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 any income from abroad and tax-exempt grants or scholarships paid in the year of the income check 2017 or 2018.
  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. Kela will not know whether you have earned the income during a period of active study or at some other time. 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 changes, submit to Kela a revised tax decision from the Tax Administration and ask Kela to do over the income check.

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 some income before that.
  • You have graduated in the middle of the academic year and have earned income after graduating.
  • You have used up all of your eligibility for financial aid.

Do as follows

  1. Write in your own words a request for a review online. Log in to the online customer service using your bank ID and password or a mobile certificate. Use the message function (Opiskelijan tuet > Opintotuen tulovalvonta).
  2. Do not select Liikamaksut ja perintäasiat or Muu asia as the topic. Do not select Muutoksenhaku- tai valitusasia.
  3. Scan or take a photo of supporting documents and send them over the internet. Enclose the following with the request for a review:
  • documents showing the income you received while not studying. Each document must show the date when you received the income in question as well as the exact amount that you were paid (before taxes).
  • a certificate of admission or a degree certificate or graduation certificate from your school or university. A graduation certificate is not needed if it is mentioned in the preliminary decision.

If you request a review, the amount to be recovered according to the preliminary decision need not be paid by the due date. Information about the repayment will be included in the 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.

The amount being recovered: benefits paid in 2018 or 2019

If your income exceeds your annual income limit by 222 euros at the most, you need not pay back any aid at all. If you exceed it by more than 222 euros, you must pay back one month of financial aid for each amount of 1,323 euros (or part thereof) in excess.

Kela increases the recoverable amount 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 recoverable amount with the help of the calculators for students' own income (calculators in Finnish and Swedish only).

Amount exceeding the annual income limit (EUR) Months of financial aid that will be recovered
The number of aid months for which benefits are to be recovered: benefits paid in 2018 or 2019
222.01–1,323.00 1
1,323.01–2,646.00 2
2,646.01–3,969.00 3
3,969.01–5,292.00 4
5,292.01–6,615.00 5
6,615.01–7,938.00 6
7,938.01–9,261.00 7
9,261.01–10,584.00 8
10,584.01–11,907.00 9
11,907.01–13,230.00 10
13,230.01–14,553.00 11
14,553.01– 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.

The amount being recovered: benefits paid in 2016 or 2017

If your income exceeds your annual income limit by 220 euros at the most, you need not pay back any aid at all. If you exceed it by more than 220 euros, you must pay back one month of financial aid for each amount of 1,310 euros (or part thereof) in excess.

Kela increases the recoverable amount 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 recoverable amount with the help of the calculators for students' own income (in Finnish and Swedish only).

Amount exceeding the annual income limit (EUR)

Months of financial aid that will be recovered

The number of aid months for which benefits are to be recovered: benefits paid in 2016 or 2017
220.01 – 1,310.00 1
1,310.01 – 2,620.00 2
2,620.01 – 3,930.00 3
3,930.01 – 5,240.00 4
5,240.01 – 6,550.00 5
6,550.01 – 7,860.00 6
7,860.01 – 9,170.00 7
9,170.01 – 10,480.00 8
10,480.01 – 11,790.00 9
11,790.01 – 13,100.00 10
13,100.01 – 14,410.00 11
14,410.01 – 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 2017 (carried out in 2019)

A student has been paid study grant and housing supplement totalling EUR 450 per month for 9 months. The annual income limit (the student's allowable income) for 9 months of aid is then EUR 11,850. The student's total annual income is EUR 13,900. If the student returns the study grant and housing supplement (a total amount of EUR 900) for 2 months by 31 May 2017, the annual income limit will be raised to EUR 14,470 and the student will not have to pay back any financial aid. If the student does not return financial aid by 31 May 2017, the annual income limit is exceeded by EUR 2,050. In that case Kela requires the student to pay back study grant and housing supplement payments for two months. The amount to be recovered is EUR 900  increased by 7.5%, for a total of EUR 967.50.

Schedule for repaying overpaid financial aid

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 change of due date, payment in instalments or an offset of your debt against a benefit from Kela. Offsetting means that the overpaid financial aid is deducted from another benefit that you receive.

Do as follows

  • Suggest change of due date or offsetting online. Log in to Kela's e-service (in Finnish and Swedish only) using your online banking credentials or a mobile ID. Use the message function and select Liikamaksut ja perintäasiat (in Finnish) or Överbetalningar och indrivningsärenden (in Swedish).
  • Suggest payment in instalments online. Log in to Kela's e-service (in Finnish and Swedish only) using your online banking credentials or a mobile ID. Select Hakemukset ja ilmoitukset > Perinnän maksusuunnitelma (in Finnish) or Ansökningar och ändringsmeddelanden > Betalningsplan vid återkrav (in Swedish).
  • Alternatively you can complete and print out the form Ehdotus takaisinmaksusta (Y81) (in Finnish) or Förslag om återbetalning (Y81r) (in Swedish) 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.

If you pay back study grant later than the end of May following the year in which it was originally paid to you, the Tax Administration will take your repayments into account when calculating your taxes for the year in which you make the repayments.

Read more