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Distance Learners & Finance

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Arroryn, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    Time for a discussion kiddos :)

    After a fair few threads in the forums recently, I'd like to start a discussion on the finance, and limitations of said finance, proffered by the distance learning companies (which should, probably for legal reasons, remain nameless).

    It seems a lot of people hit problems when their courses hit problems, and a resource thread that people can come to would prove useful - personal experiences, useful links, that kind of thing.

    Can I say now though, that I don't want people to post irrational tirades against company X - that's not what this is for.

    I'll start with two examples and a link:

    http://www.financevictims.co.uk/ombudsman/

    the financial ombudsman is, as my bank-working sister described it, a last resort. But if you know and have proof that you are in the right, and the bank is holding out on you, they should be able to help.

    1) There is another member in this forum who is signed up for the same course as me, however has stated that he is paying £500 less - has anyone heard of regional variations on what companies charge, or something along similar lines? I'd be interested to know.

    2) I'd also like to question the industry regard of these courses - yes, we all have to put in the same kind of effort, and we all sit the same exam, but when one is sat through a college, and another is sold on eBay http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=41865&item=7170361012&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW (please note this is not a deffamatory comment to the company, and in no way a Certforums opinion) - well, would you rather put the college on your CV, or the name of the course you bought on an internet auction site?

    Discuss. And remember. Play nice. :cracking
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  2. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    well i cant talk for the uk but let me give u the situation like it is in cyprus... lets take 70-270 for example... because competition is small (about 4-5 places) that teach the course each person charges what they want... prices range from 500-1200 CYP quid! Another exam is exam prices like i found out.. A+ in one was 178.. another 160 and another 90 they profiteering even from exams which apparently they not allowed to do.


    the bottom line is that no matter where you try get certified you will get "conned" somewhere along the line and you got dig around before finally choosing which company you going to take.
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  3. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    Well Arroryn,

    If by studying at a college you mean full time, there are some of us who simply can't affford to do that as we have bills to pay and so on. If you mean evening classes which would be maybe one or two nights a week then I'd still go for the distance option so I can work at my own pace.

    As for how much they are charging, I am embarking on the NITLC Technical Systems Engineer course (MCSE, A+, N+ and CCNA) and they are charging me £4000 for the privilege. I'm based in South East Wales so let's see if anyone else is paying different...

    I don't think that the Financial Ombudsmen would take any interest in a problem with a distance learner. The industry is entirely unregulated, although the Open and Distance Learning Quality Council set standards they are by no means compulsory.

    Plus, as my NITLC rep told me, the "interest" they charge if you take out a payment plan is officially an administration fee because they're not registered creditors.
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+
    WIP: 70-270
  4. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    Thanks for that (ombudsman info) - wasn't something I was sure on!! I had no problems with the finance agreement - as far as I could tell, it was a no-interest loan, and I paid a one-off administration fee.

    I preferred the distance option myself, as at the time I had no means of transport to get to a college, and I work full time also. But it seems that we 'pay out of the nose' for the privilege of studying at our own pace - personally £3500 for A+, N+, CCNA and CCNP.

    Zimbo - I remember you asking about exam vouchers direct from Comptia. Did that help you out financially - bring down any of the costs?
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  5. peace786

    peace786 Bit Poster

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    im quite confused.

    I cant splash out £3000 on say computeach as i havent got that type of money. How would i go about this? how would the repayment work and do they charge interest and will it take me ages to repay them?
     
  6. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    Furst of all there are Career Development Loans - very good if you qualify.

    I don't know about Computeach but NITLC have different monthly payment plans. In every case you have to put down the first £800, then the longer you spread the payments over, the more you pay back. I don't remember exactly what the timescales are except the minimum monthly payment is £180. If you pay back the difference within five months you don't incur any extra charges.

    Just an extra bit of info. I applied to both Barclays and Co-Op for a CDL (declined by both) - Barcalys got back to me superfast, with Co-Op, they told me they never recieved the application, I sent in a second and then it turns out they had the first one after all etc. etc. Basically, only apply to them if you're desperate. I bank with them as well and these kind of problems are endemic with them I'm afraid.
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+
    WIP: 70-270
  7. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    I think I'm right in saying that it's not the training co's who dictate the repayment plan - they will merely facilitate the load for you (how kind, eh ?) using your choice of several accepted financial institutions. After the 2-year period (plus any defferments you may be entitled to) you will pay back the bank directly, and they will arrange the repayment options.
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  8. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    Yeah, that's the Career Develpment Loans. NITLC also have their own payment plan for those who can't get a CDL where you have to start making payments from day one.
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+
    WIP: 70-270
  9. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Cheers Baba - didn't know that. It was strictly CDL only when I was with them. When did they introduce this, do you know ?
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  10. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    No idea I'm afraid, my friend.
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+
    WIP: 70-270
  11. Gaz 45

    Gaz 45 Kilobyte Poster

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    Computeach are very similar on CDL's - you pay 20% of the course fee up front and then the CDL pays for the rest. Repayments generally start 2 years after taking out the loan, and the length of repayments can vary (mine is 2 years). Got my CDL through Barclays no problem despite being unemployed at the time (weird!).

    Computeach do have their own finance house, so they can loan you money in a similar fashion, although I believe the repayments start immediately (or after 1-2 months). I also doubt the interest level is as good as on a CDL.

    The CDL is between you and the bank and has nothing to do with the training provider (except they'll help you apply for one - how kind, as Gav said)
     
    Certifications: MCP (70-229, 70-228), MBioch
    WIP: MCDBA (70-290)
  12. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    I don't think it's hard to get a CDL. I was declined because I have a three and a half year gap in my credit history when I was in prison. Only kidding, I was actually travelling, and I've been back less than a year so it's really hard to do anything, even opening a basic bank account took me months.

    Further to the NITLC payment plan, the longest you can take is 20 months at £187 p/m, you only end up paying £620 extra which isn't bad if you can't get the CDL.
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+
    WIP: 70-270

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