How To Obtain Student Loans In South Africa As An International Student

Studying is an avenue for a young adventurous student to explore their surroundings while making contributions towards the future they desire.

While it is true that some people would prefer to explore the UK, US, Canada, China and other countries in Asia or Australia there are countries in Africa which boast of academic excellence.

South Africa is known as a tourist destination for many looking to explore the African continent, but what people do not know is that universities in South Africa belong are one of the best schools in Africa with some having good ranking among the world universities.


Asides being highly ranked, there are affordable universities for international students on a budget with accommodation and daily expenses being relative to the city one lives in.

Read Also: List Of Cheapest Universities For International Students In South Africa

When Is A Student Loan Necessary?

Sometimes when studying in a foreign land even when you have probably calculated an estimated budget for your expenses during your stay at school, there might be other expenses which may come in the form of;

  • Travel expenses
  • Insurance
  • Cost of books/laboratory fee
  • Library/Examination fee
  • Buying a new laptop
  • Student field trips e.t.c

These unforeseen expenses might put a strain on your financial budget and if you do not have an alternate source of income in form of bursaries, scholarships, or part-time jobs then you may have to apply for a loan.

How Does Student Loan Work In South Africa?

There are lots of financial institutions willing to give loans to citizens with adequate proof and required documents. Even at that, the process for obtaining loans varies from each bank although there is no guarantee that you would be given a loan even when you have all the requirements.


What Would I Need To Obtain A Loan?

Requirements for student loans depend largely on which bank you are obtaining your loan from. The general requirements include;

  • Admission letter
  • Transcripts and Test results (IELTS, TOFEL)
  • Should be between 18-30 years
  • Valid ID card
  • Signature Proof
  • Salary slip(of either parent)
  • Statement of accounts (3-6months)
  •  Completed application form with signature
  • Passport size photographs
  • Valid Visa and Passport (for international students )

Is there a Minimum Amount?

The minimum or maximum amount that you may be entitled to depend solely on the bank which you have approached for a loan with interest rates and repayment plans also varying on the financial institution.

Many banks provide the option of a serviced loan where the parent pays the interest on the loans throughout the duration their child remains in school. After graduation, you would be required to have a minimum amount which would be sufficient for your expenses after appropriate deductions.


Before applying for a loan, I would suggest that you discuss various funding opportunities with your supervisor or university before leaving your home country. You could also be on the lookout for scholarship opportunities either from your home country or in your university.


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