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HYY: Make the student loan more risk-free

15.05.2012

Statement 15.5.2012

The Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) requires that student loan should be developed to be more risk-free. Student loan repayment should only begin when the student has achieved an adequate level of income after graduation, and it should be possible to take out the student loan retroactively. Taking out the loan should not be made compulsory, and the emphasis of student financial aid should remain on the study grant.

"Many students do not take out the loan because of uncertain prospects. We demand that student loan is made risk-free in order to be a real alternative for students", says Jannica Aalto, Chair of HYY Board.

In the current economic and employment situation, getting into debt at a young age seems to be an unnecessary risk. Students do not take out the student loan particularly in those fields where employment is uncertain. HYY supports the model where student loan will be repaid only after a certain income level has been achieved after graduation. This student loan model is used in the United States and the Great Britain, for example.

Another important reform would be the opportunity to take out the student loan retroactively, which would give students the opportunity to decide for themselves when they want to use the available support. In this way, students could also take out their unused loan from the previous years.

"Life circumstances and the need for money change during the studies. A student loan, which could be taken out retroactively, can help in surprising situations and provide the opportunity to focus on writing one's Master's thesis, for example, if students do not have to work at the same time. This could also speed up their graduation", says Aalto.

In HYY's opinion, the whole social security system should be simplified by introducing the basic income. HYY wishes that state administration would extensively investigate the effects of various basic income models so that the discussion on basic income could move from dreams to feasible solutions.

Jannica Aalto, Chair of the Board
Katariina Styrman, Secretary General

More information: Heidi Vesterinen, Board Member, 050 325 9175, heidi.vesterinen(at)hyy.fi