How to apply for a student loan compensation | Our Services | KelaSkip to content

How to apply for a student loan compensation

You do not generally have to apply for a student loan compensation. Once you have completed a higher education degree, Kela will send you a written decision about the student loan compensation by the end of the following term.

Please note!

However, you do need to apply for the compensation if you would like to receive it for a university bachelor's degree.

You must notify Kela if you complete a higher education degree outside Finland. If you want a student loan compensation for a bachelor's level degree you have completed abroad, you must both notify Kela about the degree and apply for a student loan compensation.

Kela will not send you a decision if you have not taken out a student loan during your higher education studies. However, it is possible that you have used your right to a student loan compensation. Go to Kela's e-service to check your status. Please note that our e-service is only available in Finnish and Swedish.

Example: When can you expect a decision on the student loan compensation?

If you complete a higher education degree in May 2024, you will receive a written decision about the student loan compensation by December 2024.

Read more about the payment of the student loan compensation.

Bachelor’s level university degree

If you complete a bachelor's level university degree, you can decide for yourself whether to apply for a student loan compensation or whether to retain your right to it until you have completed a master's degree.

  1. Send your application using the OmaKela e-service:
    • Save the completed application form on your device. Note that the form must be in PDF format.
    • Log in to the OmaKela e-service (available in Finnish and Swedish) and select Tee hakemus (File an application).
    • Select Opiskelu (Studying) and then Muut opintoetuudet - tee hakemus (Other benefits for students - file an application).
    • Upload the application form from your device and press Lähetä (Submit).
    • When you send your application online you do not need to sign it.
    • If you have supporting documents, send them via OmaKela after you have submitted your application. If they are paper documents, you can photograph or scan them.

      Another option is to send the application by mail:

    • Sign the application and send it with the supporting documents to Kela, PL 10, 00056 KELA.
  2. A written decision on your application will be sent to you by post. You can also view the decision in our e-service OmaKela.

You must apply for the compensation within two years of taking a bachelor's level university degree. For example, if you earn a degree on 24 May 2023, your application must reach Kela by 24 May 2025.

It is a good idea to apply for a student loan compensation in the following situations:

  • You only plan to get a bachelor's level university degree.
  • You plan to take a break in your studies, with the result that you will not have time to complete a master's degree within the target time.
  • You have not decided whether to complete a master's degree and when you will complete it.

In the following situation, it is not worth applying:

  • You plan to complete a master's degree within the target time and take out a student loan during your studies. You can get a larger student loan compensation if you do not take it until you have earned a master's degree.

Any time you take to complete a bachelor's level university degree counts towards the target time within which you must complete a master's degree.

Student loan compensation is only available for the first higher education degree you complete. For example, if the first degree you complete is from a university of applied sciences, your student loan compensation is based on that degree. Even if you do not take out a student loan for your studies at the university of applied sciences, you cannot get a student loan compensation for a university degree completed after it.

University degrees completed outside Finland

If you earn a university degree outside Finland, you should tell Kela about it within two years. For example, if you earn a degree on 24 May 2023, you should tell Kela by 24 May 2025.

  1. Send the form using the OmaKela e-service:
    • Save the form and attachments on your device.
    • If the form or attachments are on paper you can photograph or scan them.
    • Log in to the e-service and select Viestit.
    • As the topic of your message, select Opintotuki (student financial aid).
    • Choose the files from your device and press Lähetä (Send).
    • When you send your application online you don’t need to sign it.

      Another option is to send the application by mail:

    • Sign the application and send it with the supporting documents to Kela, PL 10, 00056 KELA.
  2. If the master’s level university degree you submit is the first higher education degree you have completed, we will make a decision on the student loan compensation automatically. If you have taken out a student loan, you will receive a written decision by post once the bank has informed Kela of the principal amount of your student loan. You can also view the decision on our e-service.

Also tell Kela if you earn a bachelor's degree abroad. After that you can either apply for a student loan compensation for the bachelor's degree or choose to wait until you have completed a master's degree.

Apply for the student loan compensation on within two years of completing your bachelor's degree.

If you wish to use the student loan compensation for a master’s degree, tell Kela about the degree within two years of completing it. Complete the form Notification of degree completed in a foreign educational institution OT29e (PDF). The application form OT 30e is not needed for master’s degrees.

If you complete higher education studies in Finland and abroad, read how the student loan compensation is calculated when higher education degrees are completed in a Finnish and a foreign higher education institution.

Student loan compensation may be calculated incorrectly

If Kela gives you a decision on student loan compensation and you think the amount of compensation is incorrect, send a message to Kela. Log in to the OmaKela e-service using your online banking credentials or a mobile ID. Go to Viestit (Messages). Under Aihe (Topic), select Opiskelijan asiat (Student matters) and then Opintolainahyvitys (Student loan compensation).

If you complete a bachelor’s level university degree abroad and a master’s level university degree in Finland, we will review your decision automatically. If the amount of compensation changes, you will get a new decision on student loan compensation.

If you receive an unfavourable preliminary decision

You will be sent an unfavourable preliminary decision if your time to degree was too long or your loan amount is too small. You have some time to ask for a review of your case and explain why you took longer to graduate. Once your request for a review has been dealt with, you will receive a decision on the student loan compensation. If you are dissatisfied with the decision, you can appeal your case to the Student Financial Aid Review Board.

Read more

Last modified 20/2/2024

What do you think of this page?