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Responsible for the service Social Services and Health Care Division, City of Helsinki

Social loans

  • Service
  • Helsinki
  • Public service

Loans are applied for by submitting a social loans application form. Before completing and submitting the form, please contact the social loans guidance and information service, either by telephone or e-mail. Your eligibility for social loans will be determined in the course of the telephone call. Once your application has been received, you will be contacted to schedule an appointment for further discussions.

Your situation, ability to manage finances, consumer behaviour and payment ability will be determined during the application process. If necessary, you will be referred for financial monitoring, the length of which will be agreed together with you.

If you are granted a loan, a credit payment default entry will usually be made for you to ensure that you repay your loan.

Anyone who is over-indebted should prioritise invoices that are due and make sure to at least pay their rent. You can ask for help with your financial issues from the Social Insurance Institution (Kela) or the social services in your municipality. Financial counselling and alternative solutions for managing debt are available at the social lending unit in your municipality, as well as the Guarantee Foundation and the financial and debt counselling offered by Legal Aid Offices operating nationwide.

To whom and on what terms

Social loans are intended for permanent residents of Helsinki who have a low income or limited financial means and who are not eligible for other loans with reasonable terms due to their lack of security or bad credit history, for example.

The precondition for granting a social loan (max. 15,000 euros) is that the applicant is able to pay the loan back. All debt and liabilities are taken into consideration in the decision-making process.

Social loans are granted for person who have also other income than social assistance. Credit cannot be granted to anyone who has realizable property, a valid debt restructuring payment schedule or a permanent need for social assistance that is not due to recovery proceedings. Social lending is based on legislation.

Background information

Social lending is part of social welfare services, and its purpose is to prevent financial exclusion and insolvency and to promote individuals’ and families’ independent coping.

A municipality can decide the scale of its social lending. For a justified reason, a loan may be granted to a person who, because of their low income level or lack of funds, could not otherwise access credit at reasonable terms and who is able to manage the repayments.

When considering a loan, the applicant’s income and expenses, funds, debts and earning possibilities are taken into account. Responsibility for social lending rests with the municipal social welfare services.

Basic information

The service is provided byCity of Helsinki
Responsible for the serviceSocial Services and Health Care Division, City of Helsinki
Area Helsinki
Available languagesFinnish, Swedish
Text edited by: Social Services and Health Care Division, City of Helsinki
Updated: 22/5/2022