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June 6, 2023

Education Loan Process for Graduates & Professional Students

Education Loan Process for graduate and Professional students

Securing financial support through education loans is a crucial step for graduates and professional students pursuing advanced degrees.

However, the loan process for these students presents unique challenges that require careful navigation.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the intricacies of obtaining education loans specifically tailored to graduates and professional students.

Understanding education loans for graduates and professional students

Education loans are essential financial tools for graduate and professional students pursuing advanced degrees. These loans provide the necessary funds to cover tuition, fees, and living expenses.

Graduate and professional students have specific considerations when it comes to education loans. They typically face higher tuition costs, longer program durations, and specialized career paths. 

Understanding the types of loans available, such as federal loans, private loans, and institutional loans, is crucial. Graduate and professional students should also be aware of the loan repayment options and potential loan forgiveness programs.

By understanding education loans, students can make informed decisions about their financial future.

Preparing for the Loan Process

Preparing for the loan process is crucial for graduate and professional students seeking education loans. Here is a guide:

  • Start by creating a comprehensive financial plan, assessing the total cost of education, including tuition, fees, and living expenses. 
  • Research and compare different loan options, considering factors such as interest rates, repayment terms, and eligibility requirements. 
  • Improve creditworthiness by maintaining a good credit score and addressing any outstanding debts. 
  • Gather all necessary documentation, including tax returns, financial statements, and identification documents. 
  • Finally, seek guidance from financial aid offices or loan counselors to ensure a smooth application process and maximize available financial aid options.

Federal student loans

Federal student loans are a valuable resource for graduate and professional students seeking financial assistance to pursue their advanced degrees.

These loans, provided by the U.S. Department of Education, offer several benefits and protections. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Types of Federal Loans: Graduate and professional students can access two main types of federal loans: Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct PLUS Loans. Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to most students, regardless of financial need, and accrue interest while in school. Direct PLUS Loans require a credit check but can cover expenses beyond the unsubsidized loan amount.

2. Eligibility: Graduate and professional students are generally eligible for federal student loans as long as they are enrolled in an eligible program at least half-time. U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen status is required.

3. Application Process: To apply for federal student loans, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form determines your eligibility for federal aid, including loans. Be sure to submit the FAFSA by the designated deadline.

4. Loan Limits: Graduate and professional students typically have higher loan limits compared to undergraduate students. The specific loan limits depend on the loan type, academic program, and dependency status.

5. Interest Rates and Fees: Federal student loans have fixed interest rates determined by Congress. Interest rates may vary depending on the loan type and disbursement date. Federal loans may also have origination fees, which are deducted from the loan disbursement.


how to choose the best education loans

How to choose the best education loans?


Private education loans 

Private education loans are another option for graduate and professional students seeking additional funding for their advanced education.

Unlike federal loans, private loans are provided by banks, credit unions, or other private lenders. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Eligibility and Application: Private loan eligibility and application requirements vary among lenders. Generally, a good credit score and a co-signer with a strong credit history are beneficial for securing private loans.

2. Interest Rates and Terms: Private loan interest rates are determined by the lender and can be fixed or variable. Terms and repayment options also vary, so it’s important to compare rates, fees, and repayment terms from multiple lenders.

3. Loan Limits: Private loan limits depend on the lender and may vary based on factors like creditworthiness, program of study, and cost of attendance.

4. Considerations: Before choosing a private loan, carefully review the interest rates, repayment terms, and borrower benefits. Be aware that private loans may have fewer repayment options and borrower protections compared to federal loans.

5. Exhaust Federal Options First: It’s generally recommended to exhaust federal loan options before considering private loans due to their typically lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options.

Institutional loans and other financial aid resources

Institutional loans and other financial aid resources are additional avenues for graduate and professional students to secure funding for their education.

Institutional loans are loans offered directly by universities or professional schools. These loans may have unique terms and eligibility criteria, so it’s important to explore options specific to your institution.

Additionally, graduate and professional students should also explore other financial aid resources, such as scholarships, grants, and work-study programs.

These resources can help supplement education costs and reduce reliance on loans. Research and contact your school’s financial aid office to inquire about institutional loans and explore available financial aid opportunities.

Repayment strategies and loan management

Repayment strategies and effective loan management are crucial for graduate and professional students to successfully navigate the repayment phase of their education loans. Here are some strategies to consider:

1. Understand your repayment options: Familiarize yourself with the various repayment plans available, such as Standard Repayment, Graduated Repayment, Extended Repayment, and income-driven plans. Each plan has different terms and monthly payment amounts.

2. Create a budget: Develop a realistic budget that considers your income, living expenses, and loan repayment obligations. Prioritize your loan payments to ensure they are made on time.

3. Explore loan forgiveness programs: Investigate loan forgiveness and repayment assistance programs specific to your field, such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) or income-driven repayment plan forgiveness options. These programs can help reduce your loan burden over time.

4. Communicate with your loan servicer: Stay in touch with your loan servicer to ensure you have accurate information about your loans and to address any questions or concerns you may have.

5. Consider refinancing or consolidation: Explore options for refinancing or consolidating your loans to potentially lower interest rates or simplify repayment by combining multiple loans into a single payment.

6. Stay proactive and responsible: Make your loan payments consistently and on time. If you encounter financial difficulties, contact your loan servicer to discuss potential deferment, forbearance, or alternative repayment options.

Remember, education loans are investments in your future, and with careful planning and responsible management, they can serve as a stepping stone toward your professional goals.

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10 Benefits of Studying in Canada!

10 Benefits of Studying in Canada!

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11 reasons to study in Australia

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4 essential tips on investing in your child's education

4 essential tips on investing in your child's education

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4 Reasons why you should have an EduFund

4 Reasons why you should have an EduFund

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4 W’s of Balanced Advantage Funds

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5 financial things to consider before child planning.

Both life and wallet will never be the same once you decide to have a baby. No event in your life will signify financial change quite the way this one does, from the first prenatal appointment to the day of college graduation (and beyond). 5 financial things to consider before child planning 1. Create a budget Before you start child planning, you need to have a budget in place. You and your partner may need to create a realistic budget based on your expenses and your streams of income. Once you know how much you can afford to spend, you will be able to tackle the costs easily. A new child is a new family member that needs space! So if you need extra space once the baby is born, figure out what kind of home you can afford, whether it's a slightly larger apartment, a warm cottage, or a pricey house. Will you want the latest baby things or your sister’s passed-on ones? Think about what sort of child care would you require and get candid with your expenses before you start making any purchases. Money Management Tips for Homemakers Read More 2. Costs associated with birth As new parents, you need prenatal vitamins, alternative therapies, labor and delivery alternatives, and screening tests. Give yourself enough time to change or upgrade insurance plans should you need more comprehensive coverage. Good health insurance is vital in this economy. Hospital bills, medical fees, and maternity costs can be high. According to estimates from the industry, a straightforward delivery could cost between Rs 50,000 and Rs 70,000, but a private specialty hospital could charge up to Rs 2-3 lakh. A cesarean delivery could result in a cost rise of up to Rs 4-5 lakh. Before having a kid, you should make financial arrangements for the costs associated with the delivery and child care. 3. Consider maternity leave The vast majority of Indian employees are not entitled to paid family leave. If the mother is employed, you might need to think about taking a lengthier (unpaid) maternity leave or a sabbatical for a year or two. This can be a huge financial loss for families that rely on both streams of income. Paid parental leave is not always an option. Find out if your workplace offers paid leave for new parents and if there are any policies in your favor that you can utilize. Determine the number of weeks covered and the proportion of your salary that is used. Do you have to use your sick and vacation days first? If you don't have access to paid time off or you're going to take more unpaid time off, you might want to cut costs or rely on your savings. 4. Purchase life and health insurance You'll want your child to be stable financially if something were to happen to you or your partner. A life insurance policy can assist in paying for things like child care, housekeeping, cooking, and more. Purchasing maternity insurance is the first action you can take to cover maternity costs. When purchasing health insurance, (even for a couple), it is important to confirm that the policy includes coverage for maternity costs and, if applicable, any applicable waiting periods. Additionally, by paying a larger rate, you might add pregnancy coverage to a current insurance policy. Buying health insurance is most important when considering having a child. Get your health covered in your plan so that you are not financially burdened in case of a health emergency. 5. Plan for the child’s education Just like the prices of lemons and oranges are growing, the cost of education is skyrocketing. Saving for your child’s college is a necessity. When it comes to saving money for college, time and compound interest are your best friends. Even while inflation is an unavoidable fact, keep in mind that education inflation is far higher. Utilizing the force of compounding is one approach to combat this, but it will only be effective if you have a long-term strategy in place. You indeed have no idea what career path your child will take, but you still need to put aside a portion of capital that can be utilized when the time comes. Right now, you need to think about the type of education you would like to offer because the practical costs of studying engineering in India vs. the US would be very different. From giving birth to seeing them off to college, watching your child grow and thrive is every parent’s dream! So give those dreams wings by planning ahead and investing for their bright future!  TALK TO AN EXPERT
5 investment plans every parent should have

5 investment plans every parent should have

As parents, we have a profound responsibility to ensure a bright and secure future for our children. While providing love, care, and education are crucial aspects, financial planning plays a pivotal role in setting the stage for their success. Investing wisely is key to securing their future aspirations and safeguarding against unforeseen circumstances. Let's explore five essential investment plans that every parent should consider, ranging from mutual funds and US ETFs to US stocks and insurance. So, we will dive in and discover the strategies that can pave the way for your child's financial well-being. Education Fund: The Power of Mutual Funds One of the most crucial investments you can make as a parent is in your children's education. Start by setting up an education fund that specifically caters to their academic pursuits. Consider tax-efficient options like a 529 plan, which allows you to invest in a variety of mutual funds, ensuring growth potential while enjoying tax benefits. Platforms like EduFund (www.edufund.in) offer valuable guidance and tools to help you plan and manage your child's education fund effectively. investment plans US ETFs: Diversification Made Easy 1. Exchange Traded Funds Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) have gained significant popularity in recent years due to their flexibility and global exposure. Just like mutual funds, ETFs represent a basket of securities, including stocks, bonds, commodities, or a combination thereof. However, unlike mutual funds, ETFs are traded on stock exchanges throughout the trading day at market prices. ETFs offer several benefits, including transparency, liquidity, and cost-effectiveness. Parents can buy and sell ETFs at any time during market hours, allowing for more flexibility in managing their investments. Additionally, ETFs disclose their holdings daily, ensuring transparency in the investment portfolio. With generally lower expense ratios compared to mutual funds, ETFs offer a cost-effective investment option for parents. 2. USA Stocks For parents who are comfortable with taking on more active roles in their investment journey, investing in individual stocks can be an exciting avenue. Owning shares of well-established companies can offer substantial returns over time. While investing in individual stocks requires careful research and monitoring, it can provide the potential for higher growth compared to mutual funds or ETFs. EduFund's resources can assist you in understanding stock investing basics and identifying companies with strong fundamentals. To mitigate risk, parents can consider diversifying their stock portfolios across different sectors and industries. This diversification helps reduce the impact of a single stock's performance on the overall portfolio. In addition, parents should adopt a long-term investment mindset and focus on the fundamentals of the companies they invest in rather than short-term market fluctuations. Investment Tips for Dad's in India Read More Insurance - Protecting Your Family's Future Insurance is a pivotal component of any comprehensive financial plan, especially for parents. Life insurance provides financial protection to your family in the event of your untimely demise. It ensures that your children's education, living expenses, and future aspirations are secure, even in your absence. Term life insurance offers coverage for a specified period, providing a higher coverage amount at an affordable premium. Additionally, health insurance safeguards against unexpected medical expenses, offering peace of mind during uncertain times. By securing adequate insurance coverage, parents can safeguard their family's financial well-being and ensure a secure future. Investment Tips for Mom's in India Read More Mutual Funds - Diversify and Grow Your Wealth Mutual funds are an excellent choice for parents seeking diversification in their investment portfolios. These funds pool money from several investors to invest in a variety of asset classes, including stocks, bonds, and money market instruments. Managed by professional fund managers, mutual funds allow parents to benefit from their expertise and experience in making investment decisions. By spreading investments across different sectors and markets, mutual funds help reduce the risk associated with investing in individual stocks. Parents can choose from many types of mutual funds on the basis of their risk appetite and financial goals. For those seeking stability, bond funds can offer a regular income with lower volatility. On the other hand, equity funds offer an opportunity for capital appreciation through investments in stocks. Balanced funds offer a blend of both equity and bond investments, providing a balanced risk-return profile. By investing in mutual funds, parents can access professional investment management and enjoy the benefits of diversification. You can lay a strong foundation for your family's future by incorporating these investment plans into your financial strategy. Remember that investment decisions should align with your risk tolerance, financial goals, and time horizon. It's always suggested as advice to seek guidance from financial advisors who can provide personalized advice based on your specific circumstances. Conclusion  Investing wisely is an integral part of parental responsibility. By incorporating these five investment plans into your financial strategy, you can take proactive steps toward securing your child's future while also protecting your own financial well-being. Remember to conduct thorough research, seek professional advice, and regularly review your investment portfolio to adapt to changing circumstances. By combining long-term vision with disciplined investment practices, you can build a strong financial foundation for your children, allowing them to chase their dreams with confidence. Start planning today and pave the way for a prosperous future for your family. Consult an Expert Advisor
5 Reasons why Global Education is the Best for Indian Students

5 Reasons why Global Education is the Best for Indian Students

It is universally acknowledged that education is a very powerful weapon. Education can transform an individual and colleges can broaden a child’s horizon. Every child deserves to receive a quality education. There are various reasons why global education is the best for Indian students. ‍From our experiences, we know that when a student receives a world-class education, it helps them become their best version – professionally and personally. Pursuing higher education outside of India seems to be promising in more ways than one. In this blog, we will talk about how studying abroad can affect your life for the better. Let's get started. 5 Reasons why Global Education is the best for Indian Students When you think about it, there are innumerable ways in which a global education can benefit an Indian student. In this article, we will talk about the 5 major ones. Let's get started. 1. Changes Your Life, for Good! International exposure to study at a foreign university and the experience of living in a new country can be life-changing! The combined power of both results in gaining practical knowledge that can help you in life immensely. Living alone in a foreign country can be daunting in the beginning, but it teaches you an immense number of values, and ethics, and not to mention, you become a pro chef! You learn what is not written in the textbooks. Such experiences also shape your personality and groom you as a responsible professional. 2. Holistic And not just Academic Development The Indian education system offers academic rigor. However, there still is room for improvement and development. The cut-offs in premier Indian colleges soar to touch the sky. But whether these colleges provide excellent holistic development is still a big question mark. Regardless of the foreign country you prefer to study in, most global universities focus on not just academics, but also professional qualifications, leadership, and personal development. Foreign programs have gained popularity because the faculty is invested in a student's all-around growth. 3. Opens closed doors Whether it is studying for a master's abroad or a Ph.D. – Foreign universities offer what you commonly don’t find in India. An array of courses across all fields and subjects like - Artificial Intelligence and Data Security or Criminology, and Media Relations. You name it and they have it. As per reports released by the USIEF, in 2019, Indians studying in the U.S. made up 17% of the international student population there. If you want to take the road less traveled or pursue a career in a highly specialized niche, global education opens closed doors. 4. Brighter Career Prospects ‍Indian students who have received good foreign education have an edge over others. You wonder why? Recruiters view international experience as an asset. It is reflective of many things like your skills to compete in a global setting and your ability to adapt to diverse cultures. Global education helps you hone your skills and grow exponentially. ‍After completing their degree, outstanding students can bag an international job as well. 5. Diversity They appreciate unique students. Many top-notch B-schools and other universities seek to promote diversity and inclusion. This means that the admissions team deliberately tries to encourage people from different walks of life to join the classroom. Highly reputed universities welcome meritorious international students. Some even try to strike a balance in their gender ratio thereby including talented girls and giving them an equal chance to fly. As the saying goes- "Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life!" Take the first step towards a brighter future. And, live the life of your dreams! FAQs Why is global learning important for students?   International exposure gained while studying at a foreign university and the experience of living in a new country can be life-changing! The combined power of both results in gaining practical knowledge that can help you immensely in life.  What is the value of global learning?   ‍Indian students who have received good foreign education have the edge over others. You wonder why? Recruiters view the international experience as an asset. It is reflective of many things like your skills to compete in a global setting and your ability to adapt to diverse cultures. International education helps you hone your skills and grow exponentially.  Why foreign education is better than Indian education?   They appreciate unique students. Many top-notch B-schools and other universities seek to promote diversity and inclusion. This means that the admissions team deliberately encourages people from different walks of life to join the classroom. Highly reputed universities welcome deserving international students.    Why do Indians prefer foreign education?   Indian students prefer foreign education because of many factors. Studying at an international university will give students great exposure in terms of meeting people from different cultures and countries. It will also create excellent employment opportunities abroad. Having studied at a foreign university will add value to a student’s resume.   Conclusion These are some of the major reasons why global education molds an individual for the better. In reality, there are many more points that one can consider. Whether it is the quality of education- or the experiences one attains, education abroad is a stepping stone toward untapped opportunities. We know many of us are now thinking, "What about the funds required to study abroad?". Well, saving up for higher education is not as hard as you think.
5 reasons why SIP is the best investment choice?

5 reasons why SIP is the best investment choice?

A systematic investment plan or SIP is the best plan that helps you invest in mutual funds on a regular basis.  You can choose to invest weekly, monthly or even quarterly – the most popular choice being monthly. There are multiple reasons why SIPs are the best way to grow your money especially when you have a goal to plan – e.g. your child’s education. SIPs can be bought easily and you can start with a very low amount - Rs. 500 per month. In this blog, we will talk about the ‘Big 5 advantages’ that SIPs offer to you as a parent. But before that, let's understand what a SIP is What is SIP? A SIP or systematic investment plan is an investment mode through which an investor can create a regular mechanism of investment for themselves. Let's take the example of investor X. Investor X wishes to invest Rs. 10,000 every month in a mutual fund. In this case, investor X can create a SIP for a fund they want to invest in and the money will be deducted every month automatically (the deduction can be weekly, monthly, or even quarterly, depending on the investor's choice). Think of it as a recurring deposit, with better returns. Now that we know what a SIP is, let's get to know why investing via SIP is the best choice you can make to enlarge your corpus. CALCULATE MONTHLY SIP 5 Reasons SIP is the best These are the 5 main reasons why you should invest via a systematic investment plan to reach your financial goals 1. Suitable for Long-Term Investment Any financial advisor will tell you that if you want to invest long-term, SIP is the way to go. The reason is simple, regular investing and automatic deductions keep investors motivated to stay invested and reach their investment goals quicker. During the 2008 financial recession, many people withdrew money from mutual funds. However, the ones that remained invested via SIP, attained a huge profit once the markets rose. Long-term investing makes sure that even if the market is down at the moment, once the markets rise, the investor will make profits. 2. Goal-planning ‍SIPs are good tools to plan for a future goal – to buy a 4-wheeler or to pay for college tuition fees maybe 10-15 years from now. When you determine the amount required to achieve your goal, you will know how much you should invest and how long it will take to reach your goal. This will help in planning effectively. Having financial goals is very important to creating a financially secure future. One must have a defined idea about what financial goal one wants to reach by the age of 30, 40, 50, and so on. 3. Effect of Compounding Compounding is one of the biggest advantages of a SIP. Over time your investments grow because you start earning returns not on your principal amount, but on the interest that keeps getting added to it. Let's take an example. Suppose you invest Rs.1,000 in a mutual fund that gives you a yearly return of 10% p.a. Your amount becomes 1,100. at the end of the first year. At the end of the second year, the rate of return is 11%, this time the returns will be calculated on Rs. 1,100 and not the principal amount, which is, Rs. 1,000. ‍This ensures the growth of your corpus and is one of the reasons why experts advise you to not withdraw your investments when the market is down. 4. Curated by Experts With the increasing number of fund types like equity, debt, mixed, gold-based, etc. there is a wide variety to choose from based on your risk appetite and preferred investment duration. This has led to customized offerings based on individual needs, supervised by experts in the SIP domain. All you need is to specify your goal and timeline and you are provided with the best possible funds that can meet your future goals. ‍SIPs have become popular over the past few years, because of the ease of investing and the flexibility provided in terms of the amount of money that can be invested. You can stay invested as long as you want, although average returns have been higher when invested in the long term. Research also shows that the returns offered by SIPs are more than recurring deposits in banks, in the long term. 5. Automates Your Investment Experience SIPs automate your investment experience, which makes you a regular investor. It is easy and convenient and because of the online surge, today, it is super easy to invest via SIP. If you choose the lump sum method, you will have to manually invest an amount and there may be times when you can miss an installment. ‍With automated installments and a streamlined process, investing via SIP has now become an extremely popular method, to reach long-term goals like saving up for your child's education. FAQs Why is SIP investment good? By investing through SIPs, you will do away with the burden of timing the market as you could then avail the benefit of Rupee Cost Averaging. By investing through SIP, you will tend to invest in the up and down markets. This helps you shy away from the volatility of the market. Additionally, you will benefit from the power of compounding, which fundamentally generates returns not only on capital but also on returns. Is SIP good for students? Investing in SIP can be a huge benefit for students. It cultivates a healthy investment habit, and they can invest a small amount to start their journey. SIP is best for beginners and a comparatively safe investment vehicle. What are the features of SIP? A SIP offers the following features: It is best for long-term investment, brings financial discipline, allows small investment amounts, benefits from the power of compounding, and is a comparatively safer investment tool. Why do people prefer SIP? A systematic investment plan helps bring discipline to an individual’s investment habits. A SIP will automatically deduct a pre-decided amount periodically. Investors also do not need to worry about timing the market while investing via SIP. It is one of the best investment vehicles for beginners. Consult an expert advisor to get the right plan TALK TO AN EXPERT
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