Half of the BAföG financial aid for students is a grant, which means it’s “a gift”. The other half is paid as an interest-free loan. Even if more loans are taken out during the course of studies, the repayment is limited to € 10,000.

The loan is due to be paid back in monthly instalments of at least € 105 five years after the end of the maximum financial aid period. The time allowed for the repayment is 20 years.

If a certain income limit is not exceeded, the repayment can be deferred until the earnings are higher. If the loan is repaid early then a reduction is granted.

If someone studies longer as a result of a disability, a pregnancy or raising a child up to the age of 10, that person receives the financial support for longer than the maximum financial aid period exclusively as an allowance, which does not have to be paid back. For this allowance, even the interest-free loan portion is dropped.

The Bundesverwaltungsamt (i.e. the German Federal Office of Administration) is responsible for the management and collection of the loan. It has summarised detailed information in a brochure.