Yes, at least in Norway they do. Though debt is never a positive thing, student debt is one of the few debts in life that I have accepted. I think of it as an investment in my future, as nowadays, higher education is a requirement for most well-paid jobs. Of course, I know that these conditions that I`ve written about in this post might not apply to student loans in other countries, so it would be great if you`d comment on how things work where you live. Here`s a list of the positive aspects of Norwegian student debt.
- First and foremost it makes education available for more people, which is something I love. Higher education is practically free in Norway. Tuition is about 180$, though costs of curricula is high; usually between 900-1000$ a year, depending on what classes you take. Student loans are mainly to cover accommodation, food, curricula and transportation.
- Both interests and part of your debt will be deleted if you have a long term illness and have to quit school or work, receive social benefits or low wages (12 months interests deleted if annual income is less than 40.000$). When I got sick and had to quit school twice in a year, I lived on student loans for a long time, because my social benefits application got lost (!!!), which means that debt was accumulating rather quickly. Luckily, after I finally got my social benefits, I applied for debt deletion, and it got accepted! 11.600$ was deleted of my current debt. The day I received the letter telling me about this was a very joyous day.
- Debt cannot be inherited. If I was to die young (heaven forbid), neither parents nor future husband, will be stuck with my debt.
- Due to population decrease in certain parts of Northern Norway, the government has decided to do something about it. Up to 4.500$ of debt will be deleted per year, IF you live and work in certain areas of Northern Norway. It`s a great opportunity for those who might be from that area, or just want to experience something else and doesnt have any commitments elsewhere.
- Certain teacher education programs qualify for debt deletion. If you study science or foreign languages at bachelor and master level + 1 year of teacher education program, up to 9.000$ can be deleted of the student debt. This is what I hopefully will qualify for.
- You can receive a travel grant; I`m registered in another part of the country, so I receive 625$ a year for travel expenses.
- And best of all; 40% of your student loan per year is converted to a grant if you pass all of your exams. This makes it really encouraging to pass every exam and graduate. So if you take maximum student loans for 5 years; about 90.000$, 36.000$ of them will be deleted automatically as long as you pass your exams.
make sure to keep updated, l`ll be writing a post about the cons of student loans anyday now, and one covering how I plan to minimize debt.