With education becoming expensive and the cost of higher education skyrocketing, both in India and abroad, education loans have become a necessity today. With education loans, students can fund their own education and repay after completing their course. However, these loans can become a burden if not chosen and managed well. Here are five essential things to keep in mind before taking education loans. The first and foremost thing one must do before taking an education loan is to check whether the loan facility is available for the course they are interested in. Before deciding on a course or applying for admission, it is better to find out whether a loan is available by approaching the concerned college or the bank they want to take the loan from. Before taking an education loan, candidates must understand the need and analyze their goals, employment prospects for their course, financial situation, and ability to repay. Also, depending on the course fee, they must decide on the required loan amount. They should determine how much they can pay (from savings or other sources) and how much amount they need to ensure they don't borrow unnecessarily. After deciding on the course, college, and loan amount, candidates must conduct detailed research on the education loans offered by various banks. They must compare the interest rates, repayment tenures, processing fees, the scope of coverage (tuition fee, accommodation, books, etc.), and interest and repayment terms among other parameters. One should also check if collateral or guarantor is required for the loan offered. In India, banks currently provide 100% of the loan if the amount is less than Rs. 4 lakh. However, if the amount exceeds Rs. 4 lakh, candidates have to pay 5% of it in advance (15% down payment for studies overseas). So, if candidates need more than Rs. 4 lakh as a loan, they must ensure they have enough funds for the down payment. Before taking an education loan, candidates must know the consequences of defaulting on repayment. It will hamper their future credit opportunities, create problems for the guarantors, and the collateral offered will also be at stake. That's why one should have a backup plan for repayment even if they don't get a job or fail to repay after the moratorium period to avoid trouble.