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2014年8月20日 (水)

奨学金の滞納増 所得に応じた返済で負担軽く

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Ways should be found to lessen student loan repayment burden
奨学金の滞納増 所得に応じた返済で負担軽く

Student loans play an important role in realizing equal opportunity in education. It is vital for such loans to become more convenient for students and for economic assistance to be expanded.
 教育の機会均等を実現する上で、奨学金の果たす役割は大きい。使い勝手を良くして、学生の経済的支援を充実させることが肝要である。

With regard to the government’s student loans extended through the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), an expert panel of the education ministry has proposed the introduction of a system in which a loan can be repaid according to the recipient’s postgraduate income.
 政府が独立行政法人・日本学生支援機構を通じて貸与している奨学金について、文部科学省の有識者会議が、「所得連動返還型制度」の導入を提言した。

Unlike the current system, in which a loan recipient pays back the loan at a fixed amount every month, under the proposed system recipients could change the amounts in accordance with their annual, post-graduate income. To lessen the burden of repayment, the amount will be set lower for a low-income earner, with the amount rising as the annual income increases.
 毎月、定額を返済する現行制度と異なり、大学卒業後の年収に応じて返済額を変えられるのが特徴だ。負担を和らげるため、低収入の人には少ない返済額を設定し、年収が上がれば額を増やす。

The new system can be called a flexible framework of student loan repayment as it takes into consideration the financial situation of student loan recipients.
 奨学生の経済状況に配慮した弾力的な仕組みと言えよう。

More students are receiving government loans because of increasing university tuition fees and other factors. About 40 percent of university students obtain loans, either interest-free or interest-bearing. The scale of the government loan project totals as much as ¥1.2 trillion annually.
 政府の奨学金の利用者は、大学の授業料の上昇などを背景に増えている。無利子と有利子を合わせて、大学生の約4割が利用している。事業規模は年間約1兆2000億円にも上る。

Those who obtain loans are obliged to repay them in the future. For example, if a student borrows an interest-free loan totaling about ¥2.6 million over four years during college, the student is supposed to make a monthly repayment of ¥14,400 over 15 years.
 奨学金を借りた学生は、将来にわたって返済義務を負う。例えば、大学4年間で約260万円を無利子で借りると、月1万4400円を15年かけて返す。

Due to the expanded employment of nonregular workers and the difficulty for finding jobs in recent years, however, many postgraduate students are failing into arrears. In fiscal 2012, 330,000 people fell behind in their payments, with the amount in arrears totaling ¥92.5 billion. Should such a situation remain unaddressed, the government’s student loan system may be seriously affected.
 しかし、近年、非正規雇用の拡大や就職難を背景に、返済金の滞納が増えている。2012年度には33万人が計925億円を滞納した。こうした状況を放置すれば、奨学金制度が揺らぎかねない。

Falling into arrears

Some people in arrears reportedly were unaware of their repayment obligation until they received a notice of overdue payment. Such people must not forget that if they do not repay their loans, future generations may be affected.
 滞納者の中には、支払いの督促を受けてから初めて返済義務を知った人もいるという。返済金が次世代の奨学金の原資になっていることを忘れてはならない。

If it becomes a regular state of affairs for a borrower to fall behind in payments, the name of the borrower will be registered with a personal credit information organization, which may create an obstacle for that person to use credit cards. In some cases, borrowers fail to pay back their loans, prompting the JASSO to call on their relatives or gurantors to pay back the loans for them.
 滞納が恒常化すると、個人信用情報機関に氏名が登録され、クレジットカードなどの使用に支障が生じる。本人が返済できず、保証人の家族が機構から支払いを迫られるケースもある。

We hope the introduction of the new system will lead to a decline in the failure to repay loans. The Education, Science, Sports and Culture Ministry assumes the JASSO will be able to keep tabs on the annual income of loan recipients in their postgraduate years with the so-called My Number system—under which people will be given identification numbers—to be launched in fiscal 2016.
 新制度の導入が、滞納の減少につながることを期待したい。文科省は、16年から運用開始となる共通番号制度により、機構が卒業後の所得を把握できるようになることを想定している。

Yet there are many details that need to be discussed further.
 ただ、検討すべき点も多い。

If the repayment period becomes longer under the new system, for instance, there is the likelihood that the total amount repaid becomes greater than under the current system for those who have interest-bearing loans. There is also a question of how to deal with a situation in which a recipient’s annual income does not rise as anticipated.
新制度では、返済期間が延びるため、有利子奨学金の利用者を対象にすると、返済総額は従来より増える可能性がある。賃金が上昇しなかった場合の対処も課題だ。

With regard to the government’s student loans, there are strong calls for establishing a grant-in-aid scholarship, which requires no repayment. However, the government’s fiscal situation remains tight.
 奨学金を巡っては、返済する必要がない給付型奨学金の創設を求める声が根強くあるが、政府の財政状況は厳しい。

Graduate students with excellent scholastic achievements are exempted from paying back student loans. We should extend such supportive measures to undergraduates, despite the tight fiscal situation.
 現在、特に優れた成果を残した大学院生に認められている奨学金の返済免除を学部の学生にも広げるなど、限られた財源の中で、学生を支える対策を考えたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 19, 2014)

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