Essential knowledge for South Africans: Funding your studies with a student loan

As it turns out, if you’re living in South Africa and looking for a way to fund your studies, you have various options available including a student loan. Other options include bursaries and scholarships. The reality is that bursaries and scholarships are difficult to acquire and competition is fierce, and they are virtually non-existent if you choose to study at a private institution.

You are almost finished high school and it feels like the greatest relief – it is over at last! You’re about to start a new adventure in your life as you prepare for a career. It’s a fresh start with new goals – and new worries. The journey into adulthood can be terrifying, even after you have decided on your chosen career path. Finding the resources to fund your dream can be the first major challenge.

A student loan is a realistic option. Starting your life in debt from a student loan is nobody’s first choice, but if this is the only way you are able to complete your studies, the research shows that it is worth it. You can read our blog on How to become a Chef for more insight. Deciding whether a loan is the right choice for you depends on your circumstances. Let’s look at the facts surrounding student loans in South Africa.

How student loans work

You have chosen your field of study and where you want to study, you applied and best day ever – you have been accepted!  An acceptance letter confirms that you are enrolled to study at a tertiary institute, like 1000 Hills Chef School.

A student loan offers you the chance to study and YOU will repay the loan when you start working. To apply for a loan, go to the bank with:

-proof of enrolment

-your parents’ proof of income

-proof of address

-your ID

-your parents’ ID

Your parents (or any qualifying adult) can sign surety for you. This means they make a promise to the bank that if you (for whatever reason) fail to pay back your loan, they will do so on your behalf. The bank will generally expect your parents to pay the interest portion of the loan on a monthly basis while you study. The actual loan amount will be for you to pay once you have completed your studies.

student loan

Free pass term – paying back your student loan

Free pass term is the time period the bank gives a student to find a job and settle down with a salary before they expect you to start paying back your loan. It’s generally 3 – 6 months after graduating. An internationally recognised qualification, especially as a chef, means you have worldwide opportunities at your fingertips, and the opportunity to earn foreign currency, possibly speeding up your repayment period.

Here are some of the common myths surrounding student loans.

Myth 1: Student loans are affordable and easy to pay back

There is a common misconception that student loans have low-interest rates, or that they’re interest-free. While this would put tertiary education within the reach of many students, it is not the reality. Interest rates are generally quite high. The good news is that there are many banks you can approach, and the banks have various student loan options to choose from, so do your homework. You can access the big banks here: FNB, ABSA, Nedbank and Standard Bank.

Myth 2: More is better

It’s better to apply for the smallest amount you can get away with. Your student loan is more likely to be approved. It means you will have smaller monthly repayments once you start paying back your student loan. It also means your parents will have less interest to pay back.

Myth 3: Extra money is a bonus

The money you are getting through your loan gets deposited into your personal bank account. From there, you can pay your university fees and purchase any books and stationery you will need. If you have money left over, don’t view that amount as spare. It’s borrowed money. Paying it back as soon as possible will help you in the long run. Alternatively, you can save it away for an emergency situation. Concert tickets and road trips, unfortunately, don’t count as emergencies.

Applying to study at 1000 Hills Chef School

One of the most important factors to consider before applying for a student loan is your passion. If you are applying for a loan to fund your dream job, you’re more likely to succeed in repaying your student loan, because you will be working your passion every day.

At 1000 Hills Chef School, we only accept dedicated students who are passionate about the career. We interview candidates prior to your acceptance. Once we have established that you are a good fit in our kitchen, you know that you are likely to succeed in the industry.

Our courses are designed with the students in mind. Not only do we cover a vast amount of work each year, but most of our learning takes place in the kitchen. How does this benefit the student? Our rock-solid reputation in the industry means our students are sought after in the industry. Our students leave to do great things. Click here to learn more. The student is fully equipped to walk into a job and perform well. This means our students are able to repay their student loans with ease, leaving happy chefs and happy banks.

Learn more about our enrolment process because knowledge is power and a positive attitude is what gets you to the top!