Most students don’t have high-paying jobs that can get them through school. As many can not afford the tuition fees for their education. This can actually result in a student taking out loans. Meanwhile, most students have very poor credit records, they might not approve them for any loan other than a student loan.
However, it is always advisable to make research for grants and scholarships before resorting to borrowing student loans.
This article helps you fully understand the ramifications of acquiring student loans to finance your education in Ghana. As it helps, you make informed financial decisions, apply wisely to achieve your dreams.
What Is a Student Loan?
A student loan is money you borrow from the government or a private lender for education, especially college. You can use the money for tuition fees, books, accommodation while in school and other fees. You will need to pay back this loan with interest, which builds.
However, it is a financial aid that is available for students in order to curb the financial stress on students. This is because of financial needs that come with academics. The loan is with very little interest rate and it is payable upon completion of education.
Note: student loans differ from grants and scholarships. There is a need to pay back loans with interest. But for grants and scholarships, you don’t pay back anything.
Types of student loans in Ghana
There are basically two main types of student loans, which are private loan and federal loan. You can get the federal loans from the government, while private loans have several sources you can get it. Example banks, credit unions, schools, state agencies and other private lenders.
Private Student Loans
This is a type of student loan you can get from private lenders in Ghana or credit unions. The lender decides all the terms and conditions of the loan. Some private student loans come with a high interest rate when compared with the federal student loan.
Federal Student Loans
- Direct Subsidized Loan: These are undergraduate loans for students who show financial help from the government. The government pays the interest until it is time for the student to pay back the loans. Once the student graduates or drops, there’s a six-month grace period before repayment starts and interest builds up.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loan: These are undergraduate or graduate loans where students do not have to show financial help or need. With this type of loan, the government does not pay the interest. Rather, interest builds up from the moment the student gets the loan money.
- Direct PLUS Loans: These are loans parents can get for their dependent students or that graduate students can take out for themselves. You are fully responsible for yourself when you take out this loan.
Reasons For Student Loan
Student loan is very important because many students desire to study but have little or no financial help. Students usually get student loans for the reasons below:
- Tuition fees
Some college students cannot afford their tuition fee, which most colleges pay annually. Hence, they apply for a student loan to accommodate such expenses.
- Personal Needs
Apart from academic life, students face a lot of life challenges daily, which mostly are his/her personal needs. These range from gaining other life skills while studying, medication because of ill health, and lots more. All these require financial attention and can prompt you to get a student loan.
- Low Interest Rate
Most government student loans have little interest rate, which they do not pay while in school. You are to pay back when you earn upon completion of your studies.
- Hope to study in your choice Institution
Student loans for international students give you hope of studying in that institution of your choice, regardless of status and family background.
How to apply for student loan in Ghana
Many students face the problem of how to fund their academic life. It’s always important to analyze the cost of study and how to apply before getting a student loan. You can apply for a student loan by:
- choose the school you intend to attend
- research the cost of schooling there
- Choose your preferred financial institution
- download and print the application form
- complete the loan application form, agreement form, and guarantor deed.
- attach two recent passport size photographs
Advantages of applying for student loans in Ghana
The pros of applying for student loans include:
- It helps you afford your dream College.
- It enables you to pay your tuition fee and other academic expenses.
- It comes with a low interest rate.
- You can now apply online making it convenient.
Things worthy of note in other to repay student loan
- Knowledge of the amount of the debt
This enables you to make plans of repaying the loan prior to the deadline
- Judiciously using the loan stipulated period
You determine how to repay the loan while you make the best use of the loan.
Meanwhile, any repayment option that does not work out as planned, there is a need to re-strategize.
- Getting a job while studying
As much as it means you repay the student loan after completion of your education. You can as well get a job while studying or while in school, which is a part-time job. This helps you clear the loan while studying.
Student loans give hope to a lot of students who have an interest in studying to actualize their career dream. Especially when they are financially unstable. With student loans, you can attend your preferred higher institution and pay back the loan upon completion of your education. When you must have earned.
However, it paves way to ownership of a valuable asset you might not afford upfront. A college degree is one of the most valuable assets you can get for yourself as a student. It provides the opportunity for many people to invest in themselves. Education loans help those whose families could not afford money to fund for their education as they wish.
In addition, student loans can be problematic for students who do not get over the finish line. As they have accumulated the debt but no degree and the higher earnings that come with the loan. When considering borrowing a student loan, it’s important to determine to finish till the end. Also, ensure the loan amount you are considering borrowing measures up with your career path after graduation.