A full and fruitful life necessitates a high-quality education. For several, it is the equivalent of graduating from a prestigious university. However, the cost of education is increasingly rising. In reality, the price of attending a reputable university is already very high. Parents who plan their child’s education in advance and want to provide them with the best opportunities possible to invest their money in mutual funds (MFs), fixed deposits (FDs), and unit-linked insurance policies (ULIPs). However, amid all of this, there could be a financial shortfall. In such a situation, an education loan plays a critical role in bridging the gap between the amount in hand and the total amount needed. According to research, education costs are rising at a rate of 15% per year on average. In 15 years, the cost of an MBA is expected to rise from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. So, if a couple saves Rs 2,500 per month for 15 years at a rate of 12%, they would have saved about Rs 12.5 lakhs. Now, you all must have some questions in your mind regarding the intricacies of availing of an education loan. We have tried to answer a few commonly asked questions to enhance your understanding Apply for Education Loans 1. Who can apply for the loan? The primary creditor is a student. A co-applicant may be a parent, partner, or sibling. 2. What is covered by a student loan? It includes the basic course fee and other costs such as (college) housing, exams, and other miscellaneous expenses. 3. To whom is the loan being extended? It is available to students who wish to study in India or further their education outside of the country. The overall sum available for studies in India and abroad differs from one bank to the next. 4. For what courses can the loan be availed? It is available as a full-time, part-time, or vocational course leading to graduation or post-graduation in engineering, management, medical, hotel management, architecture, and other fields. Is it advisable to opt for Education Loans for an Online Degree? Read More 5. What are the eligibility criteria and documentation requirements? To be eligible for the loan, one must be an Indian citizen who has been accepted into a college or university that is recognized by a competent authority in India or abroad. The applicant must have completed his senior high school education. Some banks provide a loan even before a student has been accepted to a university. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines state that there is no upper age limit, but some banks may impose them. Additional documents such as the institution's admission letter, fee structure, and Class X, XII, and graduation (if applicable) mark sheets are required by the banks. The co-income applicant's records, such as salary slips or income-tax returns (ITR), are also needed. 6. Is collateral required for financing the loan? Depending on the number, banks will fund up to 100% of the loan. There is currently no margin money available for loans up to Rs 4 lakh. To study in India, the applicant must contribute 5% of the necessary funds. The needed margin money for international studies, on the other hand, rises to 15%. Banks may also need collateral for loans exceeding Rs 7.5 lakh. For loans up to Rs 4 lakh, financial institutions currently do not need any collateral or third-party guarantee. A third-party guarantee is required for loans between Rs 4 lakh and Rs 7.5 lakh. For loans exceeding Rs 7.5 lakh, a security deposit is required. According to the fee structure, when a loan application is approved, the banks send the funds directly to the college or university. 7. What is the rate of interest charged on the education loan? To set an interest rate, banks use the Marginal Cost of Funds Lending Rate (MCLR) which in India ranges anywhere from 7% to 8% plus a spread (about 1-2.5%). The additional distribution is currently in the 1.35-3 percent range (as of 2017). 8. What is the process of repayment? The individual availing the loan for their education is responsible for repaying the loan. In most cases, repayment begins when the course is completed. Some banks also give you a six-month grace period after you get a job or a year after you finish your studies before you have to pay back your loan. The repayment period is usually between 5 and 7 years, but it may also be extended. The bank charges a basic interest rate on a loan over the repayment period. The student's equated monthly installment (EMI) burden for future repayments is reduced by paying basic interest during the course duration. 9. What precautions should one take while applying? When availing of the loan, one must consider bank fees such as transaction fees, pre-payment fees, late EMI payment fees, and so on. The majority of lenders charge a processing fee of 0.15 percent of the total loan amount. 10. Are there any tax benefits? The interest paid on the repayment is deductible under Section 80E of the Internal Revenue Code. This tax benefit is only available to people who are paying interest on a personal loan. The whole amount of interest charged is deductible from your taxable profits. This deduction can be taken for up to 8 years. There are no tax deductions available for the principal sum. FAQs What is an education loan? An education loan is a type of loan given to students who wish to pursue higher education but fall short of finances. Its primary goal is to help students sponsor their higher education. The eligibility criteria for education loans is simple, it requires students to be above the age of 18 and must have an offer letter. Is collateral required for financing the education loans? There are two types of education loans, one with collateral and the other one without collateral requirements. Depending upon the loan amount, banks may require the applicant to submit collateral as security. Loans below 4-5 lakhs do not require collateral, however, the policy may differ based on the issuing party. What are some precautions one should take before taking an education loan? When availing of the loan, one must consider bank fees such as transaction fees, pre-payment fees, late EMI payment fees, and so on. The majority of lenders charge a processing fee of 0.15 percent of the total loan amount. Conclusion Good education is extremely important in the present dynamic world which not only boosts self-confidence in students but also equips them with skills that in turn help them lead their best lives. Hence, taking a loan might look frightening but in the long run, it definitely pays off provided the student is focused and makes the best of the opportunity. You can fill in a simple form to get started with your education loan application. Also, since an education loan is a person's first loan, it aids in the creation of a good credit score. If you repay the loan on time and without defaults, it will be easier for you to obtain a home loan, car loan, or any type of loan in the future.