The student loan is a government-guaranteed loan that you must pay back. If Kela gives you a loan guarantee you can apply for a loan at a bank of your choice.
Because the loan is guaranteed by Kela you do not have to put up any other security. The loan guarantee is valid for up to 30 years from the first disbursement of loan funds.
The interest payable on the loan and the repayment schedule are agreed between you and the bank.
You can get a government guarantee for a student loan if you are being paid a study grant by Kela or an adult education allowance by the Education Fund.
Even if you are not paid a study grant, you may qualify for a loan guarantee in the following situations:
- You are 18 or 19 years of age, you are in secondary education, and you cannot get a study grant on account of parental income.
- You are under 17 and not living with a parent, and you are not eligible for a study grant because you are entitled to child benefit. You are entitled to a government guarantee if your parents' combined income is less than €61,000 per year.
- You attend the National Defence University or the Border and Coast Guard Academy (basic course for border guards) and you cannot get a study grant because your school pays you a daily allowance.
If you are 17 years of age you can get a loan guarantee only if you are being paid a study grant.
When is a loan guarantee not available?
You cannot get a loan guarantee in the following situations:
- A student loan you took out earlier is being collected by Kela.
- You have a bad credit record.
- However, if it is a small or a one-off problem from a relatively long time ago, you can get a loan guarantee.
Your credit information is checked against the credit data file of Suomen Asiakastieto Oy. You can check your own credit details on its website.
If you are denied a loan guarantee, you can apply for it again by appealing to exceptional reasons. This means that you must provide a statement to Kela or the financial aid committee at your school about the reasons. Based on such a statement, you can get a loan guarantee in the following situations:
- You have paid off the debt that caused the credit problem.
- You can point to some other particular reason, such as that you have co-signed a loan, you have been ill, or you have debt from a business.
- The decision on the loan guarantee will be affected on how you have dealt with your debt and what is your financial capacity to deal with the loan.
The financial aid decision includes instructions for providing a statement.
If the reasons you set out in the statement are accepted, you will receive a favourable loan guarantee decision. If they are not accepted, the decision will be unfavourable.
Last modified 25/04/2016