Thinking of applying for a student loan? Then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll provide all of the tips and tricks you need to have a seamless application process.
The current student loans program is friendlier than it used to be. Many who were not eligible in the past are now eligible. See below for eligibility requirements or contact us if you are in doubt.
What is the difference between a student loan and a line of credit?
Student loans are interest-free during schooling, often include grants and do not need to be repaid for a grace period of six months after graduation (though interest does accrue during this time with the exception of Alberta student loans). In addition, interest paid is tax deductible when you are in repayment. For these reasons and for the repayment program options, student loans are always preferable to a student line of credit.
Student lines of credit available at banks do not share any of the benefits of student loans. Most lines of credit require you to begin paying interest immediately. In addition, there are no grace periods and it is difficult to renegotiate your repayment terms.
Government student loans are based on demonstrated need and consider your ily/living away status (and apply a standard living allowance based on this) and educational costs for one continuous period of study (not more than 12 consecutive months).
You must apply for your loan with the province you have lived in for the most recent 12 consecutive months not as a post-secondary student. In other words, if you have moved to Alberta for post-secondary education, you need to apply for your loan through your home province, not Alberta.
- Student loans are available to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
- Student loans are available for:
- Full-time study (nine credits per term in fall or winter; four and a half in a two-month term; or six for students with disabilities in regular terms who qualify for a reduced course-load through Accessibility Services).
- Apprenticeships (through the Canada Apprenticeship Loan program and Student Aid Alberta).
- Pre-employment (through Student Aid Alberta only).
- Part-time study (fewer than nine credits per regular term) – not an online application and takes many weeks to process.
Note: You cannot apply for part-time study loans or grants online but you can download the paper form from your provincial website.
- Academic upgrading courses are not eligible for student loans. However, there are some funding options available: see Alberta Works information.
- You are expected to contribute a provincially-established minimum amount of savings. This amount varies by province and circumstance.
- Depending on family composition and income, parents may also be expected to contribute. If you are an Alberta student, you may apply without disclosing information about parental contributions. However, this means foregoing federal government grants.
PLEASE NOTE THAT A FIRST-TIME LOAN APPLICATION WILL REQUIRE THAT THE STUDENT COMPLETE A DOCUMENT – TWO FOR ALBERTA STUDENTS – CALLED THE MSFAA (MASTER STUDENT FINANCIAL AID AGREEMENT) IN ORDER FOR FUNDS TO BE RELEASED. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST COMMON OVERSIGHTS ON THE PART OF STUDENTS. CHECK YOUR (GOVERNMENT LOAN) DIGITAL INBOX FOR INFORMATION ON THIS ELECTRONIC PROCESS.
Learn the process
It’s in your best interest to understand the government loan process. Applications are renewed annually and are available in June for the upcoming academic year.
Your provincial student loan web site is very helpful but we can provide an overview of the steps involved and walk you through any points you may find difficult along the way over the phone () or payday loans Elizabethton via email.