Income check | Our Services | KelaSkip to content

Income check

  1. When the taxation for the year of the income check is confirmed, your taxable income is reported to Kela by the Tax Administration. From this income, Kela deducts the study grant and adds to it the income you may have received from abroad.

  2. After that Kela compares your annual income against the annual income limit, which depends on the number of months for which you have received financial aid.
  3. If your income exceeds your annual income limit, Kela will send you a preliminary decision concerning the recovery of the overpaid amount.
  4. When Kela monitors student incomes, Kela checks the income data in the taxation data and the national incomes register. The starting of the studies, graduation or the ending of the maximum period of financial aid cannot always be taken into account in the decision proposal. If you have earned some or all of the income at some other time than a period of active study, you can contact Kela to request a review.

If you believe that your tax information is incorrect, you can ask the Tax Administration to revise your taxes. If your tax information is revised by the Tax Administration, ask Kela to carry out the income check again.

Links to the content of this page:

Requesting a review

If you have received a preliminary decision concerning repayment of financial aid, you may, within 30 days, request that Kela reviews the decision.

It is a good idea to request a review in the following situations:

  • You have begun a course of study in the middle of the academic year and have earned all or part of your income before that.
  • You have graduated in the middle of the academic year and have earned all or part of your income after graduating.
  • You have used up your financial aid entitlement and have earned all or part of your income after the final month for which you received financial aid.

There are no formal requirements for the request for a review. You can make the request by sending a message in the OmaKela e-service (please note that our e-service is only available in Finnish and Swedish) or by calling Kela's customer service number. Alternatively, you can mail the request and any supporting documents to Kela, PL 10, 00056 KELA.

Do as follows:

  1. File a request for a review in the OmaKela service. Log in using your online bank credentials or a mobile ID.
  2. Go to Viestit (Messages). Select ‘Opiskelijan asiat’ (Student matters) and ‘Opintotuen tulovalvonta’ (Financial aid income check). By selecting the topic accurately, you can help to speed up the processing of your case. You should not, for example, select ‘Liikamaksut ja perintäasiat’ (Overpayment and recovery) or ‘Muu asia’ (Other) as the topic of your message. Also do not select ‘Muutoksenhaku- tai valitusasia’ (Appeal or complaint).
  3. If you have attended a Finnish school and your income details can be found in the national incomes register, your message or a call to Kela's customer service number is usually enough to start the review process. Indicate in your message or during the call
    • the decision you are asking to be reviewed
    • when you began your studies, graduated or used up your financial aid entitlement.
      For example, you can say something like: ”I’m asking you to review the proposed decision I received concerning the financial aid income check. The proposed decision was issued on dd.mm.yyyy. I graduated on dd.mm.yyyy. Please check my income from the incomes register.”
  4. If you have studied abroad or you have had income that does not show up in the incomes register, please send us the relevant documentation. Enclose the following with the request for a review:

You do not have to send documentation about benefits you may receive from Kela or about wages or compensations which show up in the incomes register. Degree certificates are not needed for degrees completed in a Finnish educational institution.

You can also report the necessary information by visiting one of Kela's customer service points if you have studied at a Finnish educational institution and information on your incomes is available from the national incomes register.

You will receive a new decision about the recovery of the overpayment

If you request a review, you do not have to pay the amount being recovered from you by the indicated due date. Repayment details will be set out in a new decision.

Kela will process your request for a review and give you a new decision. The new decision can be appealed to the Student Financial Aid Review Board.

If you do not request a review within the specified period of time, Kela will recover from you financial aid payments in accordance with the preliminary decision.

Amount of financial aid that can be recovered for 2023 or 2024

If your income exceeds your annual income limit by 348 euros at the most, you do not have to pay back any financial aid at all. If you exceed the limit by more than 348 euros, check from the table below for how many months you have to pay back financial aid.

Kela increases the amount recovered by 7.5% as per the Act on Student Financial Aid. If you are a student in higher education, the number of months for which financial aid was recovered from you will not be made available to you again as months for which you may receive financial aid later on.

You can estimate the amount that can be recovered from you with the help of the calculator for students' own income (available in Finnish and Swedish only).

The number of aid months for which benefits are recovered: Benefits paid in 2023 or 2024
Amount exceeding the annual income limit (euros)Months of financial aid that will be recovered
348.01 – 2,080.001
2,080.01 – 4,160.002
4,160.01 – 6,240.003
6,240.01 – 8,320.004
8,320.01 – 10,400.005
10,400.01 – 12,480.006
12,480.01 – 14,560.007
14,560.01 – 16,640.008
16,640.01 – 18,720.009
18,720.01 – 20,800.0010
20,800.01 – 22,880.0011
22,880.01 –12

Financial aid is recovered in chronological order starting from the last calendar month for which financial aid was paid. Aid is recovered up to an amount not exceeding the aggregate amount of study grant and housing supplement that you have received during the calendar year.

A practical example of a check of income for 2023 (carried out in 2025)

A student has been paid a study grant of 268 euros per month for 9 months. For students with 9 months of financial aid the limit is 18,720 euros. The student's total annual income is 21,500 euros. If the student returns the study grant (a total amount of 536 euros) for 2 months, the annual income limit will be raised to 22,880 euros and the student will not have to pay back any financial aid. If the student does not return financial aid, the annual income limit is exceeded by 2,780 euros. In that case Kela requires the student to pay back study grant payments for two months. The amount recovered is 536 euros, which is increased by 7.5% for a total of 576.20 euros.

Amount of financial aid that can be recovered for 2022

If your income exceeds your annual income limit by 290 euros at the most, you do not have to pay back any financial aid at all. If you exceed the limit by more than 290 euros, check from the table below for how many months you have to pay back financial aid.

Kela increases the amount recovered by 7.5% as per the Act on Student Financial Aid. If you are a student in higher education, the number of months for which financial aid was recovered from you will not be made available to you again as months for which you may receive financial aid later on.

You can estimate the amount that can be recovered from you with the help of the calculator for students' own income (available in Finnish and Swedish only).

The number of aid months for which benefits are recovered: Benefits paid in 2022
Amount exceeding the annual income limit (euros)Months of financial aid that will be recovered

290.01 – 1,730.00

1

1,730.01 – 3,460.00

2

3,460.01 – 5,190.00

3

5,190.01 – 6,920.00

4

6,920.01 – 8,650.00

5

8,650.01 – 10,380.00

6

10,380.01 – 12,110.00

7

12,110.01 – 13,840.00

8

13,840.01 – 15,570.00

9

15,570.01 – 17,300.00

10

17,300.01 – 19,030.00

11

19,030.01 –

12

Financial aid is recovered in chronological order starting from the last calendar month for which financial aid was paid. Aid is recovered up to an amount not exceeding the aggregate amount of study grant and housing supplement that you have received during the calendar year.

A practical example of a check of income for 2022 (carried out in 2024)

A student has been paid a study grant of 250 euros per month for 9 months. For students with 9 months of financial aid the limit is 15,630 euros. The student's total annual income is 18,500 euros. If the student returns the study grant (a total amount of 500 euros) for 2 months, the annual income limit will be raised to 19,090 euros and the student will not have to pay back any financial aid. If the student does not return financial aid, the annual income limit is exceeded by 2,870 euros. In that case Kela requires the student to pay back study grant payments for two months. The amount recovered is 500 euros, which is increased by 7.5% for a total of 537.50 euros.

Recovery and payment arrangements

If a decision has been made to recover student financial aid from you, you can agree on the payment arrangements with Kela’s Overpayment Recovery Centre. You can suggest payment in instalments or an offset of your debt against a benefit from Kela. Set-off means that the overpaid financial aid is deducted from another benefit that you receive.

Do one of the following:

  • Send a message using the OmaKela e-service proposing the offset of the debt. As subject for the message, select Liikamaksut ja perintäasiat (Overpayments and recoveries).
  • Send a message using the OmaKela e-service proposing to pay back the overpayment in instalments. Select Omat etuudet – Perintäasiat – Ehdota maksusuunnitelmaa (My benefits - Recoveries - Propose a payment plan).
  • Complete and print out the form Ehdotus takaisinmaksusta (Suggestion for repayment) (in Finnish, PDF) and send it by post to Kela at the address Kelan perintäkeskus, PL 31, 00056 KELA.

If you pay back student grant, Kela will automatically advise the Tax Administration of your repayments for the purpose of tax calculation. Kela will also send you a notification, but you do not need to take any action yourself. You will receive a notification annually. The notification process does not apply to the general housing allowance, nor to the housing supplement for students, because these benefits are not subject to income tax.

Read more

Last modified 19/2/2024

What do you think of this page?