Repayments only start once you have a job and are earning at least R30 000 a year. There is also no set deadline on when you have to pay back your loan, BUT it does earn interest.
Which means the longer you take to pay it back, the more money you will owe NSFAS in the long run. It’s important to pay back your loan because all of your repayments will go towards funding the studies of future students. Talk about paying it forward!
How Much Do You Pay Back?
- The repayments are worked out at a rate that will not place a great burden on you.
- Therefore, repayments are based on the salary that you earn.
- And repayments only start once your salary is R30 000 or more per year (ie R2 500 per month). At this level your repayment is 3% of your annual salary increasing to a maximun of 8% when your salary reaches R59 300 or more per year.
When is a loan converted into a bursary?
- Different loans have different rules about conversion. Up to a maximum of 40% of a general loan is converted into a bursary when a student passes all of the courses they were registered for in that year.
- Students who apply at their institution’s Financial Aid Office to be on the NSFAS Final-Year Programme have their final-year loans converted into a 100% bursary if they pass all of their final-year courses and qualify to graduate. If they do not pass all subjects, the conversion applicable to general loans is applied.
What happens when I do not complete my studies?
Students who drop out are still required to repay their loan when they start earning R30 000 or more a year.
What do I need to I apply?
Before you can apply with NSFAS, you have to get some paperwork together.
This might take some time, so make sure that you don’t leave it to the last minute! Here’s a list of the documents you need:
- Your South African ID or unabridged birth certificate
- IDs of your parents/guardians and everyone else living with you
- Parent’s letter of employment (not older than 3 months)
- Download and fully complete the consent forms
- Disability form if you have a disability
It’s important that all copies of these documents are certified, and you can do this at your nearest police station. Just be sure to take the original documents along with your application copies. Voila! You are ready to apply for NSFAS student financial aid.
Where can I apply?
In this modern age, there are 2 official ways to apply for a NSFAS loan or bursary. You can apply online, or at your nearest National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) office which you can find here.
To apply online:
1) Go to the NSFAS website.
2) Use your cell phone number and email address to register as a myNSFAS user on the website.
3) Click the ‘Apply’ button to start filling in your online application – but remember that you first need to have all of your certified and scanned documents before you start your application. APPLY ONLINE
To apply at a NYDA office:
1) Fetch a paper application form from the NYDA office.
2) Use black ink to fill in your application form, and write in capital letters.
3) Staple all of your certified documents to your application.
4) Then hand your completed application to an assistant who will then give you an ‘acknowledgement of receipt’ card with a barcode that matches one that is put onto your application.