Student Loans in South Africa are popular ways of financing studies for many individuals. The socio-economic backgrounds of many South Africans have hampered their abilities to further their studies. Many individuals strive to further their studies, but face numerous financial challenges. Some students apply for bursaries and scholarships, while others opt for student loans as their best solution.
Even though these loans may be highly useful for financing tertiary education, the downside is that these loans have in recent years been found to weigh many students down financially.
While countries like the USA have a student debt crisis, South Africa is facing similar challenges, but the problem may not quite be to the same extent.
The reality is that a major challenge faced by South African students after completing their tertiary studies is unemployment. This often means that many students struggle to repay their student loans.
Some lenders have a grace period of a few months, in order to give students completing internships, community service and articles a chance to finish. This offers some reprieve and gives the students some time to find employment.
Despite the costs, tertiary education is considered the best way to improve earnings potential as well as employability in a country like South Africa. Skilled postgraduates are in high demand in this developing country. By being able to access tertiary education, many individuals may be able to bridge this gap.
The National financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), which has shouldered the bulk of the student debt in South Africa, in recent years, has come under fire lately as a result of fund shortages and maladministration. The scheme is currently undergoing an overhaul in order to ensure efficient running of the scheme and to be able to provide more funds to more students.
The major banks offer Student loans, ranging from R2000 to a maximum of R150 000.