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.
Focus on studies and graduating.
A student loan makes it easier for you to focus on your studies and complete faster the degree or qualifications that you’re pursuing.
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.
Start paying back after student financial aid ends.
Student loan repayment begins in about 2 years’ time after the end of student financial aid. During the period of student financial aid, interest is added to the loan principal, meaning that they are capitalised. Compared to other loans, a student loan is an inexpensive loan.
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.
Applying starts with Kela’s student loan guarantee
To apply for a student loan, you must have a valid government guarantee for a student loan granted by Kela. The government guarantee is free of charge and the only collateral that you need for your loan. All higher education students who are study grant beneficiaries get Kela’s decision on the guarantee automatically with the decision on student financial aid.
An upper secondary school student must apply for the loan guarantee from Kela with a separate application when applying for a study grant and housing supplement. We recommend applying for the loan guarantee for the entire period of studies in one go. Doing so will not bind you to applying for or drawing down a student loan for the entire period of studies.
When the guarantee decision on a student loan has been issued, your bank gets this information automatically from Kela.
You can make a student loan application immediately after getting the guarantee decision
Student loan is applied from the bank for one academic year at a time. Once you have received Kela’s positive decision on a student loan guarantee for the next academic year, do as follows:
- If you already have a student loan, apply for an additional loan instalment to your current loan. An additional loan instalment means that an amount guaranteed by Kela is added to the already existing loan number. This alternative is more inexpensive for you, as you would only repay principal, interests and servicing costs on one student loan in future. You can apply for an additional loan instalment even if it is for a different degree than the previous student loan.
- If you don’t have a student loan yet, make a student loan application.
If your existing student loan has no instalments available for drawdown, and you can’t apply for an additional instalment to your student loan for the current degree, apply for a new student loan.
Applying for a new student loan
- First, see Kela’s decision to check that you have been granted a loan guarantee for the next academic year.
- Apply for a student loan.
When granting and supervising a loan, the bank uses the personal credit information of the loan applicant obtained from the credit data file of Suomen Asiakastieto Oy. If you are a minor, you can apply for a student loan at an OP cooperative bank branch with the consent of your guardians. Book an appointment at a bank branch.
Continuing your studies? Apply for an additional loan instalment
1. First, see Kela’s decision to check that you have been granted a loan guarantee for the next academic year.
2. Apply for an additional loan instalment to your student loan on the op.fi service. Login (in Finnish) and apply for an additional loan instalment.
When will the student loan be available in the account?
After your student loan application has been approved, the student loan will be available for drawdown in most cases already on the next banking day. 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 payment date.
If the first drawdown date falls on a weekend or mid-week holiday, in practice, the loan can be transferred into your account on the next weekday.
Drawing down student loan during the academic year
Once the bank has granted a student loan to you, you can draw it down into your account. You can decide yourself whether to draw down the entire loan granted to you or a smaller amount. A student loan granted for an academic year must be drawn down during the academic year, usually by the end of July.
You will choose in your student loan application either automatic drawdowns on the loan or separate drawdown requests for drawing down the loan into your account. For a student, the most inexpensive and easiest way to draw down a student loan into an account is choosing automatic drawdowns based on the student financial aid decision.
Cancelling student financial aid may affect the drawdown of a student loan. If you cancel student financial aid in advance for certain months, the amount of loan guarantee may decrease for the same period. Cancelling some of your student financial aid may therefore result in a situation where you can’t draw down all the instalments based on the original student financial aid decision.
Automatic drawdowns on a student loan
In automatic drawdowns, the bank automatically draws down the loan into your account according to the student financial aid decision. Automatic drawdowns are not subject to a separate charge, as the student loan service charge covers a gradual drawdown based on the guarantee decision, performed automatically.
Separate drawdowns on a student loan
You can also choose separate drawdowns as the drawdown method for your student loan. In that case, the first drawdown is free of charge, but the following drawdowns are subject to a fee charged by the bank according to the list of charges and fees.
If you already have a student loan, you can check under loan details on OP-mobile or the op.fi service which drawdown method you have chosen.
How to make a drawdown request on your student loan (separate drawdowns)
1. First, see Kela’s student financial aid decision to check the schedule for your student loan drawdowns during the academic year.
2. Log into the op.fi service (in Finnish) and make a drawdown request. Separate drawdowns are subject to a charge stated in your bank’s list of charges and fees.
Student loan compensation
If you started your higher education studies after 1 August 2014 and graduate within the target time, you are entitled to a student loan compensation. The student loan compensation accounts for 40% of the loan amount exceeding 2,500 euros. This compensation is used to amortise the loan principal on a one-time basis. 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.
Student loan payment dates in 2022
When will the student loan be available in the account? Check the schedule for student loan drawdowns during the academic year in Kela’s student financial aid decision. The dates may vary, but usually student loans can be drawn down in two instalments during the academic year:
- in the autumn term, at the earliest on 1 August
- in the spring term, at the earliest on 1 January
If you have chosen automatic drawdowns, the loan instalment will be available in your account on the abovementioned payment dates. If you have chosen separate drawdowns, we will process drawdown requests in the order of arrival. The loan instalments for an academic year must usually be drawn down no later than 31 July.
How much student loan can you take out?
The maximum amount of your student loan is the same as the amount of loan guarantee stated in Kela’s loan guarantee decision.
Student loan for studying abroad
The amount of study grant and its eligibility criteria for those studying aboard are usually the same as for those studying in Finland. The loan guarantee for a student loan amounts to 800 euros per month for all those studying abroad.
Is it worth taking out a student loan?
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 working. Our society supports students through student financial aid, and the student loan government guarantee is part of this financial aid.
A reasonable amount of student loan shouldn’t be a problem, as getting a degree or qualifications is a good protection against unemployment. A loan will always have to be paid back. Read more about student loan repayment.
Example calculation for a student loan: Student loan is a one-off loan. The effective interest rate for a loan of 4,500 euros with a 15-year loan term is 4.06%, when the loan interest rate is a 12-month Euribor (2,684 % 10/22) + 0.5%, the establishment fee is 30.00 euros and the monthly service fee 2.50 euros. The estimated total amount payable is 6336.51 euros. This calculation is based on the assumption that the loan is drawn down over 5 years, the loan interest rate, charges and fees remain the same throughout the loan term, and the loan is repaid in equal monthly instalments of 52.07 euros. The loan is granted by an OP cooperative bank.
The student loan interest rate is tied to the market rate plus the bank’s markup. The interest rate is either the 12-month Euribor or OP-Prime, depending on your choice.
Student loan costs consist of the reference interest rate, the bank's markup and loan charges. The bank’s markup is added to the reference rate. Effective interest rate includes the full costs of a loan converted to an annual interest rate.
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.