Students and professionals
Education is expensive: working materials and books as well as housing, food and living expenses must be paid for. Side jobs alone will not get you very far anymore. Our loans give you more financial flexibility.
What is the KfW Student Loan?
The KfW Student Loan is a low-interest loan, which is used to cover your living expenses. The interest rate is fixed until 31 December 2021, after which it is adjusted every six months on 01 April and 01 October of each year.
You can receive monthly disbursements of up to EUR 650 (disbursement phase). Once the disbursements stop, the loan enters a grace period in which you only pay interest (interest-only phase).
Once this phase ends, repayment of the KfW Student Loan (repayment phase) begins.
The account is managed online.
What do we support?
We finance your living expenses while you are studying. It makes no difference whether you are studying full-time, part-time or while working. Programs at distance learning universities are also possible. We support semesters abroad if you are still enrolled at a German university.
Your university must be located in Germany and be a state or state-accredited university.
We support these courses of study:
- First undergraduate degree
- Second degree (further undergraduate studies)
- Additional, supplementary or postgraduate studies, or
- Master’s (postgraduate studies)
A doctorate can also be financed with the KfW Student Loan.
Who do we support?
We support you, regardless of your and your parents’ income, if you are 18 – 44 years old and fall under one of the following categories:
- German citizens with a domestic primary residence and their dependents (regardless of nationality) who are living with the German citizen, and are registered in Germany.
- EU citizens who have been lawfully residing in Germany on a permanent basis for at least three years, and are registered in Germany, and their dependents living with the EU citizen in Germany.
- So-called educational residents with a domestic primary residence who obtained a German Higher Education Entrance Qualification by graduating from a high-school in Germany or a German school abroad.
How long do we provide support and up to what loan amount?
Depending on your requirements, we will disburse between EUR 100 and 650 to you per month:
- for up to 14 semesters in the case of a first or second degree
- The maximum total amount is therefore EUR 54,600: EUR 650 x 14 semesters x 6 months per semester.
- The duration of support depends on your age when you start studying
- 24 years: 14 semesters of support
- 34 years: 10 semesters of support
- 44 years: 6 semesters of support
- older than 44 years: support no longer possible
- for up to 6 semesters in the case of postgraduate studies or a doctorate.
The maximum total amount is therefore EUR 23,400: EUR 650 x 6 semesters x 6 months per semester.
Lump-sum disbursement of the total amount or one-off payments are not possible.
How and where do I submit the application?
Before you apply for the KfW Student Loan, you should clarify your personal loan requirements and determine whether the Student Loan is suitable for you. You then apply for the loan and submit your documents to a distribution partner (banks and student services).
Print out the contract offer and then visit one of our distribution partners. In addition, please take a valid, official ID document (e.g. identity card, personal ID, passport) as well as your certificate of study, which is valid on the day the financing begins. In addition, as a non-EU citizen you must have a valid student visa and/or residence permit. You also need proof of a current account, e.g. by presenting a bank card or a bank statement.
If your registered domestic address is not identifiable in your official identification documents, you also have to submit a valid certificate of registration that is not older than 6 months.
You sign your documents with the distribution partner. They will then forward it to us together with a copy of your identification documents.
How are disbursements made and what needs to be done during the disbursement phase?
You will always have your money in your account during the day on the 1st working day of the month.
We deduct the interest on your current loan amount (0.00% until 31 March 2021) from the monthly payment. To receive disbursements, you must prove at the beginning of each semester (no later than 15 April and 15 October) that you are still registered at a German university.
We can only continue to support your studies and disburse further funds if proof of your academic record is provided. If you don’t provide this proof, we will stop the disbursements.
If you study for more than 10 semesters, we need a certificate from your university at the end of the 10th semester showing when you are expected to complete your degree.
What happens after the disbursements?
After you have received your last disbursement, the interest-only period begins. This lasts 18 – 23 months and can be shortened to 6 months on request. During this grace period, you only pay interest, you don’t repay the loan. This will be debited from your account on the first of each month. In this phase you can also apply for your interest to be capitalised. This means that the interest is initially not paid and is added to the loan amount at the end of the phase.
Repayment always starts on 01 April or 01 October.
Five months before the start of repayment, we will provide you with the repayment schedule in your online loan portal.
How can I change the monthly disbursement amount?
Your financial situation has changed and you may need less or more credit?
Please choose an amount between 100 and 650 Euro.
With the function “Auszahlungsplan ändern“ ("Change payout amount") you can always adjust your monthly disbursement amount to your current needs until the 15th of each month for the next month.
It is not possible to change the amount in the first semester after the start of the payout.
How do I prove that I am still enrolled at my university?
The certificate of enrollment is a proof that you are enrolled. It has to be presented at the beginning of each new semester.
Please make sure to submit the new certificate of enrollment by April 15th and October 15th of each year. If you do not do so, we will stop the payouts. Enter the data of your certificate of enrollment in the online loan portal and print out the verification protocol.
Present your certificate of enrollment, the verification protocol and a personal document (e.g. your passport) to a distribution partner.
Your distribution partner does not accept the documents for the proof of enrollment personally due to the current situation (Corona crisis)?
Then please send him the following documents by e-mail - scanned or photographed:
- The verification protocol
- Your certificate of enrollment
- An easy to read copy of your current ID document (front and back)
Is a proof of academic record required?
For the KfW Student Loan, we require proof of your academic record once at the end of the 6th supported semester.
The required proof of academic record depends on the completion of your degree course. This is generally an intermediate examination certificate (e.g. the “Physikum”), an intermediate diploma or proof of the ECTS credits you have earned in a Bachelor’s programme. For a full-time degree course, 90 ECTS credits must be earned by the end of the 6th subject-related semester.
We would like to explain the term “supported semester”. The supported semesters include the subject-related semesters that you have already studied at the time of application (as stated on your current certificate of study). Semesters from a previous degree course for which you have received the KfW Student Loan are also included.
The proof of your academic record (Leistungsnachweis) must be provided at the end of your 6th supported semester by March 31st or September 30th and submitted to us by April 15th or October 15th.
Please send your proof of academic record (Leistungsnachweis) along with your KfW GP number directly to:
KfW Bonn Branch
How do I ensure to receive disbursements after the 10th support semester?
To ensure the disbursements for the 11th to 14th support semester can continue to be made, we require the "Bescheinigung der Hochschule über den voraussichtlichen Studienabschluss" (certificate from your university showing when you are expected to complete your degree).
Please submit this certificate to us by no later than March 15th or September 15th.
How do I provide proof of performance for a first or second degree program?
At the end of the 6th semester at the latest, please present us your performance record. You will not receive any further payments without the proof of performance.
Alternative 1: You enclose a copy of your transcript of records with the form, e.g. the intermediate examination or the intermediate diploma.
Alternative 2: You have your performance confirmed directly on the form by your university or the responsible examination office. Don't forget to get a stamp and signature.
How many ECTS credits do I need?
If you are a full-time student, you need at least 50 % of the credits required for the degree or at least 90 ECTS credits (Bachelor).
For part-time studies with a maximum of 20 hours of lectures per week, you need at least 50% of the credits required for a full-time degree. You can see the overall performance to be achieved on the form "Performance Record".
How can I stop the payout process?
You can also stop payments on the 15th of each month, after which the loan enters grace period.
How can I change the monthly repayment rate?
By changing the repayment schedule. This is how it works:
You can adjust the monthly repayment rate up to 6 months in advance under "Change repayment plan". By the 15th of a month you can enter a repayment rate for the month after next.
How can I make a special repayment?
Unscheduled repayments from 100 Euro can be arranged under “Außerplanmäßige Rückzahlung“ ("Unscheduled repayment"). This can be done up to 6 months in advance. For a collection by direct debit on the 1st of the following month, we need your order by the 15th of the current month via the online loan portal.
For school, college and university students in advanced stages of their education
To pay for extraordinary costs such as a study semester abroad after the interim exams, for internships, special working materials or an excursion
What kind of promotional funds are available?
A promotional loan in monthly instalments of up to EUR 300 for a maximum of 2 years (maximum loan amount EUR 7,200) that offers the following advantages:
- It is complementary to BAföG student support payments (education and training support provided by the Federal Government)
- It is granted regardless of your personal and your parents’ income and assets
- A one-time disbursement of up to EUR 3,600 may be granted for special expenses
- No collateral is required.
Application: with the Federal Administration Office (Bundesverwaltungsamt - BVA)
For tradespeople, technicians and other skilled workers undergoing further education to become master tradespeople, master industrial technicians, specialised business administrators or business economists or to earn a comparable qualification.
No age limit applies.
For your living expenses when you are undergoing full-time professional development, for course fees and examination fees
What kind of promotional funds are available?
- A monthly allowance composed of a grant and a loan for full-time professional development; the amount takes your income, assets, marital status, number of children etc. into account.
- A grant for course fees and examination fees, a loan can be added where reasonable
Application: with the Amt für Ausbildungsförderung (Education Assistance Office)