Educational Expenses Loans

Apply for personal loans up to $75,000 to cover your educational and living expenses as a student with Savvy today.

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
Our authors
, updated on June 3rd, 2024       

Fact checked

At Savvy, we are committed to providing accurate information. Our content undergoes a rigorous process of fact-checking before it is published. Learn more about our editorial policy.

Personal Loans Banner

Getting a degree or extra qualifications is a valuable investment in your future, but balancing the cost of education with daily living expenses can be tough. If you’re a student in need of financial support during your studies, you might want to consider an education expenses personal loan. If you’re not sure where to start or what you could qualify for, Savvy can help. We can compare offers from dozens of lenders to see if there is a loan to suit your circumstances. Get started with a free quote today!

What is an educational expenses loan and what does it cover?

An educational expenses loan is a personal loan product designed to provide financial support to help you cover costs you might face when undertaking further or higher education. While you may be eligible for government assistance in the form of a HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP loan, these only cover tuition fees – leaving you responsible for paying your other education-related and living costs. These can include:

  • Textbooks and other study materials
  • Laptops and computers
  • Student accommodation
  • Food and bills
  • Transport
  • Clubs and extracurricular activities

When applying for a personal loan, you will have to meet certain criteria, such as being at least 18 years old, being an Australian citizen or permanent resident, earning or receiving a certain amount in income each year and meeting credit score requirements.

As a student, especially a younger one in full-time education, you may struggle to meet the latter two requirements. Consequently, your borrowing options may be more limited – as lenders perceive you as a higher risk, they may only approve you for smaller loan amounts with higher interest rates, if at all.

One way to get around this is to take out a personal loan with a guarantor. With this type of loan, someone, such as a parent, agrees to guarantee the payment of your loan. This means that if you fail to make your repayments, your guarantor will take on the responsibility until it is fully paid. It’s important to be aware that you will need to start repaying your personal loan as soon as you take it out and won’t be able to postpone repayments until the end of your studies.

How do I get a cheap educational expenses loan?

Most students operate on a budget, so it’s important that you know how to get a cheap personal loan for your educational costs. There are a few things you can do to save money on your loan, including:

Choose a lower interest rate

Interest payments can add substantially to the overall cost to your loan. While you might not be eligible for the best interest rates as a student, you should look for the lowest annual percentage rate (APR) you can find.

Avoid loans with extra fees

Don’t just look at the interest rate – also consider extra fee such as establishment fees or admin fees, which can run up the total cost of your loan. While student personal loans are unlikely to have these fees waived, you can still search for and compare those that have cheaper linked costs.

Opt for a shorter loan term

If you opt for a shorter loan term, you will save money on interest and any ongoing fees. While shorter loan terms will require more expensive repayments, it can be a worthwhile trade off if you can afford it.

Compare your options

One of the best ways to save on your loan is to compare offers from different lenders. If you need to find a cheap personal loan, Savvy can help. We can search deals from leading lenders across Australia to find a personal loan tailored to your needs and circumstances.

How else can I cut costs as a student?

Being a student often means managing a tight budget. To help you make the most of your finances, here are some additional cost-cutting tips:

  • Set a budget: create a budget and track your expenses to ensure you’re spending within your means.
  • Choose a subsidised course: Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs) are government-subsidised university courses available to eligible domestic students. CSPs generally have lower tuition fees compared to full-fee-paying courses, making higher education more affordable.
  • Apply for government assistance: while HELP loans only cover tuition, you may also be eligible for government assistance programs such as the Youth Allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY. These programs provide financial support to eligible students to help cover living expenses while studying.
  • Look at scholarships: research scholarships offered by universities, government, private companies and nonprofit foundations. There is a wide array of scholarships available for various criteria, including academic achievement, financial need, extracurricular involvement and specific fields of study.
  • Work part-time: working part-time while studying can help you cover living expenses and reduce reliance on student personal loans. Look for part-time job opportunities on or near campus that offer flexible hours to accommodate your class schedule. Consider positions in retail, hospitality, tutoring, or administrative roles within the university.
  • Investigate university loans: some universities offer long-term, loans or financial assistance programs to help students cover educational expenses and accommodation costs. Unlike other forms of finance, there loans may also be available to international students.

Types of personal loan

Why compare personal loans through Savvy?

The pros and cons of educational expenses personal loans

PROS

Immediate financial support

You could receive funds to cover essential educational and living expenses within 48 hours of applying.

Flexible use

Personal loans don't typically specify what you have to spend the funds on, leaving you free to spend it as you choose.

Credit building

Repaying your loan on time can help to build your credit score, which will help you down the line when you next apply for finance.

CONS

Interest and fees

You will have to pay interest and in some cases additional fees on your personal loan, which can significantly increase the cost.

Repayment pressure

You will have to make regular repayments from the start, adding financial pressure while studying.

Limited eligibility

Students with limited income or credit history may face higher interest rates or smaller loan amounts, or could have their application denied.

Common questions about your educational expenses loan answered

Can I get a personal loan as an international student?

Unfortunately, you're unlikely to be approved for a personal loan as an international student, as student visas generally aren't accepted for financing. However, you may be eligible for a student loan or financial assistance that is offered by your university.

Can I get financing for short courses?

Yes – if you are studying on a short course or are a part-time student, you can still apply for a personal loan to cover your education costs. If you are working alongside studying, you may even qualify for better rates as lenders will see you as less of a risk.

Will my loan come with a fixed or variable rate loan?

This depends on the loan that you choose and will be made clear before you apply for the loan. A fixed rate loan means the interest rate will not fluctuate during the term. This can be useful when it comes to budgeting, as you can be more certain of the cost of your loan throughout.

Can I make early repayments?

Yes – many of our lenders offer financing that allows you to make early repayments without being penalised. This can help you save hundreds of dollars, if not more, over the life of your loan.

How often can I make repayments?

You can choose to make your repayments weekly, fortnightly or monthly to help lower the amount you owe.

Can I still get financing if I have bad or no credit?

Yes – we have some specialist lending partners who can offer loans to people with bad credit or no credit rating and work towards solutions that fit their current situation.

Can I buy a car with my educational expenses personal loan?

While you can use your personal loan any way you choose, if you want to buy a vehicle as a a student you will likely get a better deal by taking out a secured car loan. Because the car is put up as collateral, reducing the risk to lenders, you may benefit from lower interest rates on your loan.

Should I use a credit card to pay my education expenses?

Some Australians will choose to use their credit card to pay off small educational expenses such as purchasing a computer, books, or other technological equipment that will help them with their studies. A 0% interest rate credit card can help lower initial costs if paid off on time. However, using your credit card to swipe for unnecessary costs that could have been saved up for can increase your chances of defaulting which can negatively impact your credit report and affect future borrowing.

Handy personal loan guides

Still looking for the right personal loan?

Personal loans come in all shapes and sizes, so read more about the ways you can use them, as well as how they might work for you.