Financial hardship or debt...
Some banks offer students to overdraw their account, i.e. to withdraw more money than is in the account. These loans are very expensive, because depending on the bank, 11-18 percent interest is added to the minus on the account every 3 months. If the credit limit is exceeded as a result, the account can be blocked/cancelled and the bank reclaims the credit. Overdrafts are one of the most expensive forms of credit and a lucrative business for banks.
Our recommendation: check the terms of the loans very carefully. If you need extra money, get advice, for example from our social counseling service.
Long contract periods are often found in the areas of mobile communications, telephone, TV and Internet, but also with electricity providers or fitness studios. Providers advertise low rates, flat rates and free gifts if you sign a contract for a fixed period. The contract cannot usually be terminated during this period - even if you no longer want or need the service. If you have an insecure and low income, it is therefore not recommended to conclude contracts with a fixed term.
Our recommendation: Please always read contracts/ general terms and conditions (including the fine print) carefully before signing them. Have the terms and periods of notice explained to you. Take a friend with you or seek independent advice (e.g., consumer advice center) before signing a contract. Please do not sign a contract that you do not fully understand.
The option of buying expensive items such as notebooks, electrical goods, televisions, flights and much more on installments is tempting. But this usually incurs interest, which ultimately makes the product more expensive than it actually is. And even with interest-free offers, the installment must be paid every month.
Our recommendation: Think carefully about whether you really need this purchase and whether you are able to pay the monthly installments. Do not calculate too optimistically. There are always short-term unplanned expenses. You should have a buffer for this.
Health insurance is mandatory in Germany because medical treatment is very expensive. Proof of health insurance is required of students when they enroll and for their residence permit.
Students are usually compulsorily insured in a statutory health insurance fund. If you do not pay the monthly contributions, the insurance relationship will be suspended at some point. In this case, the health insurance does not automatically cover all costs for necessary medical treatment. Special operating procedures must be followed, and the insurance card may not be used. The health insurance companies report "dormant insurance" to the universities and re-registration at the university is then not possible. There is a threat of exmatriculation.
In the preparatory phase of studies (preparatory course/language course), you cannot yet register with a statutory health insurance company, but must take out private insurance. For this purpose, there are special health insurances for foreign students in Germany, some of which are very inexpensive, but provide fewer benefits than the statutory health insurances. Many doctors confuse them with the "normal" private health insurances. You will have to pay for more expensive medications, more examinations, etc. yourself if you have not clarified the coverage of costs with the insurance company prior to treatment. Recommendation: Please insist that the doctor clarifies the treatment costs with your insurance company or ask for a cost estimate.
Private health insurance for foreign students usually has a waiting period of 3 months. During this time, no benefits are normally covered. Treatment for illnesses that you already had before taking out the insurance ("pre-existing illness") will also not be paid.
When you start your studies, you have the option to join the statutory health insurance or to be exempted from the statutory insurance obligation. The exemption is binding for the rest of the study period! This also applies if your insurance company cancels you or if the maximum insurance period has been reached. You will then have to enroll in a normal and very expensive private health insurance.
We recommend: register with a statutory health insurance company.
What do I do if I have debts?
Students with questions about contracts, bills, and claims can contact the ASten and Studierendenwerk legal offices. Dates and office hours:
AStA TU - Advisory services
AStA h_da - Advisory services (in german only)
Studierendenwerk Darmstadt - Legal Counselling
Frankfurter Straße Municipal Building - Office for Social Affairs and Prevention, Department of Debtor Counseling and Housing Security Office ("Schuldnerberatung und Wohnungssicherungsstelle") -
Address: Frankfurter Str. 71 - 64293 Darmstadt
Tel (06151) 13 2163
www.darmstadt.de/Schuldnerberatung und Wohnungssicherungsstelle (in german only)
Appointments by appointment. Counseling is free of charge and confidential.
Erzhausen, Griesheim, Messel, Pfungstadt, Weiterstadt
Caritas Association Darmstadt e.V. - Debt counseling at the Caritas Center St. Ludwig - Wilhelm-Glässing-Str. 15 -17 - 64283 Darmstadt - Tel (06151) 500 280 - Office hours: Tues. 13.30-16.00
Alsbach-Hähnlein, Bickenbach, Fischbachtal, Groß-Bieberau, Groß-Umstadt, Modautal, Mühltal,Ober-Ramstadt, Otzberg, Seeheim-Jugenheim
Diakonisches Werk Darmstadt-Dieburg Counseling Center Groß-Umstadt - Am Darmstädter Schloss 2 - 64823 Groß-Umstadt - Office hours: Tues. 10.00-12.00
Counseling Center Darmstadt - Kiesstraße 14 - 64283 Darmstadt - Office hours: Wed. 15.00-17.00
Contact person: Mr. Ackermann - Tel (06078) 7823424, Mobile (0160) 2704440
Babenhausen, Dieburg, Eppertshausen, Groß-Zimmern, Münster, Reinheim, Roßdorf, Schaafheim
Horizont e.V. debt counseling - Groß-Umstädter Str. 16 - 64807 Dieburg - Tel (06071) 2009-01 - office hours:
Tues. 15.30-17.30 (for employed persons) & Thurs. 9.00 - 12.00 hrs.
More info and help
State Working Group for Debtor Counseling in Hesse. Multilingual information sheets on topics such as account garnishment, P-account, housing and energy security, judicial dunning proceedings.
Information sheets · Informationsblätter
Malteser Migranten Medizin - the practice is located on the ground floor of the Marienhospital. Patients can go there without registration, papers or other formalities. Anonymous treatment is possible. Consultation hours: Wednesdays from 14.30 - 18.00.
Address: Martinspfad 72 - 64285 Darmstadt - Tel (06151) 406116 - email@example.com
Students of the TU and h_da Darmstadt who find themselves in an economic emergency situation have the possibility to turn to the support associations of their university.
h_da students please contact: Verein zur Förderung in Not geratener Studierender an der Hochschule Darmstadt e.V. (Association for the Support of Students in Need at the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences).
The application documents and a checklist can be found online.
TU students please contact: Association for the Support of Students in Need at Darmstadt University of Technology e.V./ Förderverein für in Not geratene Studierende der Technischen Universität Darmstadt e.V.
The application documents are either available for download or can be picked up on site.
Please describe your current situation in your application as detailed and comprehensible as possible. Enclose bank statements and receipts.
In emergency situations through no fault of your own, international students may apply for bridging assistance:
Evangelische Studierendengemeinde (ESG)
Catholic Student Community (KHG)
There are award criteria for the aid!