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What to Know Before Taking a School Fees Loan
What to Know Before Taking a School Fees Loan
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What to Know Before Taking a School Fees Loan

Money254
Sheila Brenda Andoi
January 24, 2023

After the Christmas and New Year's holiday break, the back-to-school season has returned, and even the most financially prepared parents and guardians may find it to be financially burdensome. 

There is school fees, you'll also need to buy books, uniforms, and other necessities.

Most parents might use some assistance during this time of year to pay school fees, do back-to-school shopping, or purchase items for their child/children.

It might be challenging to find a school fee loan, especially if you don't know where to begin. That, however, doesn't imply that you have no options. In this article, we'll discuss school fee loans in detail and how you choose the best loan that suits you to cater to your child's fees and other related expenses.

Read Also: Back to School: Fees and 5 Other Things to Plan For Today

What is a School Fees Loan?

School Fees Loans are short-term loans designed to assist parents and guardians in meeting their kids' educational needs in a timely manner.

You can use this loan to pay for school supplies, tuition, and other educational costs. There are school fees loans that are specifically intended for parents with children enrolled in schools but many other personal loan products including logbook loans that have no use restrictions can be used to pay for school-related expenses.

Features of School Fees Loan

Quick Disbursement 

School fees loans are typically sought during the start of the school seasons, so lending institutions understand that the funds are sought with a relatively high degree of urgency.

Institutions that offer a specific school fees loan product will already have ensured that processing times are faster than regular loan products.

If you choose to take other loan options such as a logbook loan and indicate you intend to use it to pay for school fees, it is likely the institution will expedite your application. Logbook loans particularly have fast turnaround times of even as short as less than a day. 

Relatively Larger Loan Amounts

Since school fees and related expenses can add up, you will find school fees loan products have relatively higher limits as compared to, for example, emergency loans or other general purpose loan products. 

If you take the logbook loan route, depending on whether your car qualifies, amounts in the upwards of Ksh100k can be loaned.

Flexible Repayment Time

This is entirely dependent on the institution. If you choose the traditional route and apply for a loan product specifically designed for school fees, you may be restricted to a repayment period of between one month and three months - like the typical school term.

Other loan products that are not specifically named “school fees loans” will typically have longer repayment periods as all personal loans would and may be a good option for you if you want to pay back over a longer period of time. Some parents prefer to pay school fees for the entire school year and may find this option to be a good fit.

Logbook loans for instance will typically give you a repayment period of up to 3 years or thereabout, depending on the amount borrowed and the type of institution you borrow from. 

Factors to Consider Before Taking a School Fees Loan

Before applying for this loan here is what you should put into consideration;

Eligibility 

Before beginning the loan application process, you should check and ensure that you match the lenders' minimum loan qualification standards. Some of the requirements include:

  • Verification of your income - most institutions will require you to be earning a certain minimum monthly income to qualify. Don’t be fazed even if your income is irregular, you will still be considered as long as you meet the lender’s specific requirements for borrowers with irregular income. 
  • Guarantors - if you borrow from a Sacco, you will need to provide guarantors to secure your loan against possible default
  • Collateral - Spending on the amount, you may need to provide collateral. This is especially important if you want to take a logbook loan wherein your car, it’s value, condition, insurance type etc. will determine whether you qualify and how much money you can get 
  • Your lending history - Every lender will typically want to know your borrowing history to determine whether you qualify for a loan. Your history may impact the amount you can borrow, the interest rate applicable, loan term and so on. Note that this may not be stated in black and white by the lender and may only be applied internally while processing your application. 
  • CRB status- Many lenders, especially banks will require your CRB status to be in good standing. Microfinance institutions, particularly, may be a little more flexible around this requirement and could lend to you despite being negatively listed

Understanding the eligibility requirements of different institutions and loan types that can be used to pay school fees will help you get everything you need in order before even approaching a lender -reducing processing time and chances of a rejection. 

The minimum and maximum amounts you can borrow 

When considering taking a school fees loan, you should also assess if the minimum and maximum loan amount available meet your needs. 

For instance, you may be in need of Ksh50,000 for your child’s school fees but a lender only offers you a maximum of Ksh30,000 when you cannot raise the difference in time.

Are you willing to take a lesser amount and offset the balance from other sources? Does increasing the amount you want to borrow increase the cost of the loan and is it worth it?

Can the school allow you to pay the school fees in instalments? If so, this may reduce the amount you need to borrow today. Maybe your cash flow will improve next month and you will not need a loan then. 

The loan approval time 

Not all lenders will quickly review your loan application, approve it, and deposit the money into your account. Some lenders take weeks, while others only need a day or two. How suitable the loan is for you depends heavily on how quickly the lender processes your application. 

For instance, a loan with a one-week approval deadline may not be the best choice for you if your child is returning to school this week and you need money right away for school fees and other supplies. The decision is entirely up to you. 

The logbook loan, for instance, is one of the fastest options to consider for school fees since many of the institutions offering this loan type promise fast turnaround times. For parents keen on getting the funds needed to take their children back to school, one can consider this option.

You, however, must ensure that you fully understand the costs and risks of logbook loans before signing the loan agreement since logbook loans may be typically more expensive than ordinary personal loans. And there is a real risk of losing your vehicle.

Nevertheless, many people still choose logbook loans due to among other reasons fast turnaround time, high loan amounts and fairly flexible eligibility requirements.

Read Also: Why are So Many Kenyans Taking Logbook Loans?

Ability to Repay

This has got to be the most important factor of consideration before going for the school fees financing option. As important as school is to your children, it will not do them much good if this term’s fees put their parent’s in a debt cycle that jeopardises their entire educational prospects. 

You must know where the money to repay the loan will come from, that you will be able to comfortably pay back the school fees loan instalments and still meet your other obligations before you take a loan.

While evaluating your ability to repay, it may also be time to decide whether the school your children are currently attending is within your budget or are you, honestly, punching above your weight?

Once you are confident that you can comfortably repay the loan, you can then take the steps to choose the lender that best suits your circumstances.

In fact, an evaluation of your repayment ability will also help you negotiate for better terms, maybe a longer tenure and so on. 

Read Also: 5 Ways to Successfully Repay a Logbook Loan

Planning

This is where it gets interesting. The significance of adequate planning cannot be overstated. A well-thought-out plan provides you with direction.

How do you plan for your child/childrens back to school costs?

To get started, the first step is to be aware of the expenses that are required apart from school fees like; uniforms, books, travel expenses, back-to-school shopping, etc. Once you have all these listed, put a figure for all these costs. A clear budget will prevent you from overshopping or under shopping.

Read Also: Back to School: Fees and 5 Other Things to Plan For Today

The second step is to get conversant with the whole school calendar. Know the important school dates for your child like visiting days, parents' meetings, school trips, other outdoor activities, and half-terms. Budget for them as well. You don’t want to be caught off guard! 

When you have all that planned out, then you can now determine what amount of money you need or what deficit needs to be filled. Then you can go ahead and apply for financing. 

WRAPPING UP

To make sure you are getting the ideal loan for you and your situation out of the many personal loan options available on the Kenyan market, you should compare different loan packages.

If you think a logbook loan is an ideal choice for your children's school costs, you can begin the journey of comparing the logbook loan options available in the Kenyan market here

Read Also: Things to Look Out for When Comparing Logbook Loans

Sheila Brenda Andoi is a communicator, journalist, editor, and writer passionate about human-interest stories. You can find her on Twitter @sheilaandoi

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