Canada Student Loans Program and how It works
Every year the cost of post-secondary education rises, so seeing how much you’ll have to pay in tuition can be a shock. Plus, you’ve got books, and supplies to buy. It really starts to add up. But there is some good news. The government offers many full-time and part-time students loans through the Canada Student Loans Program if you can show that you are in financial need.
What is it?
The Government of Canada will give you a loan (if you’re eligible). You can’t apply for a specific amount. They just give you an amount that they determine through a number of factors, like your family income, tuition costs, etc. The best part about a loan from the government is that you don’t have to pay anything until you graduate. Nothing. You just need to make sure you have a smart budget so you don’t spend the entire loan amount too early in the school year.
How does it work in my province?
To make it easier, the Government of Canada and most provincial and territorial governments work together to give you grants and loans.
- In Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador the Government of Canada and provincial governments work together to provide Integrated Student Loans
- In Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Canada Student Loans and Grants are available alongside provincial or territorial student financial assistance
- In Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Quebec, Canada Student Loans are not available. They have their own student loan programs
- In Yukon, only Canada Student Loans and territorial Grants are available to permanent residents
What if I need more?
You’ll need to reapply for more money before every school year. So the amount you get may vary each time you apply. But remember, that everything you borrow will need to be paid back. Sometimes you may be rejected, so make sure to apply with plenty of time to find an alternative source of money. It’s a good idea to have a job during the school year and summer break. If you still don’t have enough or if you are turned down for a government loan, you should consider credit options for students, like a student line of credit. They have low interest rates and you only pay interest on the amount you use while in school.
When do I pay it back?
With a government loan, you won’t have to pay a penny until you graduate, or leave school. But, you will have to prove that you are enrolled in school every semester, so that you are not expected to start paying it back. This usually involves bringing a form to your registrars office every semester. Then, once you graduate, there is usually a grace period of a few months before you need to make your first payment. The interest rate on your loan is low and you are given many years to pay it back.