According to the latest reports, Bihar features a Gross Enrolment Ratio of 13.6%, denoting a meagre share of students who enrol for higher education. This ratio is also one of the poorest in India, signifying the limited access to education. While many reasons contribute to this low ratio, the availability of finances is a significant roadblock.
The Bihar Government thus launched the yojana of Bihar Student Credit Card to address this issue precisely. In an official report, the state government claimed that nearly 1 lakh students would benefit from this scheme in FY21. Through this scheme, individuals can avail considerable financial assistance to finance their education, thus, moving towards a higher GER.
What are the features of a Bihar student credit card?
- Easy loan availability
One of the primary benefits of this state-sponsored credit tool is that beneficiaries can avail a loan of up to Rs.4 lakh through the card. This facility addresses the issue of substantial higher education expenses in India, which prompts scores of students to discontinue their formal studies after 12th standard.
- Relief in loan repayment
Another significant advantage of this scheme is that beneficiaries do not need to repay the loan immediately after availing it. As per its guidelines, repayment starts when –
- It has been 1 year since the individual has completed his/her educational course.
- Or, it has been 6 months since the individual has secured employment; whichever comes first.
Borrowers can repay a loan in 60 EMIs if the amount is up to Rs.2 lakh and in 84 EMIs if such quantum is more than Rs.2 lakh.
- Affordable rate of interest
The Bihar student credit card features a simple interest at the rate of 1% for women, disabled individuals, and transgender applicants. For others, this rate is set at 4%.
- Loan availability for a range of courses
In general, students can avail an education loan only when they are pursuing technical courses like engineering. However, beneficiaries can avail a loan through this scheme to pursue polytechnic and other general courses as well.
What are the eligibility criteria for a Bihar student credit card?
Individuals can avail this credit card only if they satisfy the following criteria:
- Applicant should be a resident of Bihar.
- He/she must have enrolled for a course in any university accredited by the Bihar government, a state government, or GOI at the time of application.
- He/she should pass 10th/12th standard or polytechnic from a Bihar-approved board or boards of neighbouring states like Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh.
- He/she should be below 25 years of age.
The issuing authority can retract all benefits extended under this scheme if a student leaves his/her course midway.
In case students don’t qualify for this scheme, they can opt for a general student credit card as an alternative. With such a card, they can enjoy several additional benefits, like cashbacks and discounts.
Furthermore, students can use a credit card to improve their credit score as well. This way, they will gain the edge over others when they graduate.
What are the documents required to apply for a Bihar student credit card?
Individuals will need to produce the following documents when they apply for this scheme:
- Aadhaar cards of applicant and co-applicant.
- 10th and 12th standard’s mark sheets.
- Proof of admission to a recognised university in India.
- Prospectus of the institution with details regarding the course enrolled for.
- Scholarship documents (if applicable).
- Photocopies of applicant’s or co-applicant’s bank account passbook.
- Two passport-sized photographs of applicant and co-applicant.
Students can apply for a Bihar student credit card from the state government’s official website. Applicants need to note the acknowledgement number which they will receive upon successful application.
Apart from this scheme, individuals can utilise a conventional credit card to meet other expenses associated with education, like accommodation charges, books purchase, etc. Furthermore, by using a credit card wisely, individuals can reap several benefits.
For instance, with the responsible use of credit cards, students can build their credit scores before graduating. It would allow them to avail high-end cards, like SuperCard, later on easily.
The issuing NBFC also brings pre-approved offers that simplify the process of application and speeds up approval. Such offers are available on several financial products, such as credit cards, personal loans, etc. Individuals can check their pre-approved offer by providing their name and phone number.
However, when availing this facility, it is essential to know how to check credit card statement. In fact, it is one of the first things to know about credit card bill payment. That way, individuals can stay on top of their finances to ensure minimum debt burden.