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Financing your Education with Indian Student Education Loans

Looking for a loan to help finance your education? Make sure you have all your facts before starting out – here’s everything you want to know about how to get a student loan in India.
BY Aasha Gulrajani Swarup |   13-09-2013
As a result of their inability to refuse an education loan without sanction by a higher authority, Indian banks have been facing an escalating number of loan defaulters – so after a decade of low interest rates, the education loan policy scheme has been tightened.

Twelve years after education loans were first introduced in India, between five and seven percent of loans remain in default. Most of these defaults are in the under-Rs. 4 lakh-category, approved without collateral.
“Once we received an application for an education loan, we could not reject it without the approval of the branch manager. A number of loans were sanctioned without adequate checks,” says a State Bank of India official, speaking about the defaults taking place before revisions were made to the loan guidelines in September 2012. According to the Indian Banks Association, the review exercise was implemented to make the scheme more transparent, and minimise scope for disputes.
Almost 96 percent of education loans are disbursed by public sector banks in India. However many foreign banks are reluctant to get into this segment, as returns are low and stringent background checks, as well as regular follow up, is necessary.
Banks follow up with universities for regular academic progress reports for students who have taken out loans. In cases where students are going abroad for their higher studies, banks track a unique identification number for the student to monitor their progress.
Education Loans – The Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) Revised Policy; September 2012
The Basics

Indian students can take out education loans from private or nationalised banks for pursuing higher studies in India or overseas, at colleges and universities approved by the banks. A student, 16 years and above, having completed the basic academic 12 years of schooling, must have secured admission into a recognized institution before applying for a loan.

The course of study for which a loan may be taken out, can include graduate or post-graduate study programs, professional or technical course in any discipline, including courses conducted by international professional bodies (ie. the CIMA (UK) or CPA (USA); degree or diploma courses such as aeronautical, pilot training, shipping, nursing or any other discipline approved and recognised by competent regulatory bodies in India/abroad for the purpose of employment, and even  approved courses offered in India by reputed foreign universities. [Information from the IBA website]
Students of any age can apply for an education loan. Management, hospitality, healthcare and IT disciplines enjoy an edge while universities in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand are popular destinations among loan applicants.

Expenses considered under an education loan include fees payable for the course - to the university, accommodation, examination, library and laboratory fees, purchase of books, equipment, instruments, and uniforms, travel expenses, purchase of computer, building fund or security deposit not exceeding 10 per cent of the total tuition fees for the entire course and supported by bills and receipts, insurance premium for the student borrower – as well as other expenses required to complete the course, such as study tours, project and thesis work.
Maximum Loan Amounts

Most banks give loans of up to Rs. 10 lakh (US$16,500) for studies in India and up to Rs. 20 lakh (US$33,000) for studies overseas. Some banks do however offer educational loans up to Rs. 30 lakh (US$49,000) for studies abroad, subject to the repayment capacity of the parents.
The Interest Rate effect

Interest rates are linked to the base rate as decided by individual banks and so vary from bank to bank, falling between 12 and 15 percent. Banks offer various interest rates on education loans, based on the rating of courses/institutions/students.
The current interest rate, as of August 2013, for loans up to Rs. 4 lakh (US$6,500), is around 13.45 per cent, with higher figure loans charged at 13.2 per cent.  
Nationalised Indian banks offer a one percent concession for female students. There is also a one percent rebate if repayments have been regular.
Subsidies for Some

Students from families with an annual income of less than Rs. 4.5 lakh, are eligible for an interest subsidy during the moratorium period, that is the time period after the loan is given and before the student starts repayment, for which the borrower is usually charged the accumulated interest. If the student is eligible for interest subsidy, the accumulated interest will be paid to the bank by the central government. No payment on the education loan’s interest is required while the student is enrolled in an Indian institution.
How Long Can I keep a loan for?

For loans up to Rs. 7.5 lakh, you can take up to 10 years to repay – but be careful as this may include the period of time during which you were a student. For larger loans, you may be given up to 15 years to repay.
Paying Back the Loan

Repayment starts one year after the completion of a course, or six months after getting a job, whichever comes first. However, to ease the interest burden, you may choose to pay the interest during the moratorium period (when no payments are technically required), and receive an interest rate concession.
If the student is not able to complete the course within the scheduled time, extension of time for completion of course may be permitted for a maximum period of 2 years. In case the student discontinues the course midway, an appropriate repayment schedule will be worked out by the bank in consultation with the student/parent.

Collateral Requirements

There is no collateral required for a loan up to Rs. 4 lakh for education in India. For higher amounts, suitable collateral security must be provided – this includes: the equivalent amount of fixed deposits in the name of the student, public sector bonds, gold shares, mutual fund units, national savings certificates, home or property mortgages, or a pledge of a portion of the student’s future income for payment in instalments.
Parents or guardians are generally named joint borrowers. The bank may also insist on a third party guarantor for the entire loan amount.
Margin Money: The Expenses

Margin Money is the amount to be given by the student - calculated as a percentage of the loan. There is no margin money requirement for a study loan up to Rs. 4 lakh. For a higher loan amount, for a course within India, around five percent of the loan is requested as margin money. For study overseas, around 15 percent is required. If a student needs a loan of Rs 15 lakh (US$30,000) and has received a scholarship worth US$10,000 then the margin money requirement is covered by showing proof of the scholarship.
Processing Fees on Student Loans

Nationalised banks do not charge any processing fees or charges on loans for studies in India. However, these banks may charge a processing fee for considering loans for studies abroad. This fee may be refunded upon the loan approval. Private banks charge around 2 percent of the loan amount in processing fees - this may be negotiable.
Loans for studying further

Banks may consider further loans to students pursuing advanced studies - starting during the moratorium period of the first loan – and after the proper completion of the undergraduate degree for which the first loan was taken out. The repayment of the top-up loan will commence after the completion of the second course.

What happens after a Loan is approved?

Once the loan is given the green light, it is disbursed in stages according to the stated needs of the student. It is all sent directly to where it needs to go.
Tax Benefits on Educational Loans

Repayment of an education loan taken for full-time study is deductible under section 80E of the Income Tax Act. The yearly limit for deduction is Rs. 40,000 (for both the principal and the interest), which is available for a maximum period of eight years after starting repayment.

Before you head to the bank, here’s a checklist what you need to take with you to get approved for your Student Loan:
  • Completed loan application form
  • Proof of university admission (an official acceptance letter will work – but it must indicate the course you have been accepted into)
  • Grade reports/Exam mark sheets from high school
  • Test Scores: TOEFL/SAT/GRE/GMAT etc (if required for the course)
  • Proof of Scholarship, if secured.
  • Proof of employability post education (ie. are you studying Computer Science? Provide evidence of what kind of jobs, average salary, and where you may legally be able to obtain a job post university).
  • Statement of course related expenses
  • Visa approval papers
  • Travel documents (if necessary; and also a photocopy of your passport)
  • Bank Account statement; for the past six months                                                  
  • Details for the co-borrower (and their passport photos; id card proof; bank account statement for the past six months)
  • Statement of Assets and Liabilities of the Student or guardian
  • Proof of Parents Income
  • Income tax returns for the past two years
  • Passport size photographs

Aasha is a part time legal editor based in New Delhi. She is a graduate of St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, and worked with the Times of India there while pursuing her law degree. She loves to laugh, and to read everything, from fat books to the challenging small print on leaflets in medicine boxes, while listening to pan pipes. 


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Mohammed Saleem
Can any one help me in getting a education loan for pilot training in Canada. My contact # is 9343147268
17 February 2016

sir, i want to become pilot. please give me loan.
11 January 2016

I got education loan in Bank Of Baroda ,for doing my engineering, But what they said is like,there is no subsidary for my education loan. How to get the subsidary for my loan. I request you to guide me .
11 December 2015

Right Shah
SBI are harrassing for giving living expenses of foreign education loan,which have already sanctioned with 20% margin money.
15 November 2015

Akshit Raghuvanshi
can i get a loan upto 4 lacks for international ? i m planning to joint diploma in hospitality and hotel management in a foreign country ! can u help me ?
10 April 2015

19 March 2015

sourav das
I am aiming to join a course of hospitality management in can I get education loan..?
14 February 2015

Razia sultana
IAm aiming to join a course of commercial pilot,in India for commercial pilot course i need an amount of rupees 27 lakh which i cannot afford.i have only 5 lakh and iam very interested in joining the course how can i take an education loan please give me advice!!!
16 November 2014

harish varma
I applied to lambton college sarnia , I got tensed whether bank need any ranking for the grant of loan as it is low so and my last date for visa filings is on December 1st suggest me wat to do
12 November 2014

Education loan in India is a necessary evil. From my personal experience, getting an education loan for higher studies is 100 times more tough and stressful than the course you are going for itself. Specially if its a govt bank like SBI then god help you. They still have typical government babus.
23 September 2014

sengsrang D sangma
i want take my further education in Hotel management in ant university
04 June 2014

Kunal Bodke
Can we mortgage agricultural land?
11 April 2014

Thanks for this post, it was pretty useful.
25 April 2014

Thanks for this post, it was pretty useful.
25 April 2014
Hi AS, your question is valid. We would suggest you contact a couple of reliable bank sources to ensure that you have been given the right information. Best of luck!
07 April 2014

I have taken a loan of 4 lakhs for my B.Tech course. after my course, I took up a job and have been regularly repaying my emis (in fact i have paid a little excess emis.) Now I have got admission into one of the premier A class institutes(as per bank list) for MBA. But my loan for the MBA course has deducted the balance of my earlier loan while sanctioning loan for the MBA which will leave me without resources for the last two semesters. My repayment history for the earlier loan is excellent. I am told that in the case of post graduate courses. the earlier loan balance will not be deducted since it is for an undergraduate course and the new one is for a postgraduate course. How can students opt for higher education loans after graduation if they have to continue paying for the earlier l
05 April 2014

Madaramoni vamshi krishna
04 March 2014

19 September 2013

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