Student loan for adults: it’s a thing!

So you’re between 30 and 55 years old and want to go (back) to school. Chances are, a lot of things have changed in your life. You may have a well-developed career and/or a family to support. Moreover, finances for new endeavors like going back to school may not be readily available, and getting a student loan for adults looks daunting. Combined, these factors may make the entry barrier to a college education look higher for you than for fresh high school graduates.

The good news is, a student loan for adults is readily available if you meet several requirements. The DUO Lifelong Learning Credit may be an attractive option for you if you want something that covers the costs of accredited programs in the Netherlands. On top of that, it has a tolerant payback plan! In this article, we’ll go over exactly who might qualify for the Lifelong Learning Credit, and the logistics of this loan.

student loan for adults

DUO’s Student Loan for Adults - Who is Eligible?

You qualify for the Lifelong Learning Credit if:

  • You’re either a full-time, dual, or part-time student at university or higher vocational education (HBO), or are a full-time BOL-student at secondary vocational education (MBO),
  • Your study program is officially recognized in The Netherlands,
  • You’re from an EEA country or Switzerland,
  • OR you have a residence permit type II, III, IV or V. If you have a residence permit type I, check here to see if you’re able to receive credit.
  • You’re no longer eligible to receive regular student finance or the tuition fee loan.
  • You’re younger than 55 when the lifelong learning credit takes effect.
  • Your tuition costs aren’t being paid or reimbursed in full by any other entity (employer or parents, for example). If someone else is currently paying, you can apply for the Lifelong Learning Credit to cover the remainder of your tuition fees.
  • You may even be eligible if you are younger than 30. You’re in luck if you’re following a part-time or second study program at HBO or University, or if you have an HBO bachelors or university masters.

How much?

You may only borrow the exact amount of the tuition fee. If the amount is of € 2,006 (HBO and university) or € 1,137 (MBO), you will need to provide a statement from your educational institution showing all tuition costs. Lastly, the maximum loan amount is € 10,030.20 per year for HBO or university, and € 5,685 for MBO.

student loan for adults

How does payment work for the Lifelong Learning Credit?

Essentially, the Lifelong Learning Credit is available for the full length of your program. However, one extra year can be allotted if you are following a part-time course.

Second, you receive the payment from the Lifelong Learning Credit at the end of every month, the sum being 1/12th of your yearly loan.

Eventually, you begin to repay the loan the year after you are no longer eligible for the Lifelong Learning Credit. From there on, you have 15 years to pay it off, plus interest (interest rates change annually).

How much you pay per month will be determined by your income. Part of your yearly income is excluded from this calculation. Each month you will pay 1% of that remaining income. Any remaining debt will be canceled after 15 years.

student loan for adults

DUO’s Lifelong Learning Credit – For you?

The Lifelong Learning Credit is a student loan for adults that works itself around your undoubtedly busy life and allows for lenient repayment over a 15-year period. This makes it certainly a promising option for adults between 30 and 55. The loan provides ample room for you to pursue your ambitions at an accredited institution while honing a career or supporting a family on the side (or both!).

Intrigued? You can apply for the Lifelong Learning Credit by logging into Mijn DUO here (you will need a DigID).

For all other questions about financing your education, visit DUO's website.

All the best with your educational endeavours!

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