FH Bielefeld
University of
Applied Sciences

Financial Aid during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Facts about financial aid for students during the Coronavirus pandemic

The Coronavirus pandemic poses financial challenges for many students. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) provides tempoary aid for struggling students who are facing financial hardships due to the current situation. The general idea is that students can quickly receive help in form of a bridging loan. This way, they are not forced to abandon their studies.


How exactly does the loan work?

Students can apply for an interest-free loan from the KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau) from 8 May 2020 until 31 March 2021. These loans are provided for students from EU Member States who have been staying in Germany permanently for three years or less. Students from non-EU countries can apply from 1 June 2020.

The BMBF will assume the interest on KfW student loans until 31 March 2021. After that date, the interest rate must be borne by the students. The loan can be drawn up to a maximum of €650 per month, depending on requirements, and can be applied for online.

The temporary interest-free nature of the student loan also applies to those students who are already receiving financial aid in form of a KfW student loan.


What are the rules for repayment?

The usual, very flexible repayment modalities of the KfW student loans apply.

The following repayment regulation applies: a grace period of 6 to 23 months, during which the loan generally bears interest, but no repayment is required. In the subsequent repayment phase, the minimum repayment is €20 per month. There is a maximum repayment period of 25 years and the loan must be repaid by the age of 67 at the latest.

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Who can apply for help?

The KfW student loan is available to students of higher education institutions in Germany (18 to 44 years old)  who meet one of the following requirements:

  • German citizen with a registered address in Germany
  • Family member of a German citizen who stays in Germany with him/her and is registered here
  • EU citizen who has been a legal resident in Germany for at least three years and is registered here
  • Family member of such an EU citizen who is staying in Germany with him/her and is registered here
  • Bildungsinländer and registered in Germany

Foreign students – i.e. third-country nationals and EU citizens who have been living in Germany for less than three years – can also take advantage of the loan, provided they have their primary residence in Germany.