Are you considering taking out a student loan in order to further your studies at varisty? If so, stop for a moment and do your research about loans. Here are the top five things that most students wish they had known before accepting such a significant amount of debt in their name.
It is important to compare interest rates
The higher the interest rate, the more you will end up paying overtime. Take the opportunity to carefully compare the options available to you and to find the lowest possible interest rate based on your personal profile.
You will (usually) need to provide surety
In order for most financial institutions to grant you a student loan, you will need to provide surety in the form of another person who steps up to accept full responsibility for your debt should you be unable to repay it as outlined in your contract. Speak to a family member or someone who you trust long before you even start looking for loans.
You need to live frugally
Never forget the fact that you have a debt to repay, even when you are still studying. Take every opportunity to conserve those pennies and brainstorm ways in which to stick to your budget. If you are creative enough, you will be surprised to discover just how far you can stretch your money from month to month!
A Student loan isn’t the only option
You might have been led to believe that student loans are the only way to finance your tertiary education if you cannot afford to pay your fees upfront. This isn’t the case. For example, if your marks are good enough, you could apply for scholarships or bursaries. You could also apply for a loan from The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). In this instance, surety isn’t a requirement and interest rates are much lower than those offered by private providers.
How much will you be repaying every month
Do your math before signing on the dotted line. Exactly how much will you need to pay back to your loan provider every month following your graduation? How much are you likely to earn after landing your first job? Is this repayment figure manageable and realistic? How long are you going to be paying it before you settle your debt? These are all important questions to confront before taking the plunge.
There is no denying that a student loan has the power to open doors and help you to realise your dreams. However, it is vital that you know precisely what you are getting into ahead of taking action. Good luck!