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How to Apply for a Student Loan

by Candice Grobler

A student loan can help you pay for anything study related, from tuition fees to accommodation and textbooks. Let’s find out more about the application process.

These days, we are all told how important it is to have some qualification, other than a matric certificate. Paying for further education after school can make it very difficult to follow this advice, but luckily student loans exist!

So, how do you get one? Let’s break it down.

Step 1: Choose a Loan Provider

There are many financial institutions that offer student loans, including big banks like FNB, ABSA, Nedbank and Standard Bank. Every bank/institution will offer you a different interest rate.   These are the fees that a bank charges you to borrow money from them. So shop around until you find the best deal because YOU will have to pay it back!

To apply, you can go into any branch of your selected provider or call them to fill in the application form. Some providers also allow you to apply on their website, so check that first, if it is easier for you.

Tertiary studies are expensive, there’s no way around it. Luckily though, you have options to finance it – student loans in South Africa are a realistic option, and they are readily available.

Step 2: Get Surety!

When applying for a student loan, you need to make sure you have someone to stand surety for you. This person must take responsibility to make sure that your loan is repaid even if you cannot pay it. Usually, parents or guardians who are earning a minimum monthly income of R3 000 – R6 000 can stand as surety for your student loan.

What if no one can stand surety for me?

Good question! Surely, there should be options for those people who don’t have anyone to stand surety for them? Don’t worry, there are!

  • If you are a part-time student who earns around R5 000 a month, some providers will allow you to stand surety for yourself.
  • Otherwise, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) offers loans to students who don’t have anyone to stand surety for them. For more information on NSFAS, check out our article.

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is the South African government’s way of helping you pay for your studies. But how does it work exactly?

Step 3: Make sure you Qualify

Banks and other financial institutions have strict requirements that you need to meet in order to apply for an education loan. Most providers require you to have:

  • SA green barcoded ID
  • Proof of residence
  • Proof of registration from an educational institution
  • Latest payslip of the person standing surety
  • Three months bank statements
  • Proof of university costs

Remember that all of these documents must be, at most, 3 months old! Some finance providers also have special requirements and fees that may not be mentioned above. So be sure to check out your chosen provider’s student loan webpage for extra information that you might need.

When do I find out if I got the loan?

If all of your documents are in order, you should know within 30 minutes that your loan has been approved or denied. After that, it should take 48 – 72 hours for the money to appear in your bank account.

FUNDI Education Loan

If you don’t want to apply for a student loan from a bank, you could apply for one of FUNDI’s education loans. FUNDI’s loan offering also covers registration fees and any outstanding balances that you might have.

To apply, follow these easy steps:

  1. Go to FUNDI’s webpage on educational loans.
  2. Choose the type of loan that you want (i.e. tertiary education).
  3. Click ‘Apply now’.
  4. Choose the ‘Get quote now’ option.
  5. Follow the instructions to fill in all of your details.

After submitting all of your relevant information, you should get a quote within 48 – 72 hours. You will then have the option to accept the loan and its repayment terms. Once you’ve accepted these, your loan will be paid directly to your educational institution, on your behalf – so there is no extra fuss for you to worry about!

So you’ve finished your degree, you’re going out into the working world and… suddenly you realize you have to repay your student loan.  Luckily, we’ve come up with a game plan on how YOU can get debt-free ASAP!

EduConnect 2Cents

Student loans should be avoided at all costs, but if you have no other option make sure that you borrow as little as possible. You don’t want to be paying back student loan debt forever!

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