BAföG - Why?Read out
1. What does BAföG have to offer?
Apart from being supported by your parents or receiving a scholarship, BAföG is the cheapest possibility of financing your studies. BAföG is intended for students who do not have a sufficient amount of income, assets or financial support from their parents.
The good thing about it is that half the amount does not need to be repaid! The other half does need to be repaid, but it’s an interest-free loan. It will be hard to find better conditions for a loan. And repayments only start 5 years after you have completed your studies.
In some cases, BAföG can even be received for a second course of studies, for instance, if the course of study is required for a specific profession.
2. Would it not be better to get a job?
Of course, if you have additional income from a job, you won’t need to repay any money at a later stage. And Munich and its surrounding is, in any case, very expensive, so that many students need to have an extra job anyway.
But does it make sense to spend an extreme amount of time working and only having half your energy left for your studies? Or even dropping out of university because you took on too much?
Then better apply for BAföG! It’s possible to have an extra job while receiving BAföG. If you don’t earn more than an average of 520 euros a month before tax (current Minijob limit), nothing gets deducted from your BAföG funding (except in some special cases, such as mandatory internships).
3. Are other loans not easier to obtain?
BAföG may seem quite bureaucratic. However, it’s unrivalled if you consider the costs. Cheaper than keeping half of it and not paying any interest on the loan part of it does not exist. And even a small amount of funding is worthwhile if you see it as hourly wages for filling in the forms.
Besides, applying for BAföG is completely free of charge. Private lenders often charge something for supporting you fill in and submit the application. That’s something you can definitely avoid. Our BAföG Advisory Services are always happy to help.
4. And what about scholarships?
Of course, it makes sense to primarily rely on your scholarship. You might even receive BAföG on top of it; up to 300 euros a month don’t get deducted from your funding. This applies to scholarships that are based on talent and academic achievements.
5. Will I not go into debt if I receive BAföG?
Yes, half of the BAföG you’ll receive is a loan. But there’s no interest on it!
That’s a major advantage, especially when repayment stretches over a longer period of time. The loan is limited to a maximum of 10,010 euros for both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree together, no matter how much funding you receive. If you repay high instalments, you can even receive a considerable discount – up to 21 percent.
Therefore, many students have to repay a lot less than half of the BAföG they received. A student who receives the maximum amount (family insurance) will currently be paid a total of 45,120 euros for ten semesters – Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. Half of it is a loan; however, it is limited to 10,010 euros. If the loan is repaid in a single payment, only 7,900 euros need to be paid. In that case, 82 percent of the funding received would not need to be repaid at all!
Repayments are furthermore dependent on income. If you have little income, you can apply for your repayments to be deferred for a certain amount of time. Minimum monthly instalments currently amount to 130 euros. If you cannot afford that, you can ask to defer repayment. Further information on this topic can be obtained with the Federal Office of Administration.
And if someone really doesn’t manage to repay their loan: After the 77th instalment, they are released from repaying their remaining debts! (this applies to loans from 09/2019 and not for full loans that are granted in the special case of completing your studies late)
In short – no one needs to fear excessive debts when receiving BAföG.
6. How do I know whether or not I can receive BAföG?
Only the Educational Assistance Offices can ultimately determine whether or not you will receive BAföG. Thus it is always safest to at least submit an application.
Several services can be found online that aim to calculate the probable amount of your BAföG. But, certain legal regulations are often not explained or taken into account correctly on these pages. It might also easily happen that you miss some important information and are thus wrongly convinced that you won’t receive any BAföG. If you are unsure, do get in touch with our Advisory Services!
7. Is it worthwhile to apply again even if an application of mine was rejected in the past?
Yes, that might very well be the case. Your parents’ income, your own assets or your siblings’ current situation in life – all of this can influence our calculations. If there were any changes concerning these points, 15 euros funding can quickly turn into 250 euros. You can find some examples on www.bafög.de. You might also receive BAföG for semesters taken abroad, even if you would not get any funding in Germany.
8. Also a financing option for semesters taken abroad
There might also be the possibility of receiving BAföG when studying abroad. Get in touch with the offices in charge for more information: www.bafög.de