Student, this is how you apply for a student loan
Are you a brand new student facing a new phase of life? If the study grant does not seem to cover your student life expenses, you can finance your studies with a student loan. The loan is guaranteed by the government and issued by a bank. But how to apply for, draw down and repay the loan?
With a student loan you can finance your daily expenses safely and affordably. A loan will make your daily life easier and allow you to concentrate on what is essential: your studies. University students residing in Finland are eligible for a maximum monthly loan of 650 euros and those studying abroad for a maximum monthly loan of 800 euros. You can choose to draw down your loan in instalments or for the whole study term in one go. The following steps will show you how to apply for, draw down and repay the loan.
1. Apply for a guarantee for your loan from the Social Insurance Institution of Finland Kela
The government guarantees students’ loans, and you do not need to acquire other guarantees. Start the loan application process by filling in a study grant application, as on the one and same application you can apply for a study grant, housing supplement and the government’s loan guarantee from Kela. Fill in the application with care and attach all the required documents to it. After Kela has made a favourable decision on the loan guarantee, the guarantee decision will be forwarded to the bank automatically.
2. Fill in a loan application in Netbank
After having acquired the guarantee, fill in a loan application in Netbank. Currently you can only fill in the application in Finnish or Swedish. The application form is available on the Loans tab under Student loan. While filling in the application, choose whether you want to draw down your loan based on a drawdown agreement or as partial drawdowns. The drawdown agreement means that a certain loan amount will be automatically transferred to your account on a certain date. A partial drawdown means that the loan will be paid to you as requested by you in Netbank. With partial drawdowns, you can determine the drawdown amount.
Signing the loan agreement with your access codes is easy in Netbank. Once the loan has been granted, you will see the loan agreement and your loan terms and conditions in Netbank. The loan amounts and drawdown dates are stated in Kela’s decision.
3. Agree on the repayment when you complete your studies
The loan repayment usually starts approximately six months after you have graduated or finished studying. You will need to draft a repayment schedule that suits your needs with a banking adviser at an online meeting or at a branch. The repayment of a student loan is flexible, as your financial status is taken into account in the repayment schedule. For instance, you can reduce the loan instalment as necessary. If needed, you can also apply for a grace period to pause the loan repayments.
If you have started the studies for your first university degree on 1 August 2014 or thereafter, get your degree within the set period and draw down a student loan of more than 2,500 euros, you are eligible for a student loan compensation from Kela.
This article by Oona Kansi was published on 1 August 2017. You can find the original article at the address ajassa.nordea.fi.