State makes money with students in need

State makes money with students in need

The fzs published another press release about the emergency fund and the loan of the federal ministry.

Anja Karliczek withheld details on the loan at the expense of students

After week-long public pressure, Anja Karliczek presented a KfW-loan as a “great new solution” for the students’ corona induced monetary problems. Now it has become clear that the loan is not what it seems. The student loan of the KfW-bank has been there since 2006 – and the conditions will not be modified to this crisis.

“The model presented by Mrs Karliczek is apparently characterized by no interest-fee. But that’s not actually true!” says Amanda Steinmaus of the federal Association of student bodies. “The state pays for the interest fee only in the first year. After that students have to pay the interest normally – on the entire loan.”

Katrin Lögering of the Landes-Asten-Treffen NRW (LAT NRW) calculates the costs of 12 months exemplarily: “The maximum amount of interest that the state will take over until March 2021 will amount to 152,65€. The interest burden that will gradually increase until the debt is paid off (about 500€ interest during the 18-month waiting period included) will have to be paid by the students. The interest is about 3631,95€ with a rate of repayment of 50€ each month after the waiting period. In total, they are dealing with an interest burden of 4100€. The worse the financial situation of the students, the higher the interest burden – even during this crisis!”

“It seems as if the normal conditions of a KfW student loan apply. This means in particular that repayment begins after 1.5 years, i.e. when the students still attend university,” adds Nathalie Schäfer, spokeswoman for the Federal Committee of Students of the GEW. “For students who go into debt, it will hardly be possible to study normally after the crisis, it might be that they are forced to drop out of university because of the debt. Other students will be scared away by the debts and might drop out of university because they do not want to take on any debt.”

Paul Senf, speaker of the conference of Saxon student bodies (KSS) explains: “Not just the conditions of the KfW-credit are problematic. Also, the requirements for the loan stay the same. This means that students who have been studying for longer than 10 semesters, or students who haven’t paid off a different loan do not get the loan as a “bridge money” during the times of corona. Because of that many affected students do not get help. With this, Karliczek breaks the promise that every student in need will receive help.”

But the initially concealed details are not the only point of criticism, says Vanessa Gombisch of the federal Association of Foreign Students: “The solution itself is very problematic. Especially international students are confronted with an impossible task. They are supposed to take on a debt to survive this crisis. After the crisis they are basically forced to work more than they are legally allowed to. Then they must pay off the debt while also paying rent and food. This only works if they risk their residence status – ironic.”

The amount of the announced emergency relief as a one-time payment is also inappropriate to solve the many problems of the loan solution. Jonathan Wiegers, speaker of the Brandenburgian students’ union (BRANDSTUVE) says: “We assume that about 750.000 students are in a financial crisis. Even if a small group, for example 125.000 people, gets a payment this would mean that one person would receive a one-time payment of 800€. This is only enough money for about a month. So, a one-time payment is not even sufficient to pay off the debt of the past two months.”

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