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A LOAN IN THE DARK!

Sastudy sheds some light on getting a student loan…

So, you’ve decided what you want to study and where…no small feat. Smug that you’re a relative rarity, a young person who knows where they’re going and how they’re getting there, you announce to your parents that its time to crack open that university nest egg they’ve been incubating all these years. Uncomfortable silence, and a furtive glance at the photograph of themselves drinking pina colada’s aboard some relative of the QE 2, brings with it the sinking realization that that ships already sailed…leaving you stranded. Or not. Take a page out of the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and DON’T PANIC, the universe has made provisions for those in your position…the student loan.

At this point in your life it’s likely that your “financial decision making” has been confined to deciding whether you want the Power Puff girls or a member of the big five to adorn your card. So the mention of competitive interest rates and flexible repayment terms might produce something more akin to flight than fight.

The good news is you need not bother with either. Bank décor alone should provide more than enough reassurance that these institutes have been around for a while and have aided thousands of students in your position. Having had my hopes of a hidden trust fund dashed when my 18th birthday yielded nothing more than a Woolworths voucher and an offer to take me and a couple of friends to the local Spur, I’m in the position to offer a few pearls of wisdom.

Firstly, if you only have one file during your varsity career make it a finance file. Lecture notes can always be begged for borrowed or stolen whereas bank statements…not so much. All banks have slight variations on what they require upon application but here follows a list which ensures even the most hardened loan officer will be impressed with your preparation.

Proof of registration at an educational institute.
Your id book (As well as one or two copies)
A parent or gaurdian to sign surety
The above persons id book (plus copies)
Your latest examination results
Proof od residence (eg. utility bill)
3 months surety’s bank statement and his/her payslip
Proof of cost to be incured (eg. fees, accommodation, and books.)

When deciding on which bank to pin your academic hopes and dreams, on it’s really a case of which one suits you best. Look for a bank that offers competitive interest rates and offers loan options structured to your method of study. Unless there’s an overwhelming amount of bank logo’d envelopes decorated with bright red “URGENT” lying about the house, it’s also often a good idea to start with your parents bank as that is where they have a credit history.

And so concludes my rough guide to getting a student loan. To quote a famous Chinese proverb (or perhaps something Mr Miaggi said to Daniel son) “Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.” So it’s all up to you, prepare the file, put on a smile and knock on the bank managers door.



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