About 100,000 Hungarians could benefit from a government decree on debt relief for young mothers with student loans, the state secretary for family affairs said on public television on Thursday.
The decree, issued in the latest issue of the official gazette Magyar Közlöny, gives female students with a loan a three-year grace period for repayments after the birth of their first child, Katalin Novák said.
Half of their debt may be forgiven after the birth of their second child, and the rest after the birth of a third child.
Novák told news channel M1 that the debt relief will activate for children born after January 1, 2018, but mothers may count children born earlier when availing of the preference. That is, if a mother’s second child is born after the start of next year, half of her student loans will be forgiven, she explained.
She said the government would cover the interest costs during the three-year grace period. Mothers with both general purpose student loans and student loans for tuition can decide on which loan they wish to apply the relief, she added.
Novák noted that
about 400,000 Hungarians had taken out student loans under a scheme launched in 2001.
As we wrote last week, Hungary’s population decline accelerated further in the first seven months of the year as the number of births edged down by 0.1 percent and the number of deaths jumped by 6.8 percent compared with the same period last year.
According to the United Nations’ 2017 Revision of World Population Prospects report, a quarter of Central and East Europe’s population could vanish by the end of the century unless a big change happens. Even though this is only an estimation, it’s quite shocking that only six million people are expected to live in Hungary by 2100.