Foreign student

Particulier Student finance Lifelong learning credit

Lifelong learning credit

Borrowing for tuition and study fees

Do you intend to start a study programme, but are you not or no longer eligible for regular student finance (loan, supplementary grant and student travel product)? As of the academic year 2017-2018, you may borrow money to pay tuition fees or course fees, under certain conditions. This is called "lifelong learning credit".

Conditions

You have to meet all of the following conditions:

  • You are either a full-time, dual or part-time student at higher vocational education (HBO) or a university, or you are a full-time BOL-student at secondary vocational education (MBO). Your study programme must be officially recognised in The Netherlands.
  • You have Dutch nationality.
    If your nationality is not Dutch, you can also receive lifelong learning credit as long as you have a residence permit type II, III, IV or V. Do you have a residence permit type I? Complete the nationality chart to check whether you can receive credit anyway. Do you come from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland? Then you are eligible as well.
  • You are not or are no longer eligible to receive regular student finance.
  • You are 30, or older. Are you under 30? Then you are only entitled to the credit in the following 2 situations:
    1. You have an HBO (university for applied sciences) bachelor's degree, or a university master's degree, and you are going to do a 2nd study programme at an hbo or university.
    2. You are going to do a part-time study programme at an hbo or university.
  • You are younger than 55 when the lifelong learning credit takes effect.
  • Your tuition fees are not being paid for or reimbursed in full by another authority or person, for example your employer or your parent(s). Is someone else paying part of the tuition fees or programme fees for you? If so, you can apply for lifelong learning credit for the remainder of your tuition fees.

This arrangement will go into effect on 1 August 2017 for secondary vocational education (MBO), and on 1 September 2017 for higher vocational education (HBO) and university.

What do you have to do?

  • Log in to Mijn DUO to apply for the lifelong learning credit. To log in you need a DigiD with SMS verification.
  • Apply for the credit before your course starts. Otherwise you could miss out on money. You cannot apply for months that have passed.

Logging in from abroad

With a DigiD you can also log in to Mijn DUO outside the Netherlands. If you cannot log in, use the form Applying or making changes lifelong learning credit. If you study at the Open University, use the form Applying lifelong learning credit for Open Universiteit.

How long to borrow for?

You can receive the credit for the nominal duration of your course. For most courses, this is 4 years. If you are following a part-time course at an HBO or a university, you will be allotted 1 additional year.

How much can you borrow?

The maximum amount that you can borrow each year is the amount of tuition fees or programme fees that you have to pay. For an amount higher than € 2,006 (HBO and university) or € 1,137 (MBO), you will need to provide a declaration from the educational institution, showing how much your tuition fees or programme fees are. It is not possible to receive more lifelong learning credit than the amount of tuition fees you have to pay for. The maximum amount is € 10,030.20 per year for HBO or university, and € 5,685 for MBO.

Payment

The lifelong learning credit is paid out at the end of each month. You will receive 1/12th of the amount that you have to pay for tuition fees or course fees.
If you study at the Open Universiteit, the amount of monthly terms is determined by dividing the amount of study credits (ECTS) per course (onderwijseenheid) by 5. For example, if you do a 15 ECTS course, you will receive the lifelong learning credit in 3 monthly terms.

Repayment

When your entitlement to lifelong learning credit ends, you start paying back per the following year. The moment when you are de-registered determines the exact time when you start paying back. If you are de-registered between 1 January and 31 August, you start paying back on 1 January. If you de-register later in the year, repayment starts 4 months after de-registration. You will then have 15 years to pay back the loan with interest.

The monthly repayment instalments will depend on how much you earn in total. Part of your income is excluded from the calculation (exempted income). You will need to repay 12% of your debt every year from the remainder of your income, in 12 monthly instalments. After 15 years, any remaining debt will be cancelled.

If you have no children, € 16,597 of your annual income is exempted. For families and single parents this amount is € 23,710.

If you already have a student loan debt with DUO, the lifelong learning credit will not be added to it because different repayment requirements apply. This does not mean that you have to pay two monthly instalments. First we will calculate the amount that you can afford for both loans separately. The highest amount that you can afford will determine your monthly amount. That monthly amount will be used to cover both loans.

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