The Swedish Board of Student Finance (CSN) is the government agency that manages Swedish student finance, i.e. grants and loans for studies. They also manage driving licence loans and home equipment loans amongst other things.
Their table of contents:
- Student finance – grants and loans for studies
- Home equipment loans – for refugees
- Driving licence loans – for the unemployed
- New arrivals in Sweden - refugee
I just received my first letter regarding repayment of my student loan from CSN. I obviously understand that you need to pay back what you owe, but I was actually shocked when I received this letter as I finished School 3 weeks ago. They work fast. Really fast.
Even though literally everyone knows that Sweden is 'such an amazing country' in many different ways, Sweden is also extremely messed up. I mean, 600 nurses and doctors got fired from one of our biggest hospital recently despite the fact that we need to recruit 233,000 people to the health care sector by 2023.
Talk about counterproductive or to be working backwards. I find these news odd and actually quite insane. But, that's a different story.
Today, I'll just focus on CSN and my student loan debt.
I finished School 3 weeks ago, with the unemployment rate at 6.3% in total, it's not that easy to get a job, even though it's a decent number. Where I live, we had an unemployment rate of 10,7% in November this year.
I am now a psychiatric nurse or a nurse specialized in psychiatry, and I am one of the lucky people to have scored a job the day after I finished School. I am obviously happy, but I haven't even signed the papers for it yet and CSN sent me a letter about how much money I am supposed to pay them back for my student loan.
($9228 U.S Dollars.)
I appreciate the interest rates and I know that our student loans in Sweden are good in general, but I have to pay $190 every three months starting in February:
The things that bothers me is this:
- How could anyone pay that without a job?
- Shouldn't they check if I am able to pay back before sending me repayment letters?
One of the good things obviously, is that I am able to pay back monthly instead, if I want too. It doesn't cost me anything extra and I can easily switch to monthly basis instead... But still, I think it's messed up to do this when they don't even know if I have a job or not...
CSN is supposed to be some sort of a "lifeline", and whenever you want to study you have the option to do that and still have an income. It's minimal, and it's basically impossible to live off of your student loan income if you have kids or if you live in a large apartment for instance... But CSN can still be a good option for many as the interest rates and the payment time is good in general.
I mean, my total student loan debt is about $9228 U.S Dollars and I am supposed to pay back ~$190 every three months. That's about $760 per year... So roughly speaking, I have to pay everything back in 12 years.
I bet most people would consider that to be a good deal... I just wonder why on earth they are telling me to pay back before they actually know if I have a job or not. Wouldn't it have been better to give me the first repayment letter when they know that I have a job, and let me pay back in 12 years from that day...?
- No wonder things are going south.