Top 10 Best Students Loans in South Africa with Low Rates and Flexible Plans

Financing education single-handedly sometimes is difficult, and getting study loan is not also easy to go by.

Some financial institutions give stringent terms on their student loans.

Some insist on the beneficiary paying up the loan as soon as they are through with their studies. Some other financial institutions offer students loans with high interest rates.

However, there are some financial institutions that offer loans with flexible repayment plans that  give the beneficiaries enough time to repay the credits once they secure jobs. In addition to flexible repayment options, some have a set interest rate others rely on the applicant's credit score to determine their interest rates.

Best 10 Study Loans in South Africa

  • The National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NASFAS)
  • FBN Student Loans
  • EduLoan
  • ABSA
  • Challenor Finance
  • Fundi
  • Nedbank
  • Sanlam Students Loans
  • Standard Bank
  • All Bursaries


Alt: = "NSFAS"

NSFAS which stands for National Student Financial Aid Scheme is a government parastatal under the Department of Higher Education and Training established by the NSFAS Act (Act 56 of 1999) to provide financial aid to less privileged  students who wish to further in their education at public universities or TVET colleges.

South African government offers bursary to students in public universities and TVET colleges who are from lower income earning families with less than R350,000 annual income under the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS. 

What does the bursary cover?

DHET guidelines provides maximum amounts that can be given to students which will cover accommodation, living, transport allowances, and learning material allowances for university students and TVET colleges students.


Accommodation: Accommodation bursary is as per the actual costs charged by the university. Where the students lives outside the campus (private accommodation)  the costs must not exceed costs for university residence.

Transport: R7,500  per annum for distance up to 40 km from the institution

Living allowance: R15,000  per annum

Book allowances R5200 per annum

Incidental/personal care allowance R2900 per annum for students in catered residences


Accommodation: Accommodation allowances are according to residence areas:

  • Accommodation in an urban area R24,000 per annum
  • Accommodation in an peri-urban area R18,900 per annum
  • Accommodation in an rural area R15,750 per annum

Transport: R7,000 per annum, and R7,350  per annum for distance up to 40 km from institution 

Incidental/personal care allowance R2,900 per annum

Qualifying Criteria

You must be a South African citizen

All SASSA grant recipients qualifies for funding

Students whose combined household income is not more than R350 000 per annum

Person with disability, and whose combined household income is not more than R600 000 per annum

Students that started studying before 2018 whose household income is not more than R122 000 per annum.

You must not have applied previously, qualified and received funding.

2 FBN Student Loans

FBN Student Loans is one the best student loans in South Africa with flexible repay plans and very low interest rates.

If you’re looking loan to sponsor your education, you can consider FBN Student Loan.

FNB Student Loan offer can cover for tuition fees, accommodation, study material and devices.

You can get up R300,000 loan with as low as 0.5% interest rates.

Credit life insurance is compulsory for the FGN student loan. FBN says its Customer Protection Plan, covers the principal debtor and student in the event of death, temporary and permanent disability, retrenchment or inability to earn income. You also have option of providing a suitable credit life insurance policy if you wish to use your own.

Apply anywhere and at any time conveniently and easily on the FNB App.

Personalised interest rate

Loan Amount: Up to R300,000

Interest Rate:  0.5% and up to R300 000 to help fund your studies.

Payment plan

FBN has flexible payment options

According to the bank you pay only interest and fees for a 12 month period and then start repaying interest, fees, charges and capital thereafter.

Qualifying Criteria

To qualify to obtain FBN Student Loan you must meet the following qualifying criteria:

Be 18 years and above

Principal debtor must have permanent employment or be self-employed

Must be a permanent resident of South Africa

Your salary must be paid directly into your bank account

The student must have been enrolled in a recognised tertiary institution

Approval of your application is subject to a pre-qualifying assessment

Requirements and Documentations

FNB has different requirements for the bank’s customers and those who are not its customers 

For an FNB customer

Proof of enrollment/ registration from the educational institution

The institution’s issued Student ID

For a non-FNB customer

South African green bar-coded ID or smart ID card

Latest 3 months' payslip or 3 months' bank statement (latest 6 months' bank statements and ITA34 for self-employed customers)

Proof of residence not earlier than 3 months

Proof of enrolment/ registration from the educational institution

The institution’s issued Student ID

How to Apply

Log on to the FBN Student Loan page, and fill the application form


Apply using the bank’s mobile app by downloading from Apple Store or Google Play for iOS and Android devices respectively.

3 EduLoan

Eduloan is one of the top choice for student loans providers in South Africa. Its credit complies with the requirements of  the National Credit Regulator.

Eduloan students loan covers your full cost of education from tuition to study materials to accommodation and personal upkeep. 

They understand that the cost of living is high, they ensure that they provide affordable student loan solutions.

Something that a young adult with other responsibilities would be able to repay. Student loans can be paid off in reasonable monthly installments. In essence, they want to afford everybody the opportunity for education because having education opens doors for you in the future. Get a student loan that pushes you to be a better yourself, a student loan that puts food on your table and peace in your mind.

Types of Student Loans

Basic Student Loan

The basic student loan provides for your tuition fees, textbooks, accommodation, and food. It covers your necessities need s that will enable you to be the best student you can be.

Such credit plan that will make your academic journey one that is without stress and worry except for your academic performance which you would need to work hard to achieve

Additional Finance Options

Another option is opting for a personal loan which can be taken up by a legal guardian who works and earns a certain amount of remuneration. Additional finance options  loans can be a backup for a student loan, if you didn’t qualify.

Loan Amount

Get loans up to R120,000

Interest Rates

Eduloan has very competitive interest rates starting from 6.5%

More often than not, what  worries people most when applying for a university student loan is the interest rates. Eduloan interest rates are not only affordable but also reasonable when considering the economy.

Repayment Plan

Eduloan students loan repayment terms of up 7 years . You can also reapply for another student loan after settling your first one. It is always good to ensure that you finish paying off your student loan as soon as possible, so you can focus on other ventures that may need your time and money.

Qualifying Criteria

Eduloan opens its does to every South African student.

EduLoan does not discriminate, rather, they want to be a part of your education journey because they know how important education is.

How to Apply

Visit Eduloan website to apply

Or visit Loansfind portal to apply


ABSA loans is one the best study loans in South Africa.


For you to qualify for the ABSA students loan, you must be a South African citizen or one is permanent resident of South Africa and earn more than R3 000 a month. 

ABSA Study Loan is offered to full-time or part-time students of any the following institutions: 

University, university of technology, agricultural college, technical vocational education and training college (TVET)

Any private higher institution registered with Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) and accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)

Any online study courses accredited by the United States Department of Education or the UK Government of Higher Education Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). And the student must be based in South Africa. 

Aviation training from an approved training organisation (ATO) which has been approved by SA Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA).

The loan can be in the name of:

A parent, who has proof of income

A sponsor or guardian, who has proof of income

A part-time student, who has full-time employment and has proof of income

Repayment Plan

Interest is paid only for the year of study

You pay interest only for the 12 months and start repaying from month 13.

What you need to know about a Study Loan

What ABSA Study Loan Covers?

ABSA Study Loan covers all Study costs and can be taken out for each year of study.

ABSA loan funds both undergraduate and postgraduate studies. The duration of such course must be more than two months.

The study loan only cover one year’s tuition fees and associated costs. You will need to re-apply the following year if you’re not done with your studies and still need loan to finance your studies. In other words, if you’re studying a four years course and require loan to finance the four years, you will reapply every other year up to four times

Loan Amount

ABSA Study Loan provides minimum of R15 000

Loan amount is usually awarded according to each customer’s risk and affordability

Loan also covers:

Prescribed text books

Tuition fees including your registration

Accommodation (Only full-time students who are not living with family)

Computer equipment required for your studies


A valid South African ID document or Smart card

Proof of residential address such as a municipal or rates bill

Your last three months’ payslips or bank statements

Proof of study in the form of a final letter of acceptance or proof of registration 

Proof of course costs for the year of study (invoices/statements); for

Tuition fees

Accommodation for full-time students not living with parents or relatives

Text books

Study-related technological devices

For second and subsequent years of study, proof of the previous years’ academic results to ensure student is permitted to continue studies.

Repayment Plans

You can opt to make capital and interest repayments or;

You can repay interest only for a period of 12 months.

When topping up an existing study loan, you may repay interest only for a further 12 months.

How to Apply

You can apply at any Absa branch (find branch at, or

Absa Student bureau; or

Call us on 0860 100 372.

5 Challenor Finance

Challenor Finance is another financial institution that provides affordable students loans for South Africans.

Loan up to R80,000

Repayment duration up to 24 months

Approval within 24 hours

The student loan requirements 

Challenor understands that as a student it’s near impossible to still earn a living, as well as pay off a student loan on the side, there it makes repayments of their student loans after graduation from the university.

Also, you can start making repayments once you are earning more than R30 000 p.a.  You will also pay a 3%  of your income if you earn lower than R39 000 yearly.  If you earn higher than this, then the percentage increases to 8%.

How to Apply

All applicants are to complete an online application form, for ease of access and reserve clients’ time for the demands of student life. The stronger your credit score is, the better your options will be as it also affects how low the rates can go. 

You can also contact Challensor telephone operators that are ready  answer any queries and assist with the application process. 

Challensor processes  student loan application within 24 hours. This also applies to the transfer of funds to clients - cash overnight!

6 Nedbank

Nedbank students loan is flexible for full-time or part-time studies

If you are a full-time student or still busy with your internship or articles, your guarantor will need to pay only the monthly interest on your loan. You can then start repaying your loan amount once you have completed your studies. 

For part-time students, repayments are made up of the loan amount and the monthly interest from the start.

Pay while you study or pay after you finish your studies

Enjoy preferential interest rates that are linked to your academic performance

For your added financial security you can take out credit life insurance on your student loan.


To qualify, you need

Proof of admission and registration at an university approved by the South African Qualifications Authority.

Your latest exams results

A statement of tuition fees, textbooks, equipment and accommodation.

You have to open a Nedbank bank account, in which your loan will be paid into when approved.


Yours and your guarantor's valid South African ID card or documents

A valid passport of either of you if you are not South African citizens.

The guarantor's latest payslip or 3 months' stamped bank statements

A Nedbank transactional account belonging to your guarantor as their main account. If they or you don’t bank with us, we’ll help you open one.

How to Apply

Download the loan application form at

Fill the form and submit online or the hard copy to any Nedbank branch nearest to you.

Your application will be reviewed along with all the relevant documents immediately.

Accept our offer

If you qualify, your student loan will be approved and the money will be paid into the relevant account.

7 Fundi

8 Sanlam Students Loans

9 Standard Bank

10 All Bursaries

Ikechukwu Evegbu

Ikechukwu Evegbu is a graduate of Statistics with over 10 years experience as Data Analyst. Worked with Nigeria's Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. A prolific business development content writer. He's the Editor, Business Compiler

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