Study Loans

Study in Ireland

Study Abroad In Ireland: The Destination You Might Be Missing Out On​

Study Abroad In Ireland: The Destination You Might Be Missing Out On

Study in Ireland

What comes to your mind when you hear Ireland? Probably, whiskey or a bit of luck or the magnificent views of the Emerald Isle. Apart from its wonderful culture, Ireland study is also home to top-ranking universities that attract many international students each year. There are reasons galore as to why so many want to study in Ireland.

The country boasts of quality education with excellent infrastructure. As the only English speaking country in the EU, Ireland is fast becoming an exciting destination for international students looking for a world-class education that does not come at a premium.

Even before Ireland and India were independent states, there were close ties between the two nations in education and literature. Irish poet W.B. Yeats was a supporter of Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore and even wrote the preface to Tagore’s masterpiece ‘Gitanjali’. Both Yeats and Tagore were also awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. 

The Indian community is expanding in Ireland with Indian students contributing immensely to the Irish economy with their contributions in specialised fields such as ICT (Information and Communications Technology), pharma, finance, healthcare and education.

Here are the 5 reasons why you should study in Ireland.

1. Top Ranked Universities

Several top universities are located in Ireland. Here are the top-ranked institutions for STEM programs to study in Ireland based on GradRight’s findings:

  1. Trinity College Dublin
  2. University College Dublin
  3. National University of Ireland, Galway
  4. University College Cork
  5. Dublin City University
  6. University of Limerick
  7. Maynooth University
And if you’re worried about the cost of living in these famous cities, this infographic should help you differentiate:
The cost of living in different Ireland cities; Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway

A fun fact: The library at Trinity College has a copy of every book printed in Britain and Ireland! 

The library is entitled – due to its status as a legal deposit library – to at least one copy of every publication, free of charge, that is published in Ireland.

2. Home To Leading Global MNCs

Ireland is the home to leading global MNCs like HP, Pfizer, Apple and Microsoft

Major global companies in the field of ICT, life sciences and pharma have their European and the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) headquarters in Ireland, providing a huge advantage for students studying in these fields. Dublin is now among Europe’s leading centres for financial services, an added attraction for Management students. 

Additionally, Ireland has one of the youngest populations in Europe and a dynamic culture of innovation.

Fun fact: The country’s progressive Tax-exemption policies encouraged a range of international businesses like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Dell, HP, Pfizer, among others to set up headquarters in Ireland. This ensures plenty of post-degree options in Ireland for international students. After you complete your study in Ireland, you might end up with a job from a top MNC.

Isn’t this enough to convince you to study abroad in Ireland? We have 3 more reasons for you.

3. Funding Options For Study In Ireland

Top lenders funding for Ireland: Incred, Auxilo, Credila, Avanse

Students going to study in Ireland have access to multiple funding options including Education loans from NBFCs and generous scholarships. Top lenders for the country are HDFC Credila, Auxilo, Incred and Avanse.

4. Work Opportunities

The Irish government has made a concession for international students that will allow them to access post-study work opportunities in the country, even if they have been studying remotely in semester two. 

Survey Results of CEIC reflect that the labour productivity of Ireland saw a sharp increase to 9.64 % (YoY) in September 2020 in comparison to the growth of 0.15% in the last quarter. This hints towards better salaries and improved working conditions for job seekers in the future.

As per the reports of the Labour Force Survey, Ireland’s unemployment rate stood constant at 7.30% in October 2020 with nearly 2,295,200 available job positions for people over the age of 15. The country is expected to show similar results by 2025 with major growth in sectors like Technology, Pharmaceuticals, Finance, among others.

5. Two-Year Post-study Work Option

International candidates enrolled in MS in Ireland have the option to stay in Ireland for up to 2 years during which they can find employment in the country.

This opportunity is a huge attraction for students planning to start their careers in Ireland post completion of their degrees.

There’s a saying, “If you’re lucky enough to be Irish….you’re lucky enough.”

And at GradRight, we have a different spin on this. If you’re lucky enough to study in Ireland, well, you’re close enough.

Close to 2600 students travel every year to Ireland for their higher education. 120 students have registered for their education funding on the GradRight platform already. Sign up on our platform and choose the best education loan offer for you from 20+ lenders to kickstart your Irish journey. 

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Study in Italy

Study in Italy: 7 Reasons Why. (Besides Football)​

Study in Italy: 7 Reasons Why(Besides Football)

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, UEFA Euro Cup 2020 Logo and Pizza Slice are culture markers of this beautiful European nation, Italy.

LL’Italia vince l’Euro Cup 2021!

Didn’t get that? It translates to, ‘Italy wins the Euro Cup 2021’. The recent win has once again brought the European nation to the forefront. But why should you study in Italy? Celebrating goals and victories? Finally having a slice of the “original pizza”? Not exactly.

Italy is beyond football and pizza. Home of the Roman Empire, Bel paese (Italy) has many historically significant sites like Saint Mark’s Basilica, Herculaneum and Santa Maria Delle Grazie and The Last Supper. And it’s not just monuments, the Italians have contributed in different ways to the world like Niccolò Machiavelli, Dante Alighieri, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci just to name a few.

The culture is one of the best. But what about education? Let’s find out.

1. A Hub of Top-Ranked Institutions

Several of Italy’s institutions are among the top-ranked universities in Europe. Here are the top 5 Universities for STEM Programs in Italy based on GradRight’s findings:

  1. Politecnico di Milano 
  2. University of Bologna
  3. SDA Bocconi
  4. Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
  5. Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies

2. An Affordable Destination

Italy is one of the most affordable countries in Europe to study abroad and that goes for tuition fees and living costs as well. Here are a few stats about the costs in Italy:

  • Average tuition for all degree types: €500 to €4,000 per year (44,000 – 3,50,000 INR).
  • Average living expenses: €900 and €1,300 a month to cover rent, food, transportation, entertainment etc (80,000 – 1,15,000 INR).
  • Most expensive cities: Rome, Milan and Bologna
  • Cheaper cities: Pisa, Padua, or Turin

3. You can study in Italy in English.

Italy is also an excellent choice for international study for English speakers thanks to the advantage of English language coursework. 

Cities like Florence, Rome, and Siena are known for universities that offer extensive English-language programming. 

4. Beyond Fashion and Design

Italy lays claim to many of the world’s most famous fashion and design brands and so it’s completely understandable to think of Italy when we think of arts, fashion, design and culture. But Italy’s higher education space has been growing rapidly in other major fields like STEM, Environment and Earth Science that focus more on innovation and research.

5. Scholarships to Study in Italy

Scholarship funding is available both through the government and individual universities. Here are some of the scholarships Indian students can avail of:

  1. Scuola Normale Superiore PhD Scholarships
  2. Bologna University Study Grants for International Students
  3. Bocconi Merit and International Awards
  4. Politecnico di Milano Merit-Based Scholarships for International Students
  5. Italian Government Scholarship Program for Foreign Students

6. A Focus on Health

Italy provides a comprehensive health care program for all its citizens. Italians also rank lower than average in health problems and illness, and higher than average in life expectancy. Easy access to affordable health care is a principal reason more students want to study in Italy.

7. Easy Connectivity

Almost every big city in Italy is connected to European and non-European countries with 87 airports. All the bigger Italian cities are interconnected with 77 railway stations and so traveling by rail is also possible. Easy travel and cheap accommodation makes life easy for those who wish to study in Italy.

Italian Opera Composer Giuseppe Verdi once said, “You may have the universe if I may have Italy.” Not just an amazing place to visit, Italy is also a phenomenal destination for something else: international studies.

Sign up on our platform and choose the best education loan offer for you from 20+ lenders to give wings to your dream to study in Italy. 

                                                      ‘Inizia un bellissimo viaggio’

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How Online Lending is Revolutionizing Education Loans

How Online Lending is Revolutionizing Education Loans

Person with multiple loan offers

A few decades back, if you’d ask someone if the education loan industry would change in a major way, you’d get a lot of resounding no’s. For years, the education loan market was thought to be immune to structural changes, as a result of it’s niche focus. But rapid digitalization has helped create a new and exciting space for online education loans recently.

Online education loans were already a novel and game-changing introduction to the online lending space. However, ever since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pace at which this space had been growing has accelerated rapidly. In an effort to avoid possible infection, many borrowers who relied on traditional lending are turning to online options because of their convenience. Online education loans have truly opened up doors of opportunity for a huge chunk of the tech savvy, 37 million strong Indian student population which enrolls in college each year. 

A Better Way to Borrow

In recent years, online education loans have challenged and changed the education loan market in extremely positive ways. Previously, banks and NBFCs had pretty inflexible guidelines that worked against students who required certain types of loans. Not only did this hurt business, but it also impacted most student’s ability to attain favorable study outcomes. 

Another couple of things that’ve changed for the better thanks to online education loans are processing time and paperwork involved. Traditional education loans are much slower to process. Why, you ask? Because there’s so much paper to push! Online alternatives have digitized the process to the maximum extent possible, and help improve efficiency of education loans. Therefore, online loans could be a really good option if you’re looking to find a loan quick and easy during an emergency.

Given the advantages already highlighted, you might find an online education loan tempting already. But apart from the obvious technological benefits, such loans also usher in powerful benefits and innovations that make borrowing a much more customer friendly exercise. These include:

Loan Bidding

Traditionally, getting an education loan has been all about visiting multiple banks to compare offers. But did you ever imagine you could get all lenders to run after you instead? With education loan bidding, you can do exactly that.

Loan bidding is a powerful way to get banks to bring out their best possible education loan offers on the table. The concept is quite simple and eerily similar to an IPL player auction.But the difference here is that you’re the player, while lenders are franchise teams. 

Here’s how it works: you approach multiple lenders at once, with your profile. Then, based on your profile, those lenders send their loan bids and over a period of time, compete amongst themselves to finance your education. As a result, you end up getting the best of what every bank has to offer!

Wanna learn more about how you can make the most of loan bidding? Check out this platform!

Collective Buying Power

Collective buying power is powerful, and for online education loans, it works wonderfully alongside loan bidding. Unlike traditional education loans, where you’d have to approach multiple banks alone, to get their offers, the online option also offers you ways to negotiate with banks in groups. 

How does this help? Consider this: Banks interview loan seekers individually and offer them terms based on strict criteria, sometimes ignoring potential. This way, they largely dictate terms and get away with extracting more than they should from you. 

Now with online loans, you and other students (who could be attending the same school as you) have the option to approach lenders collectively and demand better terms.  This way, your collective gains ‘buying power’ over the bank. This is because if the bank refuses, it risks losing a lot of business and its reputation.

Exclusive Offers

When banks compete, they give it their best shot. And when it comes to online education loans, banks often attempt to bring in more customers with exclusive deals and offers. These can include deals such as lower interest rates, processing fee discounts, and other similar discounts.

In the years to come, college enrollment in India is expected to boom and with it, so is the education loan market. What’s more, some banks have already begun to offer deals like 6.9% interest rate and 0% processing fees to students interested in taking education loans. Check out which ones. 

Safety 

Perhaps the biggest advantage of getting your education loan online in such times, online loans are the SAFEST way to borrow, because of the minimal contact involved.

Apart from the reduction in contact, approximately, 95% of all paperwork is eliminated when you choose to get a loan online. As a result, the risk of infection from contact decreases significantly.

The true cost of your education loan can get confusing and expensive. While researching your options thoroughly and comparing offers from multiple lenders can get painful, it can help you uncover ‘hidden’ costs and pick out a great loan offer. With good research and sagacious decision-making, no cost is hidden.

 At GradRight, we recognize that your loan’s liability should not outweigh your education’s value. Our student loan bidding platform brings you well-researched and personalized loan offers from 35+ domestic and international lenders and provides you with expert advice on picking the best one. It’s completely online. No matter where you are in your student loan journey, sign up today and get offers within 24 hours!

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Similar Posts
How Online Lending is Revolutionizing Education Loans
Top 4 Myths About Education Loans in India​
Collateral v/s Non-Collateral Student Loan
How to Avoid Hidden Costs of Student Loan?
Domestic vs International Education Loan Providers

Education loans in India

Top 4 Myths About Education Loans in India​

4 'Facts' about Education Loans in India that are actually just Myths

Education loans in India

While exploring your education financing options, you’re bound to hear a gazillion opinions about education loans in India and how to avail with minimum hassle. And while a good chunk of what you hear will be good advice, unfortunately, you are very likely to come across some many education loan myths, which are considered facts by the general public.

In this article, we’ve debunked four such prominent education loan myths, to help you make truly informed decisions about funding their higher studies:

Myth 1: People who take education loans in India become ineligible for Scholarships.

Scholarships and education loans share the same purpose; to enable you to pay your education fees. Often, they even share the same restrictions on what you can use the money for. The only thing that separates them is that you have to pay back a loan

It is true that academic performance plays a significant role in determining both scholarship amounts/eligibility and loan terms. However, the conditions for availing them also involve multiple other unrelated factors. As a result, you can never be ineligible for a scholarship if you’ve taken an education loan in India. Since, you are on an education loan, you should seek as many scholarships as you can. Every rupee in scholarship helps ease your education loan burden.

Myth 2: There’s more loans and scholarships available for study abroad.

Today, countless scholarship opportunities and a thriving market of education loans exist for study abroad aspirants. The emergence of these resources has been interpreted as a scarcity of similar opportunities for students who wish to study in India. However, this is not the case. The reason behind the surge of study abroad loans and scholarships is the boom in Indian students studying abroad in recent decades. 

Myth 3: The terms for granting education loan in India are uniform for all students.

Each student has a unique profile and each lender, their own criteria for sanctioning an education loan. Before sanctioning an education loan for a particular student, banks look at program relevance, learning outcomes and projected salary alongside financial details. As a result, decision on loan sanction, amount, and other loan terms are directly influenced by the program a student attends.

Because there’s no one single formula for sanctioning student loans, loan offers differ vastly for applicants. The best way to know which one suits your needs is to compare and analyse multiple offers from as many lenders as possible.

Myth 4: A cosigner is compulsory for Education loan

Co-signer requirement  for availing education loans in India has long been considered an indisputable feature of all education loans in India. It is widely believed that any education loan is impossible without the availability of a cosigner, who can take the responsibility to repay. But surprisingly, this too isn’t true!

Although quite rarely, banks can waive off your co-signer requirement. However, this is only done in certain circumstances. In most cases, this only happens when you’re enrolled in a highly reputed program with a great learning outcome (we’ve observed this disproportionately includes executive PGDM programs). 

The eligibility criteria differs between banks and so does the lIst of programs for which such a waiver is available. Again, it’s best to check with as many lenders as possible, so that you avoid missing out.

There are numerous myths associated with education loans in India which mislead people into taking false decisions. However, you can prepare yourself to make well informed decisions through proactive consultation and assessment of multiple offers.

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education loan for abroad studies without collateral

Collateral v/s Non-Collateral Student Loan

Education Loan for Study Abroad: Collateral v/s non-collateral loans

“To Collateral Or Not To Collateral?” This might literally be the question on your mind if you’re searching for an education loan to fund your graduate studies abroad. Should you secure an education loan for abroad studies without collateral, or with collateral? This guide answers. 

Education loans, like most other loans, come in two options: secured and unsecured i.e. loans with and without collateral. You may already be familiar with the common definitions of ‘secured’ and ‘unsecured’ loans. However, before you proceed to consider your loan offers, it becomes really important for you to be aware of the subtle differences between either type of loan option.

Collateral vs. Non-collateral

What are secured or collateral-based education loans for abroad studies? 

This type of loan requires you to pledge something valuable to your lender as security. Such valuable items would generally include property, fixed deposits, stocks, bonds, but can even include things like insurance policies and expensive items (for instance, an original Infinity Gauntlet prop or signed cricket jersey, if you own one) at times.

 If you or your co-signer is unable to pay the loan, the lender reserves the right to seize your collateral and sell it to recover their income. In other words, you lose your gauntlet!

What are unsecured or collateral-free education loans for study abroad?

This type of loan does not require you to pledge an asset as security to the lender. Here, the lender assesses you based on your academic profile & the financial capability plus creditworthiness of your cosigner (if required).

How to choose between an education loan for abroad studies without collateral or with collateral?

Taking the decision to expand your horizons by studying abroad is a great one. However, taking the right loan to fund your studies is equally, if not more important. Because everyone has different circumstances and needs, it becomes a futile exercise to provide a one-stop solution to choose between collateral and non-collateral loans. In this article, we present a few evaluation criteria which you can apply while choosing between a secured and unsecured loan:

1. Loan Amount Covered

The total amount covered by your lender depends heavily on what kind of loan you have taken.

Universally, secured loans have higher total amounts than unsecured loans because of the added security of collateral. The difference can be huge. For instance, most secured loans tend to offer up to 1.5 Crores (or 90% of your collateral’s value). 

On the other hand, unsecured loans offer up to 50 lakhs. The maximum amount offered differs between lenders and you should try approaching as many lenders as possible to get the amount that fulfills your specific needs.

While considering what loan amount you can avail, you should also know how you can use the total amount. Your loan may only cover certain expenses like tuition and ignore others like rent. If you spend on something not covered from your total amount, you may be asked to pay a penalty. Always ask the lender what you can and can’t use the loan amount for.

2. Visa Acceptance

It can be a huge advantage to pick one loan option over others when it comes to matters like Visa acceptance. Because of their country’s guidelines, visa officers at consulates prefer to approve documentation for students who they think have ‘proper’ funding. They do this to avoid the risk of students staying back in their country illegally after the visa has expired.

 Secured loans are generally looked at as being more visa friendly especially if you’re heading to the UK, Australia, or New Zealand. 

But, unsecured loans are perfectly fine for more popular destinations like the US/UK.

While these are general trends, it is important to keep in mind that it is still possible for you to apply for a student visa and get approved regardless of what kind of loan you have taken.

3. Interest Rate

Since they are protected by the security of collateral, secured loans are generally cheaper than unsecured loans. This is because their interest rate remains lower (at around 8.5% to 9%).

On the other hand, unsecured loans come with much higher interest rates starting at 11.55% and going up to 15% (depending on the type of lender)

However, you should never compare loans based on just the interest rate. The total cost of either type of loan may still differ, because of other fees involved. Therefore, it is advisable to do a thorough check on all the fees involved and see which loan is cheaper.

4. Turnaround times and Moratorium

Turn Around Time is the time it takes from your application until the final disbursal of the loan amount to you. The moratorium period is the time you get before you have to start paying back your loan amount with interest.

Secured loans have higher turn around-times & lengthy documentation for evaluation of the collateral. This documentation involves checking the value of your collateral and sometimes even its legality (not every lender knows how valuable an original Infinity Gauntlet prop is xD). Also, secured loans tend to have longer moratoriums (When a lender finds out how valuable your collateral is, they’ll be very willing to give you time to pay back).

In turn, it takes less time to process unsecured loans because the paperwork is minimal. If you’re looking for a loan without documentation, an unsecured loan is the closest you can get! But unfortunately, unsecured loans don’t give you longer moratorium periods to pay back.

Education loan for abroad studies without collateral or with: How to decide?

Neither collateral-based nor collateral-free loans are good or bad. They are just different. With an education loan for study abroad without collateral, you don’t pledge any assets, and that’s a relief for many. In any case, choosing between collateral and non collateral loan for study abroad demands research and in most cases, expert advice. Acting on this need, at GradRight, we’ve created an online platform for students to connect with multiple lenders in one go! You just create your profile on gradright.com and ask all lenders to communicate their offers online. Try it now instead of inquiring with 36 banks.

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How to avoid hidden costs in student loans

How to Avoid Hidden Costs of Student Loan?

Hidden Fees and Costs of Student Loans

How to avoid hidden costs in student loans

Student loans often come with multiple hidden costs which trouble borrowers over the years. In uncertain times such as these, navigating graduate school applications and a search for loans can get overwhelming. As a result, it’s crucial that you make wise and well-informed decisions. This can help you stay aware of, and avoid hidden costs. Here, we’ve put together a list of certain hidden costs that you should keep an eye out for, as you evaluate your loan offers. These include:

 

Processing Fees

Often, education loans come with a baggage of extra fees that the lender charges you. These include the lender’s servicing charges (usually 1%-5% of loan amount) and statutory charges. Additionally, these also include like stamp duties, charges for duplicate copies and other documentation charges which help the lender facilitate your loan.

 It might not be possible for you to remove the cost of processing fess from your loan. But there are ways through which you can minimize them. For instance, if you take a student loan online, you end up avoiding significant paperwork-related charges!

Loan Modifications

Change is constant! After you take your loan, you may want to make changes, like converting the interest rate, rescheduling your payments or swapping one co-signer for another. These changes depend on your personal circumstances and preferences; perhaps your co-signer relocated and is no longer eligible by law to fulfill that duty or you want to convert to a fixed interest rate to make stable payments and save to buy something.

But, most lenders aren’t very welcoming of such changes and charge a fee for all of these.

Penalties

A penalty is a ‘punishment’ imposed for breaking a law, rule or contract. When you sign your loan agreement, you become party to a legal contract, which requires you to make regular payments. Naturally, when you break such a contract by making a late payment (maybe you forgot to pay the bill), the lender penalizes you with an extra charge.

However, lenders don’t just impose penalties when you aren’t able to pay on time. They are also imposed when you want to cancel your loan (usually 2% of loan amount charged) or if your check bounces due to lack of funds (maybe you spent a little more on coffee the previous month).

Pre-payment Charges

Planning to end your loan by paying off early? Lenders are really shrewd because they even charge you when you’re too good of a customer. In some cases, it might cost you more to end your loan earlier than you planned! That’s because some lenders hit you with a pre-payment penalty, to discourage you from paying back early. Why do they do this? Because this way, they don’t lose income from interest you pay.

Payment Loopholes

You should be extra careful at the time of signing the loan documents and watch out for loopholes. Examples of loopholes can include a lender combining processing fees with loan amount, so you are forced to pay more interest or clauses which prevent you from shifting to a different interest model.

Make sure to read the documents in detail multiple times and double check on the terms and conditions of your loan.

The true cost of your education loan can get confusing and expensive. While researching your options thoroughly and comparing offers from multiple lenders can get painful, it can help you uncover ‘hidden’ costs and pick out a great loan offer. With good research and sagacious decision-making, no cost is hidden.

 At GradRight, we recognize that your loan’s liability should not outweigh your education’s value. Our student loan bidding platform brings you well-researched and personalized loan offers from 35+ domestic and international lenders and provides you with expert advice on picking the best one. It’s completely online. Sign up today and get offers within 24 hours!

 

India's First Loan Bidding Platform

Get online lenders to bid on your profile to get the best student loans.

Indian education loans

Domestic vs International Education Loan Providers

Indian Education Loans v/s International lender: which one should you pick?

Indian education loans

Global aspirations have become a reality for many middle class Indians in recent times. With over 750,000 Indian students studying abroad in 2020 (up from 66,000 in 2000), it has also resulted in a boom for education loan providers. 

Thanks to this healthy competition between Indian education loans (regulated by RBI) and loans from international lenders (regulated by foreign entities/benchmarks like LIBOR) for providing good student loans, it has become really difficult to choose between either one. Careful consideration and analysis is essential for making the right choice. After extensive market research, our team at GradRight came up with a list of criteria that you should consider before deciding to go with either Indian education loans or international education loans:

Interest Rate Parity

International lenders tend to keep their interest rates between 6-11%, Meanwhile, domestic lenders provide higher interest rates at 9-14%. Additionally, Indian education loans come with floating interest rates which generally increase with time, while international lenders offer an option of choosing between fixed or variable rates.

Given the obvious advantages of a lower and fixed interest rate, it immediately makes more sense to choose an international lender. However, you must consider interest rate parity. Despite a lower interest rate, you might still end up paying more for an international loan because of currency value fluctuations. It might also cost you more to pay back an international loan if you choose to return back to pursue a career in India (foregoing a relatively higher salary) or are unable to secure a job overseas.   

So, before taking on an Indian education loan or international loan, it is advisable that you consider your future plans and account for possibilities like currency fluctuations.

Co-signer/Collateral Requirement

Cosigner/Collateral requirement is a prominent feature of most education loans. A co-signer is someone who agrees to pay back the loan on your behalf if you are unable to do so. On the other hand, collateral is something of value that you pledge to the lender as security. In the event that you are unable to pay back, the lender has the right to seize your collateral. 

While all domestic lenders require you to fulfil either of the two conditions mandatorily, most international lenders don’t. International lenders, in fact, don’t require you to pledge collateral at all. However, pledging collateral (for Indian education loans) and having a co-signer (for international lenders) can help you get better terms.

Processing Fees

Indian education loans are available for between 0.2% – 1.5% of loan amount as processing fees. On the other hand, international ones charge 2% – 5%.

Because of all the additional fees (including the processing fee) you pay, your loan can still burn a hole in your pocket if you’re not careful. Therefore, when choosing between loan offers, it’s best to pick the one which levies the most lenient charges on you.

Application Process and Eligibility Criteria

Domestic lenders tend not to have very strict eligibility criteria. They usually only require you to meet strict criteria of a valid collateral or co-signer, and don’t have a specific list of approved programs. Because of their non-uniform evaluation processes, domestic lenders might take three days to a month to process your application.

International lenders, on the other hand, have very strict eligibility criteria. Most of them tend to have a definite list of approved schools and programs. Documentation is very minimal with them so long as you match the criteria. The entire process is digital and takes about a week to complete.

Tax Breaks and Other Benefits

With all Indian education loans and a few private lenders, you may be able to avail a tax benefit under Section 80(E) of the Income Tax Act 1961 for 8 years. The deduction involved is only applied on the interest paid.

Unfortunately, you will not be able to avail any such benefits with an international lender.

In another time, taking a loan was as simple as going down to your neighborhood bank, looking at your options and finalizing the paperwork. But now, because you have a multitude of education loan providers to choose from, the probability of picking a bad loan has also increased. So it becomes really important to assess all your options (domestic or international) carefully and then pick one which is fulfils your needs and is affordable for you and your family. At GradRight, we’ve recognized the need to enable students to make an informed choice when considering their education and financial future. Our online platform allows students to connect with and compare personalized offers from multiple lenders. It’s simple, easy to use and free to try!  

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Get online lenders to bid on your profile to get the best student loans.

Profile Assessment for Education Loan

How Lenders Assess Your Profile for a Student Loan?

In simple terms, lenders invest in you, the student, when they fund your higher education. But investment comes with risk. As of March 31, 2019, the number of students able to secure loans fell to 2.5 lakh from 3.34 lakh students four years earlier. In the same period, the percentage of defaults on education loans rose to about 9% as of March 2018 from 7.3% in March 2016 (data courtesy CRIF High Mark, IBA).

Because of the sheer amount of applications they get and to mitigate risks of non-payment, lenders have to be extra careful before sanctioning a loan. Hence, they scrutinize each loan application and subject it to stringent measures before making a final decision.

It is important to remember that each student has a unique profile and each lender has its own measures of evaluating a loan application. Some offers may only be made to a particular student by a particular lender. As a result, it becomes incredibly important for you to assess as many options as possible.

While lenders may offer you terms based on your specific circumstances and unique profile, there are some common factors they consider before sanctioning a student loan. These include:

 

Academics

Great test scores don’t just help you get into grad school; they also help you get through it. They indicate your commitment and effort.

Like universities, lenders also recognize effort. Hence, they tend to offer loans with better terms (like a lower interest rate or higher loan amount) to students with higher GRE/GMAT and language test scores or higher percentage/GPA in their Bachelor’s degree. The higher your scores, the better your chances of getting good terms.

 

School Reputation

When you search for universities, you probably don’t just look at academics. You also pay attention to past placement history, average salaries, and industry connections. Lenders do the same.

For lenders too, an offer from a reputed graduate school serves as a strong indicator of your earning potential and future career success as a professional. As a result, they favor students holding offers from institutions they feel are better. Interestingly, each lender prefers a different set of institutions – sometimes they are disclosed on their website and sometimes they aren’t. 

 

Program Type

We’re living through a new industrial revolution, where automation is already a norm, and super-specialization is steadily gaining relevance among graduates. Naturally, certain fields have become more popular than others and in today’s job market, seemingly provide a more stable guarantee of a good career.

Just as they estimate your potential for success based on your institution, lenders also analyze whether you will be able to pay off your loan based on what benefits you get from your program and whether the specialization you have chosen will stay in demand in the near future. As a means of avoiding risk, lenders assess your program’s learning outcomes and relevance in the near future to predict your Return on Investment (ROI) i.e. your ability to pay back. Not all banks are well equipped to differentiate profiles based on this factor yet. 

 

Creditworthiness

This is perhaps the most important factor of all for a majority of the lenders. Lenders pay special attention to your and your co-signer’s (if available) financial capacity and intention to repay. Creditworthiness is determined by looking at credit history reports and job profiles (if applicable) of either the applicant or the co-signer. Nearly all public sector banks and some private sector banks & NBFCs will only give you a loan based on whether collateral is being offered. But ultimately, a good credit history translates to better loan terms.

 

Finding a loan with good terms is hard, but not impossible. It is merely a matchmaking process. Lenders want to invest in good students. Hence, it is very important to ask as many of them if you suit their criteria. Acting on this need, at GradRight, we’ve created an online platform for students to connect with multiple lenders in one go! It’s as simple You just create your profile on gradright.com and ask all lenders to communicate their offers online. Try it now instead of inquiring with 36 banks.

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education loans for study abroad

Education Loans for Study Abroad

The Ultimate Guide to Find Great Student Loans

Your primer on education loans for study abroad

education loans for study abroad

Because of the exponentially rising cost of higher education and unpredictable currency fluctuations, most Indian students going abroad are compelled to take an education loan to fund their degree and living costs. But finding affordable education loans for study abroad has proven difficult for them. In the past year, roughly 750,000 Indian students were pursuing a higher education degree overseas. Unfortunately, around 80% of those students missed out on savings because of bad loans.

With inputs from experts in higher-ed and loan financing, this short guide helps you select a student loan which minimizes your future debt and maximizes your return on investment.

 

Education Loans for Study Abroad: Introduction, How to choose?

For most traditional personal loans, the amount is secured against what you borrow it for. For example, the security for a loan you take to buy a car is the car itself. If you are unable to pay back what you owe your lender, they can take your car away to cover the loss.

But, when you approach a lender to avail education loans for study abroad, you’re essentially pitching yourself and your future success to them. If the lender deems you ‘worthy’ of the loan, they ‘invest’ in your future, with an agreement to reap the rewards of your income through the interest you pay.

Understand that the risk is high for these ‘investors’. In the event that you are unable to pay back your loan, lenders come after what was promised to them: a share of the money you earn. Hence you should always borrow wisely.

 

Where Do You Get Student Loans?

Student loans are provided by a range of lenders with different lending criteria and governing rules of regulation. The types of lenders include traditional banks (eg. State Bank of India), Non-Banking Financial Companies (eg. HDFC Credila), and private fin-tech companies (eg. Prodigy Finance).

The lenders who provide education loans for study abroad can broadly be classified into two types: public and private lenders. Depending on their location, private and public lenders follow either the domestic or international banking regulations to decide loan terms like interest rate. If a lender (public or private) is located in India, it follows the RBI’s regulations (eg. ICICI, SBI). Whereas, if the lender is located outside India, it follows either the local banking regulations or international regulations like LIBOR.

The option to choose between domestic, international, public or private lender depends entirely on your personal requirements and preferences. To make a truly informed choice, you must carefully consider the pros and cons of all the options on your table.

You can find more information about different types of lenders and their pros and cons in the article here

 

What Should You Consider Before Taking an education loan for study abroad?

The true bearings of a great student loan lie in the details. It is important to look at all the facts and figures going into a student loan to spot one which fits all your needs and is affordable.

Because there are so many different types of lenders following differing regulations, lending criteria and terms tend to vary a lot. But as a rule of thumb, there still remains a list of general details that you must not ignore while evaluating student loans:

Interest Rate:

The interest rate of your loan is how much it costs you to borrow it as a percentage of the total amount sanctioned.

 

Type:

 Student loans, like many other loans, are either secured or unsecured. A secured loan is one in which you have to provide collateral as security (which can be seized in case you’re unable to pay). On the other hand, an unsecured loan is one where you aren’t required to provide any collateral. You can learn more about the differences between unsecured and secured loans in detail here.

Processing Fees:

Processing fees is essentially a servicing fee you pay the bank for processing your loan amount. It is usually a small percentage of the total sanctioned amount you get, and tends to vary between different types of lenders.

 

Total Coverage:

Some lenders give you loan offers which only cover a certain set of expenses such as tuition. Your loan offers may also come with strict disbursement policies. Arrangements like these may restrict your ability to utilize the loan amount per your convenience, hence it’s important that you only choose those loan offers which meet your needs and fit your preferences.

 

Repayment Policy:

The repayment policy of your loan determines how you will be returning the amount you’d borrowed. Most loans come with a grace period (called a moratorium) of 6 months to a year, during which you’re not required to make any payments. The repayment policy differs between lenders and is something you should always compare among loans.

So, What Does It Take To Find Great Education Loans for Study Abroad?

Finding a good student loan can be hard, but it isn’t impossible by any means. Searching for an affordable loan can be thought of as a three step process. The key to being successful in your search is to ask yourself “Have I done enough of this?” at every stage.

 

Step 1: Plan ahead and anticipate your expenses

While student loans are often called ‘good debt’, they’re still debt. And taking on debt is a huge responsibility which comes with its own pressures. When you set out to find a loan to fund your studies, you should plan and account for all sorts of costs that you may incur apart from tuition. These costs differ from student to student due to personal circumstances. Make sure you consider your specific requirements, anticipate what you may have to pay and then embark on your loan search.

 

Step 2: Research your options

The Greek philosopher Aristotle once famously said “The more you know, the more you’ll realize you don’t know”. As you research your options, you’ll come across many different ones you were never familiar with. With good research, there’s no guarantee that you’ll find a loan which magically fits all your requirements. But you’ll definitely get close to discovering loan options which fulfill most of your needs at an affordable cost.

 

Step 3: Consult professionals and trusted sources

Despite all your planning and research, you can still fall short and choose an offer which doesn’t suit your particular circumstances. This probably won’t happen the next time. But with loans, there isn’t a ‘next’ time. Given how high the stakes are, you should definitely consult professionals and trusted advisors before committing to a loan that can possibly dictate your financial future.

 

Conclusion

If you’ve made it this far in the guide, you’ve already started on the right way of going about selecting the right education loans for study abroad, by future-proofing yourself! Searching for the right education loan for study abroad is quite literally a ‘taxing’ experience. However, it can be made quicker and easier if you rely on data analysis and expert advice.

FundRight is the world’s first student loan bidding platform, through which students send their profile to all lenders who do student loans and receive personalized loan offers within hours. Sign up today to save time and up to 23 lakhs on your student loan!

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5 Ways to Fund a Masters Degree Abroad in 2020

5 Ways to Finance your Master's Degree Abroad in 2020

This is a question that often gets asked on online forums related to higher education. It is also one that I have personally encountered while interacting with many students looking to fund their masters degree abroad. I was fortunate enough to get a fully sponsored graduate education at the University of Pennsylvania. I thought I would share my experience of funding a master’s degree and some of the lessons that I had learned in this post.

Prior to going abroad, I wanted to set up a business at the intersection of Higher Education and Technology. Given my ambitions, I had no desire to settle abroad and neither did I want to take on the burden of hefty student loans.

I took the plunge and started hunting for scholarships over a year in advance. My efforts ultimately paid off when I was selected for the prestigious Fulbright-Nehru scholarship. It fulfilled all the financial requirements for my MS in the US. However, the funding did come with a few conditions, which were:

  • I had to choose a field that the Indian Government wanted its students to pursue. Lucky for me, Higher Education was one such field.
  • I was required to return to India and spend a minimum of two years working there – which I was quite happy to do.

Key Insights on funding your Master’s degree

If you are a student who is planning to pursue a Master’s degree from a foreign university, here’s an exhaustive list of options that you could explore to reduce your financial burden.

Scholarships

If you are thorough with your research, you can discover and avail many scholarships. While searching, ensure that you keep the following details in mind:

1. Know Yourself. Scholarships are meant to promote a purpose.

  • To incentivize students to study something that might not offer great monetary returns, but have immense social impact.
  • To promote students to work in a certain country
  • To reward a student with exceptional merit
  • To assist a student of a specific economic profile
  • To encourage students from minorities to study overseas

2. Never ignore smaller scholarships.

  1. There are several scholarships that will offer $2000 as a scholarship amount. It may be tempting to ignore those and focus on those scholarships which offer $30,000 or $50,000. However, you should apply for all of them, because if you do end up winning, you would have earned 1.4 Lakhs in a single day! With your dogged persistence and extensive research, you can cover a fraction of your education costs by investing a few hours of your time in writing an effective scholarship essay. 
  2. If you apply for ‘mainstream courses’ such as STEM programs or a professional Master’s program (like an MBA), your chances of getting a scholarship are further reduced. As a result, it becomes even more important to not miss out on these small scholarships.

3. Read the fine print. 

Every scholarship fund usually comes with its own conditions. So, they may even affect your ability to settle in the host country after you graduate. For instance, some scholarships may make you ineligible to apply for an H1B Visa to work. Therefore, it is very important that you are aware of these conditions before you apply for them.

Check out these lists of General and Top 10 Scholarships for Indian Students.

Soft Loans and Education Loans

Soft loans are akin to scholarships, in terms of their selection procedure as well as their clauses. This is because they come with either a 0% interest rate or 1.5%-2% interest rate. An important point that distinguishes them from scholarships is that they need to be repaid after you graduate.

Somewhere between 70% – 80% of students miss out on savings while opting for education loans. However, you could save anywhere between ₹3 lakhs – ₹29 lakhs if you choose the right loan.

You can find a comprehensive guide to student loans here

Assistantships

Each University campus opens up a certain number of assistantships (GA/TA/RA) for Master’s students. This allows students to earn close to $1000-$1600 per month. Additionally, in certain countries (like the USA), international students are allowed to work only within the campus. But the pay isn’t always the same. This is because the hourly wage rate varies between departments.

If your application for such a position does not come with your university offer, don’t worry! You can always write to the relevant faculty member or department heads and convince them of your ability to be able to make a positive contribution. This is a tested strategy that works! It’s definitely worth exploring because it can help you earn between $25,000 – $35,000 over a span of two years.

Family Savings

While it may seem like an obvious choice, you must exercise caution while dipping into their savings. You should always evaluate the opportunity cost of these savings with respect to the student loan interest rate before deciding to use them. Additionally, if you want to increase your chances of getting a Visa, you need to ensure that the money is in your account for a minimum of 3 months before you initiate your Visa application process.

Selling your property

Many students take this route, but this is generally a bad idea, and should be treated as a last resort. Alternatively, you would be better off searching thoroughly for a student loan before resorting to this option. Some banks and lenders are quite flexible with their loan terms. But it is up to you to ask the right lenders at the right time.

Conclusion

What you need to keep in mind is that there is always someone out there who will be willing to lend you money to finance your Master’s degree. It all comes down to who buys into your profile. 

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