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.
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.
Any payments of financial aid paid back voluntarily must be returned by the end of April following the year in which it was originally paid. The deadline for paying back financial aid 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.
How to cancel or pay back financial aid voluntarily
Visit the OmaKela e-service to cancel or pay back financial aid by filing a notification of changes (Ilmoita muutoksista [Notify changes] > Opiskelu [Study] > Opintotuki [Financial aid for students] > ilmoita muutoksista [notify changes].
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, they can only be reinstated to you if your application reaches Kela by the end of December.
If you return financial aid payments online, you can make the repayment immediately through your online bank. If you wish to return them later, contact Kela's customer service for repayment details. 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 through your online bank, you can instead make the repayment in the form of an ordinary bank transfer.
- Check the repayable amount with Kela's financial aid helpline for students tel. 020 692 229.
- Write, in the reference field of the bank transfer form, "Voluntary repayment of financial aid" and your name, personal identity code, year of aid and the month(s) for which you are repaying aid (e.g. "April 2021").
- 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 OmaKela e-service by using the notification of changes form. Alternatively, you can complete and print out the OT 15e form.
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.
Deadline for voluntary repayment
If you wish to raise your annual income limit, do as follows:
- Make the voluntary repayment by the end of April following the year in which you received the financial aid. For example, the deadline for voluntary repayment of financial aid paid out in 2021 is 30 April 2022.
- If you exceed the annual income limit and Kela has to collect financial aid from you, the amount being collected is increased by 7.5 percent. The month for which financial aid was collected is also not restored to you for later use.
- Make the voluntary repayment of financial aid paid out for the autumn term by the end of April following the year in which you received the financial aid. For example, the deadline for voluntary repayment of financial aid paid out in autumn term 2021 is 30 April 2022.
- Return financial aid paid out for the spring term by September 10 in the same year. For example, the deadline for voluntary repayment of financial aid paid out in spring term 2022 is 10 September 2022.
If you wish to set aside months of financial aid for possible later use, do as follows:
- A month for which you were already once paid financial aid is restored to you if you pay it back voluntarily by the end of April the following year. For example, the deadline for voluntary repayment of financial aid paid out in 2021 is 30 April 2022.
If you pay back too late namely after the end of April or if you have repaid only part of the aid amount for a certain month, your repayment will be returned to you.