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BAB, maintenance, student loans? How do I manage the training if I don't have enough money to live on?


Although the minimum wages have recently been noticeably increased, many trainees do not earn enough to cover their running costs. Where to get financial help and how to get it.

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You don't have to dig for gold right away - other ways to get money for the training can be found beforehand with BAB or Bafög

Photo: Westend61 / Getty Images

Those who start vocational training in 2022 will often receive more money than in previous years - namely at least 585 euros per month.

With the increase, the legislator wants to ensure that trainees are paid "appropriately".

Only: In many cases, the training allowance alone is not enough to live on, whether because of rising rents or because you are absolutely dependent on a car.

Many school-based training courses are also still completely unpaid.

So how should you finance your training?

In the end, do the parents have to do it again?

Luckily not (always): Apprentices can apply for various types of help to increase their income during their training.

Some only apply in emergencies, others have to be repaid.

Keeping track is not always easy.

We present the most well-known grants and explain how and where to get them.

1. The first point of contact: the vocational training grant (BAB)

With the vocational training allowance, BAB for short, the Federal Employment Agency supports people who are completing dual initial training in a recognized training occupation or school-based training in the care sector.

Other school-based training courses, such as occupational or physical therapy, are currently not being funded.

In addition to the right training, at least one of the following three points must apply in order to get the BAB: The trainee...

  • ... completes the training in a training company that is too far away from the parents to stay at home.

  • ... is over 18 years old and lives with your partner and/or is married.

  • ... has at least one child and no longer lives with their parents.

In addition, people who are taking part in pre-vocational training or assisted training can apply for the BAB.

more on the subject

  • 550 euros a month: If you can't live on the trainee's salaryBy Sebastian Maas

  • Crafts, industry and trade in the corona crisis: the number of training contracts has fallen by almost ten percent

In order to find out how much BAB an apprentice is entitled to, the individual needs are first calculated, explains Andreas Brodmerkel, a consultant at the Federal Employment Agency in Nuremberg.

For living and rental costs, that is 723 euros a month, "plus travel expenses, work clothes and childcare costs".

There are exceptions and special rules, for example for trainees who live in dormitories and boarding schools or for people with disabilities living in the parents' household.

The advantage of the BAB: The money does not have to be paid back after completing the training.

The disadvantage: It is not paid independently of the parents.

If the parents - or in the case of married trainees: the partner - earn too much money, you may not be supported.

The employment agency's online calculator helps to get an initial overview.

The BAB is then applied for at the local job center or online here.

2. For school training: Bafög

Anyone who does not qualify for the BAB because they are attending school can apply for student loans.

Funding is granted to those who are not older than 30 before starting their training and who attend a technical school, vocational school or academy.

In addition, you must not have been employed for five years.

The required requirements – and thus the amount of funding – depend on the type of training you complete:

  • When attending vocational schools or classes that do not require completed vocational training, a monthly requirement of 247 euros is assumed.

    If you do not live at home, the amount increases to 585 euros.

  • When attending vocational schools or technical college classes that require a completed vocational training, it is 448 euros per month - or 681 euros for everyone who no longer lives with their parents.

As with student student loans, the income of the parents is an important factor here and is taken into account when calculating the amount of the grant.

Unlike students, trainees do not have to repay the student loans after completing their training - not even partially.

The local Office for Educational Support is responsible for the Bafög application from trainees.

3. It often doesn't work without parents: maintenance

Parents are obliged to pay maintenance during their children's first education - regardless of whether it is vocational training or university studies.

However, if the children receive Bafög, child benefit or a training allowance, the parents’ maintenance obligation is reduced.

You can read more about this in the so-called Düsseldorf table.

The rate to be paid varies depending on the income of the parents.

In the case of a child who is of age and no longer living at home, however, a maximum requirement of between 569 and 860 euros per month is usually assumed.

If the parents refuse to pay child support, they can be sued.

Apprentices can get advice on this from the responsible office for training support and, if necessary, apply for student loans to bridge the gap with an »Application for advance payment«.

4. Child benefit (not only) for parents

Adults between the ages of 18 and 25 (usually their parents) can apply for child benefit in many cases.

Eligible to apply are children who...

  • ... are completing school or vocational training or a degree for the first time.

  • ... a second training

    and work up to 20 hours a week at the same time.

  • ... are in a transition phase between leaving school and starting training or studying.

    However, only if this period does not last longer than four months.

  • ... complete an internship that is directly related to the desired profession.

  • ... do voluntary service, such as a voluntary social year.

  • ... are younger than 21 and registered as unemployed because they have not found an apprenticeship position.

For the first and second child in a family there is 219 euros each, for the third 225 euros and for everyone thereafter 250 euros each per month.

Parents usually receive the child benefit and are free to pass it on to their children.

There is an exception if parents do not meet their maintenance obligations: In this case, children can apply to have the money transferred to their own account.

Child benefit is applied for at the Familienkasse.

5. In cases of hardship: Hartz IV for trainees

Anyone who neither qualifies for the BAB nor Bafög or is in financial difficulties despite funding has been able to apply for support in the form of unemployment benefit (ALG) II, colloquially known as Hartz 4, since 2016.

"Especially in large cities, the rental costs are often very high, so that the maximum required rate provided by the BAB is sometimes not sufficient," says Andreas Brodmerkel from the Federal Employment Agency.

In such cases, trainees could possibly top up with ALG II.

Excluded from ALG II are trainees who are accommodated with full board in a dorm, boarding school or directly with the trainee.

In some cases, the ALG II is only granted as a loan - and has to be repaid later.

The application is made at the local job center, where you can also get advice.

more on the subject

  • High energy prices: Bafög recipients should receive a heating subsidy

  • Rent support:More and more households are receiving housing benefit

6. Housing benefit for everyone who falls through the cracks

Apprentices are only entitled to housing benefit in rare cases.

The basic requirement is that they do not qualify for the BAB - for example because they are not completing an officially recognized vocational training course.

This can be a young profession such as a yoga teacher.

When calculating the entitlement to housing benefit, in addition to the amount of the rent and the local rent level, the income of the other household members also plays a role, for example the roommates in a shared flat.

Housing benefit is applied for at the local community, city, office or district administration, i.e. usually at the town hall.

7. Like at university: scholarships for the gifted?

In the coalition agreement, the new federal government announced that it intends to »introduce support for talented people in vocational training« and to restructure the existing structures so that they support trainees as well as students.

more on the subject

  • Financial support during your studies: What scholarships are available - and how to get them Compiled by Helene Flachsenberg

  • Student loan or education fund: How to finance your studies without BafögBy Sebastian Maas

To put it more simply: there will soon be scholarship programs for particularly successful or socially committed trainees in their initial training.

So far, such programs have only existed for further and further training, such as the further training grant for everyone who wants to do a master's degree or gain other qualifications.

Some vocational schools already award their own scholarships, so it is worth asking the school administration.

8. The last exit: the education loan

If there is no other funding option, you can take out a loan for the training.

The education loan from the Federal Office of Administration, for example, is aimed not only at students but also at trainees between the ages of 18 and 35 in school-based training.

However, since loans have to be repaid and a mountain of debt can make it difficult to start a career, you should calculate such offers carefully and only use them in an emergency - for example, if you cannot otherwise continue your training.

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-01-24

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