Studying abroad is a dream for many Nigerian students, a lot of Nigerian students want to study abroad but the financial demands associated with international education have stopped many with this dream from achieving their dream.
Most families can’t afford the steep costs that come with studying abroad, you have to pay high tuition fees, living expenses, travel costs, and visa fees which are mostly in dollars. This financial barrier often leads talented and motivated Nigerian students to miss out on the transformative opportunities that international education can offer.
While this has gone on for many years, what many students don’t know is that there are options available to help you achieve your dream, and one of them is securing a student loan. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to get a student loan in Nigeria to study abroad, this will help you achieve your academic dream.
Getting loans for international studies in Nigeria
Though getting student loans for international studies is not popular among Nigerians students, a student loan is a financial aid option and it is designed to help students cover the cost of their education.
It is a loan, which means, it must be repaid after completing your studies, often with interest. Student loans can come from various sources, including government programs, private lenders, and educational institutions.
Types of student loans you can get in Nigeria
In Nigeria, there are primarily two types of student loans:
Government student loans
- These are loans provided by the Nigerian government, they provide these loans through agencies like the National Universities Commission (NUC) or the Nigerian Educational Trust Fund (TETFund).
- Government loans have lower interest rates and more favorable repayment terms than private loans.
Private student loans
- These types of loans are offered by banks, private individuals, and financial institutions.
- They often come with higher interest rates and stricter repayment terms.
Eligibility and requirements
To get a student loan for studying abroad, you must meet the loan eligibility criteria and fulfill specific requirements (whether it’s private loans or government loans).
Generally, to be eligible for a student loan in Nigeria, you need to be a:
- Nigerian citizenship.
- Have admission into a recognized foreign institution.
- Have a guarantor (usually a family member or guardian).
- Show proof of academic excellence.
- Demonstrated financial need, this is very important.
Documents required to apply for a student loan in Nigeria
To apply for a student loan in Nigeria, you will need the following documents:
- Admission letter from the foreign institution.
- Proof of identity (e.g., National ID card, passport, or voter’s card).
- Proof of address.
- Academic transcripts and certificates.
- Guarantor’s documents (if applicable).
- Completed loan application form.
Now that you understand the basics, here is how you can apply for the loan.
- Search loan providers
This will be a big challenge but you can get it done if you follow the steps here. You should start by checking government and private institutions that offer student loans for studying abroad.
You can check popular government loan programs like the PTDF (Petroleum Technology Development Fund) and NDDC (Niger Delta Development Commission).
For private loans, check banks and other private institutions that are open to offer student loans.
- Complete application forms
Once you’ve identified a suitable loan provider, obtain and complete their application form. You have to be careful when filling out the form.
Make sure that you provide accurate information and include all required documents.
- Attend interviews and provide guarantor information
Most loan providers will require you to attend an interview with them, in the interview, they will assess your eligibility.
You’ll also need to provide guarantor information during this stage.
- Wait for approval
After submitting your application and attending interviews, you’ll need to wait for loan approval. This can take some time, so be patient.
- Receive the loan
Once your loan is approved, the funds will be disbursed directly to your school’s financial office or your account, depending on the loan provider’s policy.
It doesn’t end in taking loans, you should understand the repayment options and how it works, it is very crucial to managing your finances effectively. Most student loans offer a grace period, which is a period after graduation or leaving school when you don’t have to make payments.
Use this time to secure employment or other financial means so you can pay up the loan as agreed. Different loan providers offer various repayment plans, such as income-driven repayment or fixed monthly installments.
Choose a plan that suits your financial situation. To avoid missing your repayment dates, you can set a reminder or agree to be reminded by the providers ahead of time. You should know that failure to repay your loan can have serious consequences, so maintain the agreement you have with the provider. Pay on time.
If you are a Nigerian and you have the dream of studying abroad but money has been your issue, we hope this helps you explore other options like taking up loans instead of waiting for when things turn around for you.
Getting a student loan in Nigeria to study abroad is a good choice if you are willing to stick to the loan terms.