Student Loans in Belgium, All You Need To Know:
Are you looking to finance your studies in Belgium? Hang tight to know all it takes to get a good financial product, what to consider before you apply for it, and the steps to take during application.
What you should know about student credits:
- There are various types of loans designed for different types of studies
- Student loans have better conditions than other loan offers
- Many entities will ask for a guarantee before granting student loans
- Student loans are applied by the student, parent, or both
- While some student loans offer 1 year grace period, others offer up to 5 years
- Different types of studies will attract loans with different conditions
- Studying in Belgium is way more affordable than in other countries, hence, if taking out a loan, the repayment process won’t be strenuous
- Student loans are also accessible to students with low income and younger than 35-years-old
Types of student loans we can apply for
- Student loans are classified in many ways, depending on various factors. We’ve categorized student loans depending on the purpose and seek to let you know which offer can best address your needs.
- Financing a degree. Student loans designed for financing your university studies come in two forms:
- Loans that only cover the tuition fee. Depending on the entity, the loan may cover the whole fee or its percentage. This will require you to present your fee structure.
- Loans that besides financing the tuition fee, they finance all the other costs related to your studies including stationary, transportation, and accommodation among others.
- Scholarship advances: a student receiving a scholarship may choose to take out a loan to advance the fees and other related costs as the scholarship funds are released later in the semester. Upon receiving the scholarship funds, the student is expected to repay the advance they took out.
- Postgraduate studies. Whether financing a master’s degree, postgraduate diploma, or a doctorate, the loan may cover your tuition fees only or go ahead to cover all related expenses.
- Studying abroad. For whichever course you’re pursuing abroad, you can find financing from Belgian entities to advance the scholarship at the beginning of the semester and reimburse it once the scholarship funds arrive.
- Financing specialized courses: such as a middle or higher grade training cycle, computer classes, etc
- Financing of laptops: many entities in Belgium provide financing for laptops in excellent conditions.
Financing linked to the educational center
All across Belgium, institutions of learning have created ties with loan providers such that students can apply for loans from the schools and have the funds sent directly to their school accounts. Such loans have better deals than others because they are tailored to address your course’s needs, in particular. Hence, it’s important to consult with your school before taking out a student loan elsewhere.
Are student loans cheaper?
Student loans have way better conditions than other loan types. A student loan is better by far than a personal loan taken out to finance your studies. This, however, depends on the conditions of an offer.
Student loans in Belgium have friendly rates of between 0 and 3%. They also tend to have grace periods, whose length is determined by the entity.
The repayment of these loans is also more comfortable than other loans due to long repayment periods.
Characteristics of student credits
Saying student credits are better than other loans is not enough because conditions offered by different entities vary. Hence, it’s important to know what a good loan is by taking a 360-degree view of its characteristics, terms, and conditions.
- Interest rates: the average rate of student loans in Belgium is between 0% and 3%. Anything higher than this is considered expensive.
- Commissions: many banks charge commissions. Hence, you’ll need to look out for commissions before signing up for an offer
- Once you start repaying the student credit, the entity might require you to pay a repayment fee that falls between 1 and 2%
- If choosing to pay your loan in advance, you’ll be required to pay an early repayment fee which is somewhere between 0.5% and 1%. The repayment fee is cheaper if the loan is advanced in the last year of repayment
- Endorsements and guarantees. If taking out loans while unemployed the entity will ask your parent to act as a guarantor.
Requirements to be able to apply for a loan as a student
While the requirements for student credits are more lenient than other loan types, it’s crucial to meet all the spelled-out requirements to reduce the chances of our application being disapproved.
Below are the requirements:
- Be of the right age. In cases where the loan is taken out to finance a minor’s studies, the parent will be required to be the holder
- Some entities only allow parents to take out the loan
- The applicant should have a balanced “debt to income ratio.” If not, the lender will not have confidence in financing them
- Have some form of income. This will demonstrate your ability to assume the loan repayment. Guarantors come in in cases where the applicant is unemployed.
- Provide proof of payment. The lender will need to see your fee structure or proof of scholarship if taking out a scholarship advance before they process the funds
- In some situations, the lender may offer loans to applicants without income and require them to start repayment later when they get employment. Many times, repayment starts after completing studies.
- Scholarship advances don’t require employment or guarantors as they are taken out for a short time and repaid in full once the student receives the scholarship funds. The same applies to loans for studying abroad.
- Be a Belgian resident. You’ll need to be holding a residence permit, whether temporary or permanent. Entities have also curated loans for expats.
Meeting all the requirements will ease the loan processing and reduce the hassle of going back and forth with the entity.
Can I get a student loan if I don’t work?
This greatly depends on entities. Some entities might provide loans to students without employment and require them to reimburse them at the end of their studies when they are employed. In this case, the loanee will not have to worry about repaying interests in the course of his career. Moreover, he is a better person at the time of repayment and can comfortably clear the loan.
However, some loans don’t provide loans to holders without income. Many times, they will require the parent or guardian to act as a guarantor, be the holder, or a co-owner. The parent or guardian will be required to have a stable source of income. Some entities will allow for only one holder.
There are study credits that can be paid later
Many students prefer taking out a loan and repaying it later after getting employment. The loan is considered a good debt since the applicant took it out as a minor and will be repaying it as a professional.
About this page, our methodology
What this page is for: we’re out to help you get the most compatible financial product to your needs and peculiarities. Hence, we marshal all the necessary information about consumer credits including the best offers in the market, how to compare them and end up with the best offer.
Source: the information regarding consumer credits in Belgium and how they are regulated is drawn from the Financial Services and Markets Authority, and the National Bank of Belgium.
Methodology: The data relating to the conditions of these products (amount, term, interest, etc.) have been obtained through online research and consultation of the official statistics of the aforementioned reference sources.
About FUNDGECKO: we are an online comparator website that helps users with little knowledge about financing. We equip the user with the most recent and reliable information regarding consumer credits, how best they can compare them, and end up with the most suitable option.
Note: the services we offer are totally free for the user, as FUNDGECKO obtains its income from advertising and its featured products.