Friday, March 27, 2009

Banks plans lifeline to help students, boost education loan segment

In the current situation when the job market is depressing, the salaries might not be enough to fit in your repayment plans. Number of nationalized banks including State Bank of India, which is the market leader for education loans are planning lifeline for the students who want to take education loan but are not able to take because of the depressing situation of the market.

Banks say they will certain that the students hit by the current downturn do not get penalized in case they are not able to keep up with EMIs. Banks further said if the students approached who find difficulty in paying back loans, these banks will on their part in order to help students on a case-by-case basis reschedule loans.

A spokesperson for SBI, which has a 24% share in education loans informed, "After all, we don't want a student to sell his father's house because he cannot pay back an education loan''.

Spokesperson further added, "Repayment starts one year after the course gets over or six months after the student gets a job, whichever is earlier. But if a student faces a financial problem and finds it difficult to repay the loan on time, we will obviously not put further stress on him''.

Its not only SBI, Vikas Chhapekar, general manager for Bank of Maharashtra's Mumbai circle pointed out, "In case a student is unable to repay an education loan, we will definitely help him out, and either extend the date from which the student must start repaying the loan or increase the duration for over which the loan has to be repaid”.

Bank of Baroda, too, will be taking care that students don't suffer. A K Agarwal, a senior manager at Bank of Baroda branch pointed out, "My heart goes out to students at a time like this. If student approached who cannot repay his loan, we will, after clearance from the top, help reschedule.''

Sidharth Gupta, who graduated from IIM-Bangalore this year said, "This is obviously re-assuring. Banks already have a rather relaxed system of repaying an education loan. But for those who do not want to take on the burden of repaying their loans right away and feel they will be in a better position to do so next year, it helps to know that banks may re-negotiate the terms of the loan''. Varun Shourie, a post-graduate student at the Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad, informed he will be happy with any move on the part of banks to restructure loans.

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