The article describes the properties and components of student loans, and analyzes the role of the state as a guarantor of student loans under information asymmetry. Different ways of providing loans as well as types and elements of student loans are described. Western (American, Swedish, German, Australian) practices as well as the practice of NIS countries are presented. The second part of the article constructs a model of a contract for student loans with incentives. Based on the theory of agent relations, a way to decrease the risk of defaults on the loan is suggested. The key points are granting the student a right to delayed payments and a grace period. The model provides for the possibility of the bank to changing the interest rate depending on the academic achievements of the student.