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.
Changes to the study grant and student loans
The Parliament has approved amendments to the Act on Student Financial Aid. The amount of the government guarantee for student loans will be increased and the number of disbursements of student loan funds will be changed. The provider supplement to the study grant will also be increased. The changes will take effect in stages during 2024.
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 Employment Fund. Study grant is considered to mean other kinds of study grant than the supplementary allowance for the purchase of study materials.
Even if you are not paid a study grant, you may qualify for a loan guarantee in the following situations:
- You live with a parent, you are 18 or 19 years of age, you are in upper secondary education, and you cannot get a study grant on account of parental income. A loan guarantee can, however, be granted.
- You are not living with a parent, you are under 17 years of age, and you are not eligible for other kinds of study grant because child benefit is paid for you. You are, however, entitled to a government guarantee if your parents' combined income is less than EUR 64,400 per year.
- If you pursue a Bachelor’s degree in military sciences at the National Defence University or if you pursue the basic course in one part for border guards at the Border and Coast Guard Academy or the first part of the basic course in two parts for border guards, a loan guarantee can be granted, but you cannot receive a study grant since you receive daily allowance for the period of study from your school.
When is a loan guarantee not available?
You cannot get a loan guarantee if you have previous student loan debt which is being collected by Kela.
If your previous student loan is being collected by Kela, and you therefore are denied a loan guarantee, you may apply for it again by appealing to exceptional reasons. This means that you must provide a statement to Kela about the reasons. 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.
Government guarantees for student loans are not available to students serving a sentence of imprisonment.
Social assistance is a form of last-resort financial support
You can apply for basic social assistance from Kela if all your earnings and assets and other social security benefits that you may have been awarded are not sufficient to cover your necessary everyday living expenses, such as food and housing.