Monday, 14 July 2014

Eduloan encourages a culture of financial discipline with Eduxtras By David Scholtz, Chief Financial Officer at Eduloan

What your parents taught you about money and how they handled their finances has a direct bearing on how you, as a student, manage your study bursary or loan. It all boils down to your financial education and learning by example.

Most people are rather uninformed about personal finance, and this shows not only in their own finances, but also in how their children manage money. This does not mean that all students are inexperienced in handling their finances, but a considerable number of them do need guidance to make their bursaries or loans last through the year.

Eduloan views itself as a responsible company that would like to help as many students as possible in furthering their careers. As one of South Africa’s foremost providers of study finance, we want to do much more than simply give students access to funds. We want to encourage a culture of financial discipline, to make sure students use the funds available to them responsibly. Eduloan aims to be a catalyst, an enabler that takes students from their present situation to becoming responsible and contributing South Africans. 

 We found that students were spending too much money on entertainment and personal luxuries that had nothing to do with their studies. Long before the end of the academic year, these students were presented with a shock: their funds were depleted! 

This is where Eduloan’s Eduxtras product plays an important role. In essence it is a budgeting system whereby the bursar can determine and allocate funds for a specific item, called spending pockets - like meals, accommodation, books, and even cash.

Secondly, Eduxtras helps control spending on essentials. We implemented processes that prevent students from spending their bursaries or loans on, for instance, cigarettes or alcohol.
Used to a limited amount of pocket money, or in some cases no money for personal use at all, students are granted a loan of, say, R25 000 in their first year of study. Too many students, and in particular those from a poor background, this is an incredible amount of money that will, in their minds, last forever.

The most important aspect about Eduxtras is that students are taught how to budget and are left with a clear picture of where they stand financially in any given academic year, knowing exactly what they can spend on and what not. It is a tool that teaches the students at an early age how to work with money and make it last for the period it was intended for.  We force students to stick to their budget, at the same time inculcating in them a sense of responsible money management.
We have developed a financial education booklet that we hand out to students to help them understand money matters. When activation of their Eduxstras card takes place, Eduloan representatives are there to explain the finer details about security and using the card.  It works very much like a bank debit card. The student can use the card to pay but the system can also facilitate payment by using cell phone technology with the same pocket technology.
The student and the bursar can draw a real-time report on the spending done. Whenever a transaction happens, they can see that their account is debited and how much money is left for future purchases. In cases where the full amount in a specific spending pocket, for example books, is not used up, the bursar is refunded that amount by the end of the year.

Eduxstras is a scalable, workable solution that helps the student reach his or her academic goals and assures the bursar that the money granted is spent well. The system gives bursars access to a full report of what the student is spending money on, which allows the bursars to adjust the spending pockets for, say, accommodation or meals, should they feel that these are not sufficient. 
Over time, students learn to understand their spending patterns. Later on, when they have graduated and are not part of the Eduxtras system any longer, we hope that responsible budgeting and prioritising expenses will have become second nature.

Eduloan’s aim is to see more financially balanced students, who understand that a financial buffer needs to be built to protect them against unexpected expenses, understand the difference between good and bad debt, and who can manage the funds available to their advantage.


"Education drives the nation forward. Our mission is to empower individuals to become that driving force in their own way."
Eduloan is a leading education finance specialist operating in Southern Africa. Committed to making education both affordable and accessible to all individuals looking to further their education. Since its inception in 1996 Eduloan has awarded over 750 000 study loans to the value of more than R4billion and continues to help thousands across Africa unlock their true potential.

By making study finance as affordable as possible, Eduloan ensures that a large number of individuals who would otherwise not qualify for educational finance now have the means to improve their lives, the lives of their loved ones, and our nation as a whole through education. The Eduloan vision is to improve people's lives through financial access to education. Eduloan understands the real costs associated with furthering your education and offers study loan solutions that cover not only course fees, but additional expenses such as textbooks, registration fees and technology which includes laptops, tablets and other study equipment that may be associated with your studies. Eduloan also offers fund and bursary administration solutions to assist students and bursars alike in effectively managing bursary funds, training funds, CSI funds, cashless payments and class attendance of students and learnership beneficiaries.

As a registered credit service provider, Eduloan is fully committed to empowering Southern Africans through our product offering. Eduloan is a proud Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Level 2 contributor.
For more information, call Eduloan’s Client Services Department on 0860-55-55-44 or visit Follow us on Twitter/EduloanSA and Facebook/EduloanSA.

Eduloan continues to adapt to the changing landscape of education and assist students to realise their dreams.

The purpose of education is to equip an individual to become better.
And this, besides providing loans, is the role Eduloan wants to play in the changing South African education landscape. 

Eduloan is about unlocking potential, not only for students, but also for its own staff. With its unified approach, Eduloan ensures its clients make an impact on South Africa, now and in the  future.

We must come to understand that education is no longer about learning countless facts, but teaching students about making a contribution and a difference to our society while learning the basics. Good education impacts on the ability to make quality decisions.
And yes, education is expensive, but before we complain about the cost, we should think about the price of ignorance.

In spite  rising costs, enrolment at tertiary institutions is increasing. In 2009/2010 there were more than 800 000 higher education students in South Africa, and over 100 000 attended colleges for Further Education and Training (FETs). In 2011/2012 there were 870 000 higher education students, while FET students doubled to 200 000.
Government allocated R26 billion to education in 2011 and R35 billion in 2012. This means 9% of government spend went to education last year, compared to an average of around 7% in other countries.

South Africans are eager to gain qualifications, and all components to create the future are within reach, but still unevenly distributed in the population.
This uneven distribution needs to be addressed, and here, technology can play a huge role. Millions can benefit by making learning material available for free online, or by the “gamefication” of the learning process, where learning material becomes part of an online game students have to master. Research has shown that students who use games to learn have a far higher knowledge-retention rate than those who follow traditional ways.
We live in the internet age, and we can look up any information. What our children need to learn is how to navigate and integrate that information. Content can be consumed on mobile phones and even tests can be written on mobile sets.

South Africa faces several challenges to take education into the future.
We need to work on reaching social equity by erasing poverty and improving our education system. If poverty is not successfully addressed we will simply perpetuate the current situation.

The passing standards from schools to university need to be aligned and to become consistent. This is the main course of the current 60% university dropout rate. Although big steps have been taken to improve equity and access to higher learning institutions, we are not setting our students up for success. Students arrive at universities unprepared and struggle to cope.  

By aligning passing standards and preparing our pupils for tertiary study while still at high school, we won’t need bridging courses that cost parents even more.
Career guidance at schools requires attention. Students show up at universities to enrol for their first year of study having no idea of what course to take or what career they want to follow  in life. 

Students must be encouraged to study hard at school in order to enter university. They need a vision of how they want to contribute to society as adults, about developing themselves and playing a role in their communities. It is all about curiosity, and how we can build this in our youth. 

To this end Eduloan encourages its people to convey that the company is not about granting loans, but about realising dreams. The private and public sectors must take responsibility to develop our youth. When companies grant learnerships, the young people accepting them should not be seen as simply a pair of extra hands, but should be taught about business, competition and cooperation.

Our students need to be able to answer one question: Of what value am I to society? In order to do this they have to understand what the community and the employment market need. Higher education institutions must also be geared to respond to the needs of community and market, and deliver the right kind of graduate.
 South Africans, young and old, need to work on their ability to think for themselves, to be able to form their own opinions and to participate in matters of culture, trade and communication in a proactive manner.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

What will I need to qualify for a loan from Eduloan? (Infographic)

Getting ready for exams – how to study like a genius.

We all get nervous and stressed when it’s that time of the year again. By that time of the year we mean exams or test weeks and if you’re lucky and still at school or varsity this happens more often than not.

The thing is, you really don’t need to be stressed or nervous, all you need is to be prepared and ready, this makes the world’s difference.  Give yourself the best chance with these 10 study tips to study like a genius!

1.      Begin preparing early
The best possible way for you to do good during exams or test weeks is to pay attention during class, every minute that you aren’t giving your full attention means many more minutes of studying and trying to understand later on.

2.      Know your teacher/professor and have a good relationship
This is fundamental in achieving good results, to have good relations with your study instructor means that you enjoy the course and if something is unclear to you, you will consult with him/her later or during class to see to it that you understand everything fully.

3.      Form a study group
Not only will other students be able to help you understand the material, but by helping others you are actually teaching yourself. Remember that this is a study group and not a socializing event and that you will need to stay focused on why everyone is there.

4.      Organize your study space
Make sure that you have enough space to spread all your material and notes out. Get yourself comfortable and keep all your distractions out of sight.

5.      Flow charts and diagrams work best!
Use flow charts and diagrams to review your work visually. People tend to remember visual information better. Condense your revision notes into one-page diagrams to reflect when nearing the examination date.

6.      Practice on old examination papers or tests
After you have studies the relevant material, practice on old papers to test your knowledge and do so under test conditions.  This will help comfort you to know that you will be able to complete the paper in the allocated time.

7.      Take regular breaks for 10 to 20 minutes
Studying for an entire day might make you feel good, but this could actually end up to be counterproductive. Studies have shown that for long-term retention of knowledge, regular breaks are crucial.

8.      Eat well
Keep away from heavy saturated foods such as margarine and foods with high sugar levels. You will need to eat balances meals, containing foods such as eggs, fruit, cereal, lean meat and vegetables. Don’t overeat and rather eat dark chocolate as a treat as studies have shown that this helps to boost your brain.

9.      Get to bead early
Allow for your body to get the correct amount of rest that it need to perform the following day.  Thus plan your day so that you will get to bed early and allow for yourself to relax before falling asleep.

10.  Wake up nice and early on the day you are writing
Give yourself enough time to get up and get to the examination location on time. Getting up nice and early will help you to start the exam/test stress free and with a clear mind.