One in five graduates default on their Dutch student loans

One in five graduates default on their Dutch student loans

According to figures from the Education Executive Agency (DUO) requested by NOS, many graduates struggle with paying back their loans and one in five default on them.

When is it classed as defaulting on a loan?

The number of graduates defaulting on their loans is about the same as it was in 2014/15. Back then; around 76.000 graduates received a visit from a bailiff. Another 32.000 graduates could not be found by the DUO.

The definition of defaulting on a student loan has changed in the past four years. It used to be the case that one had defaulted on a loan if they had arrears of 50 euros. Nowadays, you have defaulted on your loan if you have arrears of at least 270 euros and have missed three payments.

Huge amount owed to the DUO

Graduates are still “going missing” and, currently, DUO does not have up-to-date details for 20.000 ex-students. Because of this, the agency is unable to collect more than 76 million euros in outstanding debts. According to the DUO, these “missing” graduates have moved abroad and their addresses are unknown.

Those defaulting on their loans are either graduates who can’t pay due to financial issues, don’t want to or simply don’t know they have to, as they haven’t read the messages sent to their online account, for example.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

Read more



Leave a comment