Canada - Guidance To Apply Student Loan
Government student loans are offered to full-time and part-time students to help them pay for their post-secondary education at a designated college, university or other post-secondary institution.
The Government of Canada and most provincial or territorial governments work together to deliver this type of loan to residents.
Here is a procedure on how you can apply for a student loan in Canada.
To qualify, you must:
- be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada or designated as a protected person;
- be a permanent resident of a province or territory that issues Canada Student Loans (please note that the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Quebec have their own student loan programs. Contact your provincial or territorial student financial assistance office for more information;
- Demonstrate financial need;
- be enrolled in at least 60 percent of a full course load (40 percent for students with permanent disabilities) if you are a full-time student;
- be enrolled in 20-59 percent of a full course load if you are a part-time student (if you are a student with permanent disabilities and you are studying between 40-59 percent of a full course load, you can choose to be considered a student in full or part-time studies);
- be enrolled in a degree, diploma or certificate program offered by a designated post-secondary school that runs for at least 12 weeks within a 15-week period;
- pass a credit check if you are 22 or older and are applying for your first Canada Student Loan;
- not have exhausted your maximum lifetime limit for financial assistance (including interest-free status).
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- Check if you are eligible to apply for a Canada Student Loan. If you have received a student loan in the past, make sure that you haven't reached your lifetime limits on student financial assistance yet.
- Obtain a Canada Student Loan and Grant application form. You will only need to fill in one form to be assessed for loans and grants. Applications can be obtained:
- Online through the student financial assistance Web site of your province or territory.
- From your high school.
- From your provincial or territorial student financial assistance office.
- Send the completed form for federal and provincial student assistance to your province or territory of permanent residence. The processing of your application will be much faster if you submit it online. It will take about 4-6 weeks to process application submitted by mail. Note: You must apply based on where you live as a permanent resident glossary definition, not the province or territory where you plan to go to school (except for part-time student loans or grants). Each province/territory have their own application procedure.
- Check your mail or email for your Notice of Assessment which will tell you if you qualified for a loan. If you qualified:
- You may get a Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA). The MSFAA is a legally binding contract, it is important that you review it carefully and read the terms and condition before you sign it and have it returned to the NSLSC along with your banking information.
- Part-time students will receive 2 separate documents: Certificate of Eligibility Part-Time Student Loans and Grants and Canada Student Financial Assistance Agreement for Part-Time Students. The Certificate of Eligibility details the types and amount of your part-time student financial assistance and also includes the confirmation of enrolment section that must be completed by your school. The Agreement is the contract between you and the Government of Canada for part-time funding. Both documents are legally binding contracts, read them carefully before you sign them.
- Review your loan documents and confirm enrolment with your school:
- Full time students: Review your Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement. Make sure your personal information is correct. If you want your money to be deposited directly into your account, include your banking information and a void cheque. Before you can receive your student loan and/or grant money, your school must confirm you are enrolled full-time at a designated post-secondary institution. The confirmation of enrolment may be completed electronically by your school or you can have a Confirmation of Enrolment form mailed to you or your school.
- Part time students: Review your Certificate of Eligibility Part-Time Student Loans and Grants and your Canada Student Financial Assistance Agreement for Part-Time Students. Make sure your personal information is correct on both documents.
- Sign your loan documents.
- Go to a Canada Post outlet and submit the completed application form along with all other required documents.
- Disbursement of funds. Your loan or grant money will be deposited directly to your bank account or forwarded to your school to pay your academic fees (e.g. tuition) on or after the first day of classes. Notes:
- If your financial situation changes before you start school or while you're studying there, you must inform your provincial or territorial student assistance office.
- If your eligibility for student loans is reassessed and this changes the amount of money you are to receive, your provincial or territorial student assistance office will let you know.
If you are a reservist in the Canadian Forces while studying full-time and will be serving in a designated operation, download and fill out the Confirmation of Posting Assignment for Full-Time Students form and submit it along with your loan application to receive interest-free status. Do not forget to attach a copy of your notification of posting instructions that you received from the Department of National Defence.
Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA): this is a multi-year agreement, you do not need to sign and submit a new one the next time you apply for a student financial assistance. Just complete and submit an application through your province of residence and wait for your Notice of Assessment to come in the mail or online.
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Bring the following when you submit your application:
- Completed and signed MSFAA (or Certificate of Eligibility and Student Loan Agreement if you are a part-time student).
- A valid photo identification issued in Canada by the federal, or a provincial or territorial government, such as:
- a valid driver's license;
- a passport;
- a provincial health card with a photo;
- a permanent residency or citizenship card;
- certificate of Indian status;
- federal or provincial employee identification card; or
- Record of Landing accompanied by an expired Permanent Residence Card.
- A document proving that the Social Insurance Number (SIN) on your loan or grant authorization document is yours. For example, you can show your SIN card or present an official Government of Canada document that has your SIN on it, such as:
- a Canada Revenue Agency Notice of Assessment;
- a Canada Pension Plan Statement of Contributions;
- a Confirmation of Social Insurance Number from Service Canada; or
- a temporary SIN card.
- If you want your money to be deposited directly into your account, include your banking information and a void cheque.
- Other requirements: If you are a reservist in the Canadian Forces while studying full-time and will be serving in a designated operation, download and fill out the Confirmation of Posting Assignment for Full-Time Students form and submit it along with your loan application to receive interest-free status. Do not forget to attach a copy of your notification of posting instructions that you received from the Department of National Defence.
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National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC)
National Student Loans Service Centre
P.O. Box 4030
Toll free telephone:
1 888 815-4514 (within North America)
800 2 225-2501 (outside North America)
If you are in a country that does not provide access to the international toll free telephone number, use the Canadian Operator number 0800 096 0634 and call them collect at 905 306-2950.
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Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites. Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation. Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed. e.g In the following url "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0US7oR_t3M" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M".
Denied loan requests:
If you are not approved for funding or you are not happy with the approved amount, get in touch with the student financial assistance office in your province or territory. There is a formal reassessment process for students who disagree with the money they have been awarded. Amounts can be reassessed according to your province or territory's own criteria, and those of the federal government.
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