how do i check my student loans

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

To get all the important details you need on How to get a federal student loan, How to get a private student loan, apply for student loan online, Applying for a new student loan and lots more All you have to do is to please keep on reading this post from college learners. Always ensure you come back for all the latest information that you need with zero stress.

How do I apply for student loans?

Applying for student loans is easy! The first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can access the FAFSA form on the U.S. Department of Education’s website. After you fill out the FAFSA, your information will be sent to schools you’ve selected so that they can determine how much money they can afford to give you. Note that this process may take some time—schools have until mid-March to receive and review your application, so if you don’t hear back from them right away, don’t panic!

Once your school has made its decision about how much financial aid they can offer you, they will send you an award letter detailing their decision and any other forms or paperwork that you’ll need to complete before receiving aid. We recommend reading through these forms carefully before signing anything or submitting them—you want to make sure that nothing has changed since your last conversation with a financial aid counselor or administrator at your school!

apply for student loan online

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

  1. First, see Kela’s decision to 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 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.

Read more about the amount of student loan.

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 1.35%, when the loan interest rate is a 12-month Euribor + 0.5% (-0.83% 4/22), the establishment fee is 30.00 euros and the monthly service fee 2.50 euros. The estimated total amount payable is 5,086.69 euros and the number of instalments is 109. 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 42.70 euros. The loan is granted by an OP cooperative bank.

Tips for Refinancing Your Student Loans

How to Get a Student Loan

Student borrowers can get federal student loans and private student loans, but start with federal ones.

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Learn more about private student loans

  • Find a student loan: Compare private student loans, types and rates
  • Pros and cons: How federal and private student loans differ
  • How to apply: Wondering where to apply for student loans first?

Most students — 7 in 10 — borrow money to pay for college. If you’re one, you have two types of student loans to choose from: federal or private.

If you’re an undergraduate, always start with federal loans. They don’t require a credit history or a co-signer and they offer more generous protections for borrowers, such as income-driven repayment and loan forgiveness, than private student loans do.

Before you borrow, think ahead to how you’ll repay debt. Put a dollar figure on it by using a student loan payment calculator. This is the bill you’ll be paying every month for 10 years or longer. Borrow only what you need, and don’t take on an amount or an interest rate you can’t expect to handle right after graduation.

Here’s how you can get federal and private student loans.

How to get a federal student loan

Start by submitting the FAFSA

Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, to find out how much financial aid you may qualify for, such as grants, scholarships and work-study, that won’t have to be repaid. It takes about 30 minutes to complete. Each school you apply to will use the FAFSA to determine your financial aid; the gap between aid and cost of attendance is what you have to cover.

Borrow subsidized loans before unsubsidized

The FAFSA serves as your application for federal student loans as well. You’ll be notified of what you can borrow in the financial aid award letter from any school that accepts you. There are two types of federal loans: subsidized and unsubsidized.

Subsidized federal loans go to undergraduate students with a financial need. The subsidy covers the interest on the loan while you’re in school. Unsubsidized federal loans aren’t based on need, and interest starts to accrue immediately.

2022 Student Loans Ultimate Guide: Win A Study Loan Grant! - Fully Funded  Scholarships

How to get a private student loan

Consider private student loans to cover any remaining costs after grants, scholarships, work-study and federal loans. They’re a viable option if you have good credit or a co-signer who does.

Where to get a private student loan 

Banks, credit unions, state-based agencies and online lenders all offer student loans. Shop around with multiple lenders, weighing repayment flexibility and forbearance options as well as the interest rates offered.

How to get approved for a private student loan

Most private lenders will require borrowers to have good credit and an income that can support loan payments while meeting other debts (in other words, a low debt-to-income ratio). If you don’t meet those qualifications, you’ll need a co-signer who can.

Private lenders don’t technically list a co-signer as a requirement, but you’ll have difficulty getting a private loan without one. About 87% of all new undergraduate private student loans had a co-signer for the 2020-21 academic year, according to a 2021 report by MeasureOne.

If you don’t have a co-signer, a few private lenders gear loans toward independent students, but you’ll pay more.

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.
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Student loans are an amazing resource, but they can be confusing to apply for.

Here’s a quick and easy guide:

  1. Start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.ed.gov.
  2. After completing your FAFSA, you’ll receive a SAR (Student Aid Report) that details your financial aid award. This will include all of your available federal student loans, grants, and work-study programs.
  3. When selecting which loan or grant to accept, consider:
  • The interest rate on each program’s loan; the lower, the better!
  • The length of repayment; shorter is better!
  • Your credit history; if you don’t have one yet, get started building it by getting a credit card or paying off small bills on time every month (this helps a lot).
  1. Once you’ve decided on which programs to accept, contact your school’s financial aid office and ask them how to fill out their application forms (if applicable).

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