- Date : 12/11/2018
- Read: 3 mins
Follow these simple tips to help you manage your student loan wisely and repay it with minimum stress
Quality education is considered a necessity today in the life of every individual. It plays a huge role in developing the personality of an individual and also develops a broader perspective to life in general. But higher education in India and abroad is getting expensive by the day. As a result, a lot of students tend to take an education loan to meet their financial needs.
Applying for a master’s program abroad involves very high tuition fees, so it makes sense to apply for a student loan. However, this would require you to pay a huge amount as interest on the same. The monthly installment will be a drain on your finances and you will have to adjust your budget for each month until the entire loan amount is repaid.
Before you take a student loan, you need to look at alternatives that can help you avoid debt:
Merit-based scholarships are awarded on a number of criteria, including academics, hobbies, achievements, and talents. They are offered by the central and state governments, professional organisations, local businesses, large corporations, and universities. The criteria for different scholarships could vary. There are special scholarship offers for different degrees. Sports scholarships are also offered by different universities. It’s not enough to be good at sports; they may also look at things like community service. Scholarships are similar to fellowships and you need to check the criteria before you apply for one.
2. Fee waivers
Fee waivers can be a great help if you qualify for the same. It allows you to pay a much lower fee for a particular course, and the qualifying criteria are set by each individual university. They are not for everyone; applicants must consider whether they qualify for a fee waiver. Based on your family income and your current financial health, your request will be processed. The college will approve it if you have an official’s signature on the application. It is basically done on the honour system. A fee waiver rarely covers the tuition fees in full; you will have to make arrangements for the balance amount.
Many universities offer grants. These are also known as ‘gift aid’ because they do not have to be repaid. They are money-free and merit-based. In some countries they are need-based as well. Grants are based on the financial circumstances of the applicant, but they also take other factors into consideration. The amount of grant can vary from one university to another, and also across different degree courses. A grant could be an ideal choice for applicants with a limited annual income.
Before you consider applying for an education loan, check if you qualify for any of the alternatives mentioned here. If you do, you will be able to save a substantial amount of money that you would otherwise have to pay in the form of interest on the loan. But remember to study the qualifying criteria before you make an application for a fee waiver or scholarship.