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Loans to educate you

12 April 2010

What is the right time to start looking for education loans? Mala Kumar scouts for answers

12 April 2010 When the student is in the final year of school, it is an exciting period for the family. Irrespective of what you score in a board examination, this is the stage when you take a firm step into the world of higher studies. Once you have decided on what you want to study and where, the entrance exams, college applications, and submission deadlines keep you busy. This is also the time when the family should sit together to discuss finances.

When to apply In India, many public sector banks and multinational banks give education loans. Among loans, education loans are a priority in most banks. These are loans for recognised courses within India or abroad, and most banks give upto Rs 20 lakh for oversees education. What is the right time to start looking for loans? This is a tricky question. Some colleges demand a bank statement to show proof of affordability BEFORE they give a provisional admission letter. And most banks that give education loans ask for an I-20 (a US government form that certifies that the learner is eligible for an F-1 visa ) BEFORE they start your loan process.

The earlier you start gathering information about bank loans, the better. While all banks have excellent websites that give a lot of information, there is one big problem - most of them do not have up-to-date information or ask you to register on the site to allow an officer to call you 'within 24 hours'. Also, contact numbers given on the website are sometimes old, discontinued, or unreachable.

There is no point wasting energy by getting irritated by this phenomenon. Just keep trying. Sometimes, things happen on the very first try. For example, this writer called several banks to gather information, but was unsuccessful.

A call to Credila, however, was attended to immediately. ?We are an exclusive education loan provider, and believe in student-friendly service,? said Business Development Manager Krupakumar. ?Once the admission is confirmed, students can apply online, meet an officer, or ask for an officer to meet them at home, to start the loan process. Loans are based on eligibility. We process multi-city, multi-co-borrower applications,? he added. This means that if the student is in Pune, the co-borrowers father and mother in Chennai and Delhi respectively, the organisation would still process the application quickly. Banks give loans depending on the nature of the guarantor, (who may or may not have an account in the bank where the loan is sought,) on the nature of the university where admission has been accepted (the better known the institution, better your chances of getting a loan), and on the nature of the course itself (job-oriented courses like MBA have a better chance of getting you a loan than a Master of Arts, say in Urban Studies).

Keep your papers ready

While you check with friends and relatives who have taken education loans, it is also a good idea to get the following papers ready. You may require most of them, and in such situations more is better than less.Mark sheet of last qualifying examination for school and graduate studies in India.

Proof of admission to the course (an admission letter giving details of year-wise fee, boarding and lodging expenses).

Schedule of expenses for the courseIf you have got a scholarship, then copies of letter confirming scholarship.

At least 2 passport size photographs each of student, applicant, co-borrower.Statement of bank account for the last six months of borrower (on a bank letterhead, duly signed and stamped).

Latest income tax assessment order (should not be more than two years old).

Brief statement of assets and liabilities of borrower.

If you are not an existing bank customer you would also need to establish your identity and give proof of residence (other than the same for the borrower).

Copies of documents for proof of age/date of birth and proof of residential address can now be attested in all Bangalore One centres, if you are a Bangalorean.

Copy of Passport/Visa, cost of air fare (documentary detail) in case of studies abroad.

Says Ritesh Patel, now a software engineer, "My family could just about manage to fund my engineering course, but I insisted on taking a bank loan. Rather than allow my parents to lock their savings in my education, the loan allowed them to plough back their savings into the business, and I could start repaying the low-interest education loan six months after I started earning. Now within three years of completing my degree I have already repaid most of the loan."

Repayment of education loans starts only six months after you take up a job after finishing your course, and most banks give upto seven years to repay the loan. To make sure that your loan application is accepted, you have to make sure that your institution is recognised by the bank, that your papers are in order, and that the borrower?s/guarantor?s credentials are good. The bank may take a week to come and check the property/collateral that has been mentioned in your application. The entire process of getting a loan may take upto a month, though some loans are sanctioned in very quick time.

Good luck with your loan, and your studies.


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