4.4.4 Canada Student Loans system

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Federal government loans are meant to give you a helping hand, not to pay for your entire post-secondary education. You are still expected to contribute some money.

This section focuses on the loan and debt repayment aspects of the Canada Student Loans Program. For more information on eligibility, how to apply, and so on, visit Employment and Social Development Canada’s information on Canada Student Loans.

Here's a brief summary of how the Canada Student Loans Program works.

  • When you apply for a Canada Student Loan, you are also automatically assessed for most Canada Student Grants. You have to repay a Canada Student Loan, but you do not have to repay a Canada Student Grant.
  • The amounts of your student loan and grant are based on your assessed financial need, which takes into account such factors as your cost of education, your savings and financial contribution, your living situation and so on.
  • If you are approved for a loan, you agree to repay your loan, plus interest, beginning six months after you have completed your studies or left school.
  • There are lifetime limits on the amount of student financial assistance you can receive, ranging from 340 to 520 weeks' worth of financial assistance.
  • For full-time students, government student loan programs don't charge interest until you have left school. Interest accumulates from the month after you graduate or leave school, but payments are only required six months later.
  • For part-time students, interest accumulates while you're in school, but you are not required to make loan payments during that time. Loan payments are only required six months after you graduate or leave school.
  • The main advantages of government student loans, compared with other types of loans, such as bank loans, are that government loans are generally easier to qualify for, and that interest isn't charged until after you finish school.
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