Making ends meet as a student in the Czech Republic
School tuition, studying abroad, accommodation and a laptop are just some of inevitable expenses you’ll have to pay for when attending university. If you don’t have a stable income yet, it’s always better to avoid loans. However, there’s often no other way if money is desperately needed. We present a few useful tips how to get money without resorting to stealing.
The open market nowadays allows many non-bank companies to provide loans for just about anything and to anyone as a way to attract new clients. Should you be caught by their flashy adverts and nice promises and decide to loan money from them, at least check their licence and read the contract carefully.
The only banking institution that offers loans specifically designed for students in the Czech Republic is Komercni banka and its loan programme called Gaudeamus. You can borrow up to 600 000 CZK which you start repaying after the graduation. During your studies you pay only the interest rate that starts at 6.9 percent. The money can be used to finance school tuition in the Czech Republic or broad and it even allows you to purchase a laptop, a mobile phone and other necessary equipment or extra curriculum workshops.
Overdrafting your account
Some student accounts allow you to open a so-called “overdraft account” which Czech banks call “kontokorent.” In the Czech Republic, this service is offered by two banks. Komercni banka with its Student Account G2 allows clients to overdraft up to 5 000 CZK without any additional interest on the condition that the account is at least once during 365 days with a zero or positive balance. Other option is Genius student account provided by Moneta Money Bank. Moneta allows you to overdraft up to 10 000 Czk; however, this service is not free of charge and you must pay the interest rate.
Another option of financing extra expenses is a credit card. All banks offer them even to students on condition of verifying your steady income so it’s an option only for those who study and work at the same time. Credit cards offer non-interest period, usually 30-60 days, discounts with the bank business partners and other benefits if used regularly.
Another way of improving your financial situation as a student is applying for scholarships. If you commute to school, live in a dormitory or you flat-share, check whether you can apply for a so-called
accommodation scholarship support. Conditions for obtaining this scholarship differ between schools but usually all students who have their permanent residence outside the city the school is situated in may apply.
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Another option is a social scholarship. Students whose family’s total income isn’t higher than 1.5 of the life minimum can obtain it. Last but not least, don’t be shy to apply for a grade scholarship. The only disadvantage is that the grade scholarship is assessed retrospectively based on your performance from the previous academic year so it won’t fix your immediate financial situation.
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