NSFAS has reasonable repayment terms which require you to start repaying your loan once you start working and earn more than R30 000 a year. All loans that are repaid are used to fund other students who also need financial assistance.
NSFAS charges lower interest rates than banks. The interest rate is set on the 1st of April every year and does not change for 12 months.
No time limit is given for repayment since this is determined by your salary and ability to repay. If you lose your job, let NSFAS know that your employment status has changed.
What is an interest rate?
An interest rate is the charge or “fee” you pay for borrowing money. The longer you take to pay back NSFAS the more money you will owe them because they will keep adding this “fee” on top of your loan. For example, if you borrow R100 and the interest rate is 10% you will owe NSFAS a R110 after 12 months.
How do you repay your loan?
NSFAS will send you statements showing how much you owe and how much you have to pay back every month. Repayments of your NSFAS loan can either be deducted from your salary or be paid via debit order. Alternatively, you can deposit the money directly into the NSFAS bank account. You will find NSFAS’ banking details on their website here.
How are repayments calculated?
The monthly amount you will have to pay is based on what you earn in a year. You will be asked to pay 3-8% of your annual salary. For example, if you earn R30 000 per year, you will need to repay the minimum amount of R900 per year or R75 per month. If you can pay off more than the monthly minimum amount, you can pay-off your loan faster and save on interest.
NSFAS will continue to charge interest on all outstanding balances. It is therefore very important to start repaying your loan as soon as possible. The longer you take, the more interest you will be charged and the more you will end up having to pay back.
What happens to any money left over from my NSFAS student loan?
Money left over from an NSFAS study loan is never paid out to you. The money is deducted from the balance you owe. You will not have to pay interest on it, and NSFAS will have more funds to help other students like you. Funds paid back to NSFAS are used as your first repayment of your student loan.
What happens if you are unemployed or still studying?
You do not have to repay if you are unemployed or still studying, but you do have to provide written proof (in the form of an affidavit, valid for 3 months) to say that you are unemployed.
It is your legal responsibility to keep in touch with NSFAS and to inform them of any change of address.