x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Loan helps parents to beat the high cost of education

As thousands of children return to the classroom, families often struggle to cope with the high cost of tuition.

For many parents, September can be a difficult month on their finances. As thousands of children return to the classroom, families often struggle to cope with the high cost of tuition, from nursery school all the way to post-secondary education. Many schools will require substantial payments and deposits this month, with some institutions commanding annual tuition fees of more than Dh50,000.

In response to these expenses, Barclays is offering an educational loan programme for its account holders. The idea, the bank says, is to help customers deal with up-front and hefty payments through easy, monthly instalments. The website says there is a "nominal" fee as a financing charge. Barclays failed to respond when asked for comment about the programme. To apply, applicants must have a minimum income of Dh8,000 a month and the scheme must encompass at least one full year of tuition. The bank requires a salary transfer to a Barclays account to qualify. Repayments can be made through post-dated cheques or through salary transfer.

In addition to offering credit for primary and high school fees, the bank offers a similar loan initiative for mature students pursuing an executive MBA degree. Students can focus on their studies and pay only the interest on the loan until graduation, allowing them to start paying it back once they have begun reaping the benefits, the bank says. Similar to the education loan for children, the bank requires that applicants have a minimum income of Dh8,000 a month and the loan must span a calendar year.

According to Barclays, the maximum amount customers can borrow for their MBA is Dh250,000, with interest-only payments lasting two years. Interest rates will vary between 9.99 per cent and 14.99 per cent, and students will have up to four years to repay the principle amount. However, according to the website, the programme is being offered exclusively to applicants of the London Business School in Dubai.

To apply, customers can download an application form online at www.barclays.ae. You will also need a passport copy, valid residency visa, salary certificate, three months of bank statements, two undated cheques, post-dated repayment cheques, salary transfer letter and an acceptance letter from the school or institute. jtodd@thenational.ae Is your child heading back to the classroom this month? Be sure to check out Personal Finance's back-to-school special next week.