The Erasmus+ Master Loan is now available in France, Spain and the UK. The scheme aims to give graduates access to more affordable loans to study for a Masters degree in another country.
Please note that the UK National Agency is not involved in the set-up or administration of the Master Loan scheme. The Master Loan scheme is managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF) on behalf of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture. The EIF launched a Call on 13 February 2015 for expressions of interest from financial institutions to provide the loan.
Launch dates will vary from country to country as the availability of this loan is dependent on the financial frameworks being in place. The EIF will publish details of participating banks and/or student loan agencies when they are selected.
More information on the master loan scheme is on the European Commission's Erasmus+ Master Degree Loan webpage.
What is the Master Loan?
The loan is to help Masters students with their living and tuition costs when studying in a different country from their country of residence. The terms of the loan are designed to make repayment easier, including:
- no need to provide collateral when applying for the loan;
- an interest rate lower than the market rate;
- a ‘grace period' of up to one year before repayments begin;
- a further 'payment holiday' of up to one year.
Please note that the decision on awarding a loan will rest with the bank or student loan company concerned, based on a student’s application and their eligibility.
Who can apply?
To be eligible to apply for a loan, you must be a resident of one of the 28 EU Member States or one of the five non-EU Programme Countries.
You must already have a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) and have been accepted for a Masters (or equivalent) at an institution that holds the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE). You can check whether a university has the ECHE on the European Commission's website.
Students who have already received an Erasmus grant during their first degree can still apply for an Erasmus+ Master Loan.
The loan is for a full Masters programme in a different country from your country of residence. The country where you plan to study must be different from the country where you took your first degree. If you study for only part of your Masters abroad, you are not eligible for this loan. You may qualify for an Erasmus+ mobility grant instead, but please talk to your university about your options.
You cannot have an Erasmus+ grant and an Erasmus+ loan for the same place. However, you can apply for both types of funding if you study abroad for a full Masters and part of the course is in another Erasmus+ Programme Country (excluding your home country or a country where you have studied before).
How much can you borrow?
For a one-year Masters degree, a loan of up to 12,000 euro will be available. For two-year courses, the maximum will be 18,000 euro. You do not have to borrow the full amount.
How to apply
The Erasmus+ Master Loan is now available through banks in France, Spain and the UK. The UK National Agency is not involved in the set-up or administration of the Master Loan scheme. Enquiries and applications must be made direct to the relevant bank.
The agreement in Spain will provide financial support for students from Spain taking their Masters degree in one of the 33 Erasmus+ Programme countries or for students from these countries moving to Spain to study for their Masters. Students can apply for the loans directly with Microbank (the social branch of La Caixa) in Spain.
The agreement in France will provide financial support for students from France taking their Masters degree in one of the 33 Erasmus+ Programme countries or for students from these countries moving to France to study for their Masters. Students can apply for the loans directly with the BPCE banks (Banque Populaire and Caisse d'Epargne) in France.
In the UK the Erasmus+ master loan is offered through Future Finance for students from the UK taking their Masters degree in one of the 33 Erasmus+ Programme countries or for students from these countries moving to the UK to study for their Masters. Applications or enquiries must be made directly to FFLC.