How do you Budget for Online Courses with a Student Loan?

May 21, 2024
 |  1 min read

Introduction

The rise of digital education has resulted in an increasing number of students turning to online courses to strengthen their qualifications and advance their skills. However, sometimes the courses are expensive, or the students do not have the money to pursue them. This is where instant loans for students online come into the picture. A student loan for online courses can cover the expenses of educational programs and certification courses both online and offline.

However, given the responsibility of paying back the loan amount, you need to plan a budget for the online courses. Moreover, managing and maintaining a budget, especially with a student loan, is one of the most critical responsibilities. Students must deal with budgetary constraints, plan carefully, and use strategic thinking to make difficult decisions.

What are the Factors to Consider While Taking up an Online Course Loan?

Here are a few factors to consider while taking up an online course loan:

Eligibility Criteria: Eligibility criteria will be different in different banks and financial situations. Ensure you meet all requirements in regards to the course you pursue, age, academic background and the institution you plan to attend.

Credit Score: As a student, you might not have any credit history. So, in this case, the credit score of your co-applicant will be considered.

Repayment Plan: It’s best to explore loans that come with flexibility like a grace period, making the repaying process much more smoother.

Loan Amount: On the basis of fees, materials and other related costs, the total education loan will be determined. Also, consider different banks’ limits.

Interest Rate: You will need to choose between two interest rates: fixed rates and floating rates. Fixed rates tend to stay the same throughout the year, while floating rates change on the basis of market conditions.

Co-application: Having a parent or guardian as a co-applicant will increase your chances of getting a significant loan amount with a lower interest rate.

When Should you Start Budgeting for Online Course Expenses?

While instant loans for students online can be taken to upskill yourself or take tutorship as part of your ongoing course, it is important for any college student to start budgeting for the expenses. Being able to plan ahead of the adhoc expenses for the course, which can include study materials, technology, and course fee, you will be able to better manage the expenses while taking up a loan. 

So, to answer your question, “when to start budgeting for online course expenses?” we must start as early as possible. But how? Let’s understand from the pointers given below:

Planning vs Last-minute Budgeting

When you are taking up an online courses, start planning months before the course. Know the course fees, set up a savings plan that will cover extra expenses. If you are taking personal loan for online courses, then budget your rent and other expenses cautiously to avoid debt and always create a repayment plan way ahead so that in last minute you don’t have to cut necessary expenses to repay loan amount. 

Identifying Upfront Costs

The most essential component of online courses is technology, which involves software, hardware and other tools. Thus, it's necessary to consider the cost of buying and maintaining technology. It will also help if you have a breakdown of enrollment fees and the cost of materials you will need during the course.

Setting Realistic Goals

Make sure your student loan budget perfectly aligns with the duration of the course. The duration can be anything between 1 and 24 months. Get a clear idea of the starting and ending dates of your course.

Pick the Right Repayment Strategy

Discuss the loan amount, repayment options, tenure and EMIs with your lender and then plan your education loan repayment strategy accordingly.

Why is Budgeting Essential When Using Student Loans for Online Courses?

To help you understand why is budgeting essential when using student loans for online courses, go through the following points:

  • Live without financial anxiety and stress
  • Get paid back with the best interest in the future
  • Avoid common financial pitfalls
  • Avoid unnecessary expenses
  • Limit your debt
  • Achieve financial stability
  • Be financially independent

What are the Don'ts of Budgeting for Online Course Expenses?

Besides learning why budgeting is crucial, it is also mandatory to be aware of what are the don’ts of budgeting for online course expenses.

  • Do not overlook hidden costs like software, textbooks and other materials
  • Don’t ignore financial aid options
  • Don't forget to reassess your budget as per the financial situation change
  • Do not depend solely on instant short term loans, and take up part-time jobs if you can.
  • Don’t get a credit card if you are not working anywhere.
  • Don’t create an overly strict budget. Leave some amount for unexpected expenses.

Final Thoughts

Managing a well-structured budget with an education loan for an online course requires careful planning and strategic thinking. It's crucial to keep all the factors in mind when taking up an education loan and also, at the same time, have all data regarding your course fee, technology requirement and any other material costs you need to consider when building a budget. mPokket offers an instant short-term loan with a flexible repayment plan. The platform can also further guide you with making a proper budget for your online course while taking an education loan.

Gaurav Jalan

Gaurav Jalan is the Founder and CEO of mPokket, a digital lending platform serving underserved Indian youth. He leverages technology and experience to deliver cost-effective credit to marginalized populations. In his role, he provides strategic direction and oversees execution to fulfill mPokket's mission.