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Borrowing is a reality for the majority of students now and as continuing professional development is a key part of any successful person’s career plan, the trend for using personal loans to finance training courses and industry specific qualifications is spreading around the world. Economic instability and other influences such as political and social factors mean that the ideal of having a “job for life” is now a thing of the past for the vast majority of people. This means most of us are now likely to spend time in a number of different jobs over the course of our lives. To maximise earning potential and to continue learning new skills, career development loans can be a wise investment that brings significant financial and personal rewards. This is Asterias guide on how to use a personal loan for career development in the Philippines.

Choose Your Courses Carefully

Whether you’re planning on studying a master’s degree or a completing a specific qualification that relates to your industry, its important to shop around and make sure you’re getting the best value for money. Be particularly careful with online courses as they aren’t always what they seem to be. Allocate enough of your loan amount to cover the initial course fees but be aware of additional charges that may be incurred for things like resources and transport to and from lecturers or seminars.

Aim for the lowest interest possible

Though you may not be able to find the kind of 0% and very low interest rates that can be available in places such as the UK, Europe and the U.S.A when applying for loans in the Philippines, you should always take the time to secure the lowest possible rate when you are using your loan for career development. As you are likely to be paying this money back over a period of several years, you need to make sure that any income you do have can cover essential payments comfortably.

Check Accreditations and Credentials

Even a short course from the right training provider can increase your earning potential significantly, but in most industries, there are usually governing and awarding bodies who can verify the quality of the courses on offer. Always make sure that you’re signing up with a legitimate institution, rather than a scammer trying to make a fast buck.

Allocate Funds for Each Stage of Your Development

In some cases, those who want to move on to the next stage of their career, or indeed, start a totally new one, will need to complete several courses over a period of time. As many courses have specific entry requirements, it may not be possible to sign up to everything you need to do all at once. You could be required to pass certain sections of the program before you are allowed to progress. If this is the case, consider using a separate account for your loan so that you can allocate funds to cover the full cost of your training. This means that even if you are living on a reduced income, you should still be able to ensure you complete all of the relevant courses you need.

Account for Loss of Earnings

For night courses or those that are completed in the work place, this isn’t something you will need to worry about, but for full or part time courses, such as degrees and diplomas, the amount of time required to engage in study means that you are unlikely to be able to manage a full time job. Applying for a career development loan should never be taken lightly and though it is certainly a potential opportunity to generate more income in the long term, you will need to make substantial savings and manage your finances carefully so that you can afford the repayments comfortably.

Avoid Payday Loans and Short-Term Loans

Though they can be ideal for some things, this style of loan is not appropriate for career development. The interest rates mean that if you are unable to make regular repayments, you could end up in a severe amount of debt. Ideally, look for personal loans that can be paid off over a period of years at an interest rate that seems reasonable and affordable to you. Most loan providers will consider career development a more than valid reason for borrowing funds, though you may need to explain some details of your plan. (For example, the university, college or training provider you intend to use.)

Identify Potential Roles Before Applying for Courses

Unlike general education, career development-based learning needs to provide you with a realistic and sustainable way to increase your earnings or move into a new industry sector with confidence. Before submitting an application, make a plan for the kind of role you would like to do after you have completed your training. This may seem obvious, but many people rush in to training courses and degrees without considering their worth in the real world. This approach means that you can set a clear and realistic goal to work towards and will allow you to feel more confident that your loan is being used for something genuinely useful.

Summary

Education and career development are some of the best ways to use personal loans, providing that you take the time to ensure you’re choosing the right course. Planning ahead and making sure that you’ve accounted for miscellaneous expenses such as travel, stationary and other hidden costs is essential. Lower interest rates and longer borrowing terms are generally the best option and it makes sense to be as choosy as possible when it comes to selecting a provider. Though you will need to make a few sacrifices along the way, using personal loans for career development can be one of the smartest ways to turn borrowing into an investment.

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