The national social insurance institution-Kela has granted student loan to 113,278 students for the next academic year (2023-24), said Kela in a press release on Wednesday.
The first loan disbursement can be taken out starting from the beginning of August.
Kela has reviewed the situation as regards student loans for students who continue their studies for the academic year 2023–2024.
A positive decision on loan guarantee has been sent to 112,142 recipients of student financial aid and to 1,136 recipients of adult education allowance.
If the student already has a financial aid case pending at Kela, the student will receive a decision on the loan guarantee at the same time as the pending case is processed.
For instance if the student has recently reported a change in circumstances that affects the financial aid, the student will receive a decision on the loan guarantee in connection with the financial aid decision.
The state guarantee for student loans is granted to the maximum amount for up to one academic year at a time. The typical loan guarantee is EUR 650 per month.
Students must agree with their bank when and how they will take out a student loan. The decision whether to take out a student loan and how much is up to each student.
Most students take out their student loan in two disbursements per academic year. The first loan disbursement can be taken out starting from the beginning of August and the second loan disbursement from the beginning of January 2024.
Any student loan funds not yet released for the academic year 2022–2023 can be taken out before the end of July.
According to statistics from the Bank of Finland, the average interest rate on student loans in April 2022 was 0.27% and in April 2023 2.87%. The interest payments on student loans have risen by 2.6 percentage points from the previous year.
During the period of financial aid the bank capitalises the interest payments on the student loan, which means that the amount of loan increases by the amount of the interest payments. As a consequence of the increase in interest payments, the amount of loan increases by a larger amount than before during the period of studies. For higher education students this can mean an increase in the loan capital of several thousand euros.
Students who experience difficulties in paying the interest payments on the student loans after graduating should check if it is possible to receive interest assistance from Kela.
If the student is granted interest assistance, Kela can pay the interest payments on the student loan and related charges in full. The student need not pay them back to Kela.
Study grants will be increased in line with the national pension index as of 1 August 2023.
A 4.2% increase will be made for the upcoming academic year. For students aged 18 or over who are living independently, the study grant will go up from 268.23 euros to 279.38 euros per month.