By Mayank Sharma, Country Head India, Prodigy Finance
Studying abroad has always been an ambition for students across the country. With international universities offering hands-on learning, global exposure and state-of-the-art facilities, students have always strived to join the global workforce.
However, preparing for study abroad can be hectic for students, due to application processes, deadlines and regulations. When planning to study abroad, financial planning is critical for students. There are various aspects such as loans, grants or other aids that help students finance their studies. Therefore, students should strategically choose a financial partner that helps them with easy access to loans, scholarships and also allows flexible repayment of those loans.
Here is a checklist for students to choose their right financial partner:
Each country has its own regulations and structure when it comes to international student loans. For example, some countries do not accept loans from NBFCs and some countries prefer secured education loans. The role of a financial guide here is to educate students about types of loans that are accepted in different countries and ultimately enable them to make the right choice based on their finances.
Financial partners should also ensure that they guide students through the type of university the students apply to. The choice of university also plays a role in financial planning; the fees, return on investment, and cost of living also add to the student experience.
Provision of different types of loans
Students should look for financial partners that provide both secured and unsecured loans so that students can opt for loans even without collateral or any guarantor. A partner that helps students optimize payment methods by engaging directly with the university, enabling a seamless experience for students, would be ideal.
Another important aspect that students should look at is interest rates. The interest is one of the factors that determine the repayment. Students should always be clear about interest rates, loan terms and monthly payments. This allows them to better map out their financial plan. In addition, students should avoid the lenders that charge extra for their maintenance.
Access to scholarships and grants
Since most scholarships are merit-based, it becomes important for students to seek out consultants beyond limited funding and grants. An easy way to fully reap the benefits of a resource is to apply for multiple grants. While scholarships are hard to come by and scholarships are sometimes limited to only a few countries and top universities, students must seek avenues through financial partners that will help them access unlimited options in terms of loans, choice of universities, etc.
Method of refund:
Students should have the flexibility when it comes to repayment of the loan. Students should assess their options as to what will happen if they default, can they be refunded while studying, and should be aware of all other policies. This allows students to better plan their financial journey.
Duration of refund
Diverse financial partners offer different loan repayment terms. It is important that students do thorough research to find partners who want to extend the repayment to a maximum number of years.
The burden of paying back a loan right after graduation can seem overwhelming. There are several things a student navigates after completing the degree. Therefore, students should carefully evaluate their decision when choosing a financial partner. The financial partner must be approachable and reachable at all times and be able to support the student where necessary.