What does Student Hero do?
There are various student finance providers in South Africa and each of them has unique qualifying criteria and processes. Student Hero is South Africa’s largest student finance facilitator and serves as a single point of contact to help current and prospective students to learn about, apply or and qualify for study funding from multiple educational finance providers.
When should someone consider financing their studies?
There are multiple reasons why it might be better for you to finance your investment in education as opposed to paying cash upfront.
The number one reason to finance would be because it enables you to hold on to your savings for a rainy day while using a finance provider’s money to pay the institution.
If you have to finance out of necessity, then the extended repayment term associated with the financing can reduce the monthly payments in line with what is comfortable for your particular financial situation. Financing does not have to be out of necessity, in your situation it might simply be more comfortable for you to pay a lower instalment to avoid sacrificing too many of your creature comforts.
To determine if financing is right for you, we recommend weighing the cost associated with funding and financing education against the increased earning potential induced by studying.
Whatever your reason may be, it is very important to know your options and understand the qualifying criteria, terms and the cost associated with the different educational finance providers.
How is student finance different from other finance products such as property or vehicle finance and what are the costs associated with taking out student finance?
Educational finance providers appreciate how important it is to invest in education and they clearly express this appreciation in the way that student finance is priced and to be repaid. Student finance is priced at an interest rate of prime to prime plus 7%, which is a very low interest rate if compared to other finance products. The most unique feature of student finance is that the repayment of the principal amount (the finance amount applied for) can in some cases be deferred until the student finishes their studies. This repayment structure affords the student time to start earning an income before starting with the repayments of the principal, as a result of which student finance is the most affordable type of finance offered by South African finance providers.
What are the qualifying criteria and processes to apply for study finance?
A finance provider will look at mainly two things to determine if an applicant can qualify for finance, the applicant's affordability and their credit score. A funder will want to see that an applicant can afford the monthly finance instalments. Affordability is calculated by deducting your fixed expenses, such as rent, essential living expenses and other credit commitments from your Net income, the surplus has to be more than the finance instalment.
Funding providers also consider your additional income, such as commission, a bonus or rental income, and even allow you to add a second person’s income as part of the affordability calculation... So remember to notify Student Hero about the availability of additional- or a second household income.
Your credit record does not have to be perfect to qualify for study finance, Student Hero is partnered with multiple funding providers and each has unique qualifying criteria, some more relaxed than others.
A full-time student needs a sponsor to apply for finance. The sponsor is the person who will be paying the finance instalments while the student studies. The sponsor has to be someone with a South African bank account and a steady income and can be one of the student’s parents or anyone else who is willing to support the student with the finance application.
If you are not sure about your credit score or affordability, feel free to reach out to Student Hero for a commitment-free pre-qualification after which you can weigh your options.
What documentation is required to complete my finance application?
The following documentation has to be submitted to Student Hero before we can connect your application to a funder for final consideration. You do not have to submit certified copies.
For the Sponsor
Clear Copy of Sponsor's ID document
Latest Three (3) Months' Personal Bank Statements
Latest Three (3) Months' Payslips
Proof of Residence
For the Student
Clear Copy of Student's ID document
Latest available Academic Results or National Senior Certificate
Education Institution's Letter of Acceptance
Education Institution's Proforma Invoice or fee schedule/statement
When will be a good time to engage with Student Hero about funding?
The most important thing to keep in mind for first-time students or their financial caregivers is that the student does not have to be registered before engaging with Student Hero, in fact, the sooner you reach out to Student Hero the better. Existing students or their financial caregivers are also welcome to reach out to Student Hero to apply for finance for the balance on their current fees or to finance further years of study.
A finance application can take between a few days and up to a few weeks to finalise. A finance provider can request additional information from an applicant which can lead to an extended turnaround time. It is therefore never a good idea to leave your finance application until a few days before class starts.
If you are not sure about whether you can or can not apply for finance, rather be proactive and remember that Student Hero’s guidance is commitment-free and at zero cost.
How can I get in contact with Student Hero?
If you would like to learn more about, apply, or pre-qualify for study finance, you are welcome to submit your details in the Student Hero funding portal linked to your educational institution or Student Hero’s website.
You can also request your student advisor or admissions consultant to connect your contact details to Student Hero.