I intend to pursue my undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Physics at Ecole Polytechnique in France. The institution has offered me an interest free loan of 18,000 euros, which has to be repaid three years after I complete my bachelor's degree.

Since I am passionate about basic sciences, I hope to join a five year PhD programme after my degree and this usually comes with a decent scholarship/stipend. Approximate salary for PhD scholars in Europe is about 1300 euros, though this might vary from institution. Right now, I am not sure whether this salary and the one received during Post-Doc might be enough for me to repay these loans and therefore, I wish seek advice on this matter from Personal Finance and Money community here at Stack Exchange.

PS. I also wanted to add that it would be very difficult for my parent to help me pay off the loans as they have recently retired.

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    An interesting question, however this is more of opinion based and hence off-topic on this site; i.e. Whether you would make enough money to pay the loan can't be predicted. From the numbers, 1300 a month means around 46,800 in 3 years of which you have to pay 18,000 loan. Not sure of taxes. Whether this is doable, and whether the 1300 becomes 1000 or 1600 is all speculation and whether your lifestyle will allow you to save is all opinion based. – Dheer Jun 19 '17 at 2:59

Stripping away the minutia, your question boils down to this:

Should I take a loan for something that I may not be able to repay?

The correct answer, is "No".

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Edit: lazy math

The answer to this question depends on two things:

  1. How confident are you that you can repay this loan?- 18,000 euro is not an absurd sum, and with no interest it would represent a burden of just 6,000 euro a year, so you should be able to pay that, but with some difficulty, on the 15,600Eur/year stipend described. Would you be responsible for housing on your stipend or does the university provide that for PhD students?
  2. How bad will it be if you cannot repay this loan in the way you expected? - How likely are you to actually get into a PhD program with a stipend? Is there a possibility that you will not get a stipend? What is the penalty for failure to repay? Will you have to support yourself after university? How much money could you expect to earn if you found a job after your undergraduate degree?

  3. How much could taking this loan improve your finances/life? - Could you get your degree at anther institution without going into debt? Would your career be better if you went to Ecole Polytechnique?

I would take the loan if:

  • My career would be better (more income or more personal satisfaction - money isn't everything) if I took the loan than if I did not; AND:
  • I was confident that I could almost certainly get into a PhD program with a stipend OR I was confident that if I did not get into a program with a stipend I would be in a situation where I could repay the loan OR I felt that the improvement in my career was worth the risk of having to default or suffer deprivation while I repaid the loan
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  • Why the downvote? – nah fuq Jun 19 '17 at 19:28
  • I'm not the downvote, but your answer has 11 questions in it... – quid Jun 19 '17 at 19:40
  • The essence of my answer is "it depends" - is there a better way to enumerate the variables SuperMario should be taking into account? – nah fuq Jun 19 '17 at 19:51
  • This is just not a good question for the site. It has 4 votes to close now, and will likely be closed within the hour. – quid Jun 19 '17 at 19:52

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