Naar Funding for school and studies

Lifelong learning credit

Are you not or no longer eligible for regular student finance or the tuition fee loan? Then you can apply for the 'lifelong learning credit' to pay for your tuition fees or course fees. The lifelong learning credit is a loan.


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 university. Or you are a full-time BOL-student at secondary vocational education (MBO).
  • You must be a student in the Netherlands (not in the Carribean Netherlands).
  • Your study programme must be officially recognised in The Netherlands.
  • You have the Dutch nationality or a residence permit type II, III, IV or V. Or you come from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland. Do you have a residence permit type I? Then use the eligibility assistant to find out if you qualify.
  • You are not ór no longer eligible to receive regular student finance or the tuition fee loan.
  • You are 30 years or older. Are you under 30? Then you are only entitled to the credit if 1 of the following situations applies:
    • You already have an HBO bachelor's degree, or a university master's degree, and you are following a 2nd study programme at HBO or university.
    • You are following a part-time study programme at HBO or university.
  • You are younger than 55 when the lifelong learning credit takes effect.
  • Your tuition fees are not being paid or reimbursed in full by any other authority or person, for example your employer or your parent(s). Is someone else paying part of the tuition fees or programme fees? If so, you can apply for lifelong learning credit for the remainder of your tuition fees.


  1. Log in to Mijn DUO to apply for the lifelong learning credit. To log in you need a DigiD. There are 2 ways of logging in: with the DigiD app or with a verification via SMS.
  2. Apply for the credit before your course starts. Otherwise you could miss out on part of the loan, because you cannot apply for past months.
  3. You have to reapply for the credit each academic year or school year.

Log in to Mijn DUOwith DigiD

Login problems?

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.

For how long can you borrow?

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?

You can borrow the amount of tuition fees or course fees you are due. Each month, you will receive 1/12th of this amount. 
Do you wish to borrow more than the statutory tuition fees or course fees? This is possible only if you are due more than the statutory fees. Ask your school or university to fill in the form Verklaring Collegegeld/lesgeld and include it with your application. There is a maximum amount you can receive. Per year, you can borrow no more than 5 times the amount of the statutory tuition fees or course fees. This maximum amount is € 10,300.20 per year for HBO or university (2019-2020: € 10,415) , and € 5,775 for MBO (2019-2020: € 5,840).


The lifelong learning credit is paid at the end of each month.

If you study at the Open Universiteit, the number of monthly payments 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 payments.


When you are no longer eligible for the lifelong learning credit, you will start repaying the following year. When exactly repayment starts, depends on the date you disenroll from your course. We will send you a notice beforehand.

There is a 15 years period for paying back the loan, with interest.


Interest starts being added to your loan the month after you get your first payment. The interest rate changes annually. In 2018, the annual interest rate is 0%. After your studies, the interest rate is fixed for periods of 5 years.


The amount of your monthly repayments depend on your earnings. Part of your yearly income is excluded from the calculation (exempted income). If you have no children, € 16,597 of your annual income is exempted. For families and single parents this amount is € 23,710. You are due to repay 12% of your remaining income per year, in 12 monthly instalments. After 15 years, any remaining debt will be cancelled.

You already have a student loan

Do you already have a student loan with DUO? The lifelong learning credit will not be added to your loan because different repayment plans apply. This does not mean that you are due to pay 2 monthly instalments. First we will calculate the amount that you are due for both loans separately. The highest of these amounts is your monthly instalment. This monthly amount will be used to cover both loans.


If you have any questions, you can call us from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on +31 50 599 98 28 or send an email to

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