Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced the launch of a credit card for students with a limit of Rs 10 lakh today, meeting one of her key pre-election promises. A student who has lived in Bengal for 10 years will be eligible for the card which can be used to get a loan for higher studies in India or abroad. “No guarantor is needed for this loan. The state will stand guarantee,” Ms Banerjee said at an online press conference.
Loan will be available for undergraduate, postgraduate, doctoral and post-doctoral study in India or abroad,” Ms Banerjee told reporters. Any student taking a Rs 10 lakh loan on the card will have 15 years to repay it.
The Bengal government is among the first to offer a student credit card. Bihar is in the process of organising it.
Currently, credit cards for students are only offered by some private banks, including ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank.
The State Bank of India also offers a secured card against a fixed deposit
of Rs 5000.
Most cards offered by banks have a nominal joining or annual fee and they come with a number of rewards including fuel surcharge waiver, cash-back in departmental stores, points on online transactions and even extra points for money spent on the card holder’s birthday month.