Minimising Financial Challenges before Starting Further Studies

Obtaining vocational or formal qualifications can lead to both personal and professional fulfillment and contentment. However, further studying requires commitment on all fronts, including time and money, and for some people this may be a little too much, especially if they are unable to undertake more commitments. Lack of financial planning and preparation can potentially limit an individual’s chances to gain further qualifications and skills.

Many people may be put off from further studies because of course costs and fees. Therefore, planning is the key and it may be that an individual can undertake further studies without breaking the bank. For those who have the financial means can self fund studies through savings or borrowing money from friends and family.

However, for those who do not have enough savings to finance studies may need to turn to cheap loans for personal and professional development. It is important to undertake extensive research and look for the best options to avoid incurring fees and unnecessary high APR (annual percentage rate). Minimising financial challenges at the outset will lead to less anxiety and headaches, but adopting a focused approach in seeking the best options will pay dividends.


Financial Challenges

Before undertaking a formal qualification, the individual may choose to speak with the institution providing the qualification to discuss best possible financial options. It may transpire that the college or course provider may have an arrangement with a reputable financial institution in providing cost effective and affordable financing solutions. If that is the case, the individual will need to discuss his/her needs further with the bank to work out an appropriate solution.

If an individual chooses to self finance a vocational qualification, the course provider may facilitate the opportunity for the individual to spread course repayment over a period of time. For example, increment payments may be spread over a period of 12 months for a 12 month course, as opposed to paying for the fees upfront in one lump payment.

It is worth noting that a credit check may be performed if an individual chooses to spread his/her payments over a period of time. This usually takes place by the course provider’s administrative and finance teams after course acceptance and before final application approval

Finance Options

An individual may need to consider a number of options if the money is not readily available to undertake the studies. These can include:

  • Interest free loans from family and friends
  • Personal savings
  • Bursaries
  • Grants
  • Employer sponsored studies
  • Negotiating payment terms and spreading cost of payment over a period of time
  • Bank loans including professional and career development loans

Students can also check the following sources in addition to the above mentioned sources:

  • Public funding bodies
  • Government funded agencies
  • Scholarships
  • Foundations and Trusts
  • Part time work
  • Charities

Any one taking out financing from a bank of other financial institution will need to read the small print before signing on the dotted line. If in doubt, seek legal advice and contact a financial adviser for further advice and possible solutions.

Low Interest Loans

The explosion of vocational and formal qualifications has also led to a plethora of financing options currently being offered by financial institutions. Some of these products have included cheap loans, low interest loans, career development loans or refinancing options based on their personal and financial circumstances. However, individuals need to be very cautious when tempted to take up offers from unknown finance providers. It is however, imperative to seek further advice before signing on the dotted line.