1 in 5 Dutch graduates struggle to repay student loans: report

Student loan application
Student loan application . (Photo: karenr/DepositPhotos)

A significant proportion of former students are struggling to repay their student loans. One in five are currently in arrears, NOS reports based on figures from education executive agency DUO.

According to DUO, the former students who are in arrears either cannot repay their loans for financial reasons, do not want to repay their student loans, or don't realize they are in arrears, for example because they don't read their emails.

In the run-up to the introduction of the student loan system, the then Education Minister Jet Bussemaker announced measures to reduce the number of former students who aren't repaying their student loans. These measures seem to have little to no effect. The number of arrears is about the same as in 2014/2015, when NOS last requested these figures.

DUO is unable to contact nearly 20 thousand students who are in arrears with their loans, because there is no current address data for them. This means that an amount of over 76 million euros cannot be collected, according to NOS. DUO told the broadcaster that this concerns students who have gone abroad and whose current address is unknown. In June 2015, this was the case for 22 thousand former students.

The number of students who successfully objected to the repayment of their student loan or the amount of the installment increased from 465 in 2015 to 550 this year. The number of objections fell by almost 20 percent.