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FAQ: NSFAS Repayments


These questions and answers mostly apply to students who applied for NSFAS funding before December of 2017. This means a student applied for funding when NSFAS offered loans before the move to free education, after which NSFAS offered bursaries which don't need to be paid back. 


How much time do students have to pay back the NSFAS loan?

There is no time limit on paying back the money. This is because the repayment is based on the salary of the student. Students are only expected to start paying their money after their salary reaches R30 000 and the repayment is calculated as to not place a burden on the individual. If the individual is unemployed there is not an expectation for the student to pay the loan back but they need to inform NSFAS if their unemployment status changes. 


When must a student start paying back the loan?

You are only expected to start paying back the loan once you become employed and earn an income greater than R30 000 per year. Once you earn R30 000, you will be expected to pay 3% of your salary and for every extra R6000 you earn above the R30 000, you will pay an additional 1%. However, the maximum percentage of your salary you will pay will be 8%. 


How is interested calculated on the loan?

The current rate is 4.2% and that is for the current financial year which runs from April 1st to March 31st of the next year. 


How much of my loan repayment help the funding of other students?

Every cent of the repayment helps other students with funding. 


Latest Bursaries

Converse is giving away R1 million towards student debt. Applicants can apply for the #KicktheDebt campaign or nominate deserving students. 

Closing date: 3 March 2021.

There are five scholarships available to South African citizens, all of which are for international postgraduate study. These are: 

African Housing Company (AFHCO) is holding a competition to give away a bursary worth R50 000. The R50 000 bursary will be paid directly to University of Johannesburg or Wits University. 

Closing date: 12 March 2021 (Entries received after 17:00 will not be valid and will be excluded from the draw.)

Applications for The Funza Lushaka Bursary are open for 2021 funding so apply now. All first time applicants must be 30 years or younger to apply for Funza Lushaka Bursary. The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme is a multi-year programme to promote teaching as a profession.

The Gibela bursaries are granted to students enrolled at TVET institutions. Students must prove they are in need of financial assistance and should be able to demonstrate great academic potential.