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.

Example

The earliest date on which student loan funds for the spring term can be made available is 1 January.

  • If you cancel financial aid payments or months of aid available to you for the spring term before 1 January, you will not be able to get a student loan for the spring term or for the months of aid you have cancelled.
  • If you cancel or return financial aid payments or months of aid after 1 January, you retain full student loan eligibility for the spring term. However, this is the case only if you have previously agreed with your bank how to take out the loan and Kela has provided your bank with the necessary loan guarantee details. You can access Kela’s e-service to check whether the loan guarantee details have been forwarded to your bank. Opintotuki (Financial aid for students) > Opintolaina (Student loan) > Myönnetyt (Awarded).

However, you cannot receive any student loan funds after you have graduated or otherwise ended your course of study.

Any payments of financial aid paid back voluntarily must be returned by the end of May 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

  1. Go to Kela's online customer service website to cancel or  pay back financial aid. To log in to the online service, use your bank ID and password or a mobile certificate.
  2. Alternatively you can complete and print out a notification of change for financial aid (OT 15). The notification can be mailed to Kela or delivered to the nearest Kela office or citizen service centre. You can also submit the notification to the financial aid committee of your university.

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.

  1. Check the repayable amount with Kela's financial aid helpline for students tel. 020 692 229 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm).
  2. 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 2017").
  3. Pay into the following account of Kela's Overpayment Recovery Centre: FI72 8000 1900 0853 26 / Danske Bank (BIC code: DABAFIHH).

Pay the net amount, i.e., the same amount that you received originally.

Even if Kela is collecting some other 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 online using the notification of changes form. Alternatively, you can complete and print out the OT 15 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 May following the year in which you received the financial aid.For example, the deadline for voluntary repayment of financial aid paid out in 2017 is 31 May 2018.
  • 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 increase is 15 percent in the income check for the year of financial aid 2015 and for the preceding years). The month for which financial aid was collected is also not restored to you for later use.

If you wish to decrease the number of months taken into account when checking your study progress in higher education, do as follows:

  • Make the voluntary repayment by the end of May following the year in which you received the financial aid. For example, the deadline for voluntary repayment of financial aid paid out in 2017 is 31 May 2018.
  • Return financial aid paid out for the spring term by the end of August in the same year. For example, the deadline for voluntary repayment of financial aid paid out in spring term 2018 is 31 August 2018.

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 May the following year.  For example, the deadline for voluntary repayment of financial aid paid out in 2017 is 31 May 2018.

If you pay back too late or if you have repaid only part of the aid amount for a certain month, your repayment will be returned to you.