Mumbai: Twenty-four year old Deepti Shirke was certain she would be an MBA one day and equally certain that she would not burden her parents to fund the high cost of getting the degree.
So she decided to walk into a Dena Bank branch one day and get an education loan.
"Getting a loan was very easy for me. I just got in ten days time with very few documents," says she.
While it may appear that Deepti's need was greater than the bank's, one look at the numbers and you realise that education is fast turning to be big business for banks.
According to the RBI's latest annual report, education loans which stood at about Rs 5000 crore in 2004-2005 have grown by 100 per cent to cross Rs 10,000 crore in 2005-06.
According to the Indian Banks Association's estimates, 70 per cent of this kitty comprises of loans below Rs 4 lakh and that is because education loans upto Rs 4 lakh do not require a collateral.
Says Director, Welingkar Institute of Management and Research, Uday Salunkhe, "The number of students taking these loans have gone up significantly. If we compare with last year alone, they have gone up by 100-150 per cent."
With the number of student's going for professional courses increasing and cost of education getting dearer, the market for education loans is rapidly growing. Public sector banks are leaving no stone unturned to cash in on this boom.
(With inputs from Hiral Sachde)