Student Loans

 by: Dave Lympany

Student loans in Canada are provided by a joint Federal and Provincial program with the amount of and eligibility for a loan different between the Provinces and so depends upon the Province you are a resident of (your Province or territory of residence is decided by where you have lived for the last 12 months consecutively whilst NOT a student). You may, however, attend any educational establishment in the country provided both the establishment and the program of your choice are listed by the assistance office in your province.

There are several different types of funding for post secondary education that include grants and bursaries (which you wouldn’t have to pay back) but there are 2 main types of student loan – the Federal and Provincial programs. Whichever type of loan you wish to apply for it all has to be started off by applying to the Provincial/Territorial Assistance office for the Province you are officially a resident of.

The main attraction of a student loan is that although they are REAL loans that do have to be repaid, they are interest free while you remain enrolled in an eligible education program. Once you graduate/leave education the repayment terms are set (normally low interest and you agree the repayment term) and you begin to pay them back. Banks and other lending establishments are no longer involved in offering new loans as all funding is provided by the federal or provincial governments.

Quebec, Northwest Territories and Nunavut are NOT involved in the Canada Student Loans program and have their own systems. If you are a resident of one of these 3 provinces or Territories then you need to contact the particular office for that Province.

To start the ball rolling with the application for a loan there are several processes that you should consider. Your eligibility is the most important – both you (the applicant) and the course you wish to undertake must meet the criteria laid down.

The applicant: The main factor of eligibility is whether you are intending to be a full or part time student. If you are a part time student (20 – 59% of full course load) you may only apply for federal assistance though you would apply through the provincial/territorial assistance office.   (continued...)

Student Loans
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About The Author

Dave Lympany and his family arrived in Canada in 2003 as permanent residents and have developed a Onestop information resource for Canadian Immigration and Life in Canada – http://www.onestopimmigration-canada.com.

davelympany@shaw.ca




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