Students intending on furthering their education locally or internationally may incur a hefty expense when deciding which options to consider. Money Management was the topic of discussion in the last webinar conducted by ĠEMMA. In partnership with Bank of Valletta the webinar focused on Money Management and the various tools and products available for students.
Mr David Spiteri Gingell, ĠEMMA Team leader spoke about the various functions of ĠEMMA as an independent body focusing on financial capability in Malta and its intentions to work with every producer of financially innovative products that fit within the ĠEMMA remit.
Mr Spiteri Gingell continued to delve deeper into various money management tips centred around students and how to prepare for further education from a financial aspect.
Early planning helps you to recognise where you currently are and what you need to do. Studying abroad requires research to understand what type of financial aid is available. Discussions with parents and other students who are studying abroad are also very beneficial to help clarify what needs to be done before taking the final decision.
A few points to be aware of whilst planning:
- The Government have their scholarships which come out early within the year.
- Looking for a job that can help you build up your financial resources.
- Finding a balance between studying and work and where the priorities lie
- Shopping around for different types of student loans and understanding what information you need to look into
- Preparing specific questions to ask banks when getting a loan to make sure you fully understand the timing of your repayments and their cost.
Finance is limited; therefore, budgeting and awareness of costs such as accommodation, travel, entertainment and living expenses vary in different cities. It is essential to distinguish between Needs and Wants – those that are required and those that are not essential. Budgeting is always based on Needs. A useful tool to be able to support in the budgeting process is the Budget Planner Tool which is free to download and available on the ĠEMMA website www.gemma.gov.mt. It is a helpful tool to manage your planning process in real-time.
Tonio Ellul from Bank of Valletta explained the various types of BOV student loans that are available to support students in furthering their education and training. Products such as BOV Studies Plus+, BOV Club, BOV Education Loan and BOV Graduates Package. There most popular is the BOV Studies Plus +. This scheme is co-funded by the European Social Fund and managed by the Malta Development Bank, thus allowing for the loans to be more affordable for students to take on. Commencing from education Level 5 up to level 8, they offer a subsidised interest rate where no capital and interest would need to be paid for a moratorium of 5 years + 1 year settling period into a new job. The maximum length for a student loan would be of 10 years. Another critical factor is that no collateral is required upfront, which gives students the freedom not to depend on family, friends or sponsors.
Mr Ellul explained that the APRC (Average percentage rate calculator) is used as the benchmark when shopping around and is the standard base index to consider when deciding which loan to select.