Nowadays, more and more teenagers live almost independently and no longer wait until adulthood to desire acquiring a scooter, a tablet, or a laptop…

Moreover, it is not uncommon for certain educational institutions to require students to attend classes with a laptop or tablet, allowing them to connect to the internet.

Unthinkable just a few years ago, credit professionals are often faced with credit requests from young teenagers or, more often, students.

Can a student or a minor borrow in Belgium?

A quick overview of this question that is sure to spark interest…

Not before 18

In Belgium and all European countries, the legislation is clear. No one can apply for credit until they reach the age of majority, which is 18 years.

The emancipated minor: what does it mean?

It is little known, but a minor can request the first instance court of their place of residence to be emancipated, meaning declared of age before turning 18.

This status requires that legal conditions be met. The candidate for emancipation will need the assistance of a lawyer to help with procedural steps. Note that the minor benefits from free legal assistance, known as “pro bono lawyer”. This means the minor is presumed indigent and will not have to pay attorney fees. The procedure is entirely free in Belgium.

Installment loan contracted by parents

Except for the exceptional case explained above, when a minor or a student wishes to take out a loan, they will have no choice but to ask their parents or legal representatives to contract it on their behalf. In this case, the parents take out an ordinary installment loan, and the minor’s name does not appear in the file. In other words, the minor does not bear any personal responsibility.

A banking product that comes from the United States

Some banks grant loans to students, but only to finance their studies and on the condition that the loan is repaid as soon as they start their professional life. These loans have strict conditions.

This phenomenon comes from the United States, where this type of loan is absolutely common. This different situation results from the fact that in the United States, as well as in the United Kingdom and Canada, the cost of higher education is much higher than in Europe. Therefore, some students have no choice but to incur debt during their studies.

In the United States, for example, the average amount of student loans is around €25,000.

Thus, the young person starts their professional career in debt, which raises some difficulties or ethical social and financial questions…

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