6 Top Student Loans In South Africa (2023)

Life is not always balanced. The person with the intellectual capacity and the will for academic excellence is not always the person with the financial backing to turn his dreams into reality. What then? Should you give up just because you do not have the financial ability to pay your tuition, and get the necessary things you need to get the education you desire? The answer is a resounding no!

Student loans in South Africa can come to the rescue because they can provide the opportunity to pay tuition, buy books, get accommodation, and other important things that can contribute to a successful education such as good food and clothing. Student loans South Africa can help a person live and study in comfort and peace, with the knowledge that you will soon start earning so as to repay the loan.

Warning! Some student loans come with interests, and those interests can become a significant financial burden. Therefore it is important to carefully consider which bank is best for student loans in South Africa, for your options before applying. 

Best Student Loans In South Africa

1. Fundi

Fundi is a South African Education Finance specialist. That over-flogged definition describes the company’s aim of helping students achieve their dreams, by covering the costs of attending tertiary institutions.

They cover the following: Study loans, Short courses, Accommodation loans, Executive loans, Educational tools, MBA funding, and Study device loans. Registered members can even go to Fundi’s website to find accommodation, buy airtime and data and gain access to eBooks.

Study loans help cover the cost of tuition fees for long-term studies, while short course loans cover the costs of short courses. Please, apply for the appropriate loan that is suitable for the type of education you are pursuing.

Accommodation loan: Fundi’s Accommodation loan enables you to pay for suitable accommodation for your education. You have to find a place by yourself though, but Fundi will help you pay the rent in smaller, more affordable installments.

Executive loans: these loans are for those who are already in their career fields but need to gain industry-specific training that is relevant to their careers. These should be specialist courses or programmes. 

MBA loans: these are student loans for those intending to study for their Master of Business Administration degree.

Devices loans are specific loans that are designed to help you pay for devices that can help you study. Some of the devices can be laptops, cellular phones, and tablets, and they can be quite expensive to purchase. Nevertheless, they are necessary to access online libraries and to make research.

Textbook loans: you need textbooks, FUNDI will help you get them.

Educational tools loan help you purchase the tools that you need for your studies; maybe musical instruments, a scientific calculator, a stethoscope, or safety equipment.

For more information visit:


0860 55 55 44


2. Student Loans from FNB

First National Bank is one of the oldest banking institutions in South Africa and among the banks offering the best student loans in South Africa. FNB has been known to provide cheap banking options for students and those just starting out in their business and professional lives. 

Now the bank also provides student loans that cover the following: Tuition fees, Textbooks, Study Equipment and devices, Student accommodation, and so on. 


The loans give you a personalized interest rate depending on how much you borrow.

 There are several options or amounts that a student could loan; ranging from R4 000 to R80 000 per year.

 You can get an option to only pay interest, fees, and charges during the duration of your studies, and then subsequently to start paying the capital when you are through with school.

With a student loan from FNB, you can also get Credit life insurance.

 When you get a student loan from FNB your eBucks rewards level can increase.

How to apply:

You can apply for a student loan at your nearest FNB branch or request a call-back on their website.


3. ABSA Student Loans

ABSA is a well-established financial institution in South Africa. The bank offers Student Loans in the same manner that it provides personal loans, car finance, overdrafts, and other specific loans to its customers. The ABSA Student Loans are designed to provide financial assistance for students in the following areas:

Tuition fees: ABSA Student Loans cover the cost of tuition, including your registration.

Equipment required for your studies: these include laptops, phones, tablets, and other such types of equipment that may be needed like stethoscopes, musical equipment, and so on.

Textbooks: the loan only covers recommended textbooks.

 Student Accommodation: the loan only covers accommodation for students who are studying full-time, and who do not live with their parents.


ABSA student loans are competitively priced and have low interest rates.

There is an option in which you can only pay interest for the first 12 months, and then from the 13th month forward, you start paying back the capital amount in installments.

There is another option in which you may only pay interest, fees, and charges during the duration of your studies, and then you can start repaying the capital once you’ve finished your studies.

How to apply:

You can apply for a student loan with ABSA by visiting your nearest ABSA branch, or by giving them a call.


4. Nedbank Student Loan

Nedbank is a top bank in South Africa. They have a number of specialized products that are suitable for students and young people. The Nedbank Student Loans are specially designed loans through which the bank hopes to help customers who are students achieve their goals of attaining tertiary education. 

The loans cover the following aspects:

 Tuition fees: Nedbank student loans cover the cost of your tuition fees.

 Textbooks: the Nedbank student loans help you purchase textbooks that are recommended for your studies.

Device and Equipment: the loans also help you buy the necessary electronic devices that can help you successfully go about your studies.

The loans can help you pay for on-campus accommodation to help you maximize your learning experience.


This loan provides great interest rates and makes flexible repayments.

 This bank gives you the option to only pay interests on your loan during the duration of your studies, and to start repaying the capital when you have completed your studies.

This bank gives you the option to get credit life cover.

Please note that the bank requires you to have a guarantor.

How to apply:

To apply for a Nedbank loan you just have to go to the nearest Nedbank branch with your guarantor. That guarantor will need to be a customer of Nedbank who has his main business or personal account with the bank. 

You can find out more at the bank website:


5. Student Loans from Standard Bank

Standard Bank is one of the banks offering the best student loans in South Africa. This is one of the banks with low-interest banking options that are suitable for students and young entrepreneurs. Standard Bank offers student loans for both full-time students and part-time students.

The Standard Bank part-time student loans are actually broken into two categories: full-time loans, and part-time loans.

The part-time loans cover the following: 

Fees: The standard bank student loans cover your tuition fees and any other mandatory expenses. 

Books: this is only for those books that are recommended for your studies.

Study equipment: if you need equipment like phones, laptops, and professional equipment like stethoscopes, music equipment, and so on, this loan can help you make the purchase.

The loans are given out yearly, and your repayments take place monthly, in small installments, via debit orders as you study. 

You will also be charged a small monthly service fee, for taking out your loan.

The next option is the full-time student loan offered by Standard Bank. This student loan covers such things as. 

Tuition: the Standard Bank student loans help you pay your tuition fees, as well as any mandatory fees, including registration fees.

 Accommodation: Standard bank student loans cater to your accommodation for the duration of your full-time study at a South African tertiary institution.

 Textbooks: These loans cater to your needs for textbooks; these must be textbooks recommended for your studies.

 Study equipment: this loan covers the purchase of devices or equipment to help you achieve your study aims.


If you already have a Standard Bank Student Achievers account you can get amazingly low-interest rates on your loan. During the process of applying for the loan, you will also be given the option of opening an account.

 This student loan gives you the option to only pay interest, fees, and charges during the duration of your studies, and then to start paying the capital once you’ve finished your studies.

It is possible to get the loan ‘pre-approved online, and only visit the bank once to finalize the application.

 With this student loan, you can also get optional insurance (life insurance).

How to apply:

You can start the application process online, but you will still need to visit the nearest Standard Bank branch to finish the application process.


6. NSFAS Loan

The NFSAS scheme which is the largest single educational funding body in South Africa at the moment is an initiative of the South African government. The scheme is no longer a loan, but certain former students are still required to repay their loans.

Those who received loans from the NSFAS before the president’s announcement of free education in December 2017 are required to pay back what they owe the scheme according to the terms of their loan agreement.

There are a number of avenues through which they can pay back the money.

You can pay with an electronic funds transfer EFT each month using the following account details: 

Please use your ID Number as a reference when making payments to help the scheme track payments.

Salary Deduction

You can ask your employer to make deductions from your monthly earnings and then forward the payments directly to the NSFAS.

To do so just go to the NSFAS Website, and Print and complete the form. After that, you just have to submit the form to your employer.


How to Choose Student Loans in South Africa

Choosing a good student loan means choosing a loan that you can pay with ease; that offers the best options through which you can payback. These are key factors to look out for when choosing a student loan in South Africa:

Interest Rates

These are the profits for the banks and lenders. The good thing is that student loans tend to have much lower interest rates than personal loans. On average student loans start at around 10.5%. Student loan interest rates can be determined by several factors such as the year you are applying for, and also whether you are a full-time student or a part-time student.

Repayment Plan

A very important aspect of choosing a student loan is how you will repay it. With some banks, you will be allowed to pay only the interests, and the fees, during the time when you are studying. After that, you can start repaying the capital.

Most times you are given a grace period of 6 to 12 months, in which to find a job, and start repaying the loan.

How do Student Loans work in South Africa?

Most of the student loans in South Africa have the following factors in common: you collect a loan to cover your tuition, books, equipment, and accommodation. Then for the duration of your studies, you pay the interest. When you have finished with your education and start working, you then start paying off the capital.

Sometimes, you are required to provide a guarantor who stands as the principal debtor. Some banks require the principal debtor to have an account with them. In the event of default of repayment, the bank will then transfer the debt to the guarantor. That means monthly deductions will be made from the account of the guarantor.

Some banks will give you extra benefits such as ebuck, and much-reduced fees and interest if you already have an account with them before requesting a student loan.

Where can you get Student Loans in South Africa?

You can get student loans from banks, Fundi, and other means. The South African banks that offer student loans have been highlighted in the paragraphs above. 

It is possible to negotiate good terms on a personal loan with any bank you currently use in South Africa. Those are not exactly student loans, but they can serve the purpose of helping you get through your education. 


There are many avenues through which a person can get funding for education. A good student loan South Africa is just one of the avenues; it can help to pay for tuition and the necessary expenses. Just ensure that the interest is fair and that the repayment options are favorable.

Alternatively, one can apply for financial aid at the institution where he is studying, apply for NSFAS funding, or apply for any of the numerous scholarships and bursaries in South Africa.