How to apply for a student loan

  1. If you are in higher education and are paid a study grant, you will receive a decision about the government loan guarantee automatically.
  2. If you are in secondary education, apply for a loan guarantee online at the same time as you apply for the study grant. Log in to Kela's online customer service (in Finnish and Swedish only) using your bank ID or mobile ID. You should apply for a loan guarantee for your entire course of study at the same time.
  3. If you choose to apply for it later, do so online.
  4. Scan or take a photo of supporting documents and send them over the internet.
  5. On the online customer service website you can see if your application has been accepted, how much loan you can take out at specific dates, and how much you have taken out to date.

Alternatively you can complete and print out a paper application form and mail it to Kela with the supporting documents.

e-Services

To log in to Kela's online customer service, use your online banking codes or a mobile certificate.

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  • If you are in secondary education, complete the application for financial aid (OT 1e) intended for students of vocational institutes, upper secondary schools, folk high schools or equivalent educational institutions.
  • If you are in higher education, complete the  application for financial aid (OT 2e) for students of universities and universities of applied sciences.
  • If you apply for a loan guarantee after you have already applied for a study grant and housing supplement, complete a notification of changes (OT 15e).

If you apply for a loan guarantee for adult students do so online. Alternatively you can complete the form titled Aikuiskoulutustukeen liittyvä opintolainan valtiontakaushakemus (OT 12, available in Finnish and Swedish only). You can send the paper application to Kela by mail or take it to the nearest Kela's customer service points or citizen service centre.

When to apply

The earliest that you can get a loan guarantee is the beginning of the month of application. Loan guarantees for adult students are available from the beginning of the month preceding the application.

If you are granted a loan guarantee for your entire course of study, you will receive a loan guarantee decision for each academic year (1 August - 31 July) at a time. The next year's decision is sent to you in July. However, you will not receive a decision if Kela has repaid earlier student loans it has guaranteed for you.

Applying to a bank for a student loan

If you get a loan guarantee from Kela, you can apply for a student loan at any bank of your choice. The bank decides whether to give you a loan.

Information about your loan guarantee is provided to the bank directly from Kela, so you do not have to do so yourself. Checking the information usually takes one business day. You should thus agree with the bank on the taking out of the student loan well in advance of the last possible date of taking out the loan. The interest payable on the loan and the repayment schedule are agreed between you and your bank.

If you are under 18, you must present the bank with an authorisation and written consent from your parents or your legal guardian in order to apply for a loan. When you apply for a loan the bank will tell you how to proceed with the authorisation.

You have to apply to the bank for a student loan separately for each academic year.

Report changes

Remember to report any changes in your circumstances to Kela so that the benefit can be paid correctly. Starting a job or leaving a course of study, for example, will affect the payment of financial aid.

Reviewing the loan guarantee

If your circumstances change, Kela can review the amount of your loan guarantee during the academic year. You will receive a decision about the review. Kela will forward information detailing the changes in the loan guarantee to the bank, which checks the loan guarantee every time it releases a loan instalment.

Should the loan guarantee be increased as a result of the review, you can apply to the bank separately for an additional loan. If it is decreased, the bank will adjust your loan in line with the review.