Determination and repayment notice (§ 18 para 5a BAföG, § 10 Loan Regulation)
Six months before the due date (ie approximately 4.5 years after the end of the maximum funding period, see above), the Federal Office of Administration will send you a so-called “Feststellungs-und Rückzahlungsbescheid”. In the assessment decision, it lists the loan debt and sets the maximum funding period. The repayment order contains the repayment plan and the repayment start. In addition, the Office will inform you about the possibility of early repayment with the highest possible discount for you.
If you believe that the loan amount is incorrect or the report contains other false statements, you can defend yourself by filing an appeal within one month of notification of the notice.
Important: If the Federal Office of Administration first has to find out your address in order to be able to send you the notification, you will incur additional costs. It is therefore advisable to let him know when your address or name changes. The averaging is also possible online.
Repayment modalities (§ 18 BAföG)
- The monthly installments are at least 105 euros.
- The installments are to be paid in each case for 3 months in a sum.
- The repayment must be made within 20 years.
- The total repayment amount is a maximum of 10,000 euros. For Bachelor-Master combinations, this applies to both courses together.
- Interest will not accrue unless you are overdue by more than 45 days in repaying a loan installment. Possible default interest is due to the entire loan (residual) debt, not just the single installment!
- For low incomes, you can be exempt from the repayment obligation for one year.
- For early repayment, you will be granted a discount on the loan (residual) debt.
- If you have completed your studies before January 1, 2013, you can apply for a partial waiver for good academic achievements or quick study within one month of the announcement of the notice of recovery and repayment.
Exemption from the repayment obligation (§ 18a BAföG)
The repayment of the government loan is income-dependent. This means that if your income is not enough to pay off the installments, you can be exempted from the repayment obligation for one year at a time. It will not bother you, but you can pay back the outstanding installments later. An exemption is possible if your net income in the application month does not exceed the allowance or the sum of the deductions relevant to you in the table below.
|For you as Borrower (in)||1,145 euros|
|For your Spouse / partner, if he is not in training that can be funded with BAföG or SGB III||570 euros
The amount is reduced by the income of the spouse / life partner.
|For every child living in your household *, if it is not in training that can be funded with BAföG or SGB III||520 euros
The amount is reduced by the income of the child.
|at Disabled and single parents According to Section 18a (1) sentence 6 BAföG, further amounts may be disregarded.|
* For details, see section 25 (5) BAföG, to which section 18a (1) sentence 4 BAföG refers.
The exemption from the repayment obligation is only possible on request. Retroactively, it takes place for a maximum of 4 months prior to the application month.
The Federal Office of Administration assumes that you have the same income in each month of the exemption period as in the application month. Should your income increase, you are obliged to inform the Office. The same applies in the event that other changes occur that are relevant to the exemption.
Reduction for early repayment (§ 18 para. 5b BAföG)
You can also repay the state loan in full before the first quarterly installment becomes due. The advantage is that you will be granted a discount on the loan debt in this case. For this purpose, await the determination and repayment notice of the Federal Office of Administration, in which you will be informed of the highest possible estate. A (still) earlier repayment brings you no further advantages. Alternatively, you can start repaying the installments and settle the remaining loan debt in full at a later date. The rule is that the higher the loan (residual) not yet due, the higher the discount. Details can be found in the following tables:
|Repayment amount for the loan until (in €)||estate||payment amount|
|24,000 (and more)||50.5%||11,880 €|
Partial Decree (only at the end of education before 1.1.2013, § 18b BAföG)
Previously, there were several ways to get a part of the loan debt waived. These have all been abolished in the meantime. Only loan recipients who have completed their training before 1 January 2013 will benefit from the partial waiver for good performance and quick study.
Of the Partial decree for good services assumes that you belong to the top 30 percent of your graduating class and have completed your training at the latest 12 months after the expiration of the maximum period of support in Germany.
You will be released
- 25 percent of the loan debt if you have completed your degree within the maximum funding period;
- 20 percent of the loan debt if you have graduated within 6 months of the end of the maximum funding period;
- 15% of the loan debt if you have graduated within 12 months of the end of the maximum funding period.
For apprentices at academies and higher technical schools, the partial remission always amounts to 20 percent regardless of the time of graduation.
Prerequisite of Partial decree for quick study is that you completed your studies ahead of time. If you fall short of the regular support period of 4 months, you will be waived € 2,560 and € 1,025 of the total loan debt if the regular support period of 2 months.
If you wish to claim a partial waiver, you must apply to the Federal Office of Administration within one month of receipt of the notice of recovery and reimbursement (informal).
Repayment of the bank loan
In a few cases, apprentices at universities, colleges and academies receive BAföG funding only in the form of an interest-bearing bank loan. This applies above all to the degree aid and the longer study period caused by a second change of subject. The loan is granted by the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), to which it has to be repaid later. The details of the repayment are regulated by § 18c BAföG, if applicable in connection with the respective loan agreement, insofar as deviating agreements have been made.
Redemption commencement (section 18c (6) sentence 2 BAföG)
The obligation to repay begins 18 months after the end of the month in which you were last funded by bank loans.
Repayment modalities (Section 18c (7) and 8 BAföG)
Before the repayment begins, you will receive a repayment plan. In this KfW announces the following:
- the amount of the loan debt,
- the amount of deferred interest,
- the interest rate regulation that applies to you,
- the amount of monthly repayment amounts and
- the repayment period.
KfW coordinates the repayment plan with the Federal Administra- tion Office, which is responsible for the repayment of the government loan. This is important because the bank loan is repayable before the government loan and the repayment period for both loans together increases to 22 years. If you only use the bank loan, you have 20 years to repay.
The repayment installments amount to at least 105 euros per month and are payable for a total of 3 consecutive months (315 euros).
From the beginning of the repayment, in each case at the interest rate adjustment dates at the end of March and at the end of September, you can agree a fixed interest rate with KfW for the remaining term of the loan – but no later than 10 years. You must submit a corresponding application one month in advance to KfW, which then sends you a corresponding offer.
Early repayment (§ 18c para. 9 BAföG)
You can repay all or part of the bank loan at any time. However, a discount on the loan debt is not associated with this.
Withholding and installment discount
If you do not have enough money to pay the installments, you can apply to KfW for deferral of repayment or reduction of installments. There is a separate form for this on KfW’s website. In addition, you must submit proof of income. The deferral usually takes one year. During this time, interest rates continue to run.
Differences in repayment
Here are the differences between government and bank loans at a glance:
|State loans||Bank loans|
|Start of repayment||5 years after the end of the maximum funding period||18 months after disbursement of the last funding amount in the form of the bank loan|
|Exemption from the repayment obligation for low income||Yes||only possibility of deferral or rate reduction; the interest rates continue|
|Reduction of the loan debt for early repayment||Yes||No|
|Partial waiver for good performance or quick study||only possibility of deferral or rate reduction; the interest rates continue||No|
Author: Nicola Pridik
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