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Interest

Do you have a performance-related grant or a loan? If so, then that will be subject to interest. In recent years, the interest rate has remained at 0%. With effect from 1 January 2023, the interest charged to all students will increase:

  • For MBO students and HBO and university students covered by the old system the interest rate for 2023 will be 1.78%.
  • For HBO and university students covered by the loan system the interest rate for 2023 will be 0.46%.
De rente in 2022 is 0%. Vanaf 2023 gaat de rente omhoog. De rente voor mbo'ers en voor studenten onder het oude stelsel wordt dan 1,78%. Voor studenten onder het leenstelsel wordt de rente 0,46%.

Have you discontinued your studies and now need to repay your student debt? If so, the interest charged will only increase if your fixed-rate period (or new fixed-rate period) commences in 2023. You can read more about this further down this page.

Why the interest has changed

The student loan system was introduced in 2015. This resulted in differences in the way in which interest was calculated. You haven’t noticed that change because, in recent years, the interest rate has remained at 0% (almost).

The interest is calculated as follows:

  • Under the student loan system, students have 35 years in which to pay off their student debt. Their interest rate depends on the average yield of 5-year bonds from the start of October to the end of September the following year. In other words, a period of 12 months.
  • Secondary vocational education (MBO) students and students covered by the old system must repay their student debt within 15 years. Their interest rate depends on the average yield of 3-year to 5-year bonds in September. In other words, the interest due for that month alone.

The average interest rate over a period of 12 months may differ from the interest rate in September alone. Hence the percentages may differ.

Who sets the interest rate?

Each year, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) sets the interest rate charged on student loans. That interest rate is linked to the interest rate that the government pays for loans on the capital market. These are referred to as government bonds. In recent years, the interest rate on government bonds has been very low. This has been reflected by the interest rate on student loans. Interest rates are now rising again, due to inflation. As a result, the state now has to pay more for its loans. This, in turn, has pushed up the interest on student loans.

How much interest will I pay per month?

In 2023 you will be charged 1,78% or 0,46% interest. This is the percentage per year. From this you can derive the tax rate per month. The tax rate per month is lower than the tax rate per year.

Example 0.46%

Interest rate per year: 0.46%
Interest rate per month = 0.00038253 (approximately)

Total student debt: € 10,000
Interest per year: (€ 10,000 x 0.0046 =) €46
Interest per month: (€ 10,000 x 0.00038253 =) €3.83

Example 1.78%

Interest rate per year: 1.78%
Interest rate per month = 0.00147137 (approximately)

Total student debt: € 10,000
Interest per year: (€ 10,000 x 0.0178 =) € 178
Interest per month: (€ 10,000 x 0.00147137 =) € 14.71

Interest added each month

The interest calculated over the current month is added on the 1st of the new month. You will then see the new amount of your debt in Mijn DUO. If you make a payment, we take the date of your payment into account when calculating the interest.

How interest works for students

You start to accrue student debt from your 1st month of a performance-related grant or loan. That debt is then subject to interest. The government sets the applicable percentage of interest. This is referred to as the ‘interest rate’. While you are pursuing your studies, the interest rate is always fixed for 1 year. This means it can be higher one year and lower the next, or it may stay the same.

The interest is added every month. The interest is calculated based on your total student debt at that time. That is the amount of your debt plus any interest that has already accrued. So you are paying interest on interest. This is referred to as ‘compound interest’.

Voorbeeld van samengestelde interest. Het plaatje laat zien dat over de rente die u al hebt opgebouwd, ook weer rente loopt. De rente op uw studieschuld wordt dus iedere maand steeds meer.

If you obtain a diploma, your performance-related grant is converted into a gift, including any interest.

What to do as a student
  • Calculate your ultimate level of student debt, and how much interest this involves.
  • Reduce your loan, if necessary. This way, you will accrue less student debt, so you ultimately pay less interest.
Interest rates in recent years
Year Interest rate (%)
2022 0.00
2021 0.00
2020 0.00
2019 0.00
2018 0.00
2017 0.00
2016 0.01
2015 0.12
2014 0.81
2013 0.60
2012 1.39
2011 1.50
2010 2.39
2009 3.58
2008 4.17
2007 3.70
2006 2.74

How interest works when repaying a student debt

Have you completed your studies and now need to repay your student debt? If so, the interest rate is always fixed for 5 years, from the start of your preliminary phase. This is referred to as the ‘fixed-rate period’. You will then pay the same interest rate for 5 years. The interest rate will subsequently be reset, once again for 5 years. Check Mijn DUO for details of your current interest rate and its period of validity.

The interest on your total residual debt is calculated month by month. That is the amount of your debt plus any interest that has already accrued. So you are paying interest on interest. This is referred to as ‘compound interest’.

Voorbeeld van de rentevaste periode. Het plaatje laat zien dat zolang u studeert, de rente steeds voor 1 jaar wordt vastgezet. Als u klaar bent met studeren, wordt de rente steeds voor 5 jaar vastgezet. Dat begint vanaf uw aanloopfase, die 2 jaar duurt, en loopt door tot en met de eerste 3 jaar van uw aflosfase. Samen is dit 5 jaar. Daarna begint een nieuwe rentevaste periode, ook weer van 5 jaar. En dat gebeurt iedere 5 jaar opnieuw, tot u klaar bent met aflossen.

Examples fixed-rate period

Example 1

Saskia graduated from her secondary vocational education (MBO) programme in 2017. She has taken out a loan, so she has a student debt. As a result, her preliminary phase commenced with effect from 2018.

  • The interest rate for 2018 was 0.00%. This rate was fixed for a period of 5 years. This means that, from the start of January 2018 to the end of December 2022, Saskia will pay no interest on her student debt.
  • In January 2023, Saskia will commence a new fixed-rate period. At that point in time, the interest rate will be 1.78%. Thus, commencing in 2023, Saskia will pay 1.78% interest on her debt. Once again, this will apply for a period of 5 years, up to the end of December 2027.
  • In 2028, Saskia will commence the next fixed-rate period. For the following 5 years she will be subject to the 2028 interest rate.

Example 2

Anton discontinued his studies in 2014, without obtaining a diploma. He has a student debt. As a result, his preliminary phase commenced with effect from 2015.

  • The interest rate for 2015 was 0.12%. This rate was fixed for a period of 5 years. This means that, from the start of January 2015 to the end of December 2019, Anton paid 0.12% interest on his student debt.
  • In January 2020, Anton commenced a new fixed-rate period. At that point in time, the interest rate was 0.00%. Thus, since 2020, Anton has paid no interest on his debt. Once again, this applies for a period of 5 years, up to the end of December 2024.
  • In 2025, Anton will commence the next fixed-rate period. For the following 5 years he will be subject to the 2025 interest rate.
What to do if you have a student debt

In November you will be informed about your interest rate and the amount of your monthly repayments.

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