Student loans in Canada help post-secondary students pay for their education in Canada. The federal government funds the Canada Student Loan Program (CSLP) and the provinces may fund their own programs or run in parallel with the CSLP.
The Canada Student Loans Program, which is also known as the National Student Loan is administered by the National Student Loan Service Center, provides loans and concessions to post-secondary students who show financial need. The interest rates on the loans are:
- Fixed Rate: Fixed rate is a stable rate of interest. A fixed rate of prime 5% is used to estimate the loan refund.
- Floating rate: Floating rate is a rate of interest that changes over time, i.e. increases or decreases along with the prime rate. A floating rate of prime 2.5% is applied to calculate the loan repayment.
- Prime rate: The prime rate is used as a base to calculate the interest applied to a Canada Student Loan. This prime rate is estimated using the interest rates declared by the five largest Canadian financial institutions. The five institutions include the Bank of Montreal, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the Bank of Nova Scotia, the Royal Bank of Canada and TD Canada Trust
- be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada or designated as a protected person;
- be a permanent resident of a province or territory that issues Canada Student Loans
- Show financial need;
- be a full-time student enrolled in at least 60 percent of a full course load
- be a part-time student enrolled in 20-59 percent of a full course load
- be enrolled in a degree, diploma or certificate program offered by a designated post-secondary school that runs for at least 12 weeks within a 15-week period;
- Pass a credit check if you’re applying for your first Canada Student Loan then.
Residents of Canada living in any province for over a year are eligibile for loans provided by the federal government through the CSLP, besides the loans offered by their province of residence.
Facts: Loans issued to full-time students are interest free. Students receiving a Canada Student Loan (CSL) for the first time on or after August 1, 1995, are eligible for up to 340 weeks (~6.5 years) of interest-free assistance. Students in doctoral programs are eligible for an additional 60 weeks, up to 400 weeks (~7.5 years). Students with permanent disabilities and students who received their first CSL prior to August 1, 1995 are eligible for up to 520 weeks of assistance (10 years).
Loan Repayments- Terms & ConditionsFollowing are the loan repayment cases:Case 1: If the loans were issued to you by British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, or Saskatchewan.
The Full-time students were given an “integrated loan” i.e. money from both the government of Canada and the province they come from, and need to pay back the loan through the National Student Loans Service Centre.
Case 2: If the loans were issued to you by Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island
The Full-time students need to make payments on two loans: a federal student loan and a provincial student loan. The federal student loan is managed and repaid through the NSLSC whereas the provincial loan will be paid back through your province or one of the provincial loan service providers.Case 3: If your loans were issued to you by Quebec, Nunavut or Northwest Territories
In this case, the loan is repaid through the student assistance office of the province you belong to or territory of residence.Case 4: If your loans were issued to you by Yukon
The loan, in this case, is repaid through the National Student Loans Service Center (NSLSC)Case 5: If you received part-time student loans
The loan is repaid through the NSLSC, i.e. national student loans service center.