Helping Students for Decades

Helping Students for Decades

Like many things in life the Student Revolving Loan Fund (SRLF) came from humble beginnings. With a staff of three, the SRLF was established in 1977 by the Student Revolving Loan Fund Act, 1976-20 as a body corporate. This legislative authority provided the SRLF with the latitude to govern its own affairs under the direction of a Management Committee which reports to the Minister of Education. Chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Education, the Management Committee is represented by stakeholders primarily in the field of education and finance. When the SRLF was established 40 years ago its function was to make available financial assistance to Barbadian students from all walks of life, particularly those who struggled to secure loans on the commercial market. This remains its singular purpose in 2017.


In the initial years however, it would not have been possible without receiving capital from the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).  Subsequent loans from the bank and recapitalization from the Barbados Government helped the SRLF to expand its remit. Therefore, not only undergraduate university students benefited but others who studied at post-secondary, technical and vocational levels. This includes those pursuing studies at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology, Barbados Community College, National Training Board, BIMAP, and graduate studies.


From February 2009 the organisation truly lived up to its name as a ‘revolving loan fund’ when it paid off its loan from the IADB. The SRLF began to finance new student borrowers and run operations from its own reserves consisting of investments garnered from borrowers repaying their loans.

As the demands on the fund increased yearly, the organisation grew, and now has a 28 member staff complement, and is located at the Ministry of Education, Science Technology and Innovation, Elsie Payne Complex, Constitution Road, St. Michael.

The SRLF’s social responsibility features prominently in its lending:

  • It offers a low interest rate;
  • No interest is charged during the agreed study period;
  • The maximum loan limit available to borrowers has been raised;
  • Repayment is not required during the agreed term of study; and
  • A grace period is granted on completion, giving borrowers a chance to find paid employment.

In recent years the SRLF has been challenged by the changes in the global economy. In 2016 the SRLF received a Government grant and during 2017 became the beneficiary of a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank to help boost its coffers.  There is no escaping the reality however that the SRLF’s ability to continue to revolve is dependent on the commitment and capacity of its borrowers to repay their loans. 

Today the focus of the SRLF is on helping those in greatest need by encouraging those who have benefitted from the fund to repay their loans; so that in years to come the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of Barbadians are also extended a helping hand.