Trick to keep lower interest rates on student loan

Temporarily pausing your student loans could save huge amounts later.
Magic hat with money Photo Shutterstock

Want to benefit from another five years of lower interest rates on your student debt? There is much interest in a “trick” that may save students thousands of euros.

Students will have to pay 0.46 per cent interest on their student debt as of 1 January. The interest rates are expected to increase further. Savvy students found a loophole.

Split up loan

Mathematics student Joep de Jong from Delft argues that when students take a gap year and pause their student grant, DUO divides their grant into two parts. The interest rate on the first part remains the same for five years. Would the same happen if you paused your grant for just one month?

It did, he tells the TU Delft’s journalistic platform Delta. Other students also discovered the trick. Student Michiel Boeren posted about it on LinkedIn, and NOS op 3 interviewed student Casper de Haes.

Delta and the NOS provide examples of calculations showing that dividing a large student debt could save students thousands of euros.


A DUO spokesperson confirms that the trick is possible but points out that students who apply it will forfeit their grant, travel rights and supplementary grant for a month. ‘These extra expenses must be set off against the sum you save.’

She also warns students must stop and reapply for their grant on time. Students who are almost thirty must be particularly cautious. ‘You can not reapply for a study grant once you have reached thirty. In some cases, it may be better to allow the grant to continue uninterrupted.’

How many students will apply the trick remains to be seen. The articles are frequently shared and liked on Instagram.

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