To handle your finances in Finland, you need to open a bank account. In Päijät-Häme, you can find the branches of the following nationally operating banks with websites in English: Nordea, Osuuspankki (OP) and Danske Bank. Other banks with only Finnish and Swedish websites are S-Bank, Handelsbanken, POP Bank and Helmi Säästöpankki. Please visit the bank websites for more information about Päijät-Häme branch locations, services, and charges.
When opening a bank account, you need to prove your identity with a passport, an identity card for foreign citizens, or some other official identity card. A driver’s licence is not accepted as proof of identification. Please check with your bank for other required documentation.
Bank account charges (bank and service fees) and interest rates vary between banks.
Please note that cheques are not used in Finland.
In Finland, the easiest and most convenient way to manage your finances is to use online or mobile banking. When opening a bank account, it is advisable to also acquire online banking credentials. Please visit the bank websites for information about the specific online and mobile banking services they offer.
Usually online and mobile banking services are only available in Finnish and Swedish, but in some cases also in English. Before becoming a customer of a certain bank, make sure that they offer online and mobile banking services in English if you have difficulties understanding Finnish or Swedish.
Loans and credit cards
As usual, in Finland your ability to repay a debt is the primary criteria for obtaining a loan. Assessment of your ability to pay includes your income, the amount of the requested loan, your residence status, your credit rating and history, as well as a potential guarantor. Please contact your bank to find out the current criteria.
It is advisable to compare the loan offering of different banks to find out the differences in rates, margins and charges. Also make sure that you understand all the documents regarding the loan.
If you live permanently in Finland, are at least 18 years old, receive a regular salary or pension, have managed your personal finances well and your financial standing is sufficient, it is possible to apply for a credit card from your bank. Please contact your bank for more information.
If you face financial problems, you can ask for advice from municipal social services or Kela. In some cases, you may have the right to apply for income support from Kela. Please read more about income support on Kela's website.
If you have problems with debts, you can contact the Legal Aid Office’s financial and debt counselling unit. The counselling service is free of charge. For more information, please visit the Legal Aid Office's website.
The Legal Aid Office branch in Päijät-Häme is located at Kirkkokatu 12 A, Lahti. You can contact the Lahti branch by calling 029 566 1929. Financial and debt counselling over the phone is available on weekdays between 11:00 and 12:00. You can also contact the Päijät-Häme’s office via email: paijat-hame.velkaneuvonta(at)oikeus.fi. To find out more about the services in Päijät-Häme, please visit the Päijät-Häme Legal Aid Office website (in Finnish).
There are numerous national and local insurance companies in Finland and the largest of them that have websites with English-language service descriptions are If, Pohjola and Nordea. Other options that have websites with only Finnish- or Swedish-language service descriptions are Fennia, LähiTapiola, Pohjantähti and Turva. Please visit the insurance companies’ websites for more information about Päijät-Häme branch locations, services and costs.
Most insurance companies offer a wide range of insurance for both private individuals and companies. Only some of insurances are mandatory under Finnish legislation, such as motor liability insurance required for vehicles and a self-employed individual’s pension insurance. While the rest are voluntary, nowadays many landlords add home insurance as a condition of the rental agreement, meaning that proof of a tenant’s home insurance is required when signing the rental agreement.
Insurances can easily be purchased online. Before buying insurance, it is advisable to compare the prices and insurance terms of different insurance companies.
Mobile phone services
In Finland, there are three main network providers: Telia, Elisa and DNA. These three operators have branches all around the country, but subscriptions can also be bought online. Please check the locations of Päijät-Häme branches on the operator's website. Operators Globetel (in Finnish) and MOI (in Finnish) are virtual network operators meaning that they rent networks from the main operators. Globetel and MOI only have online shops.
When getting a sim card, there are three options: pre-paid, subscription and subscription with a device payment plan. It is advisable to compare the different subscription plans of different operators to find the best deal for your specific needs. Please visit the operator’s websites for information about their subscription plans.
For subscriptions, you need to have a permanent address in Finland, a clear credit record and a Finnish personal identity code.
In Finland, the internet is available via a nationwide fast 4G/5G mobile network, as well as via an optic fibre/copper wire network. Telia, Elisa and DNA are the biggest network providers for both mobile and fibre options. It is advisable to compare the different options of different service providers to find the best deal for your specific needs. Please check the store locations on the operator’s websites.