Public financial service providers as well as banks in the private sector offer special loans for doctoral candidates that are similar to the educational loans offered through the German Federal Government's educational loan program. The agreed loan amount is paid in regular monthly allotments over a flexibly determined period (usually one to three years). The interest rate is lower than in the case of conventional loans. In addition, the point in time at which repayment begins is determined by the doctoral candidate's economic situation. The debtor is not required to repay the loan until she/he receives regular income.
Many of these loans are also designed to reward high achievements. The debtor completing her/his doctorate ahead of time or achieving a particularly excellent grade reduces the amount to be repaid.
The KfW bank group is the most well-known provider of educational loans also for doctoral candidates.
Deutsche Bildung is another company that issues loans to doctoral candidates of all disciplines to pursue their doctorate in Germany or abroad. It offers loans up to 30,000 EUR, which are paid in monthly, biannual, or annual allotments or as a lump sum. The loans are repaid in installments determined by income over a predefined period of usually three to ten years upon entering the workforce. This type of funding (also for training alongside regular employment) is available for periods starting from three months to up to six semesters. These loans can be granted without requiring collaterals or guarantees. As “costs of university education,” they can also be partly deducted from taxes. Applications can be submitted anytime throughout the year. You can find additional information on the web page of Deutsche Bildung.