This article contains information on how to apply for student loan in Europe. Studying for a degree is by no doubt expensive. There will always be fees to pay unless one has a full scholarship that covers living expenses. These fees are mandatory for the successful completion of one’s study. The fees could be tuition, medicals, miscellaneous, laboratory fee for laboratory-related courses and some other mandatory expenses like class projects, textbook etc. apart from these college mandatory fees, living cost is another necessity. Though living costs vary from one country to another due to the standard of living, one needs to feed, transport and live in an apartment or hostel as the case may be.
All these fees will eventually accumulate to a huge amount of money that might be beyond one’s economic power. Should we now say one should say goodbye to college or university even when one has the academic prowess to succeed? No! Some students loans are available to rescue one from these pocket emptying fees. With these loans, one can face his or her studies squarely knowing everything or the greater part of the fees has been taken care of should the fee be above the loan. But one should not forget it is loan and loans are to be paid back.
The good news is, these loans are to be paid back after the completion of one’s study and when one has received a certain amount of income called the threshold repayment. So the burden of being disturbed by loan sharks or debt collector during one’s study has been removed. There are different types of loans availed to EU students for the aforementioned purposes. This article will elaborate on some of the prominent ones.
Types of student loans.
1. Undergraduate Loan.
- Full-time undergraduate students loan up to 9250 EUR
- Full-time student at a private university or College gets a loan up to 6125 EUR
- Part-time students get a loan up to 6935 EUR
- Part-time students at a private university or college get a loan up to 4625EUR
2. Postgraduate loan
EU postgraduate students get a government-backed up loan worth 10000 EUR. The loan is available to part-time, full time, distance learning and covers all study disciplines.
3. Erasmus+ Masters loans scheme
The aim of Erasmus+ is to contribute to the Europe 2020 strategy for growth, social equity and inclusion, as well as the aims of ET2020, it aims to promote the sustainable development of its partners in the field of higher education, and contribute to achieving the objectives of the EU Youth Strategy.
Erasmus provides EU support for bank loans up to 12,000 EUR for a one-year Master’s degree, or up to 18,000 EUR for a two-year programme or equivalent amounts in foreign currency for banks in non-Euro countries, subject to exchange rates.
Erasmus+ Master Degree Loans are EU-guaranteed loans with favorable pay-back terms. They’re designed to help prospective students finance their Master’s courses in an Erasmus+ Programme country while leaving as little of a lasting economic footprint as possible. The scheme is designed to provide postgraduate students with the means to pay their tuition and living expenses – thereby allowing individuals to focus on their degree instead of managing their bank balance.
The programme aims to be as inclusive as possible, working under the following guidelines:
- No need for collateral from students or parents – ensuring equality of access
- Favourable, better-than-market interest rates
- Pay-back terms that allow graduates up to two years to find work before beginning repayment.
4. Maintenance Loan
Maintenance loan is available only in England and Wales. How much you get is highly dependent on when you started your course, where you live and your household income. It is paramount you update your online finance account any changes to your living arrangement as this will affect your student finance as well as help in getting the right amount of loan. You can get both a long course loan (if your course lasts longer than 30 weeks and 3 days) and a maintenance loan if your maintenance loan is base on your household income. You don’t need a separate application for this, student finance England will determine if you can get a long term loan when you apply for your main student finance, if eligible, both the long course and the maintenance loan will be paid to you at the same time. This is paid directly into your bank account in usually in three instalments at the beginning of each term.
Maintenance loans will be paid back when the student is earning over 25000 EUR a year after graduation.
5. Additional Financial support
You may be eligible for extra help if you’re a parent, support someone who depends on you financially, have children, a health condition or special learning difficulty or are disabled. You won’t have to repay this money unless you’re overpaid.
Who offers student loans?
Students loan can be gotten from your home country or a foreign bank in the country you wish to pursue your studies. They function like any other loan, with a few differences. You can get a student loan from the government or a private bank; it can be a bank from your home country or a foreign bank, in the country you wish to pursue your studies. It is important, however, to choose a bank that meets your circumstances, such as your income, your credit rating and your securities, for example, The German KFW Bank provides loans to domestic as well as international EU students, while in Spain it is barely possible to apply for a student loan at a Spanish bank.
Student loans vary widely in terms of interest rates, loan repayment plans and many other aspects. Therefore, it is highly important to collect comprehensive information. Student loans are available in every country, but keep in mind that you may not be creditworthy due to your citizenship. However, student loans that you can get from the government tend to be more favourable, as the rates are usually lower.
Some loans are based on financial need, while others are much like any other loan and are based on your credit score.
These loans are not available to just any person, you must be eligible and qualified for the loan and there are procedures to follow in applying for the loan. These are the eligibility criteria, information and payment plan for European students studying in England
- To be able to access the loan, you must have lived in the European Economic Area for at least three years before the commencement of your study.
- Be an EU citizen or a relative of an EU citizen
- Be living in the UK from the first day of the semester of your course
- Age barrier: Though there is no age limit for tuition loan or grant you must be below 60 years on the first day of the academic session to apply for a maintenance loan.
- Your course of study must be a recognized course to be eligible for a student loan, this can be confirmed from your student finance body. Some courses are eligible for public funds such as NHS, though it should be known that getting a loan from other body may cost you other student finance or reduce the amount you might be borrowed.
- The type of institution you are enrolled in. Your course must be at a public-funded university or a course available for public funding in a private University.
- Not every EU student is eligible for a maintenance loan, only EU students who have lived in the UK for five years are eligible for a maintenance loan.
What you need or might need to access student loan on the EU Finance Application.
- Your passport
- National Insurance Number.
Your National Insurance Number (NINO) is used as your unique reference number for the UK social security system throughout your life. Loan giving companies require this number as one of the major details of the borrower.
- Bank Details
The bank details should have your name as it appears in the application. It is required that the loan be sent to your account to avoid issues that may arise from sending it to a third party.
A lot of private students applying for student loan lack the credit record that may be required for such loan since most teenagers lack the credit history to get a loan of such size, so therefore a cosigner might be needed for the approval of such loan. A cosigner is usually one’s parents, partner, legal tutor or guardian.
- Your Parents or Partner or Guardian financial status.
Some students loan are given base on your parents, partner or guardian earning status. This will warrant you to provide required information about them that is necessary for the application.
Repayment of the student loan
The repayment customarily starts within six months after the completion of your degree, also called the grace period. Depending on the amount of the loan, it is requested that you repay the loan within 5 to 10 years, although in certain European countries, you can repay it in 15 years. The payment plan is dependent on what the income is per month and not the whole value of the loan at a go.
If you have taken out a student loan to cover tuition fees, you only have to repay the loan after you finish your studies and start earning a certain level of income, called the ‘repayment threshold’. For example, in the UK, you can borrow 8,200 GBP, but have to repay this sum once you earn more than 21,000 GBP/year after graduation. Part-time students are required to start paying their loans four years after their course even if they have not yet completed their study. Though repayment will only be effected if their income is above the threshold for repayment.
How To Apply
New EU students
Set an online account at www.gov.uk/apply-online-for-student-finance and fill the necessary information base on your status, if you cannot apply online, you can as well download the application pack at www.gov.uk/student-finance-forms then use the form finder to search the form you need for the loan application. You may need to send proof of identity of yourself or your cosigner depending on the type of loan. Within the six weeks of your application, you will receive a letter confirming how much you are eligible for.
Continuing EU Students
Should you have suspended your studies for some cogent reasons? Or you are moving to the next year of your course? Are you repeating a year of the same course? Any of these qualifies you as a continuing student and your application for the loan can be done on your student finance account. It is paramount you send a letter explaining the reason you suspended your studies and back it up with necessary documents such as your customer reference number for student finance, a letter from your doctor or social service on headed paper, a letter from your doctor on headed paper, copies of birth or death certificate to student finance England P.O Box 210, Darlington with code DLI1 9HJ
How To Apply For Erasmus +
The Erasmus+ programme is managed by the European Commission), the Education, Audiovisual, and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), a series of National Agencies in all Programme countries, and a series of National Offices in some Partner countries. Under the Erasmus+ programme, there are different opportunities for organisations and individuals. Visit their website for extensive details https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/opportunities/individuals/students/erasmus-plus-master-degree-loans_en
Prospective students will need the following documents:
- Certificate of completion of the last degree you have completed before the Master degree you are applying for.
- A receipt for the enrolment fee OR documentary proof of admission and the cost of the Master course.
Prospective students must:
Live in a Programme country.
Have completed a Bachelor-level (or equivalent) qualification before applying
Have been accepted (before applying) to a full Master programme in another country. The university offering the programme must hold the Erasmus+ Charter of Higher Education.
Before applications can be filled, the applicant must have an EU login. The EU Login Authentication Service (previously ECAS) is a single point for user authentication to a wide range of Commission information systems. You can register here https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/cas/eim/external/register.cgi then follow the application process explained in this link https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/opportunities/how-to-apply_en
Applicants can use the Erasmus+ Forms specific for each Action and these are available, in general, on the website of the European Commission,
https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/node_en and in certain cases on the website of the National Agencies.