Canada Student Loans – Apply

3. Apply

Once you have verified you are eligible for a Canada Student Loan and that you have not exceeded your lifetime limit for student financial assistance, you are ready to apply for a loan.

Apply for a loan for full-time studies

Step 1: Get a Canada Student Grant and Loan application form

You can apply for grants and loans using one form available either:

Step 2: Complete the application form

Complete and send your application form for federal and provincial student assistance to your province or territory of permanent residence. You can speed up the process by submitting it online.

Application procedures by province or territory

Application procedures are based on your province or territory of residence, not the province or territory where you plan to go to school.

  • If you are a permanent resident of British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick or Newfoundland and Labrador:
    • Complete one application form and submit it to your province of permanent residence.
    • You are assessed for both federal and provincial student loans and grants at the same time.
    • You may be eligible to receive one loan: a combination of federal and provincial student loans.
    • You manage and repay your student loan through the National Student Loans Service Centre.
  • If you are a permanent resident of Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island:
    • Complete one application form and submit it to your province of permanent residence.
    • You are assessed for both federal and provincial student loans and grants at the same time, and you may be eligible to receive two loans: one from the Government of Canada and the other from your provincial government.
    • You manage and repay your loans through two loan providers: the National Student Loans Service Centre for your Canada Student Loan, and your provincial government's student financial assistance office or their service provider for your provincial loan.
  • If you are a permanent resident of Yukon:
    • You apply for a Canada Student Loan through Yukon Student Aid.
    • You are assessed for both federal and territorial grants as well as a Canada Student Loan.
    • You manage and repay your student loan through the National Student Loans Service Centre.
  • If you are a permanent resident of Northwest Territories, Nunavut or Quebec:
    • You apply to your province or territory of permanent residence for student loans.
    • These jurisdictions operate their own student loan programs, which are partly funded by the federal government. Canada Student Loans and Canada Student Grants are not available.
    • You manage and repay your student loan to your province or territory of permanent residence.

Note:

You must re-apply for a Canada Student Loan every school year. If you do not apply for financial assistance during one semester or year of study, your school must confirm your enrolment electronically or provide you with a paper copy for you to submit to the National Student Loans Service Centre.

Step 3: Check your mail or secure provincial or territorial online portal for your notice of assessment

The Notice of Assessment tells you if you qualify for a loan or grant. You may receive it by mail or online in your secure provincial or territorial portal.

If you are not approved for funding or you are not satisfied with the approved amount:

  • Contact the student financial assistance office in your province or territory. There is a formal reassessment process for students who disagree with the financial assistance they have been awarded. Amounts can be reassessed according to your province or territory's own criteria, and those of the federal government.

Note:

For new applicants, once assessed and approved for funding, your province or territory of permanent residence will give you a 10-digit Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA) number.

Within two to three business days of receiving your 10-digit MSFAA number, you will receive a welcome email from the National Student Loans Service Centre (info@msfaa-emafe.cibletudes-canlearn.ca), with the subject line "Register now to set up your online account." The email will invite you to register for your online account with the NSLSC and complete your MSFAA.

A new MSFAA will be issued to you if you are:

  • a first-time grant or loan recipient enrolled in full-time studies;
  • an existing grant or loan recipient who has had a break in studies of more than two years; or
  • an existing grant or loan recipient who has established residency in another province or territory.

Step 4A: New applicants – obtaining a Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement

Once you have been assessed and approved for funding you will need to complete a Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MFSAA). The MSFAA is a legal document that outlines your responsibilities and the terms and conditions of accepting and repaying your provincial or territorial and federal student loans.

Effective April 3, 2018, to receive student grant or loan funding, new applicants need to follow a two-step process to register for an on-line account and complete the MSFAA using the link in the welcome email sent by the NSLSC.

You will need to have on hand:

  • Your bank account information (transit, institution and account number)
  • Your Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Your 10-digit MSFAA number provided by your province or territory of permanent residence
  • Date of birth

Using your MSFAA number, you can confirm your identity and register your account with the National Student Loans Service Centre; and accept the terms and conditions of your completed MSFAA. This two-step process will take about 20 minutes.

Step 1) Register your account with the NSLSC by signing in or using GCKey or Sign-In Partner. You need to enter your 10-digit MSFAA number, SIN and date of birth to verify your identity.

GCKey is a Government of Canada service that issues credentials (username and password) to access (log in to) federal government services online. The GCKey service can be used by clients who do not have, or choose not to use, a credential they may already have with one of the Sign-In Partners.

SecureKey Sign-In Partners are private-sector companies and organizations that have partnered with SecureKey Technologies to enable their customers to use their online credentials (e.g. card numbers or user names and passwords) to access Government of Canada services.

Step 2) Complete your MSFAA by:

  • confirming personal and contact information
  • completing communication preferences
  • entering banking information
  • accepting the terms and conditions of the loan agreement

Step 4B: Loans for returning students

The MSFAA is multi-year. If you have signed the MSFAA on paper before April 3, 2018, you do not need to sign a new one unless you leave full-time study for two years or establish residency in a new province or territory. To complete a new MSFAA (see step 4A), you must register your online account with the NSLSC and complete a new MSFAA online.

If your banking information changes, please contact the NSLSC to update your account:

Step 5: Confirm your enrolment

Before you can receive your student loan or grant, your school, a designated post-secondary institution, must confirm your enrolment. After you accept the terms and conditions of the MSFAA, the school must submit a confirmation of enrolment to the NSLSC on your behalf. You do not need to take any action. You will be contacted only if necessary.

Once enrolment is confirmed by the designated post-secondary institution and the student loan or grant funds are paid out, the NSLSC will send you an email (subject: "Important update: Check your mailbox") from info@csnpenslsc.ca.

If you cannot complete the MSFAA process online or if your banking information changes, contact the NSLSC:

1-888-815-4514 (toll free in North America)
800-2-225-2501 (outside North America)
1-888-815-4556 (TTY)

Apply for a loan for part-time studies

Step 1: Get a Canada Student Grant and Loan application form for part-time studies

You can apply for grants and loans using one form available either:

Step 2: Complete the application form

Application procedures are based on your province or territory of residence, not the province or territory where you plan to go to school.

  • Complete one application form and submit it to your province or territory of permanent residence.
  • You are assessed for both part-time student loans and grants.
  • You manage and repay your part-time student loan through the National Student Loans Service Centre.
  • If you are a permanent resident of Northwest Territories, Nunavut or Quebec:
    • You apply to your province or territory of permanent residence for student loans.
    • Canada Student Loans and Canada Student Grants for Part-Time Studies are not available. These jurisdictions operate their own student loan programs, which are partly funded by the federal government.
    • You manage and repay your student loan to your province or territory of permanent residence.

Note:

You must re-apply for a Canada Student Loan for Part-Time Studies every school year. If you do not apply for financial assistance during one semester or year of study, your school must complete the Confirmation of Enrolment information by hand or electronically.

Step 3: Check your mail or secure provincial or territorial online portal for your notice of assessment

The Notice of Assessment will tell you if you qualified for a part-time loan or grant. You may receive it by mail, online or by email from the financial assistance office in your province or territory.

If your application is approved, you will receive two separate documents:

  • the Certificate of Eligibility for Part-Time Student Grants and Loans; and
  • the Canada Student Financial Assistance Agreement for Part-Time Students.

If you are not approved for funding or you are not satisfied with the approved amount, you may contact the student financial assistance office in your province or territory. There is a formal reassessment process for students who disagree with the financial assistance they have been awarded. Amounts can be reassessed according to your province or territory’s own criteria, and those of the federal government.

Step 4: Review your loan documents and confirm enrolment with your school

If you are approved for part-time funding, you must review your Canada Student Financial Assistance Agreement for Part-Time Students:

  • Your Canada Student Financial Assistance Agreement for Part-Time Students is a legally binding contract. It is important that you review it carefully and read the terms and conditions.
  • Check your personal information to make sure it is correct. If it is not correct, contact your provincial or territorial student financial assistance office.
  • Include your banking information and a void cheque to have your money deposited directly into your bank account.

Step 5: Sign your student loan documents

Make sure you fully understand your responsibilities and commitments before signing. Your loan agreement is a legal document, and your signature means you agree to its terms and conditions.

Once you are sure that all the information is correct and you have read and accepted the terms and conditions, sign your agreement.

Step 6: Submit your loan documents

Complete and sign your Canada Student Financial Assistance Agreement for Part Time Students along with your completed Certificate of Eligibility.

Bring the following in a sealed envelope to any Canada Post outlet:

  1. Your completed Certificate of Eligibility.
  2. Your signed Canada Student Financial Assistance Agreement for Part-Time Students. Do not forget to attach a void cheque or enter your banking information.
  3. A copy (DO NOT SEND THE ORIGINAL) of both sides of a valid photo identification issued in Canada by the federal or a provincial or territorial government, such as:
    • a valid driver's licence;
    • a passport;
    • a provincially issued identification card with a photo;
    • a permanent residency or citizenship card;
    • a federal or provincial employee identification card; or
    • a Record of Landing accompanied by an expired Permanent Residence Card.
  4. A copy (DO NOT SEND THE ORIGINAL) of both sides of a document proving that the Social Insurance Number (SIN) on your loan or grant documents is yours. For example, you can provide a copy of your SIN card/letter or an official Government of Canada document that has your SIN on it, such as:
    • a Canada Pension Plan Statement of Contributions;
    • a Confirmation of Social Insurance Number from Service Canada; or
    • a temporary SIN card.

Canada Post Return Number for Express Post mailing:

To send your documents, free of charge, to the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC), provide the Canada Post Return Number to the post office clerk: PR150936.

Step 7: Confirm your enrolment

Before you can receive your student loan and/or grant money, your school must confirm you are enrolled at a designated post-secondary institution. Upon receipt of your signed Canada Student Financial Assistance Agreement for Part-Time Students, your school will complete a Confirmation of Enrolment electronically. If you need to take action, you will be contacted

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