Erasmus+ Masters Degree Loans - A Guide for 2020 |
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Erasmus+ Masters Loans

Erasmus Masters Degree Loans provide up to €18,000 for postgraduates to study abroad. They were first announced as part of the Erasmus+ funding phase in 2014 and are now available for students.

So, if you're planning on studying a Masters in Europe, an Erasmus Loan could be ideal for you!

This page provides an overview of the Erasmus+ Masters Loans system. It explains which countries currently offer loans, who can apply and what how the system will develop in the future.

Other forms of Erasmus funding are also available. For more information see our introduction to Erasmus Masters funding or our guide to Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Degrees.

Erasmus+ Masters Loans - Key Details
Participating countries Spain, Italy, Turkey, Croatia, Romania, Luxembourg and Cyprus.
Loans available (estimated) 200,000
Value €12,000 - €18,000 each

How do Erasmus+ Masters Loans work?

Erasmus+ loans are part of the Erasmus programme, which funds international study and student mobility across Europe. Whereas other Erasmus funding supports short international placements or specific Joint Masters Degrees, loans are more flexible.

Eligible students can take out an Erasmus+ Loan to study any existing Masters in a participating country.

Who provides the loans?

Unlike other postgraduate loans, the Erasmus+ Loans are not offered by governments. Instead they are provided by banks in individual countries.

The banks agree to offer loans to students on favourable terms. In return, the Erasmus programme partially guarantees the loans.

This system allows the same loans to be offered across a range of countries on the same terms. However, it relies on individual banks agreeing to participate. As a result, loans are not yet available in all Erasmus Programme Countries.

Erasmus+ Masters Loans are currently offered by banks and other organisations in Spain, Italy (Emilia Romagne region), Turkey, Croatia, Romania, Luxembourg and Cyprus. Other countries will join the scheme as their lenders agree to participate.

How much are the loans worth?

An Erasmus+ Masters Loan will allow you to borrow up to €12,000 for a one-year course or €18,000 for a two-year course. You do not have to borrow the full amount in either case.

This money is intended to cover tuition fees and other expenses (such as travel, living and accommodation costs). You will have to fund any further costs yourself.

How do interest rates and repayments work?

Interest rates and repayment terms are set by individual banks, subject to conditions laid out by the Erasmus programme.

These include a one-year grace period before repayments are due and an optional one-year repayment holiday at any point after graduation. Interest must also be set at a below-market rate, ensuring that the Erasmus Loans are a better option than conventional personal loans.

Who offers Erasmus+ Masters Loans?

In Spain, loans are available from Microbank for incoming and outgoing students studying a Masters abroad.

The following organisations will only offer loans to outgoing students studying a Masters abroad:

In addition, loans will be available from the University of Luxembourg and the University of Cyprus for incoming students to defer fees and accommodation costs for up to two years.

Other banks will join the scheme in future years. The Erasmus+ programme expects to have 25 participating organisations by 2020.

Erasmus Programme Countries & Erasmus Partner Countries

Erasmus Masters Loans are only available for courses at Programme Countries. There's a full list in our Erasmus introduction.

Where can you study with an Erasmus+ Masters Loan?

Participation in the Erasmus+ Loan Scheme is based on participation in the wider Erasmus programme. Specifically, banks and universities must be located within one of the 33 Erasmus Programme Countries. These include all 28 EU members as well as candidate EU members and EEA members. See our Erasmus introduction for more information.

Citizens of Programme Countries can study a Masters in another Programme Country, provided a bank in their host or destination country is offering loans.

Erasmus+ Masters Loans: 2020 availability

Erasmus+ Loan availability for the 2020-21 academic year is as follows:

  • Students from Spain can receive a loan to study a Masters in another Erasmus Programme Country or students from other Erasmus Programme Countries can receive a loan to study a Masters in Spain.
  • Students from Turkey can receive a loan to study a Masters in another Erasmus Programme Country.
  • Students from Croatia can receive a loan to study a Masters in another Erasmus Programme Country.
  • Students from Romania can receive a loan to study a Masters in another Erasmus Programme Country.
  • Students residing in Italy's Emilia Romagne region can receive a loan to study a Masters in another Erasmus Programme Country.
  • Students from other Erasmus Programme Countries can receive a loan to study a Masters in Luxembourg or Cyprus.

Previously, students from the UK could receive a loan to study a Masters in another Erasmus Programme Country, and students from other Erasmus Programme Countries were able to receive a loan to study a Masters in the UK. However, the UK Erasmus Masters loans have been discontinued.

Note that Erasmus+ Loans are only available for postgraduate study abroad. This means that students cannot apply for a loan to study in their home country.

Masters in Europe - learn more

If you're a citizen of an Erasmus Programme Country you can receive a loan to study abroad in Spain, Luxembourg or Cyprus. Our guide is the perfect place to start learning about Spanish Masters degrees. You can also view current Masters opportunities at the University of Luxembourg and the University of Cyprus.

Who can apply for an Erasmus+ Masters Loan?

Masters Loans are available for all citizens of Erasmus Programme Countries to study abroad in another Programme Country with a participating bank.

Further eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • You must hold a recognised first cycle (undergraduate) qualification.
  • You must have been accepted for a second cycle (Masters) qualification at an institution recognised by Erasmus.*
  • You must be planning to study in a new country. This means that:
    • The country in which you wish to study is not your current country of residence.
    • You have not previously studied in that country before.
  • You are studying a full Masters-level programme that awards a degree (this rules out most Postgraduate Certificates and Diplomas as well as higher level qualifications such as a PhD.)

*Eligible universities and other higher education institutions must hold a current Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE). You can check this on the European Commission website.

Note that there no restrictions based on your chosen course, subject or university. In principle, Erasmus+ Masters Loans are available for any Masters degree at an eligible university.

Brexit & Erasmus

The UK remains an Erasmus programme country until 31 December 2020 and may still apply to remain part of the Erasmus+ programme after this. You can read more about the impact of Brexit on postgraduate students on our blog.

Masters Loans and other Erasmus funding

You can apply for a Masters Loan if you have had Erasmus funding for a previous course. However, you cannot combine the loan with other Erasmus Masters funding for the same course. Exceptions may apply if you take out a Masters Loan to study in a new country, but apply for a Mobility Grant to study part of your course in a second country.

Will banks set additional criteria?

Participating banks may set their own lending terms and checks, in accordance with the guidelines set by Erasmus. Negative credit history may affect your ability to take out a loan, but other factors such as your course or subject of study will not.

What is the application process?

Applications should be made to participating banks, not to the Erasmus programme. You can find more information on the websites of Spain's Microbank, Italy's Emil Banca Credito Cooperativo, Turkey's QNB Finansbank, Croatia's PBZ, Romania's FINS, the University of Luxembourg and the University of Cyprus.

Remember that you will need to have been accepted to study an eligible Masters before your loan application can be processed.

Alternative funding

Erasmus+ Loans aren’t the only sources of funding for European students looking to study abroad. Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Degree scholarships provide an excellent funding opportunity for certain courses, while Mobility Grants can be used for short periods of international study or training.

You can keep up-to-date with the rollout of Erasmus+ Loans by signing up to our weekly newsletter.

Last updated - 11/08/2020

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