First National Bank(FNB), which was recently voted as the best bank in the world, according to brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance, has announced that customers looking to take out a student loan can now do so via the banking app.
FNB on Thursday said that it introduced Student Loans on the FNB App to help customers fulfil their educational aspirations through an application process that is easy, safer, and more convenient.
The bank said it offers a maximum loan amount of R300 000, which could cover expenses such as tuition fees, accommodation, textbooks, and other study-related expenses.
To be eligible for a student loan, the applicant (the principal debtor – the person that borrows the money) must earn at least R3 000 per month.
If you are a part-time student or employed full-time with the goal of furthering your studies, you can also apply for a student loan if you earn the qualifying income and can afford the student loan instalment.
Alternatively, a parent, guardian, family member, or any other sponsor can apply for the loan.
All applications are subject to a review of the applicant's credit history, ability to pay, and the loan's terms and conditions.
"Education is an important enabler of success, but many families in our society do not always have the financial means to pay for the cost of their loved ones' education. As a result, student loans could be extremely beneficial to families seeking to better their lives. Therefore, we are making it much easier for our customers to access student loans through the FNB App to be able to apply anytime, anywhere and receive immediate feedback. We continue to see an incredible response from customers who find the service more accessible," Gavyn Letley, Product Head, FNB Loans, said.
The bank said it encourages customers to always explore the viability of all options that could be used to fund studies.
This includes the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), a bursary, or a sponsor who would be willing to fund the student’s education.
FNB also said that it is also important to consider whether there are any savings available that could be used to pay for studies, partially or in full.
“If these options are not viable, then applying for a student loan is an alternative option to consider. Once you have successfully been approved for a student loan, it is equally important to manage the loan effectively, including ensuring that repayments are made on time,” FNB stated.
"It’s important to also choose the right loan amount, and applicants must also keep in mind that interest on the student loan is relatively lower when compared to a personal loan or credit cards. In addition, a student loan must be used for its intended purpose, and proof of registration will be required.
“Where possible, customers can also pay in extra money to further save on interest and fees and decrease the total cost of credit. There are zero penalty fees for paying off the loan early, and if additional funding is required for the next year of study, a new application needs to be submitted. It is important to only apply for the amount that you need and keep expenses low to ensure a healthy credit profile for the future," Letley further said.