Ultimate Guide to Getting a Study Loan

Money is the root of all evil….

That might true but if you need to get your degree or diploma then money becomes really important.

Education in South Africa is unfortunately not free and it probably never will be….

So smart young matriculants are left with no choice but to enter the tertiary education world with a dark looming cloud of financial uncertainty.

This does not have to be that way.

This guide was written to help you avoid the financial difficulties that so easily befall students.

Before we start there is one truth that will make your life much easier

[box type=”shadow”] The more you Study the less you Pay[/box]

Bursariesstudy loans and scholarships all reward students that achieve outstanding academic results. Many hardworking students have attained their qualifications without paying more than living expenses.

Food for thought……

1. Bursaries

It’s no secret that we love bursaries.

A bursary can provide any student a springboard into industry by not only providing education but relevant experience to.

Institutions that give bursaries are viewed in a favourable light by government and thus receive more work. Another benefit is that companies can headhunt young talent early.

The standard bursary process is as follows

  1. Find an institution (bank, trust fund or company) that offers a bursary in the field of your choosing
  2. Apply with all the relevant documentation
  3. You get chosen or not (lets assume you do)
  4. The institution will then pay for your study fees, living expenses and even an allowance in some cases
  5. All that required is that you study hard, work during your holidays and work in the years that the bursary has covered your studies
  6. That’s it!

The trick with bursaries is to start applying early to as many bursaries as possible and to make sure you’re Grade 11 and 12 marks are sublime. Not having all these elements make it exponentially harder to get a bursary.

2. Part Time Students

Only the brave  are studying part time while working.

This is ten times harder than studying full time, thus we can’t really recommend it.

The discipline required to study consistently while working is hard to come by but it’s completely possible.

Unisa have by far the best system and support systems for part time students, so check them out if you do plan on studying part time.

The best study loan option for part time students is Eduloan.

The Benefits of Eduloan

  • Low interest rates
  • No Deposits
  • Fixed monthly Installments for periods of 10, 16 or 22 months
  • Anyone that meets the loan criteria (over 18 and permanently employed) may apply. This could be you, parents, a company or a friend.
  • Insurance will cover the remainder of your loan if the person responsible for paying passes away

Eduloan has financed over 600 000 students thus far and remains a great option for part time students working full time.

3. Government Study Loans

The new South African government aimed at free education but for various reasons this is still not a reality.

In an attempt to remedy the situation the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) was created.


Don’t be fooled, you will still pay interest even though its a small amount.

Its also important to realize that NSFAS offer both bursaries and study loans.

So, what are the benefits of a NSFAS study loan

  • Probably the lowest study loan interest rate in South Africa
  • You can apply for this by yourself
  • Up to 40% of the loan can be converted to a bursary if you perform academically
  • Repayment only begins when you start working

4. Conventional Study Loans

If all of the above fails then you’re stuck with one option………..Steal Something Big 😉

Please don’t……

The last option is a bank study loan and you’re spoiled for choice.

Standard Bank




There are a few considerations before taking a bank study loan

  • Banks require surety. This basically means that they need someone (with a good credit record) to be responsible to pay the loan.
  • The loan may be placed on your guardians home bond which is a bit risky
  • The interest rates are typically higher than the options mentioned above
  • Your parent or guardian may have to take out life insurance as a safety measure

The banks are way more stringent.


Typical items that are always requested when applying for a bursary or study loan

For Students

  • ID
  • Proof of Registration or Acceptance Letter
  • Results (Grade 11 and 12)

For Parents or Guardians

  • ID
  • Payslip or Affidavit stating unemployment
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Utility Bill stating residential address


You can’t do this on your own…..get someone responsible to help you.

There is no excuse for any hard working student not to have the money to study further.

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