Cancelling or paying back financial aid voluntarily
You can cancel or pay back financial aid voluntarily in the following situations:
- You wish to raise your annual income limit.
- You wish to decrease the number of months of financial aid taken into account when checking your progress in higher education.
- You wish to set aside for later use months of financial aid available for higher education study.
It is up to you to decide which month's payments you wish to cancel or pay back. You must cancel or pay back both the study grant and any housing supplement paid to you. If you received a smaller amount of aid for one month than for the other months, you may choose to return the aid for that month.
Regardless of why you choose to cancel or pay back financial aid, the number of months you have consumed will be decreased, your annual income limit will be raised, and the month of aid you cancelled or paid back will be restored to you for possible later use. If you have been paid too much financial aid or if you have received financial aid without being entitled to it, Kela will recover the overpayment. In such a case, the month for which financial aid was collected is also not restored to you for later use.
If you wish to voluntarily pay back financial aid, you must make the payment by April 30 at the latest in the year following the year in which you originally received the instalment you are paying back. The is different if you wish to decrease the number of months of financial aid that are taken into account when your academic progress is monitored.
These rules only apply to finacial aid for students, and they do not apply to the general housing allowance.
If you cancel financial aid beforehand, you cannot take out a student loan for the cancelled months or withdraw loan instalments with a disbursement date later than the date on which your financial aid was cancelled or discontinued.
The earliest date on which student loan funds for the spring term can be made available is 1 January.
- If you cancel financial aid payments or months of aid available to you for the spring term before 1 January, you will not be able to get a student loan for the spring term or for the months of aid you have cancelled.
- If you cancel or return financial aid payments or months of aid after 1 January, you retain full student loan eligibility for the spring term. However, this is the case only if you have previously agreed with your bank how to take out the loan and Kela has provided your bank with the necessary loan guarantee details. You can visit the OmaKela to check whether the loan guarantee details have been forwarded to your bank. Opintotuki (Financial aid for students) > Opintolaina (Student loan) > Myönnetyt (Applications awarded).
However, you cannot receive any student loan funds after you have graduated or otherwise ended your course of study.
How to cancel or pay back financial aid voluntarily
Visit the (please note that our e-service is only available in Finnish and Swedish) to cancel or pay back financial aid by filing a notification of changes (Ilmoita muutoksista [Notify changes] > Opiskelu [Study] > Opintotuki - ilmoita muutoksista [Financial aid for students - notify changes] > Opintotuen muutosilmoitus [Notify changes in financial aid for students].
Once you have repaid aid voluntarily, you may no longer cancel your repayment. The earliest that you can again get financial aid is the beginning of the month in which your application for financial aid arrives. For example, if you voluntarily return the study grant paid to you in December, it can only be reinstated to you for December if your application reaches Kela by December 31 at the latest.
If you return financial aid payments in the OmaKela e-service, you can make the repayment immediately through your online bank. If you wish to return the payments later, you will find repayment details in the OmaKela e-service. If you prefer to use a paper form, you will be mailed a payment form that you can use to return payments of financial aid. Remember to quote the reference number stated on the payment form.
If the deadline is about to expire and you cannot make the repayment in the OmaKela e-service, you can make the repayment as an ordinary bank transfer instead.
- Check the repayable amount with Kela's financial aid helpline for students tel. 020 692 229.
- In the message field for the payment, write "Voluntary repayment of financial aid" and your name, personal identity code, year of aid and the month(s) for which you are repaying aid 2023.
- Pay into the following account of Kela's Overpayment Recovery Centre: FI06 5000 0120 4657 77 / OP cooperative (BIC code: OKOYFIHH).
Pay the net amount, i.e., the same amount that you received originally.
Even if Kela is collecting some benefit from you by deducting it from your financial aid, you must still repay the full amount of financial aid. The amount collected from you is not deducted from the amount that should be repaid.
In certain situations Kela does not automatically pay you financial aid for the month that you repaid, and you must apply for it separately. Apply for additional financial aid on the by using the notification of changes form. Alternatively, you can complete and print out the .
You do not have to tell the Tax Administration if you pay back financial aid voluntarily. Kela will advise the Tax Administration of any study grants that you have paid back, which will be taken into account by the Tax Administration when your taxation is confirmed.