It can be a lot of fun to study and learn new things. It can also be something which could help us to improve in our job. Therefore many of us would really like to study. However, if we decide that we want to study for a degree, diploma or other courses there may be a cost associated with it. Some courses, such as GCSE’s can be fairly reasonable in price but if you want to do something at a higher level then the course will be much more expensive. You will also have to cover the costs of all of your expenses while you are studying rather than working. Therefore there are many things that you need to think about first.
What loan options are available?
If the course is reasonably cheap then you might be able to use your savings to pay for it and that would mean that you would not need a loan. It is worth checking to see if it would be affordable as borrowing money is always expensive and this would be a much cheaper way to study. To start with you need to see what loan options are available to you. If you are doing a degree for the first time then you should be able to get a student loan. If not then you might qualify for a career development loan. If you are not sure about your options then speak to the institution that you are studying with as they will have a finance department and will be ableto let youknow what the usual routes for borrowing are. It is better to get a student loan if you can, as these only have to be paid back once you are earning a certain amount of money and they are written off after thirty years so you may not end up repaying it all anyway.
Will I be able to repay it?
It is really worth making sure that you have a full understanding of the terms of the loan, particularly the repayments. You need to know how much you will need to repay and when. This will enable you to consider whether you think that you will be able to afford the repayments or not. There are many different options for borrowing and they will all have different terms with regards to repayments and so it will be important to make sure that you know what you will be expected to do. You will then be able to work out whether you think that you will be able to manage the repayments.
A student loan will not need to be repaid until the course has finished and once you reach a certain earning threshold. A career development loan will not need to be repaid until the course has finished but repayments have to be made even if you are not earning very much money. Therefore this will need to be considered when you are thinking about taking this sort of loan. There will also be terms if you take out a personal loan, use a credit card or an overdraft or any other means of borrowing. Make sure that you really understand the repayments and your obligations with regards to them so that you can decide whether you will be able to manage them.
Will the course improve my job prospects?
It is well worth thinking about whether the course will improve your opportunity for working. This is not quite so important for a student loan as you will not need to repay it if you do not get a well-paid job. However, the other courses will need to be repaid and so you will need to make sure that you have a high enough income to be able to afford it. Consider whether the qualification will allow you to be able to get a job that will pay you enough to be able to afford those repayments. Think about whether you could afford them at the moment as well. Some loans will need to be repaid right away, even while you are still studying. If you have a loan like this then you will need to think about how you will be able to afford the repayments while you are studying as well as after. It may be that you can study part time and pay for the course by working while you are studying. It may be that you have been able to save up money before starting the course so that you are able to manage the loan repayments using savings. If you do have savings though, it might be wiser to use them to pay for the course rather than getting a loan and repaying it with savings as this is a cheaper way to cover the cost.