The Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg (ISO) sounded the alarm at the end of August regarding how student loan debt influences the level of mortgage that former students can obtain. Basically, the higher the debt, the smaller the house. Banks are also said to be weighing student loan debts too heavily as they make calculations based on the original loan, without checking how much has been paid off.
But according to Minister Van Engelshoven from Education, there’s nothing much wrong. It is understandable that banks do not check the current level of student loan debt, she wrote. They take a household’s monthly outgoings into account and, in the case of student loan debt, the amount paid out each month is always the same. So it doesn’t make any difference how much you have already paid back.
Moreover, banks can make an exception if you have already almost paid off the student loan debt. In some cases you can then obtain a higher mortgage. “I have seen no signs that providers are handling this regulation incorrectly,” wrote the Minister. To be certain, a further examination will take place as to how the regulation is applied and whether there are problems.
ISO considers that DUO does not make sufficiently clear to students the consequences of a student loan debt, but Van Engelshoven does not agree with this. “On the DUO website there is an explanation about how student debt is calculated when applying for a mortgage,” she wrote, but from now on that information will be easier to find. She will also be working with Nibud to examine how to improve information about student loan debts.