More students are not paying back their loans

Almost 100,000 former students failed to pay back their student loans within the allotted 15 years, according to preliminary figures from the education ministry’s payment agency DUO.

In 2015, some 90,000 ex students – or 13% of the total – had failed to pay back their debt but in 2009, just 7% of former students were unable to make the payments.

The organisation says the increase may be due to changes introduced in 2012. Before that date, students had to apply to have the repayment reduced if their financial situation changed but that now happens automatically.

Student grants were fully replaced by loans in 2015 and the rules for repayment were changed again. Students can now take 35 rather than 15 years to repay the debt before it is written off. DUO expects this to boost repayments in time. has been free for 12 years, but now we are asking our readers to help. Your donation will enable us to keep providing you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch.
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