Sat. Jun 3rd, 2023

In utmost cases, studying at German universities is free of charge for foreign scholars. But indeed living costs can come a huge chain on the way to a degree. Have you ever allowed about how you can finance your studies as anon-EU pupil in Germany?

There are multitudinous possibilities from fiscal support from your parents to colorful kinds of part- time jobs during your studies, to – if you ’re a little lucky – backing from a education foundation. By the way, you can find further information about literacy in Germany then, so be sure to take a look. In this composition, still, we will dive deeper into the content of pupil loans, which can help you secure your studies financially.

Risk of confusion: student loan vs. student credit

Before we explain the different types of student loans for foreign students from non-EU countries, we would like to draw your attention to the difference in meaning between a student loan and a student credit. On the internet, some authors use these terms interchangeably, which can often lead to confusion.

A student loan is a loan that is made available specifically to students for the purpose of financing their living expenses, e.g., study costs, expenses for food, clothing, etc. It is important to note that the money is paid out to students in instalments over a longer period of time.

A student credit, on the other hand, is a loan that is paid out in the form of a one-off total amount by a bank or other credit providers. It is not usually used to cover financial needs throughout your studies, but rather for one-off, larger expenses for which you currently have no reserves, e.g., for a new mobile phone, when moving to a new city or similar cases. The following article focuses solely on student loans.

Which student loans are students from non-EU countries eligible for?

The range of pupil loan providers in Germany is relatively broad. But when it comes to whether scholars from non-EU countries can make use of them, the number of options shrinks vastly. The decisive factor for granting pupil loans to this group of people is their legal hearthstone status in Germany, which is nearly linked to the nation of the aspirant. In the following, we will show you which options you might be eligible for and under which conditions you can apply for a loan from the applicable providers.

Here is a list of your potential student loan options:

  • BAföG (short for: Federal Training Assistance Act)
  • The education loan from the Federal Office of Administration
  • KfW student loan
  • Student loans from the loan offices of the student unions or student services organizations
  • Private foundations, e.g., E.W. Kohlmann Foundation
  • Student loans from individual banks, e.g., from Sparkasse Herford

In the further course of this article, we will shed light on important details of these loans that may be decisive for you.


As formerly mentioned, Befogs stands for Bundies us buildings foreruns gensets( Federal Training Assistance Act). This is a social benefit handed by the German state that’s designed to enable all prospective scholars to study, anyhow of their fiscal or social situation. In addition to German citizens, foreign scholars are also entitled to admit Befogs. still, there are strict conditions for citizens of non-EU countries. According to this law, you’re only eligible for support if

  • you are a exile, entitled to shelter or are considered to be an shelter candidate with good prospects of remaining( presently, the last point refers to scholars from the following countries Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Somalia);
  • you are permanently abiding in Germany and at least one of your parents has German or another EU nation
  • you are permanently abiding in Germany and your partner or mate has German or another EU nation
  • at least one of your parents has lived in Germany for the last six times and has been gainfully employed for at least three of those times
  • you have lived in Germany for at least five times previous to beginning your studies and have financed your living charges yourself( possession of a agreement permit).

As you can see, the legal conditions then are veritably strict and occasionally confusing. The following can be said in a nutshell If you come to Germany for the purpose of studying and have no relation to Germany as listed over, also unfortunately you aren’t entitled to BAföG. still, if one of the regulations applies to you, you should communicate the pupil services organisation to which your university belongs to find out what happens coming. typically, you’ll be appertained to the BAföG office of your university, with whom you can bandy all farther details.

The education loan from the Federal Office of Administration

This educational loan is handed by the Federal Office of Administration to finance academy education or studies. piecemeal from German scholars, this loan option is available to scholars fromnon-European countries to a limited extent. As with the BAföG, there are veritably analogous conditions under which scholars fromnon-EU countries can apply for this loan. You’re entitled to it if

  • At the time of application, you are the spouse or partner of a German citizen or an EU citizen with a permanent right of residence, or
  • you are the child of a German citizen or an EU citizen with a permanent right of residence, or
  • you have lived in Germany for at least five years before beginning your studies and have financed your own living expenses (= possession of a settlement permit).

As in the case of BAföG, this loan option doesn’t leave you important room for manoeuvre if you come from anon-EU country. still, if you fall under one of these criteria and decide to apply for this pupil loan to finance your studies, click then for further information or to apply directly for the education loan on the gate of the Federal Office of Administration.

The KfW Student Loan

The Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau( KfW) is presumably one of the best- known loan providers for scholars in Germany, so much so that the name KfW- Studienkredit has indeed come a general term for this type of loan. The credit institutions that arrange the KfW Student Loan set their eligibility conditions for aspirants for this loan. For scholars from non-EU countries, this option is only available if they are:

  • family members of German or EU citizens and are registered in Germany, or
  • so-called “Bildungsinländer:innen”. (This refers to foreign students who have acquired their higher education entrance qualification in Germany or at a German school abroad).

If you meet one of these two criteria and are interested in this type of student loan, follow this link to the KfW homepage. There you will find more detailed information and can apply directly online for the student loan.

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