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Student Loans

What is a student loan?

Undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students who need financial support may apply for student loans. As per new regulations, effective as of January 1, 2019, students may apply for loans throughout the course of the whole year.

Undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students, who are in need of financial support, may take advantage of a government funding scheme and apply for student loans provided by the Student Loan Fund (Fundusz Kredytów Studenckich). The loans are granted for the duration of studies, for the maximum period of 6 years and in the case of doctoral studies, for the maximum period of 4 years. The term of a loan does not include sabbaticals. Loan payouts are suspended during sabbaticals.

Students receive monthly loan payouts for 10 months, throughout the academic year. Students must begin to pay back student loans two years after graduating. The term of the loan repayment is twice as long as the term of the loan payouts, for example if students receive 20 loan payouts, they must pay back the total loan amount in 40 instalments.

Preferential terms and conditions of student loans include:

  • low interest rates
  • possibility of a loan guarantee provided by the Polish national development bank (Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK))
  • possibility of lowering or increasing loan payments
  • payment of the loan differed by two years after graduation
  • possibility to be granted a partial or a full loan waiver

Who may apply for a student loan?

  • Undergraduate and graduate students who are no more than 30 years of age
  • Doctoral students who are no more than 35 years of age

University candidates may also apply for student loans, however before signing the loan contract, they must provide a document confirming that they have been accepted to an undergraduate, graduate or a doctoral program at a university.

Non-Polish nationals may also apply for student loans, providing they meet the following criteria:

  • they have been granted a residency status in Poland or a long-term residency in the EU
  • they have been granted a temporary residency status due to the circumstances referred to in Article 159, section 1 or Article 186, section 1, point 3 or 4 of the Act of 12 December 2013 on Foreigners
  • they have been granted a refugee status by the Republic of Poland or are under temporary or subsidiary protection on the territory of the Republic of Poland
  • they hold a certificate confirming their Polish language proficiency at the minimum level of CEFR C1
  • they hold a Polish Card or a certificate confirming Polish ancestry or are a spouse, an ancestor or a descendant of a Polish national, residing at the territory of the Republic of Poland

The main criterion assessed by the lenders during the loan evaluation process is the applicant’s income. The maximum level of family monthly income per capita, allowing students to apply for student loans, is set by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education annually. In the academic year 2020/2021 this amount was set at PLN 3,000.

Banks offering student loans

The following banks offer student loans:

  • PKO Bank Polski S.A.
  • Bank PEKAO S.A.
  • Bank Polskiej Spółdzielczości S.A. (including associated credit unions
  • SGB-Bank S.A. (including associated credit unions

How to apply for a student loan?

Step 1: select a bank – before applying, check the requirements listed by the bank, including what documents are required to assess your credit rating, your loan capacity, the collaterals of your loan and your potential guarantor(s).

Step 2: submit your loan application online or in hard copy. Loan applications are accepted throughout the whole year. You should attach the following documents to your loan application:

  • a declaration confirming total family income and the number of family members for the previous year
  • a confirmation of your student status or a document confirming that you have applied to an undergraduate, graduate or a doctoral program – you can obtain these documents from your Office of Student Affairs or from the Admissions Office
  • other documents required by the lending institution to assess your loan capacity and collaterals. If you do not meet the bank’s lending requirements, you may apply to Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego, or if you live in a farming community, to the Agency for Restructuring and Modernisation of Agriculture (ARMA), asking them to provide a guarantee of your loan repayment.

In the loan application, you must select one of the available loan amounts. Students may receive PLN 400, PLN 600, PLN 800 or PLN 1,000 per month in student loans.

Step 3: signing the student loan contract. Detailed conditions of the loan are described in the loan contract, for example:

  • the term of student loan
  • the start date for the monthly loan payouts
  • the process of confirming an undergraduate, graduate or a doctoral student status
  • the loan repayment schedule
  • the loan interest rate

Loan waivers, deferments, and lower monthly installments

Loan repayment installments may be lowered to equal 20 percent of the borrower’s monthly average income. In case of a difficult personal situation, borrowers may apply for a deferment of their student loan, for a period of up to 12 months.

Borrowers may also apply to the lending institution for a student loan waiver in the following circumstances:

  • 50% waiver when the borrower graduated in the top 1 percent of students, in a given academic year
  • 35% waiver when the borrower graduated in the group of top 1.01 to 5 percent of students, in a given academic year
  • 20% waiver when the borrower graduated in the group of top 5.01 to 10 percent of students, in a given academic year

To obtain the waiver, graduates should provide a confirmation of their academic achievement, together with their application, to their lending institution.

Student loans may be partially or fully waived in case of an exceptionally difficult personal situation or in case of a permanent loss of the ability to repay the loan.

For more information, please refer to the following webpages (in Polish):