Student loan - are they easy to get?

Afternoon all!
This one might be for you @vero
The middle daughter is planning to go to a fee paying Spanish uni next year. As we don’t have thousands of euros stashed under the bed that we don’t know how to spend, she’s looking at student loans.
Has anyone had any experience of these in France? Is there anything we should be watching out for? Is she even likely to be granted one? Any information gratefully received - thanks!

I would also be interested to get info as my grandson has told us he wants to go to Imperial College London for a year which will set his parents (and probably us!) back £15,000+

Don’t know much about Spanish university but here in France you apply for a bourse. These are not loans and do not have to be paid back, also if you are in the French system for CAF you can get departmental bourse as well as an extra one off annual payment from your social security. Rent can also be claimed for, both my kids went to university here and just about every expenditure was covered all I hhad to do was their laundry at the weekend.

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At the moment I have 3 who go to university and grandes ecoles, next year it will be 4 in full time higher education and one way or another it costs me an arm and a leg, I’m unfortunately just rich enough not to get anything but the minimum ( which is still a hell of a lot better than the situation in GB but still…). The one in Germany has her bourse plus Erasmus bourse so that probably applies to Spain too, she’ll be in Berlin doing a multi uni master’s next year so I don’t yet know how that will pan out…the one in Brazil got a grant from her region on top of the bourse, it also helps that she’s an engineer. The artist spends everything on materials…
I am very sad that bourses au mérite have been slashed because they were really useful and actually a significant amount.
I fund it by working more and eating pasta but don’t know anything about loans - I am reluctant to look into them as well because loans give me the creeps and as I have 5 children who will probably all spend at least 7 or 8 years in higher education it would be a scary amount if I did go that route.

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Wow, Véronique … I hope all your kids will eventually keep you in style…:wink:

Better than the present style, I should think :wink:

We can all live in hope… my daughter has made it clear that if I end up giving her too much trouble… she will point my wheel chair at the nearest cliff-edge… :wink:

My mother has a degenerative, irreversible neurological condition and is now in a vegetative state. She is cared for at home as she has been since it started, it became noticeable more than 15 years ago. Should it happen to me, unlikely but I’m looking out for it, I have a plan. I don’t have any intention of going the same way.

Wow Vero… 15 years and still on-going…

Well done to all of you who are involved in looking after her…

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Yes you can get “student” loans, however, they require a guarantor, usually a parent to co-sign up to repaying the borrowed amount should the student default on repayments. The best place to start is often your own bank. The interest on these loans, depending on national interest rates, is in the region of 0.9 to 1.xx % - at least that was the case 2 years ago when my son applied for one. From what I remember, repayment is only due when the student finds a job, and in any case, no later than 5 years after the end of his/her studies, but of course, as will all things lending-related, T&Cs might have changed quite dramatically since then.

The usual caveats apply with regard to bank experience - this particular one was not what I’d call one of the most pleasurable.

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No idea, Catherine although my niece had a whole year of her UK University degree course funded (a year spent at Besancon) a couple of years ago…I think it was through the Erasmus programme…

Try this also :-[fieldsOfStudy]=&Award[locations]=14&Award[details]=253&Award[name]=&yt0=Search


Hope this helps…


I have 2 studying in Dublin and Edinburgh. They had to apply for courses in France via the APB - Application (?) Post Bac in order to get an ID to then apply for a bourse from the CROUS.

I must be mistaken but I thought that a sudent loan funded via a French bank had to be repaid commencing the end of the course.

If the uni abroad has a link with a uni in France, you can apply for the CROUS grant ( we did this in 2015-2016 for our son who went to study in Canada). If the projected uni is in Europe, you should be able to apply for an Erasmus grant, and possibly others. We also got a “bourse de mobilité” from the région where his French uni was.
Concerning bank loans for students, all banks will protide them, with various conditions that you’ll need to examine. Generally you can specify after how many years you wish to start reimbursing the loan, though I think there’s a limit (4 or 5 years). The student loan will be taken out in the name of the student, with e.g. parents as garantees, the repayments will be taken from the student’s bank account, so you need to remember to make sure their account has the funds for this.
Happy to give more info by email or phone.

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First of all a very big thank you to everyone who has provided advice, info and links. It has been a REALLY hectic few weeks and I do apologise for only just getting round to replying to you all!
The current situation is that she can get a crous grant but she can’t get an Erasmus bourse as her uni is not in a partnership with a French one. Spanish banks won’t lend her money for a student loan as we are not Spanish tax residents ( fair enough) and French banks seem to have bizarre criteria.
I’ve been told that they will only lend to students if the parents already have an account there - so before I trawl all the banks, can anyone tell me if this is correct or if I’ve been misinformed?
We approached BNP as Tilly and I both have Hello bank accounts but hers is obviously minimal as she is a student and mine only processes my AE income which is not a huge amount. BNP turned us down for a loan as my income wasn’t high enough - again, fair enough- but…they refuse to look at the tax return to show the overall household income. Their argument is that they can’t count it as it goes into other (French) banks. Neither will they accept UK based income as a guarantor for the loan either.


But…Tilly has been to the admissions office and it seems that she will get a fairly hefty reduction on the fees so we are now looking at a much smaller student loan that the original 60k (fees and maintenance if we didn’t get a crous grant).

Anyone had experience of banks with a more flexible lending policy to student loans?


Have you tried Credit Agricole… they often seem to be advertising… their support for youngsters… so let’s put them to the test…:wink:

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