help you understand what PTPTN is about, how you can apply for the loan and what are some of the things you need to watch out for.

#1. What is PTPTN?

PTPTN stands for Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional (or National Higher Education Fund Corporation), and is a government institution that offers study loans specifically for tertiary education for Malaysian students.

PTPTN loan is one of the top choices for students looking for education loans, given its relatively low interest rate. In addition, if you achieve a First Class Honours for your Degree, your loan could be converted into a scholarship, where you will be exempted from paying back the loan!

#2. Are you eligible for PTPTN?

In order to be eligible for the PTPTN loan, you must check all the following boxes:

  • You are a Malaysian citizen
  • You are aged 45 years and below (which means mature students are eligible too!)
  • The monthly (gross) income of parents or guardians does not exceed RM50,000 (after deducting RM250 per dependent)
  • You must already have an offer to study at an institution of higher learning (both public and private institutions, including colleges, universities and polytechnics, are accepted)
  • The course that you are pursuing is approved and accredited by MQA
  • The remaining period of your study must not be less than one year
  • You have no other sponsors
  • You must have an SSPN-i savings account with 15 digits before sending in your application

#3. What courses are eligible for PTPTN loan?

PTPTN loan- Updated 2018- What is eligible for PTPTN loanNot all courses are automatically eligible for PTPTN loan. The course that you intend to study must fulfil BOTH the following criteria. Otherwise, you will risk having to fund your entire education yourself.

Criteria #1: Only certain qualifications are eligible, and at certain institutions

Qualifications that are eligible include Diploma and Degree. You have the option of choosing either private or public institutions.

If you are looking to study Professional Courses (e.g. ACCA, ICAEW) or Postgraduate Studies (e.g. Masters, PhD), only public institutions are eligible for PTPTN loans.

How about Pre-University courses, such as A-Level, Australian Matriculation and Canadian Pre-University? Well, these are all not eligible for PTPTN loans.

Important Note: Are part-time courses eligible for PTPTN loan? Yes, but it's only applicable for Diploma, Degree, Postgraduate and Professional Courses in public institutions and selected private institutions**.

Here’s a summary table for your reference:

Education Level Private Institutions (IPTS) Public Institutions (IPTA)
Pre-University (e.g. A-Level)
Foundation *
Diploma (full-time and part-time) **
Degree (full-time and part-time) **
Postgraduate (Masters, PhD) (full-time and part-time)
Professional Courses (e.g. ACCA) (full-time and part-time)

*Foundation courses at private institutions are only eligible for PTPTN loans if they are at the following universities:

  • Multimedia University (MMU)
  • Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN)
  • Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP)
  • Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (UNIRAZAK)
  • UNITAR International University (UNITAR)

On the other hand, PTPTN loans for part-time courses** in private institutions are only eligible at these following universities:

  • Open University Malaysia (OUM)
  • Wawasan Open University
  • Asia E University (AeU)
  • UNITAR International University (UNITAR)
  • Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (UNIRAZAK)

Criteria #2: Only MQA-accredited programmes are eligible

The second criteria is that the course that you are pursuing must be accredited by MQA.

MQA (which stands for Malaysian Qualifications Agency) is a government body that accredits academic programmes. Essentially, they ensure the quality and standards of tertiary education qualifications in Malaysia.

If you are planning to take up a PTPTN loan, make sure you refer to MQA’s website to confirm that your course has been either fully accredited or at least provisionally accredited.

Key Takeaway: In general, only Diplomas and Degrees are eligible for PTPTN (not Pre-U and Foundation courses), and the course MUST be accredited by MQA.

#4. How much can you borrow from PTPTN?

In an ideal world, you would be able to borrow as much as you needed, but unfortunately, this is not the case for PTPTN. Your PTPTN loan amount will depend on three things: (1) your household income, (2) the type of institution you are attending and (3) the course you are pursuing.

PTPTN loan- Updated 2018- PTPTN loan amounts depend on

PTPTN loans are needs-based, which means:

  • Lower-income families will be able to borrow a larger amount
  • Loans for private institutions are higher compared to public institutions since the tuition fees are typically higher
  • Science-related courses have higher loan amounts compared to humanities courses

Here is a summary of the loan amounts, quoted on a per-year basis: 

Private Institutions

Education Level Household Income
STR Recipient <RM8,000 >RM8,000
Foundation RM6,800 RM5,100 RM3,400
Diploma (Pharmacy, Dentistry & Health Science) RM12,750 RM9,560 RM6,380
Diploma RM6,800 - 8,000* RM5,100 RM3,400
Degree (Medicine) RM50,000 RM37,500 RM30,000
Degree (Pharmacy, Dentistry & Health Science) RM17,000 RM12,750 RM8,500
Degree (Science) RM14,030 RM10,520 RM7,010
Degree (Humanities) RM13,600 RM10,200 RM6,800
Postgraduate (Masters, PhD) N/A
Professional Courses (e.g. ACCA)

*The Ministry of Higher Education has increased the PTPTN loan from RM6,800 to RM8,000 for STR (Sumbangan Tunai Rahmah) recipients. However, this loan is only applicable in selected private institutions that sign up for the simpanan bertakaful initiative with SSPN-i Plus. Students who are eligible for this loan will also receive RM30 (or more depending on the student's household income) credited into their SSPN-i Plus monthly throughout their studies by the private institution. 

Public Institutions

Education Level Household Income
STR Recipient <RM8,000 >RM8,000
Degree (Humanities) RM6,180 RM4,630 RM3,090
Degree (Science) RM6,650 RM4,990 RM3,330
Degree (Medicine) N/A
Degree (Pharmacy, Dentistry & Health Science)
Diploma (Pharmacy, Dentistry & Health Science)
Integration / Diploma RM4,750 RM3,560 RM2,380
Foundation N/A
Postgraduate (Master's Degree) RM9,500 RM7,130 RM4,750
Postgraduate (PhD) RM24,700 RM18,530 RM12,350
Professional Courses (e.g. ACCA) RM5,700 RM4,280 RM2,850

So, let’s say your total household income is RM6,000 (Bracket B) and you intend to study for a Degree in Pharmacy at a Private Institution. You will be eligible to borrow a maximum of RM12,750 per year (refer to Column B1), or a total loan amount of RM51,000 for a 4-year Pharmacy Degree.

PTPTN loan- Updated 2024- Illustration ExampleRemember that securing a PTPTN loan doesn’t mean that all your financial woes are over. Your loan may only cover part of your tuition fees, so make sure you do the math beforehand to avoid any surprises!

#5. What are the steps to apply for a PTPTN loan?

PTPTN loan - Steps

With several bank accounts to open and dozens of documents to submit, applying for a PTPTN loan can be rather tedious. Here's a breakdown to help you with the entire process.

Step 1: Head on down to the banks to get the following sorted out

  • Open a SSPN-i account — you can do this at any PTPTN counters, or at Maybank, Bank Islam, BSN, CIMB Bank, Agrobank or Bank Rakyat
  • Open a savings account at a panel bank — you will need to open a savings account with a specific bank based on your choice of institution. To find out which panel bank you'll have to open a savings account at, go to the Semakan Jadual Permohonon dan Bayaran Pinjaman page. Enter the name of your preferred course or institution and click on the one you're looking for. The relevant panel bank will then be shown to you.
  • Buy a PTPTN number from Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) — this will cost you RM5, and is valid for 6 months. Alternatively, you can also buy a PTPTN number online through the PTPTN portal. For a detailed step-by-step on how to do this, see the manual guide here.

Note that the SSPN-i account is different from your savings account. SSPN (or Skim Simpanan Pendidikan Nasional) is a savings scheme by PTPTN for higher education. You must have a SSPN-i account in order to apply for your PTPTN loan.

Step 2: Submit your application online

If you are in doubt, check with your college or university counsellor who will be able to assist you in the process. You do not want to be rejected for providing incorrect or insufficient information!

Step 3: Wait for the outcome of your PTPTN application

  • You will be able to check the results of your loan application 6 working days after the closing date of the PTPTN online application

Step 4: Submit supporting documents (hardcopy) to your college / university

  • Prepare 2 revenue stamps worth RM10 each, to be affixed to the Education Financing Agreement
  • For each of these documents, print from the PTPTN website:
    • 2 copies of Education Financing Offer Letter, including Acknowledgement of Receipt & Approval Letters 1, 2, 3 and 4
    • 2 copies of Education Financing Agreement
    • 2 copies of Education Financing Agreement Appendix
    • 1 copy of Financing Application Information
  • Submit 1 certified copy of each of the following:
    • 1 copy of your IC, both front and back on the same side
    • 1 copy of your SPM certificate
    • 1 copy of the letter of admission / offer letter from your college / university
    • 1 copy of your examination transcript or other qualification certificates (e.g. STPM, Diploma, Matrikulasi, A-Level, Foundation, etc.)
    • 1 copy of both your parents' salary slip / income tax return / retiree card / pension statement / income verification letter / letter of confirmation of unemployment

Note that documents must be printed on white A4 paper with black ink, and on one side only. Only write and sign in black or blue ballpoint pen, and in legible, capital letters.

Make sure you consult your college and university counsellors during this step to ensure that your documents are all complete!

Step 5: Receive your loan payments

  • Once the loan application has been approved, PTPTN will disburse the payment directly into your designated bank account (the one that you applied for in Step #1)
  • You will typically receive your first loan disbursement within 21 working days after submitting the complete loan agreement documents to PTPTN

#6. What do you need to know when applying for PTPTN loan?

PTPTN loan- Update-Take Note

We’ve covered quite a lot of ground, but here are some additional items that you need to take note of when it comes to taking up a study loan from PTPTN.

1) You need at least a GPA of 2.0 to maintain your PTPTN loan

To ensure that you continuously receive funds from PTPTN during your studies, you must ensure that you achieve at least GPA of 2.0 at all times.

If at any time your GPA is less than 2.0, you will not receive PTPTN funds for that particular semester. If your grades improve in the subsequent semester and you raise your GPA to above 2.0, your loan disbursements will be reinstated.

2) There is an interest rate of 1% for your PTPTN loan

PTPTN loans are subject to a flat rate interest of 1% (or ujrah, a syariah-compliant “fee” to help with the administrative and management costs of PTPTN).

Here's an example of how your interest is calculated:

Total Loan Amount RM50,000
Repayment Period 15 years
Interest Rate Per Annum 1%
Interest Amount RM50,000 x 1% x 15 years = RM7,500, or RM41.67 per month
Total Monthly Repayment (RM50,000 + RM7,500) / 15 years = RM319.44 per month

Based on the example above, the interest you pay each month on your PTPTN loan is only RM41.67, which is extremely low compared to loans offered by banks and credit facilities.

If you settle your entire loan amount within 12 months after completing your studies, you will not incur the 1% interest / ujrah. This means you only need to pay back what you borrowed, without any interest!

3) You need to start paying back PTPTN 12 months after graduating

Your repayment period starts 12 months after you complete your studies.

PTPTN will not be sending you any instruction letters, so do be responsible about paying your study loan based on your repayment schedule.

The loan repayment period will depend on how much you borrowed. Here is an indicative summary table.

Total Loan Amount Loan Repayment Period Estimated Repayment (incl. interest)
Less than RM10,000 5 years Less than RM175 per month
RM10,000 to RM22,000 10 years RM92 to RM202 per month
RM22,000 to RM50,000 15 years RM140 to RM319 per month
More than RM50,000 20 years RM250 to RM750 per month

Do not worry if you are facing difficulties with making repayments as PTPTN is always open for negotiations to restructure your loan repayment. Just head to the nearest PTPTN branch to negotiate for a more favourable repayment rate.

4) Not paying back your PTPTN loan may have serious consequences!

The rise of PTPTN defaulters (people who fail to pay up their loans) over the past few years has resulted in the government imposing a series of measures to deter borrowers from defaulting.

Although some of these measures like the travel ban have been lifted, the blacklisting of PTPTN defaulters in the Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) is still ongoing. CCRIS is a system that stores financial information on Malaysian borrowers and is used by banks to determine if you are a good or bad borrower.

Being blacklisted on CCRIS is a serious matter, as this could mean that you will likely be rejected immediately whenever you apply for credit cards, home loans or personal loans. As such, it is crucial that you do not default on your PTPTN loan.

5) Your PTPTN loan can be converted into a scholarship

If you complete your Degree with First Class Honours, you will be exempted from paying back your PTPTN loan, which means you essentially received a full scholarship!

Do note however that First Class Honours may differ from university to university, so make sure you check with your counsellors so that you know what to aim for. Generally, however, First Class Honours typically requires you to have at least CGPA of 3.67/4.00, or higher.

Take Note: This is a recent update that was recently announced in July 2022 and is only applicable for those who graduate from 2019 onwards. Prior to that, PTPTN exemption was only for borrowers who score a First Class degree and come from an M40 or B40 household.

#7. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1) If I have applied for PTPTN loan for Diploma, can I still apply for PTPTN loan for Degree later on?

Yes, you can. In the event that you would like to continue studying at a higher level (local or overseas), you may request for a deferment of repayment with PTPTN by providing the following documents:

  • Official letter of application for deferment
  • A copy of official offer letter from the relevant institution
  • A letter from the relevant institution to verify the completion date of study (if it's not stated in the offer letter).

Do bear in mind that you will still incur interests on your deferred PTPTN loan throughout the period of deferment, and it will be added into the total sum that you will need to repay later upon graduation (or, once the deferment period ends).

2) Can I apply for PTPTN for my second degree?

You can only appy for PTPTN for your second degree if you did not apply for PTPTN for your first degree. If you already borrowed PTPTN for your first degree, you must settle the loan for your first degree before you can apply for another PTPTN loan again.

3) Does PTPTN cover my degree if I study overseas?

No, PTPTN does not cover overseas programmes.

4) I'm planning to do a twinning programme with an overseas university. Does PTPTN cover my degree?

PTPTN will only cover your cost of study in Malaysia. You will need to find a different source of funding when you transfer overseas.

We hope this clears some of your confusion and headaches surrounding PTPTN. Good luck!