Personal Loan vs Education Loan

Personal Loan vs Education Loan: A Better Option to Fund Your Studies. Want to fund your studies? This can be a better option.

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Are you planning to pursue higher studies and wondering how to finance your education? Well, you’re not alone! Many students face the challenge of funding their education due to the soaring costs of courses, both in India and abroad. Thankfully, there are two popular options available – personal loans and education loans.

In this article, we will explore the differences between these two types of loans and help you determine which one could be a better choice for you.


Going for higher studies often requires a significant financial investment, and taking a loan is a common way to cover the expenses. Both personal loans and education loans can provide the funds you need, but understanding their differences is essential to make an informed decision.

Interest Rate

Interest rates play a vital role in determining the overall cost of a loan. Personal loans generally come with higher interest rates, ranging from 10% to 24% per annum. On the other hand, education loans offer a lower interest rate of 7.15% to 15.20% annually. Additionally, some banks may even provide interest concessions to female students.

Interest rates play a pivotal role in the world of finance and lending. Whether you’re borrowing money through a loan or investing your savings in a bank account, interest rates significantly impact your financial decisions. Let’s explore the ins and outs of interest rates to better understand their importance and implications.

What are Interest Rates?

Interest rates refer to the cost of borrowing money or the return on investment for lending money. When you borrow money from a lender, you are essentially paying for the privilege of using their funds. This cost is expressed as a percentage of the principal amount borrowed and is added to the total repayment.

Types of Interest Rates

There are primarily two types of interest rates: fixed and variable.

1. Fixed Interest Rates

With fixed interest rates, the rate remains constant throughout the loan’s tenure. This means that regardless of any fluctuations in the market or economic conditions, your interest rate and monthly repayments remain the same. Fixed interest rates provide stability and predictability, making budgeting more manageable.

2. Variable Interest Rates

Variable interest rates, as the name suggests, can change over time. They are often tied to a benchmark rate, such as the prime rate or the federal funds rate. When the benchmark rate changes, your interest rate will be adjusted accordingly. This can result in fluctuating monthly repayments, making it challenging to predict your future financial commitments accurately.

Factors Influencing Interest Rates

Several factors influence the determination of interest rates, including:

Central Bank Policies

Central banks, such as the Federal Reserve in the United States, play a vital role in setting the benchmark interest rates. These rates act as a reference point for other financial institutions.


Inflation is the rate at which the general price level of goods and services rises, leading to a decrease in the purchasing power of currency. Higher inflation tends to push interest rates higher as lenders seek to maintain the real value of their money.


Your creditworthiness, often represented by your credit score and credit history, can significantly impact the interest rate you are offered. A higher credit score usually leads to lower interest rates, as it indicates a lower risk for the lender.

Economic Conditions

Economic conditions, both at a global and domestic level, play a crucial role in determining interest rates. During economic downturns, central banks may lower interest rates to stimulate borrowing and spending, while during economic booms, they may raise rates to control inflation.

Interest rates are a fundamental aspect of the financial world. They influence borrowing and lending decisions and can significantly impact your financial well-being. Understanding the different types of interest rates and the factors that influence them can empower you to make informed financial choices and navigate the complex world of loans and investments more effectively.

Repayment Tenure

The repayment tenure of a loan can significantly impact your financial planning. Education loans typically have longer repayment tenures, extending up to 15 years. In contrast, personal loans come with shorter repayment tenures, usually around five years.

Repayment tenure is a crucial aspect of any loan agreement, defining the period within which the borrower must repay the borrowed amount along with the interest. This duration can vary based on the type of loan and the lender’s policies. Let’s explore the importance of repayment tenure and how it can affect your financial commitments.

Importance of Repayment Tenure

The repayment tenure of a loan plays a significant role in determining the feasibility and affordability of borrowing. It impacts the following aspects:

1. Monthly Installments

The length of the repayment tenure directly influences the amount of each monthly installment. A longer tenure leads to smaller installments, making it easier for borrowers to manage their cash flow. On the other hand, a shorter tenure results in larger installments, which may put more strain on the borrower’s finances.

2. Total Interest Paid

The repayment tenure also affects the total interest paid over the course of the loan. With longer tenures, the interest is spread out over more months, reducing the monthly burden but increasing the overall interest cost. Shorter tenures, while resulting in higher monthly payments, can help save on the total interest paid.

3. Financial Flexibility

Choosing an appropriate repayment tenure allows borrowers to align their loan obligations with their financial goals and capabilities. It offers the flexibility to select a tenure that best suits their current financial situation and expected future income.

Considerations for Selecting Repayment Tenure

When choosing a repayment tenure, borrowers must consider the following factors:

1. Income Stability

If a borrower has a stable and consistent income, opting for a shorter repayment tenure might be more feasible. On the other hand, those with irregular income or uncertain job prospects may prefer a longer tenure to ensure manageable monthly installments.

2. Financial Goals

Borrowers should assess their long-term financial goals and how the loan fits into them. For example, if they plan to save for a major expense in the near future, a shorter tenure might be preferable to clear the debt faster.

3. Interest Rate

The interest rate on the loan can influence the choice of repayment tenure. Lower interest rates might make shorter tenures more appealing, as borrowers can pay off the loan quickly without incurring excessive interest costs.

4. Prepayment Options

Some loans allow borrowers to make prepayments without penalty. In such cases, individuals may opt for a longer tenure but make additional payments whenever they have surplus funds, effectively reducing the total interest paid.

The repayment tenure is a critical aspect of loan management, impacting monthly installments, total interest costs, and overall financial flexibility. Borrowers should carefully consider their income stability, financial goals, interest rates, and prepayment options before finalizing the repayment tenure. By choosing the most suitable tenure, borrowers can ensure a smooth and financially manageable loan repayment journey.

Tax Benefits

When considering a loan, it’s essential to evaluate the tax implications. Personal loans do not offer any tax benefits to borrowers, and the high-interest rates can be a disadvantage. On the other hand, education loans offer a silver lining. Borrowers can claim a deduction of interest paid on education loans under Section 80E of the Income Tax Act, 1961, reducing the financial burden.

Tax benefits are incentives provided by the government to encourage certain financial activities, such as investing in specific instruments or taking loans for particular purposes. These benefits can significantly impact an individual’s overall tax liability, providing potential savings. When it comes to loans, tax benefits are available on education loans but not on personal loans.

Tax Benefits on Education Loans

Education loans offer unique tax benefits under Section 80E of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Here are the key points to understand:

1. Deduction on Interest Payment

Borrowers can claim a deduction on the interest paid on an education loan. Unlike many other deductions, there is no maximum limit for this deduction, which means the entire interest amount paid during the financial year is eligible for deduction.

2. Duration of Deduction

The deduction under Section 80E can be claimed for a maximum of eight consecutive years or until the interest is fully repaid, whichever is earlier. This extended deduction period provides significant relief to borrowers by reducing their tax burden over an extended period.

3. Loan Purpose

To avail of tax benefits, the education loan must be taken for higher education for the taxpayer, spouse, or children. It can be for courses pursued in India or abroad, and there is no restriction on the field of study.

4. No Upper Limit on Loan Amount

Unlike some other tax deductions, the benefit under Section 80E is not subject to an upper limit on the loan amount. Borrowers can claim the deduction regardless of the loan’s principal amount.

Tax Benefits on Personal Loans

Unlike education loans, personal loans do not offer any specific tax benefits. Since personal loans are primarily utilized for various purposes, including meeting personal expenses, debt consolidation, or handling emergencies, they are not eligible for any tax deductions.

When considering loans, it’s essential to understand the potential tax benefits associated with them. Education loans stand out due to the attractive tax benefits available under Section 80E of the Income Tax Act. Borrowers can claim deductions on the interest paid, without any upper limit, for up to eight years or until the interest is fully repaid. On the other hand, personal loans do not offer any tax benefits, as they are typically used for a wide range of personal purposes. Understanding these distinctions can help borrowers make informed financial decisions and choose the right loan based on their specific needs and financial goals.

Loan Amount

The loan amount you can borrow depends on the type of loan and the lender’s policies. Education loans may have varying limits, depending on the lender, course, and institution. In contrast, personal loans are subject to factors like monthly income, credit score, and other financial aspects.

Loan amount is the principal sum that a lender agrees to lend to a borrower. It represents the total funds borrowed, which the borrower is obligated to repay over a specified period along with any applicable interest. The loan amount can vary depending on the type of loan, the borrower’s financial profile, and the lender’s policies.

Loan Amount for Education Loans

Education loans are specifically designed to support students’ educational pursuits. The loan amount for education loans can vary depending on the following factors:

1. Course and Institution

The loan amount may differ based on the type, duration, and cost of the course the student plans to pursue. Additionally, the reputation and accreditation of the educational institution can also influence the loan amount.

2. Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV)

The loan-to-value ratio represents the percentage of the course fee that the lender is willing to finance. Generally, education loans cover a significant portion of the course fee, but some lenders may have specific LTV limits.

3. Co-Borrower or Collateral

For certain high-value courses or institutions, lenders may require a co-borrower (such as a parent or guardian) or collateral to secure the loan. In such cases, the loan amount can be higher, as the risk to the lender is mitigated.

4. Credit Profile

The borrower’s credit history and credit score also play a role in determining the loan amount. A strong credit profile may enable the borrower to secure a higher loan amount with more favorable terms.

Loan Amount for Personal Loans

Personal loans are typically unsecured loans that can be used for various personal expenses, such as debt consolidation, home renovations, medical emergencies, or travel. The loan amount for personal loans is influenced by the following factors:

1. Income and Repayment Capacity

Lenders assess the borrower’s income and ability to repay the loan to determine the loan amount. A higher income and stable repayment capacity may result in a higher loan amount.

2. Creditworthiness

The borrower’s credit score and credit history are crucial in assessing creditworthiness. A higher credit score may lead to a higher loan amount and better loan terms.

3. Debt-to-Income Ratio

Lenders consider the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio, which is the proportion of monthly income dedicated to debt payments. A lower debt-to-income ratio may result in a higher loan amount.

4. Lender’s Policies

Each lender may have specific policies regarding the maximum loan amount they offer. Borrowers should compare different lenders to find the one that suits their needs best.

The loan amount is a significant consideration when applying for a loan, whether it’s an education loan or a personal loan. Education loans cater specifically to educational expenses, covering the course fee and related costs, while personal loans provide funds for a wide range of personal needs. Understanding the factors that influence the loan amount can help borrowers make informed decisions and select the most suitable loan for their financial requirements.

Usage of Funds for Education Loans

One crucial difference between the two loans lies in the utilization of funds. When you opt for an education loan, the amount is directly transferred to your educational institution, ensuring that it is solely used for educational expenses. In contrast, personal loans provide greater flexibility, allowing you to use the funds for any purpose you desire.

Education loans are designed to finance the educational expenses of students pursuing various courses. The usage of funds for education loans is typically restricted to educational purposes only. Here’s how the funds are utilized:

Payment of Course Fees

The primary purpose of an education loan is to cover the course fees for the educational program the student wishes to pursue. The lender directly disburses the loan amount to the educational institution to settle the tuition fees.

Accommodation and Hostel Fees

In addition to course fees, education loans may also cover accommodation and hostel fees for students studying away from home. This ensures that students have a place to stay during their course duration.

Examination and Library Fees

Education loans may cover additional expenses related to examinations, library fees, and other academic charges imposed by the educational institution.

Purchase of Books and Study Materials

Funds from an education loan can be used to purchase books, study materials, and any necessary equipment required for the course.

Travel Expenses

In cases where the educational institution is located far from the student’s hometown, education loans may cover travel expenses to and from the institution.

Other Educational Expenses

Some education loans may also cover other educational expenses, such as research projects, internships, and study tours, that are essential for the successful completion of the course.

Usage of Funds for Personal Loans

Personal loans offer greater flexibility regarding the usage of funds, as they can be utilized for various personal purposes. Borrowers have the freedom to use the loan amount for the following:

Debt Consolidation

Personal loans can be used to consolidate multiple debts into a single loan, making it easier for the borrower to manage repayments.

Home Renovations

Borrowers often use personal loans to fund home renovation projects, such as remodeling kitchens, bathrooms, or other parts of their homes.

Medical Emergencies

In times of medical emergencies or unexpected medical expenses, personal loans can provide quick access to funds.

Travel and Vacations

Personal loans can be utilized to finance travel expenses, allowing borrowers to plan their dream vacations.

Wedding Expenses

Personal loans can be used to cover wedding expenses, such as venue bookings, catering, and other wedding-related costs.

Other Personal Needs

Personal loans offer the flexibility to address various personal needs, such as purchasing electronic gadgets, funding family events, or managing any unforeseen financial requirements.

Education loans are specifically tailored to fund educational expenses, while personal loans offer versatility for a wide range of personal needs. Understanding the distinct usage of funds for each type of loan can help borrowers make informed decisions and choose the most suitable loan to meet their specific financial requirements.

Making the Right Choice

Choosing between a personal loan and an education loan depends entirely on your needs and financial situation. Consider factors such as interest rates, repayment tenure, tax benefits, and loan amount before making a decision.

Making the right choice between different types of loans, such as education loans and personal loans, is essential to ensure financial well-being and meet specific needs. Here are some factors to consider when making this decision:

Purpose of the Loan

First and foremost, consider the purpose for which you need the loan. If your goal is to fund your education, an education loan would be the more suitable option. It is specifically designed to cover educational expenses, offering lower interest rates and extended repayment tenures.

On the other hand, if you need funds for various personal needs like debt consolidation, home renovations, medical emergencies, or other personal expenses, a personal loan provides the flexibility to address those requirements.

Interest Rates

Interest rates play a crucial role in determining the overall cost of the loan. Education loans generally come with lower interest rates compared to personal loans. If you qualify for an education loan and need funds solely for educational purposes, it can save you a significant amount in interest payments over the loan tenure.

Personal loans, on the other hand, tend to have higher interest rates due to their unsecured nature. If you opt for a personal loan, ensure that the interest rates and repayment terms align with your financial capabilities.

Repayment Tenure

Consider the repayment tenure that suits your financial situation. Education loans typically offer longer repayment tenures, giving you more time to repay the loan after completing your education and securing a job. This longer tenure results in smaller monthly installments, making it easier to manage your finances.

In contrast, personal loans often have shorter repayment tenures. While this means you’ll repay the loan faster, it also leads to higher monthly installments. Assess your financial stability and income prospects to determine if you can comfortably manage the repayment schedule.

Tax Benefits

If you’re taking an education loan for higher studies, remember the added advantage of tax benefits. Under Section 80E of the Income Tax Act, you can claim a deduction on the interest paid on the education loan, potentially reducing your tax liability. Personal loans do not offer such tax benefits.

Loan Amount

Consider the required loan amount. Education loans are typically granted based on the specific course and institution, while personal loan amounts are based on your income, credit score, and other financial factors. Ensure that the loan amount meets your funding requirements without burdening you with excessive debt.

Financial Goals

Evaluate your long-term financial goals before making a decision. If your primary aim is to invest in your education and secure a better future, an education loan aligns with that goal. On the other hand, if you need funds for various personal goals, a personal loan offers greater flexibility.

Choosing the right loan depends on your specific needs, financial capabilities, and future aspirations. Weigh the pros and cons of education loans and personal loans, considering factors such as purpose, interest rates, repayment tenure, tax benefits, and loan amount. Making an informed decision will ensure that you select the loan that best serves your requirements and contributes to your financial well-being.


Pursuing higher studies is a significant investment in your future, and finding the right financial assistance is crucial. Both personal loans and education loans offer their benefits and drawbacks, and choosing the suitable option depends on your specific requirements. Consider all the factors carefully, including interest rates, repayment tenure, tax benefits, and fund usage, to make an informed decision about financing your education.


Q1: Can I opt for both a personal loan and an education loan simultaneously?

A: Yes, you can apply for both loans at the same time if you need additional funds to cover your educational expenses fully.

Q2: Are education loans restricted to specific courses or institutions?

A: No, education loans are generally available for various courses and institutions, both in India and abroad.

Q3: Can I get an education loan without collateral?

A: Yes, many banks offer education loans without requiring collateral, especially for lower loan amounts.

Q4: Are there any income restrictions for availing an education loan?

A: Some lenders may consider your income while processing an education loan, but it is not a strict criterion for approval.

Q5: Can I prepay my education loan to reduce the interest burden?

A: Yes, many lenders allow borrowers to prepay their education loans without any prepayment charges, which can help reduce the overall interest cost.