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Amount and payment of the interest assistance

Under the interest assistance scheme, Kela pays

  • the interest due on student loans
  • the notification costs charged by the bank.

You need not pay them back to Kela. If you make interest payments after the due date, you will have to pay any late charges yourself. They are not covered by interest assistance.

Kela pays all interests and expenses accrued during the six-month interest payment period at once. The interest payable in the first half of the year (January-June) concerns the interest payment period from 16 December to 15 June, and the interest payable in the latter half of the year (July-December) concerns the interest payment period from 16 June to 15 December.

You can get interest assistance for a maximum of five interest payment periods.

Kela can pay the interest assistance either to you or to the bank

If you have already paid the interest to your bank, Kela will pay the interest assistance to you. If you have not yet paid the interest, you can ask Kela to pay the interest assistance directly to the bank.

If you have paid student loan interest to your bank, Kela can pay the interest assistance to you. In that case, interest assistance paid to you is the most suitable option.

If you have been paying student loan interest monthly or every three months, pay the interest and expenses for the full six-month interest payment period before applying for interest assistance to be paid to yourself.

Interest assistance paid to the bank is the most suitable option if you pay student loan interest and expenses every six months on the interest due dates specified in the Act on Student Financial Aid.

If you have an agreement with the bank to pay interest monthly, Kela can only pay the last monthly interest instalment directly to the bank. In that case, apply for the interest assistance to be paid to yourself for 5 months and to your bank for 1 month.

If you have agreed with the bank to pay interest every three months, Kela can pay only the latest interest instalment directly to the bank. In that case, apply for the interest assistance to be paid to yourself for the first 3 months and to your bank for the remaining 3 months.

However, you can discuss the possibility of paying the interest every six months instead with your bank. Do this well in advance of the interest payment period. Tell your bank that the proposed change would allow Kela to pay the interest assistance directly to the bank for the full six-month interest payment period.

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