Student Loans

Loans to finance your studies can be like a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they represent a financing option which allows students to concentrate one hundred percent on their studies, without having to use up valuable energy resources making a living with a part-time job. Please note the currently high interest rates!

However, the day will of course come when the debt has to be repaid. For this reason, before taking out any loans, it is important to consider very carefully whether the financing measures will really keep you going until the end of the degree course. Likewise, it is important to be clear about your chances of getting employment and your likely level of earnings after completing your degree course, to ensure that you don't fall into a debt trap.

Student loans are on the whole a suitable measure to supplement student finance. If your parents' contribution and part-time work are not adequate to cover your living costs, and you are not eligible for BAföG, then a loan may fill the gap in your financing.

These forms of loans are available:

This special form of BAföG can be given as a interest free loan from the state if the maximum duration of support under BAföG has been exceeded. First it must be found out whether an extension of the “normal” BAföG on the basis of particular grounds (e.g. disability, childbirth and -rearing, participation in university committees or long-duration illness) can be ensured. 

International students can only make use of Studienabschlusshilfe if they have a right to receive BAföG. 

KfW student loans can be applied for by students of full age at a state or state-recognised institute of further education in Germany. They are available, as well as to Germany citizens, to their non-German relatives, as long as they are staying with the German citizen in Germany. EU citizens and their families must have been resident in Germany for at least three years. It is a similar case for so-called non-mobile foreign students (“Bildungsinländer”) who gained their high-school leaving certificate in Germany. The maximum age for the start of financing is 44 years. 

Monthly instalments of 100 to 650 € are paid out. However, the monthly payment is reduced by the applicable interest rate. Funding approval – dependent of age – is given for up to 14 semesters.

The start of repayments is from 6 to 23 months after the end of the payment phase. Interest payments are generally already paid from the start of the loan. The interest rate is variable. 

The student loan can be applied online or from a KfW sales partner. The sales partners can be found on the homepage of the KfW bank. There you can also find the online application.

Bildungskredit (education loan) is a finance option for students at an advanced stage of learning. As a rule, the students must already have completed two semesters of a bachelor’s course of study. Normally, the credit is guaranteed to the end of the 12th university semester. For a master's course of study a further claim can be made. 

Bildungskredit is independent of BAföG and can be drawn in addition to it. International students receive Bildungskredit according to the eligibility criteria for BAföG (§ 8 BAföG).

Monthly payments of 100, 200 or 300 € are made. Up to 24 monthly payments can be granted within a period of education. However, they are paid only to the recipient's 36th birthday. 

Bildungskredit accumulates interest from the first day. The first four years are repayment free, starting from the first payment. 

Application is made to the Bundesverwaltungsamt (Federal Office of Administration) and, once authorised, a private-law loan contract will be drawn up with the KfW banking group. 


If you have questions concerning BAföG, please contact the Amt für Ausbildungsförderung.


If you have further questions on how to finance your studies, please contact our social counselling service.