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Factsheet for measure HU-2020-18/717 Updated – measures in Hungary

Interest-free student loans

Kamatmentes diákhitel

Country Hungary , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 May 2020 – 30 September 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Protection of vulnerable groups (beyond employment support)
Author Nóra Krokovay (KOPINT-Tárki) and Eurofound
Measure added 17 April 2020 (updated 15 June 2022)

Background information

Under government decree 96/2020, students of higher education and adult education may take out an interest-free loan to offset their living expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The measure was introduced as part of efforts to help families with little or no savings, as well as seeing students as a group vulnerable to losing their part-time jobs or not finding a job during the pandemic situation. The loan can be requested via the student loans provider Diákhitel Központ until 31 December 2020.

Content of measure

The amount of the interest-free loan for students in higher education is a one-off lump sum of HUF 500,000 (€1,429). Students in adult education courses organised by the Ministry of Innovation are also eligible, they can apply for an interest-free loan of HUF 1.2 million (€3,429). Students will have 12 months before they must start repayment of the loan, which can be over a period of 1 to 5 years, at their discretion. As part of this set of measures targeting students, the rules about losing students’ state scholarships on the basis of academic achievement will be suspended for the duration of the pandemic situation. Higher education students will not be required to pass language examinations during this period, either, and the existing targeted language exam loans will be converted to the new 0% interest loan. There are also suspensions introduced on the repayment of other existing student loans.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

17 December 2021

Applications will continue to be open with the same conditions until 30 September 2022.

01 October 2021

The measure has been extended until the end of the 'state of danger' due to COVID-19. The state of danger has been extended several times, the latest end-date under Act 102/2021 is 1 January 2022. To date 40,000 students have applied for the loan.

17 December 2020

The deadline for accepting applications for the interest-free student loans has been extended until 30 June 2021.

Use of measure

More than 30,000 students applied for the interest-free loan which was available to take out for any purpose, the head of the loans centre said in December 2020. Typically students applied for the maximum amount of HUF 500,000 and half of them spent it on housing expenses, according to a survey by the centre. According to a press report in April 2021, a total of HUF 31 billion (€86.1 million) in student loans were issued in 42,000 new student applicants in 2020, three times more than in the previous year. More than two-thirds of the loans were the pandemic free-use loans that were available from 1 May 2020.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Youth (18-25)
Other groups of citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown

Involvement

No involvement.

Views and reactions

There was no involvement of social partners in this measure.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      P - Education P85 Education

This case is not occupation-specific.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Interest-free student loans, measure HU-2020-18/717 (measures in Hungary), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/HU-2020-18_717.html

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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.