Support for students

Student Loan Fund

The purpose of the Student Loan Fund (previously: the Student Loan and Credit Fund) is to broaden the accessibility of higher education through a system of preferential student loans advanced by lending institutions.

BGK administers the Fund in the area of transferring payments to the lending institutions. Financial assistance is provided to students in the form of interest subsidies and covering the financial cost of total or partial loan cancellation.

The Bank pays the entire interest on loans during the borrower’s studies and for two years of the grace period between graduation and the repayment start date. Student loans with an interest subsidy from the state budget have been available in the market since 1998 and thanks to the introduced changes related to sureties and cancellation they have become popular in the academic environment.

BGK supports the Ministry of Education and Science in improving the quality of Polish higher education institutions
and Polish science. The cancellation system rewards the best students, promotes best practices and establishes a good model. The SLF helps future staff members in acquiring higher qualifications and promotes good academic performance.

Since the launch of the student loan subsidy programme, students have submitted a total of about 577 thousand loan applications. Income criteria entitling to priority in applying for a student loan were met by approximately 504 thousand applicants, i.e. some 87% of all applicants. During this period, the lending institutions advanced approximately 406.7 thousand loans to students.

The Fund’s lending activity in 2018–2020

Year Number of applications submitted Income threshold
(in PLN)
Number of persons who met the income criterion Number of
signed agreements
Number of agreements/number of persons who met the income criterion (%)
2018/2019 4,067 2500 (net) 4,052 3,683 90%
2019* 2,594 2500 (net) 2,594 2,166 83.5%
2020 1,968 2500/3000
(net)
1,968 1,572 80%

* Since 1 January 2019 data has been presented by calendar year instead of academic year.

Sureties for student loans

Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego provides sureties to lending banks for portfolios of student loans in connection with the implementation of the government programme “Support of Entrepreneurship with Sureties and Guarantees of Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego”. The surety is granted for the term of the student loan and additional three months; the collateral in favour of BGK in the case of claims arising from the performance of the surety agreement is a blank promissory note issued by the borrower, while the commission fee for providing the surety is 1.5% of the part of the monthly student loan tranche covered by the surety. The decision on whether a given student loan is eligible for being covered by BGK’s surety is made by the lending bank based on the terms set out in the concluded surety agreements regarding a student loan portfolio.

The main changes recently introduced in the student loan surety system include:

  • covering with BGK’s surety of 100% of the used loan principal together with interest (previously, the surety covered only the student loan principal);
  • increase of the threshold of income per member of the family of the student entitled to receive a student loan surety to PLN 2,500 (up by PLN 1,000).

Concurrently, following the change no sureties will be provided to cover 90% of the student loan amount.

The surety for the repayment of a student loan will amount to 100% of the used loan principal together with interest, without any other costs related to a loan advanced, for:

  1. students whose income per family member does not exceed PLN 2,500;
  2. students who have been fully deprived of the care of their natural parents or who have been partially or fully deprived of the care of their natural parents and have been placed in a care and education centre, adjustment or rehabilitation centre, excluding rehabilitation centre operating on a 24/7, stay or periodical basis, regardless of the level of income.

The above changes are introduced in connection with a consistent decrease in the number of student loans covered by BGK’s surety in the last three years. In talks with BGK, lending banks also reported that the reason why they did not advance student loans was the need to obtain collateral for the remaining amount of the loan not covered by BGK’s surety, as well as interest, as students had limited ability to provide collateral in the form of a third party surety. Therefore, the Bank decided that covering 100% of the risk may constitute an additional significant incentive for lending banks to advance student loans.

Start-up 2U

“Start-up 2U” is a continuation of the “Good Business Day” series – meetings for students and graduates of higher education institutions. The meetings take place as part of cooperation with higher education institutions across Poland and are addressed to persons who consider setting up their own business, as well as those who seek inspiration and learn about the beginnings of careers of well-known business people – business mentors. A workshop panel is held at each meeting, during which various issues are discussed, such as creativity in business or building a company’s business model. We also provide information on the possibilities of financing business concepts and supporting young companies that would like to develop their potential. During the conference, the Bank promotes, inter alia, EU loans for business growth and for the development of tourism, loans for technological innovations and student loans.

The Start-up 2U events not only inspire future entrepreneurs to pursue professional advancement, but also show the social side of business, which involves, for example, the implementation of innovative projects, creating new jobs and hiring unemployed persons.

First Business – Start-Up Support

The “First Business – Start-Up Support” programme offers low-interest loans for business start-ups, loans for job creation and free consulting and training services. Apart from unemployed persons, graduates and carers of disabled people, beneficiaries of a loan for setting up a business may include final year students (of first, second or long cycle programmes).

For more information see:  “Start-Up Aid”