Problems faced in getting an education loan from an Indian private sector bank


I share here the horrible experience we had when we applied for an education loan to fund our daughter's MBA studies overseas. The mistake we made was going to a leading private sector finance company. My experience shows that the public sector banks are the best.

If you think that an outstanding academic record throughout your student life will have all financial institutions clambering to give you an education loan, then your thoughts need to be squashed. If you think an unconditional offer from a top ranking international university can get you an education loan, almost instantly, then you need to think again. If you think being a girl child will get you an education loan in a jiffy, you are sadly mistaken.

Here is the bitter truth about education loan, from someone who has had a bitter, first-hand experience.

Offer letter from Cambridge


Our daughter had just turned 24 and surprised us by securing admission into Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS). We had been a little sceptical about her securing admission into one of the oldest and most prestigious university, given how young she was and the limited years of work experience she had. However, she proved her mettle, by scoring an enviable GMAT score of 740 and a brilliant 8.5 score in IELTS. The fact that she secured admission into a university that is ranked globally at number 5 for its MBA programme, by The Financial Times, went on to prove her calibre.



Excitement and disappointment


Our joy knew no bounds, and when we read up about CJBS, on online portals, we felt elated at what our daughter had achieved. But, the feeling of euphoria had an extremely short tenure. We were in for rude shock.

Exceptional academic history


The course fee and other expenses were pretty high, and not something that we could afford. We had to take an education loan. So, we approached a leading private finance company for a loan to fund our daughter's study abroad. We were asked to submit her documents, including academic records dating back to class X. Let me put things in perspective here, her academic records, were first-rate, something that I, as a mother, have always been proud of.

She had received the CBSE Merit certificate, for two subjects, for being among the top 0.1% percentile in the class 10 boards. She scored over 96% in class 10 and 12. She secured admission into a National Institute of Technology (NIT) on merit. She qualified her B.Tech course with High Distinction, with an outstanding CGPA. We had our documents in order and were willing to put up our residence as collateral. We were confident that the loan would be granted, in no time.

Unexpected rejection


Meanwhile, my daughter had rendered her resignation and was working through the notice period. I received a call from her one afternoon, informing me that the finance company had sent her an email stating that they did not have a product to offer that suited her requirement. In short, they had turned down the loan application. We went into panic mode. To cut a long story short, a number of telephonic conversations and email exchanges took place, but we were not given an authentic, believable reason. We also spoke to the MD, who was based in another city, but to no avail.

Lame excuse


We finally decided to meet the official heading the city office. The reception was cold, we were made to wait for a long time, to have a mid-level executive come and tell us that the loan could not be processed because of Brexit. Brexit had not happened yet; the referendum had not taken place. So, there was still a chance that it would not happen. We argued that someone who had a flawless academic history and had overcome the odds to get into Cambridge would surely not be subdued by the impending Brexit. The focus and dedication and the will to succeed were there. She was already drawing a handsome salary and with a Cambridge MBA, she would only be able to better it. What else did they want?

Then came the shocker


This was also a time when the beti bachao beti padhao social campaign had just been introduced. I was livid. I threatened to take up the matter because this kind of discrimination would also stand to affect international ties. We also questioned how they could refuse a loan for study in the UK, when the nation was listed in their brochures and on their website, among countries that were covered. The executive excused himself for a while and a little later we were ushered into the office of the man who had been avoiding us – the head of the city office.

He was apologetic and confessed that his hands were tied, and he was following the company policy. He stated that he had tried to push our daughter's case. And amidst all his unconvincing rants, he dropped the bombshell. The company could not finance her education because she was a girl child. It all boiled down to our child being a girl. We were shocked when he told us the company's fears, which you will notice were ridiculous. He stated that when our daughter gets married her husband might not agree to repay the loan. And she would have children and may not be able to work and hence not be able to fulfil her loan obligation. And this was a risk the company could not take.

Chromosome a factor for loan


We realised that it is not the credentials that matter, but the sex that you are that has more influence when it comes to getting a loan. That is the sad fact. My daughter's efforts, in creating an impeccable academic history meant zilch, because she was not a man. Things would have been different had she been a boy/man.

Meanwhile, and quite unexpectedly, my daughter won a scholarship, so that reduced the financial burden on us. We approached a public sector bank, and fortunately for us, the Branch Manager and the bank's regional head were very accommodating. They went out of their way to assist us, in securing the education loan.

Shameful salvage


A couple of weeks went by and one day we received an unexpected call from the private finance company's city head. He offered us a proposition that was as awful as the girl child logic that he had offered us earlier. The company was ready to grant the education loan provided we furnish collateral that was double the loan amount and a guarantor besides us.



A change is needed


We let go of the matter, but I sincerely hope that people's perspective changes for the better and that the world begins looking at the girl-child differently. People do not see the potential in them, leave alone encourage them. That is the stark reality. My advice to everyone is to approach public sector banks for substantial loan amounts.


Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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