A student loan is designed to help students pay for university tuition, books, and living expenses. It may differ from other types of loans in that the interest rate may be substantially lower and the repayment schedule may be deferred while the student is still in education. It also differs in many countries in the strict laws regulating renegotiating and bankruptcy.
The Income-Based Repayment plan is an alternative to paying back student loans, which allow the borrower to pay back the loan based on how much he/she makes, and not based how much money is actually owed, However, income based repayment does not apply to private loans.
Student benefits are transfer payments that are given to students for purposes of full-time study, and require progress in studies, or obtaining academic credits. Student benefits are found in countries where education is free of charge, e.g. Finland and Sweden. Student benefit is paid by the state to all qualifying students, excluding only those with full-time employment and income, and is thus distinct from an individually evaluated scholarship.
Different forms of student benefit are:
- Direct funding for daily living expenses.
- Support for renting an apartment.
- Partially state-funded meals at student cafeterias.
- Securing student loans.