Despite the #feesmustfall movement, South Africans, particularly in middle- to upper-income households, have to pay for their own or their child’s tertiary education. In the case of a university degree, you are looking at a minimum cost of R25 000 a year for full-time study, and that only includes tuition fees.
Obtaining a student loan is one of the various options to fund your or your child’s education. A positive benefit to keep in mind is that an educational loan can typically attract lower interest charges than other unsecured loans.
In addition, people who have a tertiary education tend to earn more over their working lives than those without one. With the long-term pay-off likely to outweigh any short-term financial plan, taking out a loan to study is still a better option than foregoing those studies.
So what are your options?
There are two avenues open to prospective students in South Africa who need access to money for their education: the government-backed National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and a loan such as the Iemas GradUcare educational loan.
The NSFAS programme is aimed at students from disadvantaged backgrounds and low-income families. It provides loans for study at any of the 25 public universities and technical vocational education and training (TVET) colleges in South Africa. The NSFS will disburse R37b to almost 500 000 students at Universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges during 2017. However, this is not enough, as the top reason for the high university dropout rate (45%) of first-year learners has been noted as the lack of adequate funding.
Therefore, most prospective students would have to opt for a retail student loan.
The Iemas GradUcare educational loan offers the following features and benefits:
• Guaranteed affordable interest rate*
• Loan amount depends on individual affordability criteria
• Repayment period of up to 24 months
• Loan amount can be used for tuition fees, books and campus accommodation
• As an Iemas member, you will share in the annual benefit payment based on interest paid throughout the year which reduces your effective interest rate
*Subject to approval, the interest rate may vary from prime minus 1% to prime plus 3%
How do you apply?
Iemas offers various channels through which you can apply for an educational loan:
• Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
• SMS ‘GradUcare’ to 32297 (SMS cost R1)
• Visit our website www.iemas.co.za
• Call Iemas on 0861 043 627
• Visit your nearest Iemas branch
Read other related blog articles here: Iemas offers affordable financing solutions to assist matric graduates in building a bright future
*Sources: Adapted from IOL Personal Finance / 23 May 2017, 2:08PM / Martin Hesse; http://www.nsfas.org.za/content/news.html