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Student loans for december 2023

Student loans
Apply for a student loan at one of the banks, verified by our specialists. On 10.12.2023 0 student loans are available to you. Increase your chances of getting a loan - fill out an online application with a free credit rating check.
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Interest rates on loans in various Canadian provinces

There are two main types of financial aid for studying in Canada: government grants or loans and private loans or lines of credit. Grants are need-based scholarships; unlike student loans, they do not have to be paid back and consequently bear no interest. The interest rate on the federal portion of Canada's student loans depends on the prime rate set by the five Canadian largest banks in conjunction with the Bank of Canada rates. The floating interest rate on Canada Student Loans ranges from prime plus 2.5% to prime, and the fixed interest rate is prime plus 2%.

After finishing school, federal loans allow a six-month non-repayment period. No interest accrues on a Canada Student Loan during this window, known as the grace period.

Private student loans, in general, have lower interest rates than personal loans. Average private student loan interest rates can range from 3.22% to 13.95% fixed and 0.94% to 12.99% variable.

In Canada, Section 347 of the Criminal Code sets the maximum allowable annualized interest at 60%. Any higher interest charged is considered a criminal offense.

Online Loan Application of December 2023
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Online Loan Application of December 2023
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Student loans for december 2023

What is a student loan?

A student loan is money borrowed from the government or a private lender to help you in financing your education.

A federal loan is interest-free while you are in full-time school and must be paid back later. The first six months after you graduate is a grace period, when you are not required to make any repayments. No interest accrues on your Canada Student Loan during this time. However, a student loan issued by a private organization usually does not include this option.

Reference! The money can usually be used for tuition, housing, books, fees, and other educational expenses.

You may have more than one educational loan: combined programs and options allow you to apply for two loans simultaneously.

What are the major types of student loans in Canada?

There are two main types of financial aid for studying in Canada: government grants or loans and private loans or lines of credit.

The governmental programs could be federal and provincial, or territorial.

The Canadian government has two programs that are aimed to help you in funding your education. You can apply for loans from the Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) or grants from the Canada Student Grants Program (CSGP).

Grants are assistance with funding that you don't have to pay back.

CSLP is designed for full and part-time students. The applicant should meet the requirements for financial need, and then they could be eligible to get up to 60% of the cost of the tuition in federal funding. You can also receive a maximum amount that is subject to change.

Government loans have fixed or fluctuating interest rates, and the interest begins to accrue. When you graduate, you will have to pay the government the loan amount plus interest back.

CSGP provides students with the financial assistance they don't have to pay back. They apply for a grant and demonstrate difficulties with funding. If you comply with all criteria, you could also apply for grants for students who are disabled or have dependents.

There may be situations when borrowers exceed their federal benefits or are denied access to CSLP and CSGP.

Provincial and Territorial Student Financial Assistance for full-time students could be combined with federal borrowings or provided along with them. Some of them have no interest payment plans.

The Government works with most provincial or territorial governments to assist students with grants and loans. Borrowers apply with their province or territory of residence. The available amount is calculated when you apply.

  • British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, and Saskatchewan:

The Government of Canada and the provincial governments work together to provide combined federal and provincial grants and loans.

  • Alberta, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island:

You may participate in CSGP/CSLP that are available alongside provincial or territorial finance aid.

In Alberta, part-time funding is available only for students financing federally.

  • Yukon

You should choose one program to participate in CSGP, CSLP, or Yukon grant. But you may receive the Yukon Grant combined or another student's assistance.

  • Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and Quebec:

CSLP and CSGP are not available. To apply to their aid programs, one must visit these areas' student assistance and funding offices.

Attention! You must re-apply for a CSLP every upcoming academic year.

Private student loans are provided by banks, credit unions, or alternative online lenders. The interest rate is usually higher than one you could get with a government loan and may accumulate immediately after the money is paid out.

The payments also should often be made when your loan is issued or after a grace period, depending on the lender.

Private lenders' loan conditions and terms may be more flexible than government loans. Alternative loans are usually quicker but harder to qualify for.

However, educational loans usually offer lower interest rates than personal loans, and they rarely go with additional fees. Also, the repayment periods are much more extended than those the personal loans typically provide.

In some situations, you may have to make a combination of the two or several loans. Not only CSLP/ CSGP and Provincial or Territorial educational finance assistance (if your province of residence allows it) but also a private loan if your governmental loans don’t cover all expenses.

Loans are meant to assist you in education funding and may not pay for your entire post-secondary education. Consider supplementing your educational loans with other options.

How to apply for a student loan?

When you go through the student loan application process and qualify for assistance, you are automatically evaluated for CSLP.

Apply at least two months before your course starts to ensure you receive your funding on time if approved.

There are five steps to apply:

  1. Find out if you meet the criteria for CSLP/ CSGP and how much you could get. Use the Student Loan Handbook, visit National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC), and your province's assistance on the student program's website.

  2. Apply online for a CSLP/CSGP through the finance aid office provincial or territorial site. Fill out your personal information, details of your educational curriculum, and your financial information.

  3. Wait for your provincial or territorial service's Notice of Assessment. If you don't qualify, contact the NSLSC office to request reassessment, but ensure you have enough time before the classes start. It could take a while to wait for the funding decision.

If you qualify, you may be required to complete a Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA). Fill it out online by registering or logging in to your secure NSLSC account.

  1. Review the MSFAA carefully and read the terms and conditions. Make sure that:

  • you fully understand the responsibilities and commitments, terms and conditions of your loan agreement before accepting it;

  • your personal information is correct;

  • include your up-to-date banking details for direct deposit.

The MSFAA is a multi-year agreement: when applying for financial assistance the next time, you only need to complete and submit the student loan application for your province or territory and wait for the Notice of Assessment.

  1. You need to confirm that you are enrolled to receive your grant and/or loan money. Then, log in or register your secure NSLSC account to submit the documents online.

Funds will be deposited directly to your bank account or forwarded to your school to pay your academic fees on or after the first day of classes. The deposit usually occurs within 7 — 10 business days.

What are the main requirements for getting a student loan?

To qualify for governmental assistance you should:

  • Be a citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or designated as a protected person;

  • Be a permanent resident of a province or territory that issues CSLP/CSGP;

  • Demonstrate financial need.

Note: The Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Quebec operate provincial/territory student financial support programs. Visit or contact your provincial or territorial finance assistance office to find out more details.

You must also be enrolled in:

  • At least 60% of a full course load (at least 40% for students with a permanent disability) if you are a full-time undergraduate;

  • 20% to 59% of a full course load if you are a part-time student;

  • A diploma, degree, or certificate program provided by a designated post-secondary school that runs for at least 12 weeks within 15 consecutive weeks.

Note: borrowers who are 22 years or older applying for the first time must go through a credit check.

There are lifetime limits on the amount of financial support, which include interest-free periods:

  • Full-time undergraduates qualify to receive financial assistance for 340 weeks only;

  • Full-time students enrolled in doctoral studies — for 400 weeks;

  • Scholars with permanent disabilities — for no more than 520 weeks.

The loan amount you can receive depends on factors including:

  • Your province or territory of residence;

  • Your family's annual income;

  • If you have dependents;

  • Your tuition fees and educational costs;

  • Your living expenses;

  • If you have a disability;

  • Assets and investments (full-time students only).

Use the Student Financial Assistance Estimator to assess the annual assistance amounts you may receive.

The sum of a loan is computed based on assessed finance needs.

The assessed need is the difference between allowable educational costs and the amount you are expected to be paid based on the money resources you possess.

Assessed Need = Allowable Costs – Resources

The eligibility criteria designed by private lenders are standard for all personal loans. You should be a Canadian permanent resident, have a valid Social insurance number, proven stable income, good credit score, and debt-to-income ratio. Also, you should be enrolled in a school which meets the criteria.

Educational loans often require a creditworthy cosigner or home to own because a student's creditability is usually insufficient to qualify.

Ways to get a student loan

  1. Canada Student Loan Program.

To get federal loans, apply online for SNLP through your Provincial and territorial finance aid offices:

  • Alberta Student Aid

  • British Columbia Student Aid

  • Manitoba Student Aid

  • New Brunswick Student Financial Services

  • Newfoundland and Labrador Student Aid

  • Northwest Territories Student Financial Assistance

  • Nova Scotia Student Assistance

  • Nunavut Student Funding

  • Ontario Student Assistance Program

  • Prince Edward Island Student Financial Services

  • Quebec Student Financial Aid

  • Saskatchewan Student Loans

  • Yukon Student Financial Assistance

You could manage and repay your loan through the National Student Loans Service Center site and your provincial loan through the provincial government's financial assistance office or their service provider.

  1. Provincial and Territorial Student Financial Assistance. You can apply for financial assistance at your provincial office to combine this loan with a federal program and get only provincial or two loans simultaneously, according to your province's residency conditions. For example, it could be provided for a full or part-time student.

  2. Private educational loan or line of credit. You should choose the lender with the most favorable terms and conditions which suit your needs. It could be traditional lenders like banks, credit unions, or online alternative lenders.

How to repay a student loan

We could highlight three stages of student loans.

Study period. You don't have to make any repayments, and no interest accrues, unless it is a private loan. To maintain your interest-free status during the study period, confirm your enrollment every upcoming academic year.

Non-repayment period. There is a six-month grace period after you have completed the full-time study, graduated, transferred to part-time studies, or withdrawn.

It means you don't need to repay your loans, but the interest may start to accrue, especially if you borrowed from a private institution. Any unpaid interest will be capitalized and included in your principal balance at the time of consolidation.

Your first loan payment is due on the last day of the seventh month following the date your period of study ends or the end date you withdraw from studies.

Within these six months, you can:

  • Start paying back to settle the loan faster;

  • Pay the interest as a lump sum before making your regular payments;

  • Add the interest amount to your outstanding loan balance.

Making payments during your studying or non-repayment period is an option to save on interest in the long run. This is because it will cut down the principal of your loan while at the same time reducing the total interest you must cover in the future.

Before entering the repayment phase, the NSLSC will send you a Consolidation Letter and Agreement. It outlines your repayment terms, interest rate, minimum monthly payment, the amount owing, repayment start date, amount, and method.

Register with the National Student Loans Service Center Online Services to customize your repayment, negotiate payments amount and get repayment assistance. Set up a payment schedule that could suit your current life and budget situation.

The repayment period begins at the end of the six-month non-repayment period. After that, you should start making regular loan payments. First, log in to your secure NSLSC account to view your loan info.

If your loan was funded directly into your bank account, you are automatically set up for pre-authorized debit. Also, you can use online banking, cheques, or bank drafts as a payment method.

It's better to arrange direct debit and ensure you have enough money in your bank account to ensure regular and sufficient installments. Missing payments could hurt your credit score, and your loans could result in default and legal problems.

Attention! If you default on your loan by missing payments for 270 days or more, your loan will be sent for collection.

Contact the NSLSC before you miss a payment. Some repayment options are available to manage your payments and avoid default. If you cannot pay back your loan, you can apply to access the Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP).

With RAP, you may qualify for zero or lowered payments for six months. After this period, you can reapply for another six months.

Also, there could be an opportunity to apply for RAP for students with permanent disabilities, Medical and Parental Leave, and others.

There are lifetime limits on the number of weeks finance aid could be received — no more than 340 weeks for full-time students, except:

  • doctoral studies undergraduate, for up to 400 weeks;

  • scholars with a permanent disability for up to 520 weeks.

Part-time loans amount can't exceed $10,000 in CSLP throughout part-time studies.

This includes the time you are in school. When a limit is reached, interest starts to accrue.

Pros and cons of a student loan

Student loans have significant advantages and disadvantages to consider.


  • Students could afford dream schools

  • Long term

  • No or small number of fees

  • Low-interest rate

  • Six-month grace period after graduation

  • No interest, low interest, or interest-only payments while studying

  • The loan amount suits your educational needs

  • Have lifetime borrowing limits

  • Repayment Assistance Plan, Canada Student Loan Rehabilitation, Canada Student Loan Forgiveness for Family Doctors and Nurses (available for governmental loans only)

  • Paying off on time may help you build credit


  • Requirements for your educational program
  • Your institution should be eligible for funding

  • Defaulting may ruin your credit score

  • Hard to maintain budget discipline for students

  • The debt postpones other life goals

  • Student loans do not go away during years

You could review a wide range of laws and regulations which are aimed to govern the educational loan process:

  • Canada Student Loans Act

  • Canada Student Financial Assistance Act

  • Canada Education Savings Act

  • Canada Student Loans Regulations

  • Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations

They regulate the interest and payment-free periods, conditions in case of death or disability of a borrower, administrative measures, medical and parental leave, payment of principal and interest, repayment assistance plan, etc.

The actual cost of a student loan

Student loan borrowers are repaying much more because of the interest. The longer your repayment terms, the more significant interest accrues.

It's a great idea to have a grace period when you have just graduated, but the interest may already be accumulating, so you have to start paying as soon as possible to cover your debt.

Be aware of private lenders' interest rates which aren't as favorable as governmental programs rates. For example, the current interest rate on the CSLP is the prime rate. The five Canadian largest banks set it in conjunction with the Bank of Canada rates. The interest rate is arranged when the loan is taken: the fixed-interest repayment plan supposes the prime rate plus 2%.

However, suppose you are a happy resident of Manitoba, Newfoundland & Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. In that case, you can participate in a provincial/territorial program and get a 0% interest repayment plan.

If you can afford it, make larger payments to cut the principal more quickly and decrease the total repayment period. Refinance option could help you settle loans faster, but remember that refinancing governmental loans with private lenders means you will lose access to federal benefits like no interest plan, parental leave, and RAP.

Maybe you could get a part-time job or consider your eligibility for full and part-time student scholarships and grant funding to begin an adult life without debts.


Does everyone qualify for student loans?

No, either governmental or private loans have requirements that should be met to qualify.

To get governmental loans, a borrower should: be enrolled in an eligible course in an accredited institution as a full or part-time student, be a citizen of Canada, a permanent resident of a province or territory that issues CSLP or CSGP, demonstrate financial difficulties and mustn't have exceeded the lifetime limit of aid.

To qualify for a private loan, a borrower usually should: be enrolled in a designated school, be a Canadian citizen, have a valid SIN, prove income, good credit history, debt-to-income ratio and have a creditable cosigner or be a homeowner.

How much can you get for a student loan in Canada?

It depends on:

  • province or territory of residence;

  • annual income;

  • living situation;

  • tuition fees and educational costs;

  • assets and investments (full-time students only).

Use the Student Financial Assistance Estimator to assess your potential annual loan and grant amount.

The sum of a loan is computed based on assessed finance needs.

Assessed Need = Allowable Costs – Resources

With a governmental CSLP, you may be eligible to receive up to 60% of the assessed costs. The other 40% may be provided through private or provincial assistance.

What is the total student debt in Canada?

Total student debt in Canada is $18 billion. Over 1.7 million borrowers have an educational loan. It takes over ten years to settle the amount due.