7 Things To Keep In Mind While Financing Your Education

If you’re an aspiring graduate, or an experienced professional enrolling into a professional MBA program or higher studies, chances are you might need to fund your university education. It also might be one of the biggest financial decisions you make that will impact your earnings potential and financial goals in the long-term.

While securing educational loans has become pretty commonplace with all major financial institutions following standard practices in granting these loans, here are some tips to keep in mind before you sign up for one.


Finding funds

In India, most major financial institutions — from public banks to private institutions including NBFCs such as Credai — offer student loans. As per government mandate, banks can disburse up to Rs 4 lakhs without requiring collateral; anything above that amount typically requires a co-applicant and proof of security that will form the collateral backing the loan. Banks typically lend up to Rs 10 lakh for higher studies at Indian institutes and up to Rs 20 lakh for programs abroad.

You may also need to pay your bank 5 per cent of your loan amount in the form of margin money for domestic programs, and up to 15 per cent for studies abroad that typically require higher loan amounts.

While most banks follow a standard interest rates offering 1.35 to 3 percentage points above the Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate (MCLR), some banks can give out cheaper interest rates depending on specific criteria. For instance, State Bank of India (SBI) has recently launched an 8.5 per cent interest rate on education loans for certain business schools such as Indian Institute of Management (IIM)-Ahmedabad and Indian School of Business-Hyderabad.

Unconventional avenues

There are also a number of emerging fin-tech players that have also begun offering loans to students with less onerous requirements than traditional banks. For example, P2P lending platform, Faircent.com, has teamed up with Bangalore-based micro-lending startups to offer student loans that require only part of the collateral. Another fin-tech startup Quiklo provides loans and financing to students to help them purchase study accessories including phones and laptops. Quiklo says its education finance platform will lend to students who have been declined loans in the past.

Govt push

To facilitate student loans, the Indian government’s Vidya Lakshmi Portal also provides a platform where people can apply and compare educational loans from different institutions. The website connects students with multiple banks, providing updates on the loan process and links to other government financial aid and scholarships. Of course, approaching your existing financial institution where you or your family already have a banking relationship, could make the process faster.

Use a loan calculator

It’s a good idea to use an online loan calculator to estimate how your repayment plan will look like along with details on expected EMIs. Most loans have a 5-7 year repayment period, but larger loans can offer longer repayment periods, depending on your financial institution. These loan calculators can also help assess the eligibility criteria for these loans.

Avoid the debt trap

Experts recommend paying down your student debt early before the interest rates compound prolonging your loan repayment. There are reports of some banks slapping interest rates even on the moratorium period– the grace period during which a loan does not become due which is usually six months after getting employment or one year after completing a course. Always factor in any processing fees or hidden penalties such as prepayment penalties or higher interest rates while signing up for loans that could compound overtime and eat away at your hard earned income.

Tax benefits

You can claim deductions on your annual taxes if you’re paying down student debt under the Section 80E of the I-T Act. These benefits will bring down your tax liability so it’s important to keep track of the necessary paperwork to claim these tax breaks on the interest payments. These tax deductions can be claimed by individuals as well as family members who are funding the education of their children or spouse.

Ask your employer

If you’re an experienced professional pursuing a part-time program, or taking a study leave, some employers can fund part of your higher studies. It’s a good idea to check with your employer on their employee education and training benefits programs before applying for expensive bank loans.

6 bizarre things ancients used to prevent pregnancy

There was an age when condoms and hormonal contraception weren’t even imagined yet. People based contraception on hit and trial, on things that coincidentally worked for them (or not), on anything such as weasel testicles or lemons, but science. Following is a list of such bizarre practices that were followed by people and are, thankfully, outdated now.

(Picture Courtesy: Shutterstock Images)

Weasel testiclesWeasel testicles


Or a donkey’s poop, a dark cat’s bone, or mule’s uterus to that purpose. They were hung around the woman’s neck or were tied on her thigh to prevent pregnancy through witchery. We aren’t sure about any magic there but for a man who was having intercourse with a woman beaded with weasel testicles, he sure couldn’t perform his best!



People believed that inserting lemons inside the woman’s pudendum could prevent pregnancy. It was believed that the citric acid in the lemon could kill sperms. In fact, there have been mentions of women using lemon rinds to keep the sperms from entering their bodies.

Crocodile poop diaphragm

Crocodile poop diaphragm

In ancient Egypt, women would make a paste of crocodile poop and honey and shove it up their vaginas to create a ‘blockage’ for the sperm to go ahead. And in fact, records show that it worked for many.

Olive oil

Olive oil

People in Greece used to believe that olive oil mixed with cedar oil can be used as an effective spermicide. It was known to decrease the mobility of sperms and would give women some time to wash out the ejaculate from their vaginas.

Lead-infused water

Lead-infused water

Many women in China and Greece were known to consume lead-infused water to prevent getting pregnant. And for that matter, lead is actually known to lower a woman’s fertility but it has many, many other side-effects too, often overlooked then.



As lead, as mercury. It was also consumed orally by women of China to stop pregnancy, while overlooking all the side effects that could happen, such as kidney or brain damage.



We don’t know what harm they may cause. If you are tempted to try any, forget you ever read this and move on with your life.


11 Things People With Eczema Want You to Know

What do you think when you imagine eczema? A red rash, dry skin? Or perhaps even an issue that mostly impacts kids? But what many people don’t realize is that eczema can be a painful, devastating condition. According to the National Eczema Association, 30 million people in the United States are currently living with some form of eczema. There are different types of eczema, so there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment plan. The most common type is atopic dermatitis, which can occur in people from allergy-prone families, and is related to an underlying immune reaction that affects the skin.

People with the condition can experience flare-ups at any time—sometimes for no reason at all—although eating the wrong foods, coming into contact with an irritating substance, or experiencing a bit too much stress can increase the likelihood. What’s more, the symptoms often go beyond red, dry, itchy skin; eczema can disturb your sleep, impact relationships, and wreak havoc on all parts of a person’s life. Chances are, you already know someone with eczema. Here’s what they want you to know about their day-to-day struggles.

“I’ve been going through a particularly rough flare-up of my eczema for the past several months. I think the biggest misconception about the condition is that it’s ‘just a rash.’ I feel like people don’t take it seriously; even when I look up research on it, most is just targeted to children.”
—Kate, 24, Houston


The condition is more than just cosmetic

“In very bad cases or flare-ups, I can’t sleep and have no appetite… Physically, people don’t understand just how bad it can get. I shiver in the dead of summer because my weeping skin can’t hold my heat in. I can barely move my arms because every motion reopens a raw crack in the skin.”
—Dawn, 31, Los Angeles  

Dry, itching skin can keep you up at night

“Eczema is the breakdown of the barriers that protect and seal your skin. Sufferers of allergies may know what the rash feels like, or someone who has brushed against poison ivy would understand the sensation of eczema. Also, since your skin barrier can’t really hold in moisture, dry, itchy skin is a constant battle. The discomfort of the itching and dry skin can lead to poor sleep, since you may, even subconsciously, scratch all night in bed.”

Bad eczema has nothing to do with poor hygiene

“Before my diagnosis, I did not know how complex and varied eczema is as a disease. I also did not know how difficult it is treat, and how this difficulty stymies many doctors. Bad cases of eczema don’t simply arise from poor hygiene or skincare routine. It has more complicated causes, and hence, more complicated solutions.”

 Since eczema is so hard to treat and individualized, suggestions do not help

“If you are a stranger trying to offer tips to someone with eczema… remember that I’ve spent a boatload of time, energy, and money trying to deal with my condition. I’ve read everything online, gone to numerous doctors, and tried all sorts of medical and DIY remedies. Trying to suggest that I try this one brand of lotion, or take a cold shower, can be infuriating. It actually trivializes what I’ve gone through.”

“This condition is chronic, and in addition to the external suffering, it can be taxing on your mental and physical stress levels. I’ve gotten many looks of concern, or heard comments from people I’ve attended school and worked with; this does drag on your esteem every day. I also wish people would stop insisting I see a doctor. If I am having a bad skin day, I know about it. I really don’t need the confirmation that my external appearance matches my internal agony.”

Eczema is sometimes related to food allergies

“My eczema is closely related to my celiac disease and food allergies. For example, if I eat gluten and then get exposed to the sun, I will develop diarrhea, headaches, and a bad rash on my arms. When I was in my thirties, my allergy doctor diagnosed me with celiac disease and I also tested positive for many food allergies. If I avoid gluten and other foods that I’m allergic to, I get fewer rashes.”
—Janet, 67, Portage, MI

People with eczema are diligent about their self-care habits

“There are so many factors I’ve identified as my ‘triggers’ for my eczema, and I work hard to avoid them. Some of these include stress, food and seasonal allergies, too much alcohol on the weekends, dehydration, a poor diet of processed foods, and vitamin D deficiency.”

The condition can really impact your social life and work

“This [recent] flare-up has caused a severe lack of sleep, frequent panic attacks, and a general spike in anxiety since my body is under this constant stress. The eczema has also affected my social life because I don’t really want to be seen when my skin is so torn up. If I didn’t work from home as a publicist who works remotely, I don’t know how I would have maintained a job.”

Most people with severe eczema have tried it all

“I’ve tried it all: wrapping my skin in saran wrap, oatmeal baths, sleeping in leggings and long sleeves. I only use ‘all clear’ soaps, shampoos, and detergents. I even cut out gluten, just in case. I have seen several dermatologists, most of whom look at me for five seconds and say, ‘Oh, you have eczema,’ and then hand me some ointments, none of which have worked for me. I’ve been on several medications that either don’t show enough progress or seem to cause eczema flare-ups once you go off them.”

Some treatments can may make eczema worse for sensitive individuals

“I have eczema on my hands and feet. Often, my flare-ups are related to what I consume or an allergic reaction to an ingredient. Mine tend to happen when I consume gluten products, especially rice and pasta. I’ve become vegetarian, which has reduced my outbreaks. Also, it’s important to be careful with topical solutions because they tend to have steroids or alcohol in them, and those can sometimes can make your eczema worse.”


10 Things You Need To Know Before Trying The Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet has been quietly developing a cult following online. Maybe you’ve heard about it, or maybe you haven’t. The main thing you need to know about “keto,” the popular nickname for the diet, is that it’s high-fat, moderate protein, and low-carb. Many people who have tried the diet say the results are unbelievable. It’s known to help with more than just weight loss, too, and has been credited to helping with diabetes, Lyme disease, epilepsy, and anxiety.


If you’re interested in trying the diet, here’s what you need to know first.


‘Cause you can’t have ’em! Technically speaking, you will have carbs — about 20 grams (of net carbs) per day. The source of these carbs will be vegetables, probably. But the point of this diet is to get your body to stop running on carbs. So prepare to trade in pizza, bread, pasta, and even quinoa for salads, olive oil, avocado, and meat. BUT, before you say, “hell no, I won’t go,” know that you can have some of your favorites, like bacon, ranch dressing, and even butter.

Wait, is butter a carb? Kidding!


Fat is your new fuel. You’re going to need lots of it: roughly 90 grams per day, depending on your body and weight loss goal. Finding sources of good fat isn’t too difficult, though — just reach for some almonds, macadamia nuts, and avocado.

And forget everything you’ve heard about fatty foods and don’t even think about buying anything that’s low-fat; that’s the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve here.


Think about it: Your body has to adjust to starchy carbs going MIA. You’ll probably experience something that people refer to as “keto flu.” Basically, when your body is going through the transition into ketosis, you’ll feel some flu-like symptoms—mostly headaches. But don’t worry, it won’t last too long.


Bacon will get you through. Of course, having bacon every day isn’t a healthy choice, but having it at brunch will make you feel like you’re still a human while your friends scarf down waffles, home fries, and toast.


If you think you can just eat keto-friendly foods and that will be all it takes, you’re in for a real surprise. The truth is, you have to weigh everything you eat so that you can calculate everything you eat and keep track of your macronutrients. You’re going to have daily goals of how much fat, protein, and carbs you should eat, and if you don’t reach them, you won’t see any results. In fact, if you start stuffing your face with all the bacon and cheese you can get, you might actually gain weight. So don’t cut corners.


As part of the diet, you’ll have to check for net carbs (total carbs minus dietary fiber) on food labels constantly. It’s not really a bad thing, but get ready to be the person who says “there’s way too many carbs in that!”


Going out to eat isn’t the easiest thing in the world. There are absolutely keto options on almost every menu, but you’re always going to be wondering, “what kind of oil was this cooked in?” Or “were these chicken wings breaded?” And nights out drinking with your friends? Be careful. You won’t have the tolerance you had before (on the plus side, you’ll save money on drinks) and you might not want to drink at all. Why mess up progress with alcohol?


It’s hard to explain keto to others. If you want to fully emerge yourself in the diet, you need to a lot about it. And trying to regurgitate all of that info to someone who isn’t on keto can be difficult. People will ask you why you want to deprive yourself of carbs, but you just have to keep your mind set on your goals.


I don’t just mean your abs — which will feel slim and less bloated. If you have stomach issues, like bloating, IBS, or just chronic food comas, you’ll feel so much better on keto. You won’t eat just to eat, you’ll eat to reach your daily intake goals. For a lot of people on keto, they say they don’t even feel hungry. Imagine that, being satisfied after your meal? #Goals.


If you feel like none of your friends understand the diet, don’t worry about that. Not only can you google all of your burning keto questions, but you can find communities online of other people who are doing the diet. You can share recipes and success stories, struggles, and setbacks. You’re never alone.


The 12 Craziest Things That Have Ever Happened at Starbucks

You probably know what to expect when you visit your local Starbucks — a strong cup of coffee, a barista who spells your name wrong, and slightly overpriced parfaits in the display case. America’s favorite coffee chain is pretty standard on a day-to-day basis. But every once in awhile, something extraordinary happens. From adorable proposals to obscene sex acts to celebrity sightings, Starbucks has seen it all.

 starbucks storefront


A Florida woman at a Starbucks drive-through paid for her iced coffee at 7 a.m. and requested to pay for the caramel macchiato the stranger behind her had ordered. That recipient of that first act of kindness decided to pay it forward, and so did the next person. Eventually, employees began keeping a tally outside the drive-through window.

“It makes your day better, I think,” Lexie Kane, a customer who participated in the pay-it-forward chain, told the Tampa Bay Times.

The chain continued all day until the 379th customer declined to partake around 6 p.m.


First, you read that right. Second, ew. And third, there are 283 Starbucks in New York City. That makes for one hefty goal.

If that’s not creepy enough, the man — known as Mister PeePee — also planned on photographing his, um, results. He announced his plans on a podcast and kept an account of his exploits on Twitter.

In a now-deleted tweet, he wrote, “Today’s Starbucks visit is rated as a 4 Boner. Spacious, clean, excellent coffee, strong wifi, no interruptions & 1 hot chick.”

If you’re in New York City, may we suggest never using a Starbucks bathroom again? Or if you must, scrub your hands with hot water before you leave.


Kenna Rusk was working at the original Starbucks location in Seattle six years ago when Ethan Knapp walked in to fill out a job application. They started dating. Then last November, the pair returned to where they first met.

“When we got to the original Starbucks, I half-joked something sappy like ‘If it wasn’t for this Starbucks we probably wouldn’t have met,’ then I said I wanted to be sure we got a picture out front before we left,” Rusk told BuzzFeed News.

Halfway through their photo session outside, Knapp got down on one knee and proposed, bringing their relationship in an adorable full circle. Then, she posted a photo of her beautiful new ring on Instagram… with her trusty Starbucks iced coffee in the background.

The couple tied the knot two weeks ago, and the initial photos are totally breathtaking.

No Starbucks in sight thus far, but we wouldn’t put it past this couple to incorporate their favorite coffee chain somehow. Cake pops instead of cake, anyone?


In the early 2000s, Scott Tayloe marched up to a cute Starbucks barista in Florida, Josh Holder, and gave him his number. “Call me sometime,” he said. But the call never came. Unbeknownst to Scott, Josh was in a relationship.

A few years later in 2004, Josh was meeting a friend for drinks at a bar. His friend had met another guy at a party that she thought would be perfect for him. It turned out to be Scott. Josh remembered — he even had his phone number still stored away. They spoke on the phone daily for the next week, then met for their first real date. Seven years later, Scott slid a note under Josh’s door: “Starbucks Boy, will you marry me today?”

Today, they live together in Los Angeles with their son, Hayden. Mop up your tears now.


In a move that should secure both mother and baby free coffee for life, a woman gave birth in the bathroom of a Starbucks in Colorado. She must have the highest pain tolerance ever, because she reportedly walked out of the store carrying her baby and was heading down the street when the paramedics arrived. The happy new family was taken to a hospital and both were in good condition.


“I want to macchiato an honest woman out of you,” Jordan Senz promised DeAnna Dodson. The Wisconsin couple scaled down their original wedding plans for financial reasons, choosing instead to simply sign papers in the presence of a reverend on New Year’s Eve.

Reverend Donnie Onley offered to perform the wedding either at his house or in a public place. The couple chose Starbucks, since they’d be there to get their morning coffee anyway. It was intended to be a quiet affair. But when someone at the store noticed what was going on, the local paper was called and reporters showed up to capture the moment.

After the couple said “I do” and sealed their vows with a kiss, Senz got one more pun in: “I promise to love you a latte.”


Andrew Chifari really loves his coffee. Last May, he set out to order the world’s largest Starbucks drink ever, which turned out to include 60 shots of espresso plus mocha, white mocha, caramel, hazelnut, and protein powder in a 128-ounce glass. The whopper would have cost him $54.75, but because he’s a Starbucks Gold member, he scored it for free. Go big or go home, right?


‘Twas the red cup seen round the world: Taylor Swift clutching a red Starbucks cup in one hand, her other arm slung over Jake Gyllenhaal’s shoulder. One paparazzi snap later, and the two were an official item.

Taylor’s love of Starbucks is so well-documented by the paps — she’s rarely seen in public without a cup in hand — that even her own mother mistook her “Blank Space” lyric “got a long list of ex-lovers” for “Starbucks lovers.”


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03CWyCQ59zY]

Can you imagine a more unassuming location for a surprise flash mob? A group of dancers in their 60s, 70s, and 80s took their local Starbucks by storm to perform a Zumba routine. We dare you not to smile.


A wedding at Starbucks is already pretty quirky. But one couple upped the ante by throwing a steampunk-themed wedding. (Steampunk, for the uninitiated, is a subculture that fuses the aesthetics of the 19th century with sci-fi, fantasy, and industrial-powered technology.) The scene was caught on camera by a surprised customer. For more details, check out the bride’s epic Pinterest board, which documents her dream feathered top hat, crazy intricate corset, and a Victorian Gothic-style Nerf gun. We’re not sure exactly what this all has to do with Starbucks, but we’ll take it!


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qY4bpS4Uds]

When customer Ruby Chen didn’t promptly provide her name for the barista to write on her cup, a nearby manager named Melissa got upset. She took to Facebook to describe the incident.

melissa started to shout at me saying hey helloooo with very bad attitude. The only thing I said to her is “sry I don’t hear you but you don’t have to yell.” And till now, I haven’t figured out which word aggravated her. Then She took the scanner away as I was trying to pay then told me to leave and never go back. I was trying to ask other employees who I can speak to. She thought I am leaving with the straw on my hand (I picked it up before everything happened), she said I am stealing the straw.

When the video went viral, Starbucks apologized, gave Chen a $100 gift card, and fired Melissa.


Reddit user Upstream15 put a personalized twist on four Starbucks cups for an unforgettable pregnancy announcement. Too cute, you guys. Too cute.

Don’t dance on the road! 11 things you should not do in Dubai

Dubai is considered one of the most lenient and multi-ethnic places in UAE, but you do need to conduct yourself in a certain way. What is considered OK in your home country may be a punishable offence in Dubai. So it’s a good idea to be aware of the rules and regulations before travelling there. Here is a list of things to watch out for:

1. Drinking in public

There are strict dos and don’ts that you must follow when in Dubai. (Shutterstock)

Foreign nationals can drink alcohol in the house if they obtain the required license. You can also drink at hotels which have a license, but do remember that being drunk while in the public space is not a good idea. You can also be fined for it.

2. No drugs

Dubai has a no-tolerance policy towards drug possession and trade. Even certain prescribed medicines are considered illegal. There have also been cases when people have flown in to Dubai and have tested positive for marijuana which they took before the flight.

3. Don’t dance on the road

Shrill music and showing off your dance moves on the roads is something not to try in Dubai. Reserve your moonwalk for the dance floor.

4. Photography

People watching the sunset at Dubai Marina. (Shutterstock)

Be careful when taking photos. It is considered impolite to click photos of residents there, particularly women.

5. No PDA

A couple walking on the beach in Dubai with Burj Al Arab in the background. (Shutterstock)

Express love for that special one within the confines of your room. Some time back, a British couple was sent to jail for having sex on the beach (not the popular drink). However, even less intimate displays of affection can land you in trouble.

6. Mind your language

Don’t abuse in public as vulgar language can definitely land you in trouble. Also making derogatory comments about Islam can land you in jail. Avoid making negative comments about the ruling class.

7. Keep your clothes on

Camels and tourists on the beach of the Oasis Resort in the new Marina quarter. (Shutterstock)

On the beach or in the swimming pool, wearing suitable swimwear is allowed, but women must not go topless. Also men should have their T-shirts on when on the streets or even while working out in the park.

8. Clothing

Cover up… people, are you listening? (Shutterstock)

Dubai has a great sense of style with the best designer labels available, but you should avoid flashing too much skin in public.

9. LGBT issues

Cross dressing and having sexual relations outside of a conventional heterosexual wedding is illegal here.

10. Eating during Ramadan

You should not eat, drink or smoke publicly during Ramadan, when fasting is on from morning to evening.

11. The ‘Left Hand’

One should not greet people with a left hand shake, open doors with it or give people things with your left hand. And what if you’re a lefty? Well, we suggest you start practising with your right hand!


New Volkswagen Polo: 5 Things You Should Know

The New Volkswagen Polo will be unveiled to the world on 16th June, 2017. This will be the sixth generation Polo and will be coming to India next year as well. Being a completely new-generation, the new VW Polo will sport a new exterior design and will also be slightly bigger than the model currently on sale. The new Volkswagen Polo has been spotted testing many a times as well. Volkswagen says that the design language on the new Polo will complement the sporty demeanour of the car. In fact, the company also released a few teaser images of the new Polo and the Yellow colour surely puts the cheer in the new Polo car.

Here are some important things you should know about the new Polo car.

  1. The first and the most important thing is that the new-gen VW Polo will now be manufactured having the versatile MQB A0 platform as its underpinning. This is the same platform, which also underpins the newly launched Volkswagen Tiguan in India. The previous generation Volkswagen Polo was built on the PQ25 platform.
    new generation volkswagen polo(New-Generation Volkswagen Polo)
  2. The silhouette of the car has changed. The new VW Polo has grown bigger and the wheelbase too has increased by 90 mm, from 2,470 mm to 2,550 mm. The width has increased by a fair margin too. Of course, the car will continue to be less than 4 metres in length. The cabin will have more room than the outgoing generation of the Polo.
  3. As far as connectivity is concerned, the top trims of the new VW Polo will have a 9.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system which will have smartphone integration in the form on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There will be other connectivity options as well, depending on the trim level.
    new generation volkswagen polo(This is the base model of the new-gen Polo. Notice the halogen headlamps)
  4. As far as engine options are concerned, the new-gen Polo will have the 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel engine when it goes on sale in India. We might also see the sportier GT variants of the Polo in due course of time.
  5. The new-generation Polo will also form the basis of the new-gen Vento and the new-gen Ameo as well.