CanLearn.ca. Canada Student Loans and Grants TRADE SCHOOL, COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY. Guide to Federal Student Financial Assistance

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1 Now and Tomorrow Excellence in Everything We Do Canada Student Loans and Grants TRADE SCHOOL, COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY Guide to Federal Student Financial Assistance CanLearn.ca LC

2 You can order this publication by contacting: Publishing Services Human Resources and Skills Development Canada 140 Promenade du Portage Phase IV, 10 th Floor Gatineau, Québec K1A 0J9 Online: This document is available on demand in alternate formats (large print, Braille, audio cassette, audio CD, e-text diskette, e-text CD, or DAISY), by contacting O-Canada ( ). If you have a hearing or speech impairment and use a teletypewriter (TTY), call Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2011 Paper: PDF: Cat. No.: HS48-2/2011E Cat. No.: HS48-2/2011E-PDF ISBN: ISBN:

3 Table of Contents This Guide... 2 Section 1: Financing Your Education... 3 Canada Student Loans...3 Canada Student Grants...8 Other forms of student financial assistance...10 Other online resources to help plan and pay for education...11 Section 2: While You Are in School Section 3: Repaying Your Student Loan Repayment assistance measures...17 Repayment Assistance Plan...17 Repayment Assistance Plan for Borrowers with a Permanent Disability...18 Revision of Terms...18 Repayment assistance for borrowers with a severe permanent disability...18 Section 4: Glossary Section 5: Contact Information This guide reflects information and policies in effect at the time of printing (31/03/2011). Any changes to the program will be posted online at CanLearn.ca CanLearn.ca Canada Student Loans and Grants 1

4 This Guide What does your future hold? Take control by getting a post-secondary education. Higher education opens up a whole new world of opportunities. Financial assistance from the Canada Student Loans Program can help you reach your goals. After all, education is your best investment. This Guide to Federal Student Financial Assistance will tell you everything you need to know about Canada Student Loans and Grants. It explains how to get them, how to manage them and, in the case of loans, how to repay them. It includes a glossary of terms used in the Canada Student Loans Program, and it lists phone numbers and Web addresses for the offices you may want to contact. There are many types of funding sources to consider in deciding how to pay for your post-secondary education. Government funded student loans and grants are just a couple of your options. You may also be able to use money you make from a part-time job, family contributions, and bursaries or scholarships. Be sure to borrow only the money you need. In addition to reading this Guide, you can visit CanLearn.ca to find out more about planning and paying for studies after high school. The website has detailed information about: Canadian universities, colleges and trade schools; and Budgeting and financial planning. CanLearn.ca also provides various online tools such as the Program Search, Student Financial Assistance Estimator, and the Repayment Assistance Estimator to help you plan and eventually pay for your post-secondary education. Since 1964, the Canada Student Loans Program has been helping students achieve their educational goals. 2 TRADE SCHOOL, COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY

5 SECTION 1: Financing Your Education The Government of Canada offers several forms of financial assistance for students pursuing studies after high school, including Canada Student Loans and Canada Student Grants. Canada Student Loans Canada Student Loans are provided by the Government of Canada in most provinces and territories to help students pay for university, college or trade school. In Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Yukon, Canada Student Loans are available alongside provincial or territorial student financial assistance. In British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Canada and each provincial government have partnered to provide financial assistance jointly through Integrated Student Loans. In Quebec, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, Canada Student Loans and Grants are not available. These jurisdictions operate their own financial assistance programs. For more information contact your provincial or territorial student financial assistance office. (See Section 5, page 22, for contact information.) NOTE: If you are a full-time student seeking Canada Student Loans and Grants, no matter where you are going to school, you must apply to your province or territory of permanent residence. You are a permanent resident of the province or territory where you, or your family, have most recently lived for at least 12 consecutive months, not including any time you spent as a full-time student at a post-secondary educational institution. If you are a resident of Quebec, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut, you are not eligible for Canada Student Loans and Grants. Am I eligible? To be eligible for Canada Student Loans and Grants, you must: Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, or be designated a protected person under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act ¹; Be a permanent resident of a province or territory that issues Canada Student Loans; Demonstrate financial need; Be enrolled in a degree, diploma or certificate program that runs for at least 12 weeks in a 15-week period and is offered by a designated post-secondary institution; Be taking at least 60 percent of a full course load if you are a full-time student, or between 20 and 59 percent of a full course load if you are a part-time student; and Pass a credit check if you are 22 or older and are ¹ A protected person is someone facing persecution in their country of nationality. Protected persons are designated by the Immigration and Refugee Board or by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. CanLearn.ca Canada Student Loans and Grants 3

6 applying for student loans and grants for the first time. A list of all the designated educational institutions where students are eligible to receive Canada Student Loans is available at CanLearn.ca. Are there any other conditions? If you ve already received a Canada Student Loan, your previous loan must be in good standing and you must be maintaining satisfactory grades. Providing false or misleading information on your student loan application could restrict you from receiving student financial assistance (e.g. loans, grants, interest-free status or repayment assistance) for up to five years. You must not have already exceeded the maximum lifetime limit, which is 340 weeks of assistance for fulltime studies. The table below explains the lifetime limits. You are eligible for a maximum of if you are Can I get a student loan from my province or territory of permanent residence and a Canada Student Loan from the Government of Canada? Yes, when you apply, you are automatically assessed for Canada Student Loans and Grants and a provincial or territorial student loan. You are not required to apply for both a student loan in your province and a Canada Student Loan or Grant these are completed through one application process. The Government of Canada provides up to a maximum of $210 in loans per week of study, depending on your level of assessed need. Your province or territory of permanent residence will also provide financial assistance in the form of provincial or territorial student loans. Amounts vary between provinces and territories. Contact your provincial or territorial student financial assistance office for more information. See page 22 for contact information. 340 weeks a full-time student who received a Canada Student Loan for the first time on or after August 1, weeks enrolled in full-time doctoral studies. 520 weeks a student with a permanent disability. OR a full-time student who received a Canada Student Loan for the first time before ` August 1, TRADE SCHOOL, COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY

7 Who administers my student loans? Although you apply for a Canada Student Loan and a provincial student loan through a single application, you will receive one loan, or two, depending on your province or territory of permanent residence. Province or territory of permanent residence Alberta Manitoba Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island One loan or two? Explanation Administered by TWO One from the Government of Canada (Canada Student Loan) and one from your provincial government. For provincial or territorial student loan: financial institution, service provider, or provincial student financial assistance office For Canada Student Loan: National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) British Columbia Saskatchewan Ontario ONE One Integrated Student Loan, delivered jointly by the federal and provincial governments. NSLSC New Brunswick Newfoundland and Labrador Quebec Northwest Territories Nunavut ONE These jurisdictions operate their own provincial or territorial student loan programs and do not participate in the Canada Student Loans Program. Provincial or territorial government These programs are partly funded by federal government transfers. Yukon ONE A Canada Student Loan. Yukon offers a grant program, but not a student loan program. NSLSC CanLearn.ca Canada Student Loans and Grants 5

8 Once you receive your loan National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) The NSLSC is responsible for administering your Canada Student Loans (the federal portion of your loan) and Integrated Student Loans. The NSLSC can help you with any questions or concerns regarding repayment of your loans. The NSLSC: Processes your loans and grants; Arranges for your loan funds to be deposited to your bank account; Helps you keep track of the amount of your loan and the amount you have to repay; Works with you to set up a loan repayment schedule; and Administers repayment assistance programs. National Student Loans Service Centre online You can also log on to the NSLSC website to check the status of your issued Canada Student Loans. Through the NSLSC website, you can: Check the status and details of student loan you ve already received; Check the balance of your loan(s); Update your mailing and permanent addresses and other contact information; Review your loan payment and transaction history; and Receive information about your loan in your Personal Message Centre. Visit CanLearn.ca to access the NSLSC website. How do I apply? You apply to your province or territory of permanent residence for student financial assistance. You are only required to complete one application when applying for most federal and provincial loans and most federal grants. Apply through your provincial student financial assistance website. Visit CanLearn.ca or see Section 5, page 22, of this Guide for contact information. You can complete and submit your application online or print the application, fill it out by hand and send it by mail. Paper applications may be available at your high school or your provincial or territorial student financial assistance office. Your provincial or territorial student financial assistance office will assess your loan application, confirm your eligibility and determine the amount of federal and provincial or territorial financial assistance that you may be eligible to receive. Most student loan applications are assessed within four to six weeks. When you apply online, you may still be required to submit signed declarations in some provinces or territories, however, you will still receive the results of your assessment faster. When you apply to your province or territory you are automatically assessed for: Canada Student Loans; Canada Student Grants; and Financial assistance from your province or territory. 6 TRADE SCHOOL, COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY

9 When is the deadline to apply? Deadlines vary. Check with your provincial or territorial student financial assistance office for specific deadline information. Missing a deadline could prevent you from receiving some or all of your student loan funding. Remember that the earlier you apply, the earlier you will receive your assessment and financial assistance. How much loan funding will I receive? The amount of financial assistance you may be eligible for is based on your assessed financial need. It is different for each student. Your assessed need is calculated based on the difference between your allowable costs (which may include educational, living and transportation costs) and your resources (your own contribution and that of your parents, spouse or common-law partner). ALLOWABLE COSTS minus RESOURCES = ASSESSED NEED Use the Student Financial Assistance Estimator, an online tool available at CanLearn.ca, to find out how much federal student financial assistance you could be eligible for. Can I receive a student loan if I study abroad? Yes, if you attend a designated post-secondary educational institution on a full-time basis. If you plan to study outside Canada, contact your provincial or territorial student financial assistance office or check the List of Designated Educational Institutions on CanLearn.ca. How long can I receive student financial assistance? Student financial assistance includes loans and grants and/or interest-free status while in studies. For a maximum of if you are 340 weeks a full-time student who received a Canada Student Loan for the first time on or after August 1, weeks enrolled in full-time doctoral studies. 520 weeks a student with a permanent disability. OR a full-time student who received a Canada Student Loan for the first time before August 1, Can I appeal the decision if my loan application is not approved or if I am not satisfied with the assessment results? Yes, first contact your provincial or territorial student financial assistance office to ask for a review of your loan application assessment. If you still wish to appeal a decision, you must submit a written appeal, along with any supporting documentation to your provincial or territorial student financial assistance office. The appeal process may take four to six weeks. CanLearn.ca Canada Student Loans and Grants 7

10 Overawards What is an overaward? An overaward is student financial assistance you received for which you were not eligible. An overaward can occur if your application is reassessed due to a change in your circumstances. For example, if you discontinued studies during a study period, if your income changed, or if an audit of your application uncovered inaccurate information, your provincial/ territorial Student Financial Assistance Branch may determine that you have received an overaward. Overaward amounts may be deducted from future student financial assistance awarded under the Canada Student Loans and Grants Program. Canada Student Grants When you apply and qualify for a Canada Student Loan, you are automatically assessed for one or more of the Canada Student Grants listed below. A separate application is only required for the Grant for Services and Equipment for Students with Permanent Disabilities. All Canada Student Grants will be disbursed in two portions, one at the beginning of the school year and one again at the mid-point of your school year. You may be eligible to receive more than one grant at the same time. It should be noted that under certain circumstances, a grant can be converted into a loan. Remember that grants are money that you do not pay back. 1. Grant for Students from Low-Income Families Students who qualify for a Canada Student Loan and meet the eligibility requirements for the Grant for Students from Low-Income Families can receive $250 per month of full-time studies. This grant is available for all years of a university undergraduate, college or trade program that is at least two years (60 weeks) in duration. You may receive more money than your assessed need, as Low-Income Grant amounts are fixed. The low-income threshold table used to assess eligibility for this grant can be found on CanLearn.ca. Example A If you qualify for the Grant for Students from Low-Income Families and demonstrate an assessed need of $1,400, you would receive $2,000 in grant assistance for an eight-month undergraduate academic program ($250 per month of study). In this case, the grant would more than cover your assessed need and no Canada Student Loan would be provided. Example B If you qualify for the Grant for Students from Low-Income Families and demonstrate an assessed need of $7,000, you would receive $2,000 in grant assistance for an eight-month undergraduate academic program ($250 per month of study), plus $5,000 as a student loan. 8 TRADE SCHOOL, COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY

11 2. Grant for Students from Middle-Income Families Students who qualify for a Canada Student Loan and meet the eligibility requirements for the Grant for Students from Middle-Income Families can receive $100 per month of full-time studies. This grant is available for all years of a university undergraduate, college or trade school that is at least two years (60 weeks) in duration. You may receive more money than your assessed need, as middle-income grant amounts are fixed. The middle-income threshold table used to assess eligibility for this grant can be found on CanLearn.ca. Example A If you qualify for both a Canada Student Loan as well as this grant, and demonstrate an assessed need of $600, you would receive $800 in grant assistance for an eight-month undergraduate academic program ($100 per month of study). In this case, this grant would more than cover your assessed need and no loan would be provided. Example B If you qualify for both a Canada Student Loan as well as this grant, and demonstrate an assessed need of $1,500, you would receive $800 in grant assistance for an eight-month undergraduate academic program ($100 per month of study), plus $700 in Canada Student Loans. 3. Grant for Students with Dependants Students from low-income families who qualify for a Canada Student Loan and meet the eligibility requirements can receive $200 per month of full-time studies, per child under 12 years of age. Students may also qualify for the Grant for Low-Income Students if they are enrolled in an undergraduate academic program of at least two years in duration. Example If you have one child and qualify for both a Canada Student Loan as well as this grant, and you demonstrate an assessed need of $3,000, you would receive $1,600 under the Grant for Students with Dependants for an eight-month undergraduate academic program. 4. Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities Students with permanent disabilities can receive $2,000 per academic year. You may receive more money than your assessed need, as grant amounts are fixed. Example If you qualify for both a Canada Student Loan as well as this grant, and you demonstrate an assessed need of $1,400, you would receive a grant of $2,000, because the amount of this grant is fixed. In this case, the grant would more than cover your assessed need and you would not receive a Canada Student Loan. IMPORTANT: To ensure you meet all the application requirements for this grant, please contact your provincial or territorial student financial assistance office. The application process differs depending on the province or territory. 5. Grant for Services and Equipment for Students with Permanent Disabilities Students with permanent disabilities who have exceptional education-related costs associated to their permanent disability, such as tutors, note-takers, interpreters, braillers or technical aids may receive up to $8,000 per academic year. Once your application is processed, you will receive written notification of your eligibility. A separate application form is required for this grant. Example A If you meet the eligibility criteria for both a Canada Student Loan as well as this grant, and you need $6,400 for exceptional services and equipment, you will be eligible to receive a grant of $6,400. Example B If you meet the eligibility criteria for both a Canada Student Loan as well as this grant, and you need $10,000 for exceptional services and equipment, you will be eligible to receive a grant of $8,000 towards those expenses. IMPORTANT: To ensure you meet all the application requirements for this grant, please contact your provincial or territorial student financial assistance office. The application process differs depending on the province or territory and you will be required to provide receipts for expenses incurred. CanLearn.ca Canada Student Loans and Grants 9

12 6. Grant for Part-Time Studies Part-time students from low-income families may be eligible for up to $1,200 per academic year. The amount provided under this grant will not exceed your assessed need. For example, if you demonstrate $800 of assessed need, you will then receive a grant of $ Grant for Part-Time Students with Dependants Part-time students with up to two children under 12 years of age may be eligible for $40 per week of study, and part-time students with three or more children may be eligible for $60 per week of study. This grant is available for part-time students with dependants who have an assessed need that exceeds the part-time grant of $1,200. IMPORTANT: Part-time students with disabled dependants 12 years of age or older may be eligible for this grant. In these particular cases, proof of the disability in the form of a medical certificate or documentation proving receipt of federal or provincial disability assistance would be required. How an early withdrawal may affect your Canada Student Grant: If you withdraw from studies or change from full- to part-time status within 30 calendar days from the first day of classes, all or part of a Canada Student Grant that has been disbursed for the respective period of studies will be converted to a loan in accordance with the conditions stated on your loan agreement. You will have the opportunity to repay the grant overaward immediately or this amount will be added to your outstanding loan principal on the period of study end date. Note: If you are able to provide documentary evidence within six months that your withdrawal from studies or your change from full- to part-time studies was as a result of unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances beyond your control, the decision to convert the grant into a loan may be reconsidered. How a reassessment (audit) may affect your Canada Student Grant: If a reassessment of your application determines that you provided inaccurate information rendering you ineligible for a full- or part-time Canada Student Loan, all or part of a Canada Student Grant that has been issued will be converted to loan in accordance with the conditions stated on your loan agreement. Other forms of student financial assistance Federal fellowships and scholarships The Government of Canada offers more than just Canada Student Loans and Grants. As part of its commitment to reducing financial barriers and improving access to post-secondary education, it funds federal scholarships and fellowships. University fellowships and scholarships are also offered by the following federal granting councils: Canadian Institutes of Health Research at Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada at Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada at Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG) The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG) is a taxable cash grant of $1,000 per year, up to a maximum of $2,000 per person. The grant is available to registered apprentices once they have successfully completed their first or second year/level (or equivalent) of an apprenticeship program in one of the designated Red Seal trades. Specifically, the AIG is meant to: Increase access to apprenticeships in the Red Seal trades by helping apprentices cover expenses, such as the purchase of tools and other materials required for on-the-job learning and travel expenses associated with classroom training; Encourage the apprentice s progress through the technical and on-the-job training requirements in the early years of their apprenticeship program, building momentum towards certification; and 10 TRADE SCHOOL, COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY

13 Promote interprovincial mobility by increasing the number of apprentices who remain in the Red Seal them trades and complete their program, which to work across Canada. Apprenticeship Completion Grant (ACG) The ACG is a taxable cash grant offering a maximum of $2,000 per registered apprentice after they successfully complete their apprenticeship training and obtain journeyperson in a designated Red Seal trade, on or after January 1, The Apprenticeship Completion Grants objectives are to: Increase access to apprenticeship in the Red Seal trades by helping apprentices cover expenses such as the purchase of tools and other materials required for on-the-job learning and travel expenses associated with classroom training; Encourage the apprentice s progress through the technical and on-the-job training requirements in the early years of their apprenticeship program, building and momentum towards Enable interprovincial mobility by increasing the number of apprentices who remain in the Red Seal trades and get their journeyperson Through the AIG and the ACG, apprentices who have in a designated received their journeyperson Red Seal trade could be eligible to receive a maximum grant of $4,000. More information about the AIG and ACG can be found at Scholarships Scholarship Search CanLearn.ca provides a scholarship search function in collaboration with yconic.ca. This tool is a Canadian service devoted to helping high school, college information on scholarships, and university students assistance bursaries, grants and other forms of available from the private sector and organizations. Other online resources to help plan and pay for education. Youth.gc.ca Youth.gc.ca is a website for Canadians from 15 to 30 years of age who are looking for information and tools on training, employment and careers. It features more than 250 programs, services and resources that can help youth make the transition from school to work. It also provides contact information, including Web addresses, and an index of programs and organizations. Check out Youth.gc.ca to out about: Awards, bursaries, fellowships, grants and scholarships; Career information tools; Educational and other assistance; Entrepreneurship; Job-search tools; Skills development and learning opportunities; Travel; and National and international work experience opportunities. CanLearn.ca Canada Student Loans and Grants 11

14 SECTION 2 While You Are in School Tips to help you manage your loan Open and read any mail you receive regarding your Canada Student Loans and/or Grants. Keep all your Canada Student Loan documentation in one place. Include your loan account number on all correspondence with the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC). Create an NSLSC online student loan account at CanLearn.ca so you can access information about your loan(s), change your mailing address and view other personal account information. Stay in touch notify your loan administrators (NSLSC and/or financial institution) if you: change your address, name or phone number; leave school or transfer to another school; or change your graduation date. Call your loan administrator if you have any questions. Do I need to make payments on my student loan while I m still studying? No, you are not required to make any payments on your loan while in school. Additionally, the Government of Canada and/or your province or territory will cover the interest on your Canada Student Loan while you are in school, as long as you do not exceed the maximum lifetime limit of assistance (340 weeks for full-time students). What would cause interest to be charged to my loan if I m still studying? If you have received loans as a full-time student and have received more than the lifetime limit of assistance, you have options. You can make payments on your loans, pay only the monthly interest, or not make any payments at all until you complete your education. Note that interest does accumulate on loans once you have exceeded the maximum number of weeks as outlined in the table below. 12 TRADE SCHOOL, COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY

15 For a maximum of if you are 340 weeks a full-time student who received a Canada Student Loan for the first time on or after August 1, weeks enrolled in full-time doctoral studies. 520 weeks a student with a permanent disability. OR a full-time student who received a Canada Student Loan for the first time before August 1, What happens to my loans if I decide to take a year off school? You will be asked to begin repaying your student loans, which will include any accrued interest six months after you: graduate; leave school; or take time off from your studies; or. switch from full-time to part-time studies Your first loan payment will be due on the last day of the seventh month after the end date of your most recent period of study. Interest does accumulate on your federal student loan during this six-month non-repayment period. However, if at any point you return to studies advise your lenders by confirming your enrolment, your loan may return to interest-free status. Example: Date of end of studies: April 30, 2011 Date six-month non-repayment period begins (interest starts accruing): May 1, 2011 Date six-month non-repayment period ends: October 31, 2011 First loan payment due date: November 30, 2011 What happens if I decide to go back to school? When you return to school within six months from your last confirmed day of studies, you will not be required to pay the interest on your loans, providing you confirm your enrolment with the National Student Loans Service Centre. Your school s student financial assistance office or the National Student Loans Service Centre will supply you with the required documents. Do I need to confirm my enrolment if I am not getting a loan this year? Yes, if you hold previous student loans and you are not planning to apply for a student loan this year (or if you did not qualify for student loans this year), you must submit your confirmation of enrolment to the National Student Loans Service Centre and to any other loan provider you have. This will ensure that you are not asked to begin repaying your loan while you are enrolled as a full-time student and you will remain in either interest-free or non-repayment status. Students studying on a part-time basis are not required to make payments; however, interest will accrue. CanLearn.ca Canada Student Loans and Grants 13

16 SECTION 3: Repaying Your Student Loan The repayment period for all student loans begins on the date you complete your studies, leave school or exceed the maximum lifetime limit (340 weeks for full-time studies, with some exceptions). This period continues until you ve repaid all the money you borrowed. As a borrower, you are required to fulfill your obligations and responsibilities, so it s important to fully understand the terms and conditions of your loan. Student loans are real loans similar to car loans and mortgages and you have to pay them back. What am I responsible for? You are responsible for: Signing a Consolidated Canada Student Loan Agreement; Repaying your student loan and the interest that accumulates; and Advising your lenders (example, the NSLSC) of any changes to your contact information. What does consolidation mean? Consolidation means combining loans received over multiple years into a single loan. In the case of student loans, it means arranging to repay all your federal loans received after August 1, 2000, federal/provincial integrated loans or provincial or territorial loans into one payment. Loans received prior to August 1, 2000, will have a separate consolidation agreement administered by your financial institution. The Consolidated Student Loan Agreement is a legal document that includes the details and arrangements you have agreed to with your financial institution and/or the National Student Loans Service Centre regarding the repayment of your student loans. During the six-month non-repayment period after you leave school, the National Student Loans Service Centre will mail you a Consolidated Student Loan Agreement for your Canada Student Loan(s) or Integrated Student Loan(s). This agreement provides information about: The total loan amount; Your interest rate; Your payment schedule; The amount of each loan payment; and How long it will take to repay your loan (your amortization period). Make sure to read, complete and return your agreement. A signed agreement will allow you to apply for repayment assistance if you experience financial difficulty. You may need to sign more than one agreement, depending on what types of student loans you have and who holds them. Contact your provincial or territorial student financial assistance office (contact information on page 22) for more information. 14 TRADE SCHOOL, COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY

17 Province or territory of permanent residence Are you repaying one loan or two? How many consolidation agreements will you need to sign? Administered by Manitoba Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island TWO You will need to sign two consolidation agreements; one from the Government of Canada (Canada Student Loans) and one from your provincial government. For provincial or territorial student loan: financial instution, service provider, or provincial student financial assistance office For Canada Student Loan: NSLSC British Columbia (Visit CanLearn.ca and for upcoming changes to repayment of student loans for BC borrowers.) TWO If you enter repayment before July 2012, you may be required to sign two consolidation agreements; one from the Government of Canada (Canada Student Loans) and one from your provincial government. All borrowers in repayment after July 2012 will be required to sign one new consolidation agreement for the repayment of your Integrated Student Loan delivered jointly by the federal and provincial governments. For provincial or territorial student loan: financial instution, service provider, or provincial student financial assistance office For Canada Student Loan: NSLSC Alberta ONE You will only sign a consolidation agreement with the NSLSC for your Canada Student Loan. Signing your master loan agreement to receive your Alberta funding means that it acts as your consolidation agreement on your Alberta Student Loan. For provincial student loans: financial Instituion For Canada Student Loan: NSLSC Saskatchewan Ontario New Brunswick Newfoundland and Labrador ONE You will need to sign one consolidation agreement for the repayment of your Integrated Student Loan, delivered jointly by the federal and provincial governments. NSLSC Yukon ONE You will need to sign one consolidation agreement for your Canada Student Loan, as Yukon only offers a grant program. NSLSC CanLearn.ca Canada Student Loans and Grants 15

18 When is my first loan payment due? After you graduate or leave school, you have a period of time before you have to begin repaying your student loan. This six-month non-repayment period begins the first day of the month after you graduate or leave school. No payments will be required, but interest will accumulate during this period. Your first loan payment is due on the last day of the seventh month following your period of study end date, or the date you withdraw from your studies. Example: Date of completion of studies: April 30, 2011 Date six-month non-repayment period begins (interest starts to accrue): May 1, 2011 Date six-month non-repayment period ends: October 31, 2011 First loan payment due date: November 30, 2011 Do I repay my Canada Student Loan to the National Student Loans Service Centre or to a financial institution? For Canada and Integrated Student Loans received on or after August 1, 2000, you make your payments to the National Student Loans Service Centre. For Canada Student Loans received before August 1, 2000, you make your payments to a financial institution. What is the interest rate on my Canada Student Loan? When you receive your Consolidated Student Loan Agreement, you can choose between a fixed or floating interest rate. Fixed interest rate 5 percent higher than the prime rate at the time you consolidate your loans. The fixed rate never changes. Floating interest rate always 2.5 percent higher than the prime rate. The prime rate can increase or decrease throughout your repayment period. If you choose the floating interest rate, you will have the option to change to a fixed rate at any time. Use the Loan Repayment Calculator on CanLearn.ca to see which option is best for you. Interest rates for integrated and separate provincial loans may be different. Check with your province or territory for more information. Can I claim a tax credit for the interest I pay on my Canada Student Loan? Yes, the student loan tax credit allows you to deduct the interest that you pay on your student loans each year. This credit applies to interest payments you make on both your federal and provincial student loans. The appropriate documents will be sent to you by mail for you to use when you file your taxes. The credit does not apply to interest payments you may make on any loans held with a private lender, such as a student line of credit with a financial institution. What if I have difficulty repaying my loan? The Government of Canada offers repayment assistance measures that are designed to make it easier for you to pay back your student loan (if you qualify). Some provinces and territories have their own repayment assistance programs that are separate from the federal government. You should contact your province or territory for more information. As with all other types of loans, having a student loan means you are responsible for making your loan payments on time. If you are having difficulty repaying your loan, contact the National Student Loans Service Centre to ask questions, get clarification and find out more about the repayment assistance measures offered by the Government of Canada. What happens if I do not make my student loan payments? If you haven t made payments on your student loans, your loan will be considered delinquent and at risk of default, which can impact your credit rating. A poor credit rating can affect your ability to get loans, lease an apartment, or be hired for certain jobs. 16 TRADE SCHOOL, COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY

19 Repayment Assistance Measures Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP) This plan helps borrowers who are having financial difficulty repaying their student loans. The RAP makes it easier for student loan borrowers to manage their debt by allowing them to pay back what they can reasonably afford. Under the RAP: No borrower should have a repayment period of more than 15 years. Affordable loan payments are based on income and family size. You will not be required to make loan payments that exceed 20 percent of your gross family income. You need to apply for the RAP every six months. Enrolment is not automatic. In certain cases, borrowers may not be required to make any loan payments until their income increases. Use the Repayment Assistance Estimator tool on CanLearn.ca to estimate your monthly payment. How does the RAP work? Depending on your financial circumstances, the RAP has two stages to help you fully repay your student loan within 15 years. Stage I: This stage usually applies to the first five years of the Plan. Student loan borrowers who qualify for Stage I may be required to make affordable payments. These affordable payments go toward the loan principal. Paying the loan principal first helps to reduce the total debt. The Government of Canada will cover the interest that the borrower s calculated affordable payment does not cover. Borrowers will not make payments exceeding 20 percent of their gross family income towards loans covered by the RAP. In cases where the borrower has very low income, no payments are required. Stage II: This stage starts once the borrower completes Stage I, or has been in repayment for 10 years. The Government of Canada will continue to cover interest and will begin to cover the principal of the loan not met by the borrower s affordable loan payment. The balance of the loan should be gradually paid off to ensure that no student loan debt remains after 15 years. Throughout this period, borrowers must meet the same eligibility criteria and application process and will make affordable payments, if applicable. Am I eligible? For the RAP you must: Be a resident of Canada; Have signed and returned your Consolidated Student Loan Agreement to the National Student Loans Service Centre; and Meet the financial elgibility criteria for RAP. How do I apply? You need to apply for the RAP. Enrolment is not automatic. Call the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) at to request an application form, or to get more information. Complete and submit the form to the NSLSC. Provide the required documentation. Applications are also available on CanLearn.ca. You can also fill out the forms for the RAP online. Simply sign into your NSLSC Online Services account on CanLearn.ca and select Repayment Assistance to go through a step-by-step process to complete an application. Once completed, all you have to do is print, sign and date it, and send it to the NSLSC by mail or fax. CanLearn.ca Canada Student Loans and Grants 17

20 IMPORTANT: To qualify for the RAP, a signed Consolidated Student Loan Agreement must be on file at the NSLSC. If this is has not been received for your file, one will be created for you online to print, sign and return with your application. Repayment Assistance Plan for Borrowers with a Permanent Disability (RAP-PD) The RAP-PD helps borrowers with a permanent disability who are having difficulty paying their student loans. The RAP-PD makes it easier for student loan borrowers to manage their debt by paying back what they can reasonably afford. Under the RAP-PD: Loan payments are based on income, ability to pay and disability accommodation costs (uninsured medical expenses, special care and other expenses). Borrowers will not make payments exceeding 20 percent of their gross family income towards loans covered by the RAP-PD. You need to apply for the RAP-PD every six months. Enrolment is not automatic. In certain cases, borrowers may not be required to make any loan payments until their income increases. No borrower with a permanent disability, who is on the RAP-PD should have a repayment period longer than 10 years. How do I apply? You need to apply for the RAP-PD. Enrolment is not automatic. Call the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) at to request an application form, or to get more information about the RAP-PD. You can also fill out the forms for the RAP-PD online. Simply sign into your NSLSC Online Services account on CanLearn.ca and select Repayment Assistance to go through a step-by-step process to complete an application. Once completed, all you have to do is print, sign and date it, and send it to the NSLSC by mail or fax. Complete the application form and submit it to the NSLSC. Provide required supporting documentation. Revision of Terms If you are unable to repay your student loans, you can contact the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) to request a Revision of Terms. A Revision of Terms helps decrease your monthly payment by extending the amount of time over which you pay back your loan. However, as you are paying over a longer period, you will accumulate and pay more interest on your loan. How do I apply? Sign in to your NSLSC online account on CanLearn.ca and use the Customize your Repayment Calculator to create a Revision of Terms request online. This tool shows you the impact of your changes to the interest you pay and your loan term. When complete, all you have to do is print, sign and date your request and send it to the NSLSC by mail or fax. Call the NSLSC at or call your financial institution for more information. Repayment Assistance for Borrowers with a Severe Permanent Disability The Permanent Disability Benefit If you have a severe permanent disability that prevents you from working and/or going to school, and you will never be able to repay your loans, you may be able to have your loans cancelled. Call the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) at to find out about the application and approval process. 18 TRADE SCHOOL, COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY

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