Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Post-Study Financial Freedom – Why Is It So Important?

Whether you are thinking about applying for a study loan, in the process of your loan application or whether you have already committed to a study loan, the monthly repayments would most definitely play a role in your budgeting and planning. At Eduloan we ensure that your study loan is paid off by the time you complete your studies, but why is this so important?

Lowering Your Debt To Income Ratio (making sure your debt is as small as possible in relation to your income and does not have a large effect on your budget)
When you start working, it is important to plan your budget according to your income (how much you earn). When your study loan is paid off, you have one less debt to worry about when you allocate money to your living costs.

Having some extra money available at the end of the month
It is always a good idea to save for emergencies. If your study loan is paid off by the time you complete your studies, you can start saving money for those emergencies, a new car, a house and other expenses.

Planning for the future
It is very important to set yourself financial goals. A study loan is often the first financial commitment that many young people make. After your studies, you might want to buy a car, a house, take out annuities, set money aside for retirement and preparing for your own children’s futures could be some of the goals that you might have to set yourself.

By paying off your study loan by the time you complete your studies, you free yourself from that financial commitment. You can calculate your budget with our budget calculator and then view our quick-reference table to see what your installments will be. Visit www.eduloan.co.za today and contact us to find out how you can benefit from our study loan options.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Introducing The New Eduloan Website – 5 Things You Can Do Efficiently

At Eduloan we do everything we can to help you to unlock your potential and pave your way to success. In addition to our educational finance solutions, great customer service and on campus assistance with our branches on many major campuses across the country we now introduce to you the brand new Eduloan website: www.eduloan.co.za.

Developed and enhanced to give you all the information you need on one easy to use platforms, we have made a list about how this useful tool can help you unlock your potential with a simple click of a button.

Apply For A Study Loan Online
You can now apply for a study loan by either downloading an application form in a preferred language of your choice, completing it and submitting it to us or you can complete the process completely online .

Apply For A Study Tool Loan
Whether you need a loan for textbooks, a laptop or tablet, musical instrument, a scientific calculator, a stethoscope or safety equipment, we can assist you with a loan to cover all your study tools and equipment while you study. You can apply for this online or by downloading an application form from our website.

Calculate Your Installments Using Our Repayment Calculator
Find out how much your loan will cost you by using our repayment calculator tool. Just complete all the fields and the system will automatically calculate your monthly instalments for you, including all related fees. You can adjust the monthly instalment by increasing or decreasing the number of months or your loan amount to accommodate your budget.

Access Your Account Information
Do you want to keep an eye on what’s happening on your account? We have an easy access portal that allows you to view your application status, manage your Eduloan account, view your account statement and update your personal details.

View Our Exclusive Laptop and Tablet Deals
At Eduloan, we offer great laptop and tablet deals! When choosing your laptop or tablet, you will be able to select from leading brands like HP, Samsung, Lenovo, Toshiba, Dell and a whole lot more. Because we know how important the software is, your laptop comes preloaded with a Microsoft operating system and Microsoft office program for maximum performance. Many of our offerings also come with a service warranty. So, in the unlikely event that something should go wrong, simply bring it into the nearest repair centre!

Visit our new Eduloan website today and find out how we can assist you in unlocking even more potential!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Studying A B.Com – What Does It Mean And What Can You Do?

Many prospective and current students are talking about studying a B.Com. But what does that mean? Should you be studying it? What career can you follow if you study a B.Com degree? This week we take a look at the B.Com degree, answering your questions and looking at how this degree can unlock your potential!

What does B.Com stand for?
B.Com is a short term generally used for a Bachelor of Commerce degree. A B.Com generally consists of a collection of subjects that you can choose from, should you like to specialise (or major) in a certain interest field. Here is a short list of some of the specialised fields:
  • B.Com in Accounting Science
  • B.Com in Investment Management
  • B.Com in Quantitative Management
  • B.Com in Business Management
  • B.Com in Economics
  • B.Com in Banking
  • B.Com in Law

A B.Com programme offers you the opportunity to become a public or private sector expert, equipping you with the knowledge and skills to focus on economics and business management.

What careers options are available to B.Com graduates?
Career options for B.Com graduates are plenty and not limited to only one or two career paths. Many B.Com graduates become accountants, auditors, information system officers, taxation specialists, marketing managers or customer relationship officers. Your role in the company could also vary from management to business planning, development and quality management or marketing. You can practice in the public or private sector and your skill does not have to be applied directly to banking or auditing. If you are interested in the fashion industry, you can still apply your skill to it by becoming an accountant at a retail brand for instance. 

What are the benefits of studying a B.Com degree?
There are several benefits of studying a B.Com degree. Here are just a few reasons you should consider a B.Com degree:
  • Most B.Com degrees give you an opportunity to study the general degree initially before choosing your stream or major. This allows you to gage where your strengths are and what stream or major interests you most
  • Career opportunities are not limited and that means that you have many opportunities as a B.Com graduate
  • A B.Com degree is a great degree to prepare you to work in the public or the private sector
  • As a B.Com graduate you are well equipped to work for a company or to excel as an entrepreneur

Where can I sign-up?
Entrance requirements for a B.Com degree include Matric exemption. You will have to have Mathematics as one of your Matric subjects, plus two languages (of which one should be English). It is however very important to confirm the specific entrance requirements of the B.Com degree offered at your chosen tertiary institution. B.Com degrees are generally offered at universities and colleges.

If you would like to apply to study a B.Com degree, you can contact us to find out how we can assist you with a loan to cover your tuition fees as well as a loan for your textbooks. And because we understand the importance of technology in the business and economic fields as well as how important it is for you to have access to information, we can also offer you a loan for a laptop or a tablet. Visit our website today to find out how we can assist you to unlock your potential as a B.Com graduate!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Year of The Artisan &Skills-Based Education: How To Become A Tailor

A Tailor makes, alters and repairs male and female garments (clothing). This can include formal wear, couture clothing, special occasion wear, dresses, coats, bridal wear and other more general clothing garments. Becoming a tailor could be a very exciting career choice since there are constantly new styles, developments and trends in the fashion industry.

As a tailor, you are responsible for a variety of things which include:
  • Helping a customer decide what fabric to use and what style to consider for their garment
  • Designing a fresh pattern or altering an existing pattern
  • Taking accurate measurements of the customer
  • Cutting the material according to the pattern
  • Assembling the garment using a sewing machine or sewing it by hand
  • Arranging a fitting with the client to ensure that the garment fits them correctly
  • Making alterations
  • Adding a variety of decorative and functional items like buttons and button holes, zips and beads

As a tailor, you can work for yourself, a design house, a clothing factory, a dry cleaner (making adjustments) or you can work for a major retailer. The options are endless and you will be able to work in the environment doing what you enjoy most – some tailors enjoy making alterations, whereas others prefer making patterns.

If you…
  • are interested in fashion
  • are skilled and enjoy working with your hands
  • have a fine eye for detail
  • have a steady hand
  • enjoy being accurate
  • enjoy working with others
  • have stamina (at times standing is required)

… then you could be a perfect candidate to become a tailor!

If you want to be a tailor, you can complete a course in patternmaking or fashion design to ensure that you have the skills that you can apply when you approach an experienced tailor or retailer. These type of courses are available from a variety of FET colleges and technikons.  It is always recommended that you confirm the accreditation of the college and that you check what the college’s entry requirements are.

You can contact Eduloan as soon as you have decided which school or training college you would like to study at and one of our consultants will be able to give you all the information you require to get the financial assistance you need to realise your dream of becoming a tailor. Keep in mind that we also offer loans for all your study equipment – so you do not have to worry about having to buy a sewing machine, material or any of your other equipment. For more information or to speak to one of our Eduloan consultants, visit our website www.eduloan.co.za.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Laughing All The Way To The Bank

By David Scholtz - Chief Financial Officer at Eduloan

Few of us can afford tertiary studies without a loan. And, let’s face it, to invest in your future by securing a study loan can be an excellent decision as long as you understand exactly what the loan entails and where it will take you.

Before you even consider a loan, think long and hard about your future career path and how your studies will get you there. It’s no use choosing a career, studying for three or four years and then you can’t find work.

Proper career planning, finding your niche in a job market where critical skills are key in finding employment and good management of your finances all play a crucial role in your or your child’s future.

It is a sad reality that South Africans are generally ignorant about personal finance, and many live by the habit of spending now and paying later. Currently the ratio of debt to disposable income of households is around 76%, it tells you what percentage of consumers’monthly gross income goes toward paying off debts. About 47% of credit active consumers are two months in arrears or more. About 14% of these consumers have judgements or administration orders against them. A fifth of credit-active consumers are three months or more in arrears. This paints a picture of a nation overextending itself.

There are several ways of getting and staying out of debt.

The first is education about managing your personal finances and the cost of debt.
People who know the meaning of debt, a loan and saving money- and who understand the impact of these - are the people who can plan their lives and ensure a better future for themselves and their dependants.

Debt consolidation is another popular way of alleviating the burden of over-indebtedness.

While this may be a good idea for some, it can result in consumers being locked in to paying off their debts for longer periods and effectively at higher interest rates and fees.

 The main appeal of debt consolidation is convenience.

How does it work? Instead of a consumer paying off a number of different loans every month, which might have different interest rates, the consumer can just apply for one big loan, pay off all the other debts they have, and then be left with making a single payment towards that loan every month. The repayments are usually lower instalments, giving them more disposable income, which at first glance seems very attractive.

What most people are not aware of is that debt consolidation locks you in. You still end up owing the same amount of money, but pay your debts off over a longer period and not always at the lowest available interest rates. This means you might end up paying more in the long run. All that is happening is that the repayment of the debt is delayed from the immediate to long-term.

The best option remains to pay off all debt as soon as possible, and then start saving the amounts that you formerly paid over to creditors.

The impact of over-indebtedness on the financing of study loans is considerable. All credit providers look at certain criteria. The credit providing environment is regulated and interest rates are determined based on creditworthiness which includes both affordability and behavioural history. First they will assess the affordability of the commitment to the consumer; they will look at the regular expenses, the disposable income, repayment track record and credit history. The industry is regulated and there are strict rules in place. If you are not creditworthy, it will prove difficult to get a loan.

Eduloan’s model is slightly different to that of micro lenders or banks. When looking at credit our lending is to focus more on salary deduction, whereby we collect the amounts owed via the employer and not the individual’s bank account. The funds are also disbursed directly to the educational institution.

Although Eduloan’s method of granting loans falls under unsecured lending, we have the ability to collect before the person gets his take home salary, thereby protecting our clients from defaulting as he doesn’t have to still pay his loan back from the take home portion.

We also educate clients about their loans. It is all about understanding the value of the loan, how the loan is structured and, if denied, explaining why the loan was denied. We explain exactly how Eduloan loans work in terms of the terms and installments. We are very transparent and there are no hidden costs. The interest rate is fixed, and the installments remain the same for the period that clients sign for.

Here is our advice to parents who want to be able to finance their children’s  education:
  •         Live within your means and save
  •         Don't spend what you don’t have.
  •         You need a savings buffer for emergencies, or for when interest rates go up.
  •         Try and save as often as much as possible.
  •         Don't buy on credit, especially for funding living expenses and holidays.
  •         Have a plan – save for your children’s or your own education, or invest elsewhere.
Mindsets about financial literacy need to be changed, and not only of those who want to secure their future. Corporate South Africa and other employers have a responsibility too. The latter should consider offering financial literacy courses for their personnel, who can then teach the basics to their children at home.

When you look at debt, you need to understand that not all debt is bad, specifically debt that will contribute to your financial well being. Educational debt falls into this category as it gives you the opportunity to invest in your own or your children’s education and will go a long way in setting up the foundation for a debt free future as education is key in improving your income earning potential.

Eduloan is a leading education finance specialist operating in Southern Africa. Since its inception in 1996, Eduloan has provided more than 7200 000 study loans valued at R3.7-billion and continues to help thousands across Africa unlock their true potential. Currently, Eduloan approves between 40 000 and 50 000 loans annually to students, a significant proportion of them working professionals.
Eduloan’s loan offerings include repayment options at extremely affordable, fixed-interest rates, for the duration of the loan period. 

Study fees are paid by Eduloan directly to the institution, taking the administrative burden away from the student/corporate institution.  Loans can be paid back either through a salary deduction or a debit order.

For more information, call Eduloan’s Client Services Department on 0860-55-55-44 or visit www.eduloan.co.za. Follow us on Twitter/EduloanSA and Facebook/EduloanSA.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Planning (And Sticking) To Your Budget

Students are notorious for being broke or short of cash. But how can you budget that little money that you earn from your part-time and weekend baby-sitting jobs to ensure that you make it to the end of the month? This week we take a look at budgeting and how you can stick to it!

A budget is a plan that you put together to account for your income and expenses. This means that you plan your money so that your expenses do not exceed your income and that you can reach your financial goals – whether they include saving for a car or anything else. If you stick to your budget, this can be a very important tool to make sure that you get to the end of the month without having to worry about your pockets being empty at the end of the month.

Make a list of your income
Make a list of all the income you receive in a month. This includes pocket money and any other money you receive from odd part time jobs as well as from any bursars. You can also include your study loan amount, since you will have to deduct your expenses from this as well.

Plan your expenses
Make a list of all your expenses. Include your tuition fees, cost of textbooks, any study equipment you might require, your accommodation costs, the money you require for food as well as traveling expenses. You can also plan any expenses that might come about in the month like any birthday presents you might need to buy, maintenance costs on your car or even just holiday pocket money.

Split your expenses into categories
Take the list of your expenses and prioritise them. This is important because you might have to exclude something from your budget in the first month and make provision for it in the next month when you have less important things to budget for.

Once you have made your list of expenses and marked the most important ones, you can deduct your expenses from your income. Make sure that you are not in a negative balance. If you are in a negative balance, you will have to revise your expenses to ensure that you can pay for the most essential things.

Be realistic!
Try be as realistic as possible. If you are realistic, it will be much easier to stick to your budget. Check in on your spending every now and then throughout the month to make sure that you are well within budget.

You can visit our website to use our budget calculator. This will help you establish a basic budget. Remember that your budget might change from month-to-month and that you will have to keep your calendar in mind when you plan your budget.