Student loans with Lånekassen (the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund)

What is involved in taking out a student loan?

The following are characteristics of student loans:

  • part of a loan can be converted to a grant
  • interest-free while you are studying fulltime
  • includes debt insurance which covers you in the event of disability or death
  • include several associated social welfare schemes

What are student loans?

Most students in Norway have student loans provided by Lånekassen. They need them to cover the cost of housing, food and study materials. Loans provided by Lånekassen are not quite the same as loans provided by banks. Loans provided by us have several advantages compared to other loans.

This is the difference between grants and loans

Most students pursuing further education only receive grants. Grants are funds you are not required to repay. For higher education, such as universities, colleges or vocational colleges, a combination and loans and grants is common. Loans are money that you have to repay with interest at a later date.

Part of a student loan can be converted into a grant

Up to 40% of loans received for higher education loans can be converted into grants. In order to be able to convert a loan into a grant, you must not be living with your parents, you must qualify successfully and your income/wealth must be below a given threshold.

You can apply for a reduced loan

You can choose to apply for just that part of a loan that can subsequently be converted into a grant. If you subsequently meet the conversion conditions, your entire debt will be deleted.

Schemes for different life circumstances

When applying for student loans, Lånekassen undertakes an assessment to see if you are entitled to other grants or loans. For example, this might apply if you have to pay tuition fees, have children, are over 30 years old or have impaired functional abilities. If you become ill or have children while you are studying, we also have schemes for such contingencies.

Your loan is interest-free while you are studying

Provided that you receive a loan and/or grant from us for full-time education, your loan will be interest-free.

This means that your loan will not cost anything while you are studying. Furthermore, you do not need to pay back your loan while you are studying full-time with the support of Lånekassen.

Young male with laptop. Photo.

Repayment of student loans

When you have finished your education you must start repaying the loan. There is a payment free period of about seven months after you have fisnished.

You will pay instalments and interest when you are no longer studying

The loan you are left with after part of it has been converted into a grant, must be repaid. Interest will be added to your loan with effect from the date of completion of your studies and until it has been fully repaid.

Interest rates at Lånekassen are amended six times per year, and they are more or less the same as the rates that apply to ordinary housing loans.

Social welfare schemes that apply when you repay your loan

If you become disabled, sick, or end up in other situations that cause you to have a low income, you can have some of your loan deleted, or your interest can be deleted.

Furthermore, everyone can defer repayment of their bill up to 36 times, i.e. the equivalent of three years in total.

Student loans are personal

Unlike bank loans, student loans are provided without collateral in a house or other assets. If the holder of a loan dies, the loan will be deleted.

Debts vary after graduation

The amount of debt that you have after you have completed your studies will depend on how long you have been studying for, whether or not you have been studying in Norway or abroad and whether or not you took out a full loan.

If you have a basic loan, which is the name of the type of loan held by most students, and if 40% of that loan is converted into a grant, you can expect a total debt of approximately NOK 250,000 after having held a student loan for three years.

If you have taken out a loan for tuition fees, studied abroad or do not meet the conditions for conversion, you must expect your debt to be higher.

You must pay each month

Below you can calculate approximately how much of your student loan you will need to pay back each month.

Most people pay off their loans within 20 years

The usual repayment time is 20 years, and most people manage to pay off their loans during this period.

If your debt is low, the repayment period will be shorter, and you can choose to pay it off faster if you want to.

Grants and loans
Read about what grants and loans you are entitled to.
Interest and fees
Read about interrest rates and fees .
Read about converting loans to grants.
Are you a refugee?
Read about refugee grant


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