Quality education lays the foundation of a steady career and a better package. However, its ever-increasing cost has rendered it out of bounds for most people. As a result, most people have to finance their higher education through education loans from banks or NBFCs. However, those who cannot avail education loan due to lack of co-borrower, guarantor or sufficient collateral or due to poor ranking of the institute can consider applying for personal loan.
In this article, we have compared the features of education loan and personal loan for customers to help them understand which one may work well for them as compared to the other.
Lenders approve education loans after the institute’s ranking, fees and other costs related to the course like hostel fee, cost of books, equipment, laptop, etc. The maximum education loan you can avail is Rs 10 lakh for studies in India, whereas for overseas courses it can go as high as Rs 20 lakh. This loan amount may even go higher for courses from reputed institutions like IIMs, IITs, ISB, etc. or for overseas institutes.
On the other hand, the eligible personal loan amount for an applicant is decided on the basis of his repayment capacity. Those having adequate repayment capacity can easily avail personal loans of Rs 20 lakh or even more for financing their education. As there is no end restriction, borrowers can use the entire amount for covering the cost of availing the education and other expenses like accommodation expenses, cost of external coaching, etc. which may not be covered by the lender of the education loan. Note that lenders usually offer personal loans of up to Rs 20 lakh
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As compared to personal loans, education loans can be availed at comparatively lower interest rates, usually ranging from 8.15% p.a. to 15.20% p.a. A few lenders offer an additional 0.5% concession to female students. Students can get further concession of 1% if they start servicing the interest component during the moratorium period. Personal loans, on the other hand, are usually offered at 10.50% p.a. onwards. However, some public sector banks offer personal loans at lower interest rates. Hence, availing personal loans for financing education can increase the overall interest cost for the borrower.
Those availing personal loans for the purpose of higher education can visit online financial marketplaces like Paisabazaar.com to compare the personal loan interest rates offered by various banks and NBFCs based on their credit score, monthly income and other aspects of their credit profile.
Personal Loan Interest Rates offered by Top Lenders
|Axis Bank||10.49% onwards||Apply Now|
|IndusInd Bank||10.49% onwards||Apply Now|
|IDFC First Bank||10.49% onwards||Apply Now|
|HDFC Bank||10.50% onwards||Apply Now|
|ICICI Bank||10.65% onwards||Apply Now|
|Kotak Mahindra Bank||10.99% onwards||Apply Now|
|Tata Capital||10.99% onwards||Apply Now|
|Bajaj Finserv||11.00% onwards||Apply Now|
|Federal Bank||11.49% onwards||Apply Now|
|DMI Finance||12.00% - 40.00%||Apply Now|
|L&T Finance||12.00% onwards||Apply Now|
|Kreditbee||12.25% - 30.00%||Apply Now|
|MoneyTap||13.00% onwards||Apply Now|
|Piramal Finance||12.99% onwards||Apply Now|
|Aditya Birla||13.00% onwards||Apply Now|
|Moneyview||15.96% onwards||Apply Now|
|Cashe||27.00% onwards||Apply Now|
Note: Interest rates as of 30 November 2023
Also, check your credit score before applying for either of the loans. You can avail a free credit report from each of the credit bureaus once a year. Alternatively, you can visit Paisabazaar.com to get free credit reports from multiple bureaus along with their monthly updates. Checking credit score at regular intervals will allow you to take corrective steps for improving your credit score and thereby, your chances of loan approval at lower interest rates.
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For education loans amounting more than Rs 4 lakhs, lenders may not finance a certain percentage of your total education cost and thus, will have to be paid out of your own pocket. This amount can include your scholarship money too. In case of the personal loan, there is no margin money. Lenders will sanction the amount on the basis of your personal loan eligibility.
Education loans have repayment periods of up to 15 years and such a long tenure, along with lower interest rates, usually results in lower EMIs. On the other hand, shorter loan tenure of personal loans of usually up to 5 years, along with its relatively higher interest rates, results in a higher EMI amount.
In personal loans, the loan repayment starts immediately after the disbursal. However, that isn’t the case with education loans as it comes with a moratorium period of up to a year from the completion date of the course. This means that in addition to the course period, borrowers are not required to pay the EMIs for a year, giving them enough time to find a job and ensure regular income to repay the loan.
Moreover, your lender can further extend the moratorium period under specific circumstances like medical emergencies, unemployment or during incubation period, if the student wants to take up a start-up venture after graduation, subject to approval of the lender.
Education loan usually requires a co-applicant such as your earning parent or spouse. For education loans of up to Rs 4 lakhs, lenders generally do not ask for collateral or third party guarantee. Some lenders like HDFC Bank and Bank of Baroda extend this benefit for loan amounts of up to Rs. 7.5 lakhs. However, for loan amounts exceeding Rs 7.5 lakh, borrowers will have to provide an additional collateral security to lenders in the form of property, bank deposit, mutual funds, insurance policies, etc. On the other hand, in case of personal loans, the requirement of a guarantor or collateral security is not mandatory for availing the loan.
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Which is Better?
Lower interest rate, longer tenure, moratorium period and tax benefits make education loans a favourable option for borrowers vis-à-vis personal loans. Consider opting for a personal loan if you do not get an education loan due to absence of co-borrower, guarantor, sufficient collateral or in case you require a higher loan amount than what you are eligible for.