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Highlights of revised Model Educational Loan Scheme

Highlights of revised Model Educational Loan Scheme

A revised Model Educational Loan Scheme (2015) for Pursuing Higher Education in India & abroad was formulated by IBA and circulated to member banks for adaption and implementations vide IBA circular no. CIR/RB-ELS/6 dated 17th August 2015. The scheme provides broad guidelines to the banks for operationalizing the educational loan scheme and the implementing bank will have the discretion to make changes as deemed fit. Following features are the highlights of revised Model Educational Loan Scheme.

  1. Banks could use rating of educational institutions and students as a tool for targeting student loans which would improve asset quality. For this purpose, banks are advised to classify the student loans in to 3 categories viz.(i)  Loans to students admitted to  top rated institutions (rated institutions),  (ii) Loans to students admitted to other domestic institutions (unrated institutions) (iii) Loans to students seeking studies abroad.
  2. The top rated institutions could comprise of institutions given “A” rating by NAAC, or the institutions / courses equally rated by other recognized agencies and institutions or identified as top ranking by the banks themselves based on reputation, employability and track record of aluminous in repayment of loans. The guidelines suggest that the Banks may consider relaxed security norms and interest rates for the students belonging to top rated institutions.
  3. Banks may continue to use Standard norms of model education loan scheme formulated by IBA for those students getting admission in institutions other than top rated institutions.
  4. The assessment norms, terms of sanction and security to the loan for students who take up studies abroad, could be different. Post graduate studies leading to PG degrees and PG diplomas offered by reputed institutes/universities only will be covered by the education loan scheme. Studies abroad for Diploma courses and certificate courses have not been included as eligible courses for the scheme. Loan to students for studies abroad are normally released only against collateral security offered by the borrower/guarantor to match the loan amount.
  5. Banks are permitted to fix cap on stream-wise and institutional wise limits for lending under the scheme.
  6. Uniform one year moratorium period prescribed for all the study loans under revised scheme.
  7. Uniform extension of repayment period (after moratorium) up to 15 years for all loans should be implemented. Repayment period has been increased to give greater comfort to the borrower students enabling repayment of the loan out of their future earnings. However, no prepayment charges are to be levied in case persons who would like to close the loan faster.
  8. Margin: up to Rs.4 lakhs: NIL, above Rs.4 lakhs Studies in India: 5%, Studies Abroad: I5%. Margin may be brought-in on year-to-year basis as and when disbursements are made on a pro-rata basis. Scholarship/ assistantship shall be included in margin.
  9. Rate of Interest: Individual Banks have the discretion to make provisions for charging of differential interest rates based on status of collateral, employability and reputation of students. Nevertheless, it is proposed to continue with 1% interest concession for servicing of interest during study/moratorium period. It is also likely that the banks will charge relatively lower rates for loans up to ₹ 4 lakhs and continue concessions hitherto being given to girl students.
  10. Security: The assignment of future income of the student for payment of installments shall be obtained. Bank may stipulate tangible collateral security of suitable value based on the loan amount required. The security can be in the form of land/ building/ Government securities/ Public Sector Bonds/Units of UTI, NSC, KVP, life policy, gold, and shares/mutual fund units/debentures, bank deposit in the name of student / parent / guardian / any other third party or any other tangible security acceptable to the bank with suitable margin. Wherever the land/ building are already mortgaged, the unencumbered portion can be taken as security on second charge basis provided it covers the required loan amount.
  11. The existing practice of taking parents as co-borrowers may be continued at the discretion to the banks and also they may waive the condition in special cases. The loan documents should be executed by the student and the parent/ guardian as joint-borrowers.
  12. Banks may consider relaxation in margin and security for loans guaranteed by National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Limited (NCGTC). Loans up to Rs.7.50 lakhs are eligible for credit guarantee coverage provided loan is extended without collateral or third-party guarantee.
  13. Expenses considered for loan:Entire amount of tuition fee*, Examination/ Library/ Laboratory fee/ Insurance premium for student borrower,(if applicable) and  hostel fee are considered as  eligible for loan. For studies abroad Travel expenses/ passage money are also eligible for loan. Reasonable lodging and boarding charges will be considered in case the students opt for outside accommodation. Caution deposit, Building fund / refundable deposit supported by Institution bills/receipts etc. will be considered subject to the condition that the aggregate amount does not exceed 10% of the total tuition fees for the entire course.         Purchase of books/ equipment/ instruments/ uniforms/ Purchase of computer at reasonable cost, if required    for completion of the course/ any other expense required completing the course – like study tours, project work, thesis, etc., may be considered for the loan. However, above expenses may not be available in the schedule of fees and charges prescribed by the college authorities. Therefore, a realistic assessment may be made of the requirement under these heads and the aggregate expenses included under all these expenses may be considered with a cap at 20% of the total tuition fees payable for completion of the course.                                    *Fee payable to college, for courses under Management quota seats considered under the scheme. Fees as approved by the State Government/Government approved regulatory body for payment seats will be taken, subject to viability of repayment.
  1. Eligibility criterion for loan:The student should be an Indian National. He/ She Should have secured admission to a higher education course in recognized institutions in India or Abroad through Entrance Test/ Merit Based Selection process after completion of HSC (10 plus 2 or equivalent). However, entrance test or selection purely based on marks obtained in qualifying examination may not be the criterion for admission to some of the post graduate courses or research programmes. In such cases, banks will have to adopt appropriate criteria based on employability and reputation of the institution concerned. Further, it would be in order for banks if they consider a meritorious student (who qualifies for a seat under merit quota) is eligible for loan under this scheme even if the student chooses to pursue a course under Management Quota.
  1. Approved Courses: IBA has provided an indicative list of courses to its member banks to serve as guidance on courses and approving authorities for various courses, which fall within the definition of higher studies. The list contains approved courses leading to graduate/ post graduate degree and P G diplomas conducted by recognized colleges/ universities recognized by UGC/ Government/ AICTE/ AIBMS/ ICMR etc. Courses like ICWA, CA, CFA etc. Courses conducted by IIMs, IITs, IISC, XLRI. NIFT, NID etc. Regular Degree/Diploma courses like Aeronautical, pilot training, shipping, degree/diploma in nursing or any other discipline approved by Director General of Civil Aviation/Shipping/Indian Nursing Council or any other regulatory body as the case may be, if the course is pursued in India. In addition to the above approved courses offered in India by reputed foreign universities are also treated as approved course. For graduation studies abroad, job oriented professional/technical courses and for post-graduation MCA, MBA, MS etc. offered by reputed Universities are considered. Courses conducted by CIMA- London, CPA in USA etc. and Degree/diploma courses like aeronautical, pilot training, shipping etc. are also considered for the loan provided these are recognized by competent regulatory bodies. Banks are asked to individually decide on the courses for which they will be giving student loans based on employability and consequent ability to repay the loan. Therefore, banks are also advised to prepare and publish a list of eligible courses the bank would consider for sanctioning of student loans.
  1. Assessment of the loan:Though the model scheme is aimed at meeting all study expenses of a student required to complete the studies undertaken, assessment of employment potential or future prospects is very important criterion considering the higher cost of studies involved. This is in view of fees structures of Government colleges/institutions /aided colleges and private colleges/institutions are different, therefore, banks are asked to consider approved fee structure for merit quota seats in all colleges/institutions in a specific state subject to the condition that the bank is satisfied about repayment prospectus of employment. For this purpose of evaluations, banks may introduce a system of assessment through average salary offers etc. received by the students in the past for the specific course. The above information may be collected from the colleges/institution (from where most loan applications are received), regarding percentage of job offers to final year students via campus placement. Further, it would be necessary to   take into   account      the scholarships/concession etc. if the student is entitled to, before fixing the limit for sanction. If the scholarship amount was not netted off while fixing the quantum of loan, banks should ensure that the scholarship from government or any other sources are credited to the loan account.
  1. Credit Monitoring: The IBA guidelines suggest that bank branches nearest to the residence of parents to consider the loan application for better tracking of students during and after study period. Banks are; however, free to adopt different norms to suit their business plans. The lenders have to effectively co-ordinate with the educational institutions to provide placement details and in some cases alumni forums of educational institutions can also give valuable feedback. Many banks obtain PAN and Aadhaar details for the purpose of future tracking. The guidelines prohibit submission of above details as pre-conditions for sanction of loan. This is in view of students may not require PAN during that stage. However, suitable clauses may be included in the sanctioned letter so that banks may obtain the PAN as well as Aadhaar for their record before the student completes the full course of studies.

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