It’s no secret that studying for a postgraduate course isn’t cheap, and so sometimes your bank balance won’t always stretch far enough, so you need to apply for financial support.
Experts from Future Finance impart their advice and explain the top 5 things to consider when applying for the monies.
While it may be tempting to ignore the financial side of things until it resolves itself, trust us when we say it’s better to face the issue head on, and as early as possible. Just like your undergrad years, the sooner you hand in your application for financial help, the better.
Underwriter Adam Smith says, "Submit your application as soon as possible, as it can take time for your chosen university to confirm that you’re enrolled on one of their programs. Please also note that defaults and late payments on previous or current loans can affect your application, so ensure that your accounts are as up-to-date as possible before applying".
Look at Your Budget
You don’t want to borrow so much that you end up spending it on things you don’t actually need, and likewise you don’t want to borrow so little that you end up living on Pot Noodles for your entire postgrad course.
So get out your calculator (or the calculator on your phone) and look at monthly outgoings, incomings and how much is required of you by the university. That should give you at least a rough idea of how much you need (or a very rough idea if you’re terrible at maths).
Julie Monaghan, a customer service representative at Future Finance, advises that, "Before you apply for a loan, do some planning and budgeting into how much you’ll need for the year. Tuition fees for postgrads are obviously the big expense, but there are also cost of living expenses, which can be covered by part time jobs, savings or be part of your loan".
Think About Your Guarantor
When you’re applying for finance it’s worth knowing that you may need to provide a guarantor. Often a parent or other family member, the guarantor will be responsible for paying your loan repayments if you don’t pay them. Although hopefully this situation won’t happen, otherwise you may have some rather annoyed faces to look at during the next Sunday dinner.
Customer service representative Mark Blake adds,"Postgraduate students-especially ones who are returning to education after a break-are less likely to need a guarantor, but it’s still a good idea to at least have one in mind as postgrad students tend to ask for larger sums than undergrads to cover their tuition fees. It would also be helpful just to get some financial advice generally before you apply".
Be Digitally Savvy
If you’re applying for your finance online, don’t rush through it. Make sure you include all the information they ask for, and that all attachments are correct and in the right format. Skipping over things and attaching the wrong documents will just delay your application, which will be nothing but annoying for you.
Tomas Keating works in servicing at Future Finance, and adds, "When applying for a student loan at Future Finance, you can upload all the necessary documents that we require, online, which we’ll then review. We may have a few queries regarding your application; if this is the case, we’ll contact you. As soon as our review of your application is complete, we’ll contact you with our decision on your application. If your loan application is approved, we’ll liaise with your university on your behalf. It’s as easy as your first lecture".
Don’t Let Financial Worries Hold You Back
Money can cause a great deal of unnecessary stress, especially when you need it in order to learn, but don’t let the worry hold you back from going into your postgraduate course as financial help is out there for you.
Hugh Loughlin from Future Finance’s Operations says, "You alone hold the keys to your future. In the current economic climate, education has been hit with numerous financial barriers for the average student; whether it’s an undergrad wishing to fund the remainder of their degree or a postgrad looking to change direction or improve their job prospects.
"We offer flexible student loans (Representative 11.3% APR (variable)) in an attempt to ease the financial burden on the average student. Of course undertaking a loan is a massive decision. We aim to assist you with reaching your educational goals with minimal financial pressure".
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