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Money matters PDF Print E-mail

Bank account
Financial support

Bank account
Usually, official payments in Germany are made through transfers, e.g. rent to your landlord or the monthly contribution to your health insurance company etc. Therefore it is advisable to open a bank account. For students, opening an account and making transactions is free of charge.

Compare the different offers from different banks before making your choice. You could ask other students where they have their account. One of the most popular banks is the Sparkasse Deggendorf.

Take about 30 minutes when you are going to open an account and do not forget the following items:
o passport or ID-card
o proof of enrolment at Deggendorf University of Applied Sciences (if you do not have it yet, you can submit it later)

And do not forget to mention that you are a student, if not, the account will not be free of charge.

All banks, even private ones, are subject to state control. The major banks are the Commerzbank, the Deutsche Bank and the Dresdner Bank as well as the Sparkasse and the Postbank. The terms and conditions of business in Germany vary from one bank to another. It is worthwhile comparing charges and other offers carefully. As a rule, banks open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Thursday and on Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Transferring money
In Germany, by contrast to many countries, it is not usual to send cheques to people by post (e.g. the rent to your landlord). There are various ways of conducting monetary transactions:

Direct transfer (“Überweisung”) is used to transfer money from one account to the other. You have to fill in a transfer form and hand it in at your bank or savings bank.

It is recommendable to arrange for a standing order (“Dauerauftrag”) if you have regularly recurring payments of a set sum, such as rent. The sum can be deducted automatically from your account on an agreed date and transferred to the account of the recipient. The bank will provide you with the necessary form.

Direct debit (“Lastschrift”) is a practical method of payment if you have recurring sums which vary in size, such as the telephone bill or health insurance. You give the recipient a direct debit authorisation (“Einzugsermächtigung”) which authorises them to deduct the respective amounts from your account. Of course, you can always cancel the authorisation and stop the direct debit. This method of payment may be new to you and you may be suspicious that it could be open to abuse. However, all direct debits are registered on your bank statement so that you can, and should, check them and revoke any incorrect debits.

Cheques and credit cards
With Eurocheques you can pay anywhere in Europe in the currency of the country. Eurocheques must be accompanied by a Eurocheque card. You have to apply for the card and it usually takes about a week before you get it. On the application form you will have to prove that money will be arriving on your account on a regular basis. You can draw a maximum of 200 Euro on the Eurocheque or the equivalent in foreign currency. The Eurocheque card should not be confused with the Eurocard. The Eurocard is a credit card, allied to the Master-Card system and valid all over the world. In shops and hotels, you can often pay by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Eurocard, Diners´ Club) but it is not so common in smaller restaurants and pubs.

When you open a current account, you will usually be awarded overdraft facilities (“Dispokredit”) allowing you to overdraw your account to a certain agreed limit. Please note that interest is very high, about 11%, depending on the bank. It gets even more expensive if you go beyond the agreed limit, you will then pay interest of more than 15% per month on your overdraft.

You will be given a secret pin number together with your cheque card. However, this will not necessarily protect you from abuse of your card as the user is not required to quote the pin-number at the cash desk, but only to provide a signature. If you lose your check card or any other bank cards, ring your bank immediately so that your card can be frozen.

It’s very important to remember to withdraw the money you have in your German bank account before you leave.

Financial support
If students come to Deggendorf with the ERASMUS programme they receive a certain amount of money every month from their home university. Students can also apply at several charitable foundations for financial support, but please notice that only a few students will be selected.

For more information on scholarships and financial grants please see:


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