Fintech business Secta Finance has launched today to transform how private school fees are paid. Families are spending circa £10b every year to pay school fees for over 620,000 children and over the years there has been no innovation on the termly bill payments. Secta Finance has set out to change this and become an enabler for many more families considering private schooling but feel it is currently unaffordable.
In collaboration with a number of financial institutions, Secta Finance has created a range of flexible and highly competitive finance plans that enable parents (and would-be parents) to spread the cost of private school fees over many years in a simple affordable way.
The Secta Flexiplan enables parents to use the equity in their home to secure a facility that allows parents to draw funds flexibly within the first 5 years. Parents only pay interest on the amount they actually drawdown. If they don’t need to draw funds there is no cost. Parents can decide how much they draw; their monthly repayment amounts (subject to a minimum) and the term they repay over (up to 30 years). Also, there are no early repayment fees if they choose to repay in full.
Below is an example1 of how a Secta Flexiplan could be used to finance 5 years of private education. This example is based on one child, annual school fees of £15,000 per year and with the Secta Flexiplan being repaid over a period of 10 or 20 years. However, the amount borrowed, the term over which it is repaid and the monthly repayments can be adjusted to suit individual circumstances and preferences.
|Drawdown||Monthly Repayments (10 yr term)||Monthly Repayments (20 yr term)|
|Remainder of term||£957||£509|
Secta Finance has made it quick and simple for parents to get indicative quotes from their online platform. Thereafter they can engage with a qualified advisor to discuss their options and tailor a plan to suit their needs.
Joe Hill, founder and CEO of Secta Finance commented: “How parents pay for private school fees is no longer fit for purpose. They are still paying large lump sums, sometimes, with expensive and inflexible means using credit cards or unsecured loans, that simply is not sustainable. Secta has set out to challenge this approach with a fresh lens and a clear pathway for parents to handle this significant expense. We want to create manageable and affordable finance solutions for school fees, much like the financial products people consider when buying a house or a car.”
Contrary to popular belief, private education is not confined to the wealthy, but many middle class parents place a very high value on it and want to provide the benefits of a private education for their children. However, the costs can be prohibitive, especially for families with more than one child. Annual average school fees are in excess of £15,000 for day schools and in excess of £30,000 for boarding schools. Factoring in additional costs, a private education can cost an average of £325,600 per child for day school and £469,700 for boarders starting their schooling in 2019.
Unsurprisingly, many parents find this a struggle. Research completed by Killik and Co suggests that private day school fees have increased by 403% since 1990. “Many parents make significant sacrifices to give their children a private school education. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It makes sense to have a solution whereby parents can spread the cost over a longer period of time if they wish (up to 30 years), to reduce the strain on their finances, but still be able to give their children a private education,” added Joe Hill.
There are more than 2,500 independent schools in the UK catering for approximately 625,000 pupils. This represents about 7% of all UK school children and 18% of pupils over aged 16 years and older. The estimated school fee market value is approximately £11 billion. Secta Finance is working closely with schools who are keen to offer meaningful finance options for their parents. The company is also collaborating with independent financial advisors who are seeking flexible, efficient options for their clients. Parents are also directly engaging with the online platform to find out more about the options available to them.
Looking ahead Joe Hill added: “We are creating opportunities for parents, for schools and for children. By offering finance solutions which are affordable, simple to understand, we will create a sustainable path for better outcomes. Our strategic aim is to expand the opportunity of private education to many more families and enable a sustainable relationship for parents and schools through the products that we offer”.