Study Loans: What You Should Know

Date Published: January 7, 2021

It can be rather difficult to finance your studies, which is why many students turn to student loans to help. 

Before you decide to apply for a study loan, there are a few things you should know:

  • They are not free
  • You might struggle to qualify 
  • Study Loans are a long term commitment 

They Are Not Free

Study loans have to be paid back over some time. A study loan is not a bursary.  You will also have to pay interest on the loan that will increase the overall price of the loan that needs to be paid back. 

Study Loans What You Should Know

Keep in mind that when you commit to a study loan, you will often not be able to get your qualification or degree before you have finished paying the money back. 

No matter if you pass or how well you do, without having paid off the loan you might not be able to get your actual certificate. 

For many South African student loans, the loan interest must be paid off in the duration of your tertiary education.  The bulk of the loan, not including the interest, can then be paid off when you start working.

You Might Struggle to Qualify

Qualifying for a loan can sometimes be very difficult. To qualify for a loan, the bank will need to check your credit history to make sure that you are not a bad debt and are more than likely to pay the money back. 

If you have a bad credit record, you will not be able to get a loan. Look here if you want to learn more about your credit score to see if you might qualify for a student loan.

Study Loans Are a Long-Term Commitment

Your study loans will be with you for a while. Since it is a rather large expense, you can expect to pay your study loans off after a few years when you start working.

This means that you will need to get a job as soon as you are finished studying so that you can start paying off your loan.  

Even if you fail your course or decide to drop out, you will still need to pay back the money that you used including the interest.


The National Student Financial Aid Scheme exists to help students fund their tertiary education. 

Find out more about getting a loan through NSFAS and their application process.

Author: Andrea Frisby 

Last Updated: Sanel Van Staden,  23 July  2021

Published: July 23, 2021


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp