UK Education Loan Process (The complete guide)
The UK appeals to us Indians in a lot of ways. Be it the administration or the presence of various Indian communities in the country. A huge portion of Indian students prefers the UK as their destination for higher studies! Before you get all excited at the aspect of studying in the UK, you need to ensure that you know the entire UK education loan process, thoroughly.
We know that the process of collecting this information can be quite overwhelming, given the myriad sources of information being present on the internet. It is common knowledge that most students borrow an education loan to study in UK. This article aims to give you a consolidated knowledge of the various financial preconditions that all aspirants need to fulfil before they begin their higher education process to study in the UK. It will also tell you all about the procedure to apply for an education loan for UK in India.
Or better yet, watch the 21st episode of Loanflix, in which our abroad education loan expert, Damini Mahajan gives you a complete idea of the UK education loan process.
What are the available options of an education loan for UK?
Unsecured education loan for UK: It is common knowledge that NBFCs are the biggest providers of unsecured education loans. Most NBFCs do not entertain students who need to fund their higher studies with the help of an unsecured education loan for UK. The major reason being that in the past, NBFCs have had many cases where they have lent unsecured loans for the same purpose and those loans having turned into bad ones.
Most students who complete their courses in the UK, tend to work there itself due to UK’s employment-friendly visa rules. Hence many private banks and NBFCs have a trust issue when it comes to lending an unsecured education loan for UK to students in need. If you directly approach any of the top NBFCs for an education loan for the UK, you might be disappointed.
Hold your horses before you start worrying, for an unsecured education loan for UK is not an impossible task. The finance team at WeMakeScholars has handled many such cases where a student was rejected by many private banks and NBFCs for an unsecured education loan for UK.
An unsecured education loan for UK is mostly possible if you happen to pursue your course in any of the top 20 universities in the UK. Due to our good rapport with most top NBFCs, our team has been able to secure non-collateral education loans of up to Rs.50 Lakhs for courses in top universities like LSE, UCL, Oxford, Cambridge, etc. Non-collateral education loans are possible for second-tier universities as well, however, this is mainly dependent on factors such as the employability factor of the chosen course, the co-applicant’s financial profile and the applicant’s number of years of work experience if they have worked before.
Secured education loans for the UK: A secured education loan to study in UK is the best possible option to finance your higher studies. Collateral-based education loans borrowed from notable government banks are always a better option when it comes to funding your higher education abroad. This is due to the following reasons.
- Secured loans are always cheap as compared to unsecured education loans.
- The secured loans interest rates are way too low.
- Processing fees are relatively less.
- Lesser chances of your student visa application being rejected.
If you are still confused about the funding options for your higher studies abroad, you should get in touch with the WeMakeScholars team to get an unbiased opinion on which option suits your profile the best.
Moving ahead, let’s take a look at the admission process, which is a crucial stage in the UK education loan process.
The admission process to study in the UK
Before you dive right into the exact process of fulfilling the financial requirements to study in the UK, here is some information on certain documents that students are required to submit to the UK embassy in order to qualify for a UK student visa.
Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS):
This document is a compulsory requirement for a UK student visa.
- The CAS is a unique number allotted by a student’s immigration sponsor in the UK (in this case, this sponsor is the university in which the student wishes to pursue their higher studies).
- The CAS number is a requirement to qualify for a tier 4 UK visa process.
- Students may be required by their respective universities to pay a certain token amount in order to receive their CAS certificate.
- This certificate is generally issued by universities 4 months prior to the start of the course.
Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate:
- Students who plan on pursuing postgraduate courses in certain fields only need an ATAS certificate in order to be eligible to apply for a UK Student visa.
- An ATAS certificate is valid for six months from the date of issue. This leaves aspiring candidates with sufficient time for their visa process. The UK government recommends students to apply for this certificate at least 9 months prior to the start of their visa process.
- You can check whether your course requires you to submit an ATAS certificate for your course, here.
Coming to the admission process, the following important steps have to be followed by students in the UK admission process:
- Apply to universities and receive an admission letter.
- Obtain their CAS and ATAS certificates as soon as the admission letter from the respective university has been received. To receive a CAS certificate from the respective university, a certain amount has to be deposited as token money, by the candidates.
- Apply for a Tier 4 (UK student) visa process. This process would take at least 15-20 days when you apply through VFS Global.
Financial pre-conditions to be fulfilled by students who have borrowed an education loan for UK
- As mentioned at the beginning of this article, it is common knowledge that many students who wish to study in the UK opt for education loans to fund their higher studies. Although the UK government does not ask higher education aspirants to submit a proof of funds, a CAS/ATAS certificate is mandatory for a UK student visa.
- One of the very first actions that students need to take, as soon as they receive their university admits, is to request for a CAS certificate from their respective university. In order to obtain this certificate, students are supposed to deposit a certain amount as token money.
- This token money amount varies from one university to the other. If you feel that the token money quoted by your university is too high and that you may need to include this as an expense in your education loan application, then you need to cater to the time (1 month prior to your visa process) required to obtain the CAS certificate from your respective university and then apply for a UK education loan.
- Here’s a little information on the side for you. The UK government had made a list of 23 universities which do not need students to provide proof of funds. Before applying for a UK education loan, it is recommended that you check this list.
How can I ensure that my UK education loan is sanctioned in time?
If you plan on studying with the help of an education loan in UK, then you should keep the following points in mind before applying for one.
- One of the biggest drawbacks and perhaps, the only drawback of applying for a secured education loan to study in UK from government banks is the long processing time taken by them to sanction education loans.
- Most nationalized banks do not give education loans the right priority and as a result, many students have to face the problem of a delayed UK education loan sanction.
One of the major perks of applying through WeMakeScholars is that the finance officers understand the time constraint faced by students who wish to study with the help of an education loan in UK. Hence, you can expect your loan to be sanctioned within 15-20 days of applying for a UK education loan through us.
When is the right time to apply for a UK education loan?
Although the answer to this question is a pretty simple one, many candidates often make the mistake of not keeping a track of the exact timeline of the UK education loan process.
While applying for an education loan for UK, it is very important to consider different finance-related contingencies in mind. A well-planned education loan process gives candidates the upper hand, thus helping them arrange for an alternative in the wake of an emergency issue related to their UK education loan.
Speaking of finance-related contingencies, one common trouble faced by students who borrow collateral-based education loan for UK is regarding the pre-visa disbursement. Until a few years ago, it was against the abroad education loan policies of many nationalized banks to issue a pre-visa disbursement, which is a precondition set by embassies of certain countries for a student visa nowadays. The WeMakeScholars team, having handled many such cases, brought up this issue with some of the major banks and today, most nationalized banks, most notably, SBI, has implemented another policy which requires banks to issue this disbursement to students, as and when they require it.
However, as is the case with every public bank functioning in India, most loan officials are unaware of any modifications made in their respective banks’ education loan policies. This is why students still face a difficult time getting this pre-visa disbursement.
Students who apply through WeMakeScholars have never had to face this trouble due to the prompt actions taken by our team regarding the same. If you are to directly apply to any bank for a UK education loan, you need to cater to this possibility while doing so.
Keeping in mind all the different phases involved in the UK admission process as well as the UK education loan process, the recommended time to apply for an education loan for UK would be at least 1.5 months before you need your funds.
If you approach the WeMakeScholars team, you need not worry about the longer processing time as our team ensures that our students get their loan sanctioned within 15-20 days of applying through us.
Although we recommend students to apply through public banks for education loans, time and again, here’s a bitter truth about them. Education loans are not a strong forte of most public banks in India. There is no doubt that the policies implemented by these banks regarding education loans are some of the best ones in the country.
When students directly approach these banks for their education loans, many officials do not prioritize the education loan applications on the basis of a candidate’s funding requirements.
Sometimes, they even try to find faults in the procedure followed by you. Hence it is very important that you conduct a thorough study of the entire education loan process before you approach any bank or financial institution for one. It is for this very reason that our team has developed Loanflix- a comprehensive web-series on abroad education loans and more. So do make it a point to watch this information-filled series, before you embark on your education loan journey.
At WeMakeScholars, students are our priority. Our financial team strives every day to ensure that our students get the better end of any abroad education loan scheme they opt for. So if you are stuck at any phase of your abroad education loan process, do not hesitate to get in touch with our team.
Note: WeMakeScholars is an organization funded and supported by the Government of India that focuses on International Education finance. We are associated with 10+ public/Pvt banks/ NBFCs in India and help you get the best abroad education loan matching your profile. As this initiative is under the Digital India campaign, it’s free of cost. The organization has vast experience dealing with students going to various abroad education destinations like the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Italy, China, France among others