Student rates

Student loan interest is the ‘last blow’ for new grads

Delft students in the sun. Photo Przemyslaw Pawelczak

Student organizations are furious at a potential increase in loan interest that students graduating this year are likely to have to pay.

The student loan interest rate, based on government bond interest, is agreed annually for a period of five years and covers students graduating that summer.

Recent graduates don’t have to pay any interest due to historically low rates, but this year’s graduates could face a rate of 1.5%, according to calculations by the Financieele Dagblad.

Student union ISO said the potential increase was “the latest blow to students”.

“After empty promises not to include student debt in mortgage applications and meager compensation for students who did not have scholarships, students will now have to pay hundreds of euros a year in interest. “said President Lisanne de Roos. “But by the time students have paid off their debts, it will be in the thousands.”

The ISO also condemned government communications on the rise. “Very many students have no idea that the interest on their student loans may go up,” De Roos said.

The Department of Education told the AD in a statement that students could have predicted interest rates would rise. However, students with very low incomes do not have to pay their debts at all and others pay according to their income, the ministry pointed out.

The government has pledged to restore scholarships, which were abolished in 2015, a move that has seen student debt soar. Since then, students have had to borrow to finance their studies and go into debt on average around €25,000 by the time they graduate.

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