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Student loan

Student loan helps finance life during studies

  • Student loan is a flexible financing option.

    You can decide yourself whether to draw down the entire loan granted to you or a smaller amount.

  • Use the student loan in any way you want.

    You can use the student loan in any way you want, say, for rent or hobbies.

  • No service charge for owner-customers.

    As an OP cooperative bank owner-customer, you get a student loan with no service charge if you apply for the loan on the op.fi service. You can make use of other owner-customer benefits too. A student loan also contributes towards OP bonuses.

Apply for student loan

OP's customers (in Finnish)

Apply for student loan

Applying starts with Kela’s student loan guarantee

You can apply for a student loan if you have a valid student loan guarantee from Kela. The government guarantee is free of charge and it’s the only collateral that you’ll need. If you are studying at a higher education institution and have a study grant, you’ll get a guarantee decision automatically from Kela along with its student financial aid decision.

If you are an upper secondary school student, you must make a separate application to Kela for a loan guarantee when you apply for a study grant and housing supplement. We recommend applying for a loan guarantee for your entire period of studies in one go. This won’t commit you to applying for a student loan, or drawing down the loan (having the bank deposit loan amounts in your account), to cover your entire study period.

When you have received a guarantee decision on a student loan, your bank will get information about the decision automatically from Kela.

How to apply for a student loan or student loan instalment

You can apply for a student loan from a bank for one academic year at a time. You can submit a student loan application or apply for an additional loan instalment if Kela has given you a positive guarantee decision for the next academic year.

If you don’t have a student loan yet, make a new student loan application

Steps in applying for a new student loan:  

  1. First, see Kela’s decision and check that you have been granted a loan guarantee for the next academic year. 
  2. Apply for a student loan

When granting and supervising a loan, the bank uses the applicant’s personal credit information, obtained from Suomen Asiakastieto Oy’s credit data file.  
If you are a minor, you will need your guardian’s consent to apply for a student loan. In this case, the loan negotiation will be held at the bank branch and you do not need to send an online application. Book an appointment at a bank branch.

If you already have a student loan, apply for an additional loan instalment for your current loan

In such a case, the loan amount guaranteed by Kela will be added to your current loan number. In the future, you'll pay only interest, fees and loan repayments for one student loan. You can apply for an additional loan instalment even if you have changed your study programme since your previous application for a student loan.

How to apply for an additional loan instalment if your studies continue:  

  1. First, see Kela’s decision and check that you have been granted a loan guarantee for the next academic year. 
  2. Apply for an additional loan instalment for your student loan on the op.fi service.  

Login (in Finnish) and apply for an additional loan instalment

Drawing down student loan during the academic year

Once the bank has granted you a student loan, it will deposit the loan amount into your account. You can decide whether to draw down the entire loan in one go, or whether a smaller amount will be enough.

In general, Kela divides the student loan into two instalments. The student financial aid decision states the maximum amount of student loan, the amounts to be deposited in your account, and the first and last dates on which the loan can be deposited. The student loan must be drawn down during the academic year for which it was granted, usually by the end of July.

In your student loan application, you will choose whether you want the loan drawn down to your account automatically, or on the basis of requests made by you.

Automatic drawdown of student loan into your account

If you choose this option, the bank will automatically deposit the loan into your account in instalments, based on the student financial aid decision. You won’t be charged separate fees for this, because they are included in the student loan origination fee (the service fee the bank charges for lending to you).

Drawdown based on separate requests

You can also choose to have the bank deposit the loan into your account in separate instalments based on requests made by you. The first time this is done will be free of charge, but the bank will charge you a fee for each time it deposits a loan instalment into your account after that. See the bank’s list of charges and fees.

How to make a drawdown request to the bank:

  1. First, read Kela’s student financial aid decision to check the schedule for student loan drawdowns during the academic year. 
  2. You can make a drawdown request by logging into the op.fi service. A fee is charged for separate drawdowns made by request.

Log into the op.fi service (in Finnish) and make a drawdown request

Interest, costs and repayment of student loan

The student loan borrowing rate is based on the reference interest rate plus the bank’s margin. The reference interest rate is either the 12-month Euribor or OP-Prime, depending on your choice.

Student loan costs therefore consist of the reference interest rate, the bank's margin and loan charges. The effective interest rate includes the full costs of a loan converted to an annual interest rate.

You won’t need to pay interest while you are receiving student financial aid. Interest accrued on the loan during the period of student financial aid is added to the loan principal, meaning that the interest is capitalised.

The loan must be paid back in every case. Repayment begins about two years from the last time you received student financial aid. You will pay interest on the loan before then. After student financial aid has ended, interest must be paid every six months, on 15 June and 15 December.

Read more about student loan repayment

Student loan compensation

If you started your higher education studies after 1 August 2014 and graduate within the target time, you could be entitled to student loan compensation. Student loan compensation accounts for 40% of the loan amount exceeding 2,500 euros. This compensation is used as a one-off repayment of some of the loan principal.

Making good progress with your studies is worth it: because student loan compensation reduces the loan principal, you may also end up paying less interest on your loan.

If you started your studies between 1 August 2005 and 31 July 2014, and graduate within the target time, you may be entitled to a student loan tax deduction.

Example of a student loan calculation

The effective interest rate applicable to a 4,500 euro loan with a repayment period of 15 years would be 4.94%, assuming that the borrowing rate is 12-month Euribor 3.644% (December 2023) + 0.5% loan margin, the establishment fee 30 euros and the automatic monthly charge is 2.50 euros. The estimated total loan cost would be 6,819.23 euros and the number of repayments 112. This calculation assumes that the loan is drawn down across five years, and that the borrowing rate and charges and fees remain unchanged throughout the loan term.

The loan is granted by OP cooperative bank.

Useful facts about student loans


The bank will deposit the first instalment into your account when your student loan application is approved. If you fill in your loan application on a weekend, the bank will deposit your first drawdown into your account on the next weekday.

Check the schedule for student loan drawdowns during the academic year in Kela’s student financial aid decision. The dates may change.

In most cases, you can draw down your student loan in two instalments during the academic year:

  • in the autumn term, on 1 August at the earliest 
  • in the spring term, on 1 January at the earliest 

In general, all loan instalments for an academic year must be drawn down no later than 31 July.

If you have chosen automatic drawdown according to the student financial aid decision, the money will be available in your account on the first possible drawdown date. Drawdown requests are processed in their order of arrival. 

The maximum amount of your student loan is the same as the amount of loan guarantee stated in Kela’s loan guarantee decision.

The grounds for issuing a study grant and the grant amount are generally the same as for studying in Finland. The loan guarantee for a student loan amounts to 800 euros per month for all students studying abroad.

There is no simple answer to this, as each student’s circumstances are individual, and each loan application is unique. A student loan may be a good solution if you don’t have enough money to cover your living costs and can’t combine studying with work. Our society supports students through student financial aid, and the student loan government guarantee is part of this financial aid.

As an owner-customer, you get benefits from a student loan and your other services with us. For example:

  • You get a student loan with no service charge if you make your loan application on the op.fi service.
  • A student loan brings value-for-money OP bonuses to owner-customers. The bonuses are used for paying charges and fees that would otherwise be debited from the account.