By WaleedAbd El-Azeem
This year Ramadan coincided with academic preparations for the new semester, as students apply for private universities and schools. Banks are trying to seize the opportunity by offering financing solutions for tuition.
The United Bank is at the top if the list of banks offering education loans, with an upper limit of EGP 100 thousand. This is considered the highest upper limit for this kind of loans in market with diminishing interest of 13 percent for clients and 15 percent for non-clients, provided that instalments are paid within one academic year.
Commercial International Bank (CIB) divides customers to three categories. Upper limits for each are EGP 80, 50 and 30 thousand, according to the given category for the client, A, B or C.
Interest returns for the bank are 14.5 percent for A, 16 percent for B and 18 percent for C, provided that instalments are paid within 1 year after the loan was granted.
Banque Misr offers EGP 500 as a lower limit without an interest, and EGP 80,000 as an upper limit. For loans larger than EGP 500, a diminishing interest of 14% is charged.
The bank grants the loan with wages as collateral or that the client owns a saving or checking account. The loan is paid off within 5-10 months.
Banque Du Caire grants loans with an upper limit of EGP 80,000 and EGP 500 as a lower limit similar to Banque Misr, with a diminishing interest of 14 percent, provided that instalments are paid off within 1 academic year since the loan was granted.
Khaled Barakat, Director of Consumer Loans at CIB, said that financing is a new approach by the CIB to offer an added value to the Egyptian consumer, in terms of innovation and variety; according to a recent study about consumers’ growing requirements and needs. He pointed out that education financing is new service that aims at funding university or post-graduate tuition fees for a number of Egyptian universities.
Barakat explained that the importance of education development in the coming period and its impact on society and economic prosperity was behind the launch of this service given the heightened tuitions of distinguished universities. Tuitions of private universities fall between EGP 10,000 and 150,000, which represents an obstacle in the growing base joining distinguished private schools and so a growing monetary burden is placed on Egyptian families.
Barakat said also that the bank offers this service to help employees, businessmen or professionals, paying off their loan up to the end of five years and 100 per cent of the year’s tuition per one year (semester). He added that financing is possible for every subsequent year (semester), to a total of EGP 300,000.
Barakat explained that parents could receive financing without submitting official income documents in the case that 40 per cent of the year’s tuition were paid off.
Aza Radwan, Retail Director at the United Bank, said that the bank is contracting with a number of Egyptian universities in Cairo and other governorates, in addition to a number of private schools across Cairo. She noted that the bank contributes to financing all the student’s expenses.
Radwan explained that the bank reorganised and developed the education financing services in cooperation with the private universities. For example, blocking a student’s exam results in case tuition was not paid off or instalments were missed; these penalties were dropped with the co-operation between the bank and universities.