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Are you looking for financial assistance to further your studies? The idea of a student loan may seem intimidating but researching your options will put your mind at ease and help you make an informed decision.
You can choose from a range of public and private entities.
The institutions listed below could make higher education possible through their student loan and financial scheme options.
Each entity or loan agreement has its own set of terms and conditions so a thorough investigation of application requirements and loan repayment methods is necessary.
Here are some options to help finance your studies:
The university financial aid office is a good place to start. However you can only apply for assistance at a university once you have applied or enrolled there. Most universities offer grants to students with excellent academic or sporting ability.
Check with your university’s financial aid office to find out if you qualify for their bursaries or awards.
GET A LOAN IN 5 MINUTES
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)
NSFAS is a government funded institution that offers loans to South African students wanting to study at public universities or technikons. Up to 40% of the loan can be written off if the student is academically successful enough. You can apply for NSFAS assistance at a university or technikon Financial Aid Bureau.
Tel: 021 763 3232
Visit NSFAS website for more information
National Research Foundation (NRF)
The NRF provides services and grants to support research and postgraduate research training that is vital to the development of South Africa. The NRF’s task is to advance research in all fields of the humanities, social and natural sciences, engineering, and technology; including indigenous knowledge, and will support researchers in these fields.
Tel: 012 481 4000
Visit the NRF website for more information
Eduloan offers financing at all levels of study including school, university and college. The loan offering can cover outstanding balances, registration fees and study related items such as textbooks, laptops, tabletsm accommodation and other relevant study equipment.
Tel: 0860 55 55 44
Visit the Eduloan website for more information
Banks and private financial institutions are often more flexible with their qualifying criteria and are better equipped to offer personalised loan options. For example banks are more likely to cover your studies at a private institution as well as public educational facilities.
However interest rates and repayment conditions on bank loans are generally more stringent. Make sure that you are clear on the terms and conditions before you agree to the loan.
An Absa loan covers SETA and SAQA accredited studies that are three months or longer. Customers are also allowed to apply for a grace period after they have finished studying if they are not yet able to afford the repayment of their loan.
Visit the Absa website for more information
Student loans are granted for a specific year of study and you will have to reapply for each year of registration.You can use the money from your student loan to pay for your tuition fees and accommodation (if you are a full-time student not living at home). The course and institution that you choose for your studies must be accredited by at least one of the following bodies SAQA, SETA; Umalusi; or the Department of Higher Education (DHE)
Visit the Standard Bank website
Your Nedbank student loan will cover costs for tuition fees, accommodation, books and study-related equipment. Nedbank offers competitive interest rates and flexible repayment terms, during and after completion of studies. There are varying options for full time, part-time or postgraduate students.
Visit the Nedbank website
Black Friday Deals doesn’t always wait until your next paycheck, so if you’re in the Black Friday shopping mood using an online payday loan can help you pay for your holiday gifts, a new phone or spoil yourself by changing your bedding facilities.
Black Friday History
Once a year, retailers pull out the stops and offer monster, “door buster” discounts. It’s how stores entice shoppers.
If you shop smart, Black Friday can help you spend less on big holiday gifts.
Read on for tips on how to handle the sales and stretch your holiday loan.
If you need a Black Friday loan, we can try to help you find a lender.
We know that most of these lenders can approve your loan application withing an hour, only if you apply during business hours.
On this page,you can find potential lenders and make sure you get the lender with good rates.
Create Memories with a Personal Loan
Up To R150 000
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Student loans are by far one of the most common ways for college students to pay for their education.
But to help you gain a better understanding of this decision, here are 10 questions you should always ask before taking out a student loan.
1. Do I need a student loan?
Student loans can sometimes get a bad rap. But they are by no means a bad way to pay for college. However, they can be riskier than other alternatives as your future earnings are used as collateral, meaning you’re required to pay them back with your future paychecks.
So to minimize the risk that comes with taking out a student loan, make sure you consider other options as well. For instance, find out if you’re eligible for a Federal Pell Grant. This is financial aid awarded to undergraduate students from the federal government.
Grants are a fantastic option to students as the money doesn’t have to be paid back. If you don’t qualify for the Pell grant, you can check out this list of other grants available to students. And don’t forget to check and see what grants your state is able to offer as well!
Similarly, many foundations and private companies offer scholarships. Don’t shy away from these if you don’t feel like you have the academic achievements to receive them. There are scholarship programs available based on ethnicity, gender, writing level, and more.
Additionally, students can explore the option of working while in school. Try looking around the city or town where you’ll be going to school and see if you can find a job that will be flexible around your class schedule. If you’re having trouble finding a job that you can balance with school, check out your university’s work-study program.
2. How much do I need to borrow?
Unfortunately, many students approach student loans with the wrong question: how much can I get? But it’s important to keep in mind the more you borrow, the longer it will likely take you to pay back.
Instead of thinking about how much you can have, try carefully thinking through how much you need. This amount is going to be different for every individual student and is going to be heavily dependent on things like the costs of your tuition, books, and other school fees. Don’t forget to also factor in your cost of living such as rent, food, and other personal items you’ll need.
Make sure you take some time to carefully figure out exactly what your costs will be over your time in college, so you’re only borrowing what you really need.
3. Should I take out a federal loan or a private loan?
Once you’ve determined that you have a need for a student loan and have figured the exact amount you need, the next step is to figure out which type of student loan is right for you: federal or private.
Federal loans are given to students by the federal government for the exclusive use of paying for college. In order to be eligible for a federal loan, you must be enrolled in an accredited college. You’ll also need to complete the Free Application of Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine how much you qualify for. There are several different types of federal student loans which you can learn about here.
Though federal loans are generally seen as the better option for most students, you may consider exploring what private loan options are available to you. It’s important to note that these loans often come with higher interest rates and sometimes have additional fees. To make this easier, there are several sites that compare the latest rates and fees of private loans in one place, making it easier for you to compare.
4. What’s my credit score?
Perhaps we should start this section off with the question: what’s a credit score? A credit score is a number looked at by banks and lenders to determine how risky it is to lend you money. The higher your credit score, the safer it is for a bank to lend you money.
The good news is that there are loans available for those with good or bad credit scores (and even for those who have no credit score at all). However, it’s important to have a good credit score if you can as it can determine some of the terms of your loan. For instance, someone with a poor credit score is likely to get a higher interest rate and stricter repayment plans.
Finding your credit score is relatively easy, such as checking your credit card statement or using a credit score service like Credit Karma.
5. What’s the interest rate?
An interest rate is an amount you pay to the bank or lender for borrowing money. So it’s money you’ll have to pay back in addition to the original amount you borrow. It’s really important to know what this rate is as it will tell you how much more you’ll need to pay back.
If you’re taking out a federal student loan, your interest rate will depend on the type of loan you take out as well as the date you begin making payments on your loan. You can find out what your interest rate will be here.
If you’re taking out a private loan, your rate will depend on several factors including who the lender is, your credit score, and how long you have to pay the loan back. You’ll need to ask the lender for this number.
Once you find out what your interest rate is, you also need to find out if that rate is fixed or variable. A fixed interest rate will not change. A variable interest rate can change over time, meaning your payment amounts can vary.
Also be sure to ask if your interest rate will change at any point, as this can mean you’ll end up paying more later on.
6. What fees will I be responsible for?
In addition to interest, you may be responsible for paying other fees. It’s important to know what these are, how much they are, and when they are due. It’s also important to keep in mind that these are often separate from interest rates, so don’t confuse the two!
The biggest difference is that, while interest is paid along with loan payments, fees are often paid upfront. The amount of your fees will have an affect on your interest rate. For instance, getting a loan with no fees will often mean a higher interest rate. This can make sense if you’re planning on paying the loan off in a short period of time.
Always be sure to ask about all fees associated with a loan as they may not be totally obvious.
7. What will my monthly payment be?
Once you’ve determined the total amount you’ll be borrowing, how long you have to pay back the loan, and your interest rate, you’ll be able to calculate your monthly payment. There are several loan payment calculators available online that make this really easy.
In general, most lenders allow loans to be paid back over a period of 10-25 years. The shorter the loan term, the higher the monthly payment will be.
You should absolutely figure out what this amount will be before signing off on a loan to ensure the amount is something that you can manage. You also need to be sure and ask when your first payment will be due as this can vary. For instance, many student loans allow a six-month grace period, which means students have six months before they need to begin making monthly payments. This is meant to allow students to have time to find a job and to begin building a savings. However, some loans do not allow for any grace period and require monthly payments begin right away.
8. How are the loan payments disbursed?
You also need to know how you will receive the money you’re borrowing. For the most part, both federal and private loans require that colleges pay out loans at the beginning of each academic term. This is to ensure that students have the funding necessary to pay all required expenses such as tuition and room & board. Many universities will pay the money out directly into your student account, paying off these expenses on your behalf.
But be sure to find out if there are any special disbursement rules that apply to you. For instance, in some cases, first-time undergraduates will be required to wait 30 days before they receive their first payment. Make sure you know if any of these rules apply to you and plan ahead accordingly.
9. What’s required for the application?
Student loans always come with a set of required documents that are needed to complete an application and determine whether or not a student will receive the loan. Be sure to carefully read the list of requirements for each and every loan you apply for as this can vary.
In general, you’ll need to provide information such as:
Social security number
Most recent tax return (or the most recent tax return of your parents if you’re listed as a dependent)
Other records of income (if you have any)
Don’t forget to check and see if a loan requires a co-signer. This is only the case with private student loans and isn’t required for federal loans.
10. What deferment options are available?
Hopefully, if you’ve taken the steps to carefully ensure that you’re only taking out the exact amount of money you need and that your monthly payments are manageable, you’ll have no trouble paying back your loan. Unfortunately, the unexpected can happen, causing you to run into trouble paying back your loans.
It’s important to know before you sign off on a student loan that you understand the deferment options available to you in the instance you’re unable to make payments at some point. Deferment allows you to temporarily postpone monthly loan payments or reduce the amount your payment each month to avoid defaulting on the loan.
Make sure you understand all of the options available to you ahead of time as well as the consequences for deferring a loan.
Student loans are a great way to help college students take the next step in their academic career. However, it’s incredibly important they fully understand their loan and its terms before signing off on it. Asking the right set of questions upfront can help avoid some major headaches down the road.
A. Before applying you should have decided which course you want to study and at which public university/TVET college. You will need to select these choices in the application form.
B. Make sure you have electronic (and certified copies) of the following:
- Your South African identity document/card or, an unabridged birth certificate
- IDs of parents and/or guardian (or death certificate where applicable)
- IDs of each person living with you in your home
- Pay advice/letter of employment/pension advice (not older than three months)
- If you have a disability, please download the Disability Annexure A and fill it in
C. When you provide your cell phone number on the application form, make sure it works and please do not change it afterwards, as NSFAS will use it to communicate with you during and after the application process. Please do not provide someone else’s cell phone number as your contact number.
You will also need an email address. If you do not have an email address, you can easily create a gmail address, by clicking here.
D. You must not apply if:
– You have already applied and have an application reference number
– You are not intending to apply for admission to a public university or TVET college
– You already have NSFAS funding for 2017
– You are not a South African citizen
E. For postgraduate studies, only students who plan to do the following postgraduate qualification may apply:
1. B Tech – Architecture/Architectural Technology
2. B Tech – Biokinetics/Biomedical Technology/Biotechnology
3. Postgraduate Certificate in Education
4. Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting, and
How To Apply
Please download the consent form and fill it in with your parent/gaurdian’s signatures. Applications without a consent form that is signed by all people whose incomes have been declared in the application will not be accepted, and will be considered as incomplete.
Closing Date: 30 November 2017
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has urged students, who received funding, to sign their Loan Agreement Forms (LAFs) to avoid funding retraction.
NSFAS called on 63 558 students, who have not yet signed their LAFs and Schedule of Particulars (SOP), to do so at their respective universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges as soon as possible, or before 31 May 2017.
NSFAS warned that affected students could possibly face retraction of NSFAS funding if they fail to honour their funding obligation, although they are approved for the 2017 funding.
NSFAS spokesperson Kagisho Mamabolo explained that the NSFAS terms and conditions states that the loan amount recorded in the loan agreement will be paid as a credit to the student account with the university, for the academic, residence, student levies and other similar cost of pursuing the course of studies for which the student is registered.
“No loan advance will be made unless the Loan Agreement has been signed. It is our responsibility, as stated in the National Credit Act 34 of 2005, that prior to entering into any credit agreement with a consumer, we must conduct a detailed financial assessment on behalf of the client.
“Now that we have done that, we are appealing to the students to do their part and sign the agreements for their own benefit. No credit agreement can be concluded without the signing of the agreement form and acceptance of the terms and conditions thereof,” said Mamabolo.
Mamabolo added that NSFAS ensures that students understand the risks, costs and obligations created by the financial assistance they are receiving, and therefore, “signing of agreement is compulsory and it is common practice for any institutions that provides financial assistance in South Africa”.
Mamabolo emphasised that NSFAS will not process any tuition payments for students who have not signed their agreements.
“All funded students are obliged to acknowledge that they understand the terms and conditions and the amount of funding stipulate in the LAF/SOP. However, funded students who are eligible for financial assistance will continue to receive funding (automatically) until they complete their studies, provided they achieve the 50% pass mark.”
To sign a LAF/SOP, a student can simply visit the NSFAS website www.nsfas.org.za, click on the SIGN YOUR LAF/SOP Link, and then enter an ID number into the search engine.
The details will appear on the screen. – SAnews.gov.za