About the money, honey.

Now that the initial euphoria of admit to Oxford has subsided – (LOLJK it won’t until I land my ass at the campus with an assignment deadline looming over me, I have only reached that stage where I am no longer breaking into random happy dances when I’m alone) – it’s time to get started on the next most important aspect. MONEY!

GNP 47925 is the total university fees for the year, including college enrolment fees. GBP 6700 is the advance deposit that I will need to pay in coming days, in order to confirm the acceptance of the admission offer. My parents have very kindly offered to pay this amount, because the paltry savings that I have managed in my 3.5 years of employment will hardly be enough to cover groceries during my stay at Oxford.

I have decided to finance my MBA course through education loan, that I shall be solely responsible to repay. I do not feel comfortable about my parents having to break open their life’s worth of savings and investments on this, although I will still have to bank on them and my brother for covering the living expenses. Cost of living, over and above the tuition fees, would itself come around to around 12k – 16k GBP over the year. An amount that is by no means small for me – to give non-Indian readers a perspective – 1 GBP is about 100 INR currently. 20k GBP is what an MBA from the top Indian B-schools (IIMs) would typically cost (30k if done from ISB). And we are talking about a figure that is nearly thrice as much, not to ignore the palpitations of the heart when you multiply each figure with 100 in your Indian head.

I have been doing some research on the terms and loan rates offered by Indian Govt. and Private banks. HDFC (credilla) and SBI seem to offer the best rates, with SBI’s rates slightly lower for girl students. SBI is also offering a maximum of Rs 30 lakhs (~30k GBP) with collateral, as opposed to Credilla that offers no upper limit on the loan amount. SBI’s repayment terms seemed more flexible to me. Probably it was the kind manager at the bank who happened to know my Dad and explained the entire process and figures to us very clearly.

However, my first preference is Prodigy (prodigyfinance.com). It is a peer-to-peer lending model started by MBA alumni to help incoming students obtain a hassle-free loan with flexible repayment terms. For Said Business School, the amount is capped at 48000 GBP / 72000 USD. The best part about Prodigy is that they offer the amount without any collateral, as the understand that financing your MBA can be pretty daunting. For Indians particularly, the rate offered by Prodigy (~8-10%) is lower than that offered by Indian banks(~12-14%), although I learn that it is much higher than those offered by banks in UK. So its a win-win situation there. The fact that I can choose to pre-close my loan, repay in chunks, modify my instalments – all without any added penalty charge involved – is quite a relief. Another difference that I found was that their interest start accruing

I’ll update on the progress of my loan application once things start to materialize. Until then, back to office work!