For Lisu Michael, securing a loan for his nursing course in Karnataka in 2005 was difficult, but with the help of his friend, who helped raise some of the funds, he managed to get over Rs. one lakh for his education. His repayment to the bank stands at Rs. 1.27 lakh and without a job now, he is struggling to meet both ends.

He lost his nursing job at a premier healthcare institute in Kochi because of his involvement in strikes by nurses. Now while his friends in various hospitals are managing to get at least the minimum wages because of the strike, Lisu is trying other options like going abroad, which again has become difficult. Hospitals in the State are against taking in male nurses fearing their role in organising strikes.

The story of Prince Joy from Kollam working in a hospital in Ernakulam is not any different on repayment. His house was seized by the bank. It was redeemed with political help on the assurance of a lowered monthly repayment by increasing the number of instalments. His loan of Rs. 1.35 lakh had gone up to Rs. 2.80 lakh as his repaying capacity was low.

But seven years down the line from Lisu’s time of seeking educational loan, securing them have become a bit easier though the banks are worried much about the repayment. The Government has taken a lenient view for education loans, even though the banks face huge NPAs on the educational loan accounts, said a manager of a leading bank in the State.

The Government norms require that the banks give loans on the merit of the student and the institution. The lead bank in the district has also sorted out the major issue of rejection that a student might face. Every ward has been allotted to a particular bank, said the bank manager. Even if the person does not have an account in this bank, it is bound to give loan for education.

The loans against the engineering courses are also likely to turn NPA as the numbers of students securing a good job after the course has become rather low. The bank manager pointed to various newspaper reports that said that only 17.5 per cent students qualify for good jobs.

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Keywords: education loan

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